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Posted: 9/18/2009 11:16:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 11:17:15 AM EST by SultanOfBrunei]
Mass. House approves Sen. Kennedy succession bill (LINK)
Senate delays debate
By Steve LeBlanc ASSOCIATED PRESS

UPDATED:

BOSTON (AP) –– Massachusetts Republicans temporarily blocked Senate debate Friday on a bill allowing Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim appointment to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy.

Republicans, who hold just five of 40 seats in the state Senate, objected to the bill being taken up Friday, without formal notice. Under Senate rules, the objection means the bill can't be debated until the next formal session.

The Massachusetts Senate will next meet in a formal session on Monday. Senate President Therese Murray, a Democrat, has been tightlipped about the bill's chances.

Sen. Bruce E. Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester, raised the objection. He said he assumes Democratic leaders believe they have the votes to pass the bill but still holds out hope that enough Democrats may be swayed to vote against it.

"I think there is some doubt about the ultimate outcome. Clearly the vote in the House was not a completely partisan vote," he said. "I'm not sure that anyone has an accurate count on who is on the yes side and who is on the no side."

The delay came a day after the Massachusetts House voted 95-58 in favor of the bill, with 42 House Democrats joining all 16 Republicans in opposition.

Supporters, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Democrat, said the change is needed to ensure Massachusetts continues to be represented by two senators until voters can choose a replacement during a Jan. 19 special election.

Patrick, a Democrat and ally of President Barack Obama, also supports the change.

But critics point out that Democrats changed the succession law in 2004 to create a special election and block then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, from naming a temporary replacement if Sen. John Kerry had won his presidential bid.

To change the law now that there is a Democrat in the governor's office smacks of hypocrisy, they said.


Kennedy, in a letter sent to lawmakers before his death, urged the change in law saying "it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens."

Kennedy died of brain cancer last month.

The debate is being followed closely in Washington, where Democrats hope to regain a 60-vote, filibuster-proof margin in the U.S. Senate ahead of any debate on President Obama's health care overhaul.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Massachusetts' all-Democratic delegation to the U.S. House also back the change, saying they need all the votes they can to support the health care change.

Obama presidential counselor David Axelrod has contacted Massachusetts officials and the Massachusetts branch of Obama's political arm, Organizing for America, has sent out e-mails advocating for the change.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. said Friday that qualms about whether to allow the interim appointment shouldn't be used to help defeat major policy issues like expanding Americans access to health care.

"Public policy questions important to everyone in America shouldn't be decided by a tragedy of death or some other non-electoral factor," Frank said.

The bill initially would have required the appointee be from the same party as the person who created the vacancy, a Democrat in the case of Kennedy's successor.

That requirement was stripped after critics in the House raised constitutional concerns and noted that more than half of voters in Massachusetts aren't enrolled in any party and would be barred from consideration.

Patrick has said he would extract from the appointee a promise not to be a candidate in the special election.

Those said to be under consideration for an interim appointment include former Gov. Michael Dukakis, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul Kirk Jr.; former Massachusetts Senate President Robert Travaglini, former Kennedy staff chief Nick Littlefield, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree and former state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien.

Candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the special election include Attorney General Martha Coakley, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca. State Sen. Scott Brown and Canton Selectman Bob Burr are seeking the Republican nomination.

Party primaries are scheduled for Dec. 8.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.


Shocker, they want to change the rules when they have to play by them. If they REALLY wanted the seat filled Gov. Patrick wouldn't have scheduled the vote until over 3 months later into the middle of January. Instead he pushed the date back in order to give them time to find a way around the vote.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 12:35:19 PM EST
Those a-holes

I knew they would try this.

MA and NJ are the two most blatant corrupt states out there.

Remember when the NJ state courts replaced Torch with Frank at the last minute to assure victory in the US Senate race?
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 12:49:39 PM EST
Nice.

Let's change the rules to stop them....ah crap, now it affects us....quick, change the rule again...


And they wonder why people are pissed and stockpiling firearms and ammunition.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 12:52:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By CRC:
Those a-holes

I knew they would try this.

MA and NJ are the two most blatant corrupt states out there.

Remember when the NJ state courts replaced Torch with Frank at the last minute to assure victory in the US Senate race?

Hey, don't forget Illinois!!!






Link Posted: 9/18/2009 12:53:39 PM EST
The leaders in "Atlas Shrugged' started changing the rules to suit themselves as dead ends presented themselves.
Expect similar results.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 12:55:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 12:55:24 PM EST by CRC]
Blago got caught before he could his enact his senate scheme.

We are talking about two recent acts of BLATANT hipocrisy and corruption to ensure a Democrat in the US Senate.

First in New Jersey in the Torriceli vs Forrester campaign in 2002.

Now in MA to make sure a Dem is in Kennedy's seat

Link Posted: 9/18/2009 1:18:59 PM EST
[sarcasm]You guys are wrong! They are doing it because "it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens." [sarcasm]
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 1:25:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By CRC:
We are talking about two recent acts of BLATANT hipocrisy and corruption to ensure a Democrat in the US Senate.


Unfortunately this is Massachusetts we're talking about, so there WILL be a Democrat in the vacant Senate seat … the only difference will be whether there's a vacancy for a couple of months before the special election fills it with a Democrat or whether Obama's Crony, Governor Patrick fills the hole with a Democrat 15 minutes after he signs the bill into law.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 1:37:43 PM EST
The law DOESN'T apply to them... only other people.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 1:38:43 PM EST
Yeah. Change the rules whenever it benefits you. The time is coming.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 1:47:48 PM EST
Not surprised.

Anybody who didn't see this coming is blind.

Fuck, I think even Ray Charles saw this one coming, and he's both blind AND dead.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:15:20 PM EST
Just in case there was any doubt how currupt MA politicians and laws are.
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