Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Kerry Pledges Support For Mass.-Senate Appointee



Sen. John Kerry speaks out in favor of allowing the Massachusetts governor to temporarily fill the Senate vacancy left by the death of Ted Kennedy. REUTERS/Stan Honda/Pool

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry testified in favor of a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy created by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy today -- a move that may well help shepherd passage of the required change in state law.

Kerry, testifying before the Massachusetts legislature's Joint Committee on Election Law, said that "common sense profoundly argues we should allow for a temporary appointment because it is in the best interests of Massachusetts as a state."

Kerry sought to frame Kennedy's request to change the law to allow Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to appoint a temporary replacement until a special election is held on Jan. 19 as a selfless rather than a selfish act. "In his dying days he put to you and to all the citizens of our Commonwealth a choice about how to best protect the interests of our state," said Kerry.

Interestingly, in seeking to paint the proposal as "hardly radical", Kerry cited the 1960 appointment of Ben Smith to the Senate by the state's governor to fill out the remaining two years on John F. Kennedy's term. Of course, that appointment is widely regarded as the prototypical example of Kennedy cronyism as Smith was a longtime loyalist to the family who was widely see as keeping JFK's seat warm until younger brother Ted Kennedy was constitutionally able to serve.

The appearance of changing state law to benefit one person or one party is much on the mind of Massachusetts legislators since as recently as 2004 they took away the governor's appointment power for fear that then Gov. Mitt Romney (R) would appoint a Republican to replace Kerry is he was elected president.

Republicans and some good government groups have spoken out in opposition to any further law change. "It's a bad idea, it's clearly something that's meant for political gain by one party," said state Sen. Scott Brown (R), who is thinking of running in the special election, in today's hearing, according to an AP report. "You live by the sword, you die by the sword."

With Kerry and Patrick supportive of the temporary replacement plan it is likely to move forward, however, unless the leaders of the Democratic-controlled state House and Senate balk for some reason.

The leading names to serve as caretakers until the special election can be held include former Gov. Michael Dukakis, Paul Kirk, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Boston attorney and former Kennedy staffer Nick Littlefield, and former state Senate President Robert Travaglini.

Meanwhile, the special election race continues to develop.

For Democrats, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, who won the endorsement of EMILY's List today, is in, and Reps. Stephen Lynch and Mike Capuano are all-but-in. Reps. Ed Markey and John Tierney as well as City Year co-founder Alan Khazei are considering runs for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Brown is mentioned. Christy Mihos who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 and is running again in 2010, considered switching races but has ruled such a move out.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 9, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: Tweeting the Obama Address

Comments

I'm fine with yours being the last word on the subject.

Posted by: JakeD
------

Apparently not.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 10, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess my typo "was golfed" now means that someone else literally used my body to hit their ball ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, I did ask for another canard. My fault; I'm fine with yours being the last word on the subject.

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

At 10:10pm you promised not to post more than once on any thread. Period.

That is the unconditional promise.

Then you amended that to say "Tomorrow at least. I'm golfing." If you meant "while golfing" you should have said "tomorrow at least, while I'm golfing."

I understand that your modus operandi is to insinuate or imply one thing and then to deny that you said what you implied. I'm simply suggesting that in this case you did a bad job of it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

You mean an "unconditional promise" like "I will ignore the troll from now on"? LOL!!! My "unconditional promise" was to not post more than once while golfing, and I kept that promise. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse


Lie. Lie. Lie. I'll give you a pass for your unconditional promise at 10:10pm, since you followed up so quickly with your qualifying statement. But that doesn't say "while I'm golfing."

You'd think a lawyer would be more careful.

--------
Tomorrow at least. I'm golfing ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse
----------
Thank you for your post, svergiegrabb. Just for you, I won't post more than once on any thread.

Posted by: JakeD | September 8, 2009 10:10 PM

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 10, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I promised to not post while I was golfed 9 holes yesterday (which did not take 24 hours ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, JakeD promised on 9/8 that he would only post once per thread "tomorrow" meaning 9/9. He did very well until this thread, in which he posted at least 7 times.

Does that make JakeD a liar, or just a promise-breaker?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 10, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for the free market, as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.

Americans are brilliant and solve problems all the time. But I'm tired of ingenious, independent Americans developing solutions that our political and economic leaders are too d**n greedy, stupid, and self-interested to effectively apply. Investment without a target is not itself inherently a cure, that's all I (and I think BHO) are saying. I want to see our ingenuity applied *directly* to our *own* problems. The hazy dreamy marvel of the "free" market ain't doing that. Though yes, it might ship you from one prosperous economy to another that values your skills even more -- which rather proves my point about the failures of the system that loses you. You are a package of expensive skills, not an exportable commodity.

Posted by: nodebris | September 9, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Just holding out for the right deal.
No joke.

==

Didn't think you were joking.

No country has ever recovered from financialization, and given the clamp on our press I doubt America will either.

Yesterday was 9/9/9 in Việt Nam, where numerology is serious business, a lucky day, and we began construction of our house there.

Won't be long.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 9, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Just holding out for the right deal.
No joke.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 9, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Then we export. Seriously, I get recruitment notices constantly from the UK.
They need doctors in Australia, New Zealand, England. There is a tremendous world wide shortage of people who are right on top of health care knowhow.

==

So why would you want to go on living and working in a free-market sh*thole when you could work in a civilized country?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Even so no debris.

Example: Dimensional lumber was stuck in the inches mode, by the time our mills could produce metric lumber, it was too late.

Health care has to be different. There has to be a reason for borders, no matter how liberal, no matter how socialist, I have never met anyone who thinks abolishing national borders will save the world.

While everyone else is doing cheap health care, trying to starve the beast, we will stuff the beast. Everyone is fully funded and "cost controls" are kind of like "quality management", we will have a lot of meetings and benchmarks and stuff that sounds effective.

Once we get to an economy that is pretty much health care dependent, the world will envy us. They will have lots of TVs and gear we don't have, but we will have free health care for everybody.

To be more serious, a fully funded American health care model will need lots of skilled people, people that can not be imported. We train our workers, doctors, nurses, techs all the way down the skill list, even down to CEOs.

Then we export. Seriously, I get recruitment notices constantly from the UK.
They need doctors in Australia, New Zealand, England. There is a tremendous world wide shortage of people who are right on top of health care knowhow.


Posted by: shrink2 | September 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for The Colbert Report to come back ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: That's not an objection to this law change, it's an objection to what the legislature did in 2004. The 2004 change was obviously meant to reduce Romney's power, and was blatantly partisan.

If the MA legislature planned to reverse the 2004 law, that would also be blatantly partisan. They'd be changing the law based on the party of the governor. But this is not a reversal of the 2004 law; it's a new system for replacing a senator, and it's a better system.

==

I think allowing a governor to overrule the will of the people and replace a Senator of the other party with one of his own party, even an interim one, is an abuse of power, and not only should the law be left as it is, it should be the same everywhere.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 9, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

So, mark_in_austin, several years from now, if a Republican is elected as Governor again and the Democrats try to strip even the temp. appoint power, you will object to that?

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Ddawd, Blarg's take that the law ought to be changed as a matter of good government is unassailable [IMO].

The 2004 change was the antithesis to good government and was entirely political.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 9, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"we could get crazy rich as the world demands more and more health care."

Or it could be like the transistor, silicone chip, solar-voltaic, consumer electronics, etc, etc. . . . technologies in which we made the huge R&D investment, but that we could not ourselves then effectively exploit, and that therefore are now making other more agile economies rich while we shed manufacturing jobs like a collie sheds hair in summer.

Posted by: nodebris | September 9, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You people better stop arguing and start investing. A massive amount of money is going to move to "health care". Nothing can stop it now. Everyone is going to be making and getting health care. We all want it, we will all pay for it, that is all there is to it.

The Chinese will lend us the money to create and consume health care. We will be a model for the world.

You heard it here first.

I have come to the conclusion that we can export health care.

If we get really good at this, like we did with the car, dimensional building materials, space, war, movies, music, computers and so on, we could get crazy rich as the world demands more and more health care.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 9, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to attack others for being antisocial, perhaps you should make at least an attempt to integrate yourself into the conversation instead of just being a nuisance.

==

"vomit on the sidewalk"

The PgUp key was added to keyboard design to deal with zouk

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 9, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I don't think that "snowbama" is worse.

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

For the GOP, it's not just State Senator, Scott Brown, but also Bob Burr, Canton selectman, has announced his candidacy. Other potential Republicans include:

Jeff Beatty, 2008 Senate candidate and Cape Cod businessman

Andrew Card, former White House Chief of Staff

Chris Egan, former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Cooperation and Development

David Sukoff, Mass. businessman

Michael Sullivan, former U.S. Attorney

William Weld, former Governor and 1996 Senate candidate

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"and No CC, that is not name calling. for this poster, it is a complement. whatever happened to banning this fool, chrisfox? He/she/it offers nothing but racist/troll bird brained squawking. take away drindl too and some level of reason may return to your blog.

Posted by: snowbama"

Um, you're probably the last person who should be bringing this up...
And honestly, you're worse than he is now. Not because of your views, but because you feel the need to fill pages with copy and paste nonsense from other blogs. If you're going to attack others for being antisocial, perhaps you should make at least an attempt to integrate yourself into the conversation instead of just being a nuisance.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 9, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Blarg and jasperanselm:

Curt Schilling could still run as an Independent, and he only has to be a legal resident as of the date of the election -- I never said anything differently -- however, you are both missing my main point: Barack Obama wasn't a natural-born citizen, so Constitutional requirements and any semblance of consistency are out the window as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Please don't feed the troll

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite


what no cries of racist? why only use half your arsenal? you sound like a half-wit parrot.

and No CC, that is not name calling. for this poster, it is a complement. whatever happened to banning this fool, chrisfox? He/she/it offers nothing but racist/troll bird brained squawking. take away drindl too and some level of reason may return to your blog.

Posted by: snowbama | September 9, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,

Are you telling me that the original intend of the 2004 law was for the “real” senate replacement seat to be decided by the populace and that Rommey at the time could have filled the position with one of his choosing. So how do they swear in the “temporary” senator? Pleasssssse the legislative branch of MA took away the power of the governor to appoint the next senator in “fear” that he would choose a R and in this case the law has come back to bite them for their short sightless.

Posted by: sltiowa | September 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

joked several years from now you'll be worrying about your diapers more than who the senator from massachusetts is.

==

Please don't feed the troll

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"If the MA legislature planned to reverse the 2004 law, that would also be blatantly partisan. They'd be changing the law based on the party of the governor. But this is not a reversal of the 2004 law; it's a new system for replacing a senator, and it's a better system.

Posted by: Blarg"

If you want to look at it as atoning for a past mistake, then go ahead. That's not how I see it.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 9, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: That's not an objection to this law change, it's an objection to what the legislature did in 2004. The 2004 change was obviously meant to reduce Romney's power, and was blatantly partisan.

If the MA legislature planned to reverse the 2004 law, that would also be blatantly partisan. They'd be changing the law based on the party of the governor. But this is not a reversal of the 2004 law; it's a new system for replacing a senator, and it's a better system.

Posted by: Blarg | September 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I must continue to temporarily break the "no feeding the trolls" rule.

Get your facts straight jakey, schilling sold the MA house you referenced. He's not a MA resident.

Posted by: jasperanselm | September 9, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, can anyone give a reasoned objection to this proposed change? (Note: "It's not fair because the Democrats are doing it!" is not reasoned.)

Posted by: Blarg "

The objection is that they pull away this power from Republicans and then grant it to Democrats. It's pretty blatant. This isn't a change to some archaic rule. The power was stripped from Gov. Romney precisely so that he couldn't appoint Kerry's successor if he became President. If you want to make a law that the replacement has to be of the same party, then do that. Just don't oscillate depending on the political party of the sitting gov.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Kurt Schilling is ineligible to run, as he is not a registered Republican.

I'm amazed at how many people don't understand this proposed change to the law.

1. The old law said that the governor could appoint a replacement senator.
2. The current law says that the senator is replaced in the special election.
3. The proposed law allows the governor to appoint a TEMPORARY senator, until the special election.

#3 is far better than #2 or #1. It still allows the people to choose their new senator, while minimizing the time with only one senator. Even if the governor appoints a Roland Burris clone, it doesn't matter, because he only gets to serve for a few months.

Seriously, can anyone give a reasoned objection to this proposed change? (Note: "It's not fair because the Democrats are doing it!" is not reasoned.)

Posted by: Blarg | September 9, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And we'll be very happy to take away joked's medicare because we can't have the government involved in health care. Might as well take away his social security too since that's socialism, and we can't have that.

Posted by: jasperanselm | September 9, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

joked several years from now you'll be worrying about your diapers more than who the senator from massachusetts is.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 9, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

joked several years from now you'll be worrying about your diapers more than who the senator from massachusetts is.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 9, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I would be really pleased if Democrats didn't change the law back and forth depending on whether a Republican was Governor. If they change the law (again) hopefully the non-Democrats running can make a big issue about it.

P.S. Curt Schilling has lived in Medfield, Massachusetts, in Drew Bledsoe's former home on Woodridge Road, since 2003:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/redsox/2003-12-23-bledsoe-home_x.htm

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse


I would be really pleased to see Dukakis seated as temporary senator. He is a man of integrity.

Posted by: dotellen | September 9, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

And, Barack Obama wasn't a natural-born citizen, so?

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Curt Schilling is an idiot; can't the repukes do any better than that? The guy's not even a resident of the state.

Posted by: jasperanselm | September 9, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess that it's no surprise Sen. Kerry is the lead hypocrite on this issue -- several years from now, if a Republican is elected as Governor again, will they try to change it back -- I hope that Curt Schilling runs and wins.

Posted by: JakeD | September 9, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company