MA Passes Interim Senator Law

Globe. John Cole is displeased. That's a lot of agita from Cole for a 4 month appointment. This too shall pass as there will be an election in January.

For the record, I was not paying much attention to what Massachusetts did in 2004, but after the fact, it was pretty outrageous. This? Common sense. It's good legislation.

Speaking for me only

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    I'm feeling like a hypocrite on this issue. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:03:20 PM EST
    Since health care is an important issue to me, I'm glad that the MA did this. OTOH, I really don't like the process to be manipulated. This is one of those things that I wish the laws were consist throughout all 50 states. I would prefer that a interim replacement of the same party of the original legislator be appointed until the next election in all cases.

    I know. Never going to happen.

    Refining the process (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:18:09 PM EST
    IIUC, what MA did in '04 was stipulate that the replacement Senator not be appointed, but be chosen by a special election at an early date.

    This seems to me a good law, but a significant defect is that it leaves the vacancy in the Senate until the election can be held.

    This new law addresses that defect and also seems good to me, even though it is a bit self-serving to the Democrats in the current situation.

    Stipulating that the interim appointment be of the same party as the previous Senator also seems like a fair refinement to me, though it does not seem to be part of the proposed bill. Having appointed Senators serve until the next Federal election cycle does not seem good to me, whether or not the appointment is constrained by party.

    I agree on chosen by a special election at (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:34:49 PM EST
    an early date. I misstated my position in my previous comment.

    Personally, I am appalled (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:46:03 PM EST
    What's worse, I hear that in 2010 some politicians actually intend to redraw the district lines in a way that will favor the majority party.  Can you even imagine?

    And shocked, and disppointed, (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:26:01 PM EST
    no doubt.

    heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 07:38:14 PM EST
    I don't see what the problem is (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by s5 on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 07:10:22 PM EST
    In a democracy, the outcome should reflect the will of the people. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the voters in Massachusetts, a solid Democratic state, would want anything other than two Democrats representing them in the Senate? Didn't think so.

    The process allows an elected state legislature and elected governor to act behalf of their constituents in making decisions about Kennedy's replacement. That's a part of the process, not a subversion of the process.

    Yes, there's an element of raw power about this, but the outcome is to make the Democrats whole again, not to give them some new power that they didn't have before.

    As long as (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 07:15:32 PM EST
    You feel the same when something similar happens in Republican-leaning state. Of course, it's pure politics, and Massachusetts can do whatever it wants, but I bet some of the folks out there (and here) would be screaming bloody murder if something happened like this somewhere else and the Republicans benefited.

    Massachusetts shouldn't have been so short-sighted in 2004.


    Totally wrong (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 09:31:13 PM EST
    Liberals just generally like things to be fair.  What's fair is if a senator has to leave the senate (or a House member) before his/her term is up, that someone from the same party be appointed until there can be a special election no more than a few months away.  I very much doubt you would ever find a single Democrat complaining about that if the senator in question was a Republican, as long as the election happened quickly and the appointee was one who wouldn't run in it.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 09:43:25 PM EST
    when there was a vacancy in Wyoming a couple years back, state law required the Democratic governor to name a Republican replacement.  Even at Daily Kos I can't recall a single person complaining that this law was unjust.

    Um, no (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 12:26:57 PM EST
    Did the legislature in Wyoming change the law 2 times in 5 years to appease the Republican base? I think it's a different story if the law has been that way for years and that's the breaks, or if they did it the way Massachussetts did it.

    I stand by my original statement - the Massachussetts legislature was very short-sighted in 2004.


    you seem to be (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 12:42:36 PM EST
    very hung up on "the rooolz" (none of which were actually broken) with no concern about the actual will of the people.

    Yes, they were short-sighted (none / 0) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 12:57:52 AM EST
    in 2004, and some of us at least pointed that out.  But now they've fixed it so it's as far as it can be, given the constituational limits on what states can mandate for federal elections.

    So what's your beef?


    I don't care what Republican states do (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 01:08:18 AM EST
    It's their state, the voters would elect a Republican anyway, so what's the problem?

    If this happened in somewhere like Utah, I would have no problem with it from a process standpoint. That's what the people would have ended up voting for.


    Agree 100% (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 08:53:36 AM EST
    At the end of the day, the legislature was representing their constituents. Both in 2004 and in 2009.  I would be happy with a law allowing any gov. to appoint an interum replacement - as long as they required the replacement to be from the same party as the person they replace.

    There is no way that it would have been acceptable for Mitt Romney to appoint a senator for MA.  There is a difference between national politics and local politics.  We know we need a more liberal balance on the national scene.  No matter what "liberal Republican" we choose to balance out the state government.   It was clearly shown, in an election, that we had no desire to see a Mitt Romney in the senate, despite electing him as gov.  They are two very different positions.


    Cole is ok with politics influencing (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:29:15 PM EST
    other areas of life, just not the law!!!!

    Isn't it politics at its worst... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:36:20 PM EST
    when the party bullsh*t influences the law?

    No, it's just (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Zorba on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:56:47 PM EST
    politics as usual.  Politics at its worst is when campaign contributions, lobbyists, and obsessive religious beliefs influence the law.

    I guess you're right... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:13:40 PM EST
    I was thinking the two parties trying to out-tough each other on crime to maintain/gain majorities, same goal as changing the appointment rules when your party is a lock, is part of the reason the prisons are overflowing...lobbyists, campaign contributors, and the followers of Hamurabi being the other reasons.

    In this case, "the law" is (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:12:19 PM EST
    creation and passage of statutory law.  Of course it is influenced by politics.

    And its why... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:14:26 PM EST
    sane people can't stand politics.

    Historical society guide on (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:25:29 PM EST
    bus tour of my home town this weekend told us the beautiful park was built after condemnation of orchards and vineyards.  Park was then named for the condemnation land agent.  Reason for needing the park:  Iowa's 50th year as a state.  First territorial capitol was in my home town but later moved to Des Moines.  So local politicos not asked state legislature to honor the 50 year anniversary, give them the money, and ok having the celebration in the old territorial capitol, not Des Moines.  Legislature agreed.  Why, I ask you?  $$$$$ probably.  Although the guide didn't mention that.

    At least you got a park out of it! (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 08:49:22 AM EST
    but those poor orchard and vineyard owners back in the day:)

    The park is truly beautiful. On the bluffs (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 11:18:13 AM EST
    the Mississippi River.  

    Senator Dukakis? (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 05:53:47 PM EST
    I heard the big "D"'s name floated out as the likely appointee.

    I wonder how long before Fox shows footage of Dukakis riding in a tank....

    I liked that picture (none / 0) (#21)
    by NealB on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 09:17:18 PM EST

    Why (none / 0) (#12)
    by pontificator on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:19:16 PM EST
    do you always say "speaking for me only."  Who else would you be speaking for?

    For Jeralyn's agita (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 07:38:19 PM EST
    Since I write so much differently than her, she wnats, and I want, that there be no mistake about the fact that she never is endorsing my views.

    An old story this.


    "Agita.' New vocabulary word. (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    It's about power . . . (none / 0) (#15)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:37:58 PM EST
    . . . not about consistency. What's sauce for the goose, etc.