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Votes are lined up to appoint a senator for Ted's seat

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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:08 AM
Original message
Votes are lined up to appoint a senator for Ted's seat
By Matt Viser
Globe Staff / September 16, 2009

Legislative leaders on Beacon Hill believe they have narrow majorities in both chambers to give Governor Deval Patrick the power to appoint an interim US senator, in a sign that the controversial measure may pass. But the bill must still survive Republican attempts to delay or kill it through parliamentary maneuvers.

In a key development, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, who has been publicly noncommittal, made a decision to back the proposal and was privately calling members yesterday to make the case. House vote-counters said support among lawmakers numbers in the mid-80s - more than enough in the 160-member body.

Patrick has signaled privately that hed like to sign the bill by Friday and make an appointment within days, possibly having an interim senator in place by next week.

But in the other chamber, Senate President Therese Murray has remained far more reserved in her support, talking with senators but not advocating for the change, according to Senate sources.

One high-ranking Senate official familiar with the vote count said the numbers are there for passage - but narrowly. It is that chamber that Republican Richard Tisei, the Senate minority leader, will try to table the bill with the hopes of delaying it beyond its usefulness, or shaming Democrats who are on the fence over to his side.

The fact that they think this is going to move like a knife through a stick of butter - that this is going to be a shazamm bill that goes through - well, its not, Tisei said in an interview last night. Were going to slow it down.

Republicans dont oppose the concept of an interim senator, but they think its unfair for Democrats to change the law for this appointment.

Murray and DeLeo both declined to comment last night.

Passage would reverberate from Beacon Hill to Washington on an issue that has been a focal point of Massachusetts politics since Edward M. Kennedys death last month.

Top Democrats in Washington have been aggressively pushing for Massachusetts to temporarily fill the seat to give them more leeway in approving President Obamas national health care plan. Shortly before his death, Kennedy himself advocated for the change in law.

Under the rules of the state Senate, the minority party could hold up the measure for up to five sessions. Whether those delays take place over several weeks or several days depends on how Murray sets the schedule. She could call for a session every day next week, for example, and Tisei would be out of delay tactics by the end of the week.

Murray could also opt to hold consecutive sessions in a single day, a move she has never done. She is unlikely to take that approach, according to senators close to her.

Link to rest of article
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles... /
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brendan120678 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. I actually agree with the Republicans on this one....
And I am probably one of the few here to say so. I do not at all oppose giving the Governor the power to appoint an interim Senator in the event of a vacancy.

However, it is dishonest and unfair for the Democrats to try and change the law again after all the trouble they went through to make the law the way it is now four years ago. If they want to change it, fine - they should. But it should not apply until the next time a vacancy occurs.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. +1. Political expediancy.
However you are right that isn't a very popular position.

Generally (maybe I am naive) I always try to look at the reverse.

Say a Democratic gov had been elected in 2004, and the Repukes were so scared they changed the law stripping that power from the Governor. Now 4 years later a Republican gov is in charge and Repukes want to change the law back just to let him appoint a Senator.

We would be outraged? Wrong is wrong it doesn't matter the party. If it was good for the previous Governor to not have that power then it is good for the current Governor to lack that power also.
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I reluctantly agree.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I agree with you
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 09:37 AM by tammywammy
Edited to add: I'm really not in favor of governor appointees to fill in, I believe they should have a special election for a replacement.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. +1
Oh, they can change the law anytime they want, I guess. It's their law.

We shouldn't be in a hurry for the gov to appoint some celebrity, IMO. I'm all for letting the voters speak more directly.
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