Prostitutes? Nah. Just Politicans.
0 comment Wednesday, May 21, 2014 |
In 2004, when Romney was the Massachusetts governor, John Kerry seemed poised to win the presidential election . . . for a while, anyway. But victory for Kerry meant his Senate seat would be vacated and Romney could appoint a Republican to fill the unexpired term.
Gasp! So Ted Kennedy championed a change in the law that stripped Romney of his power to appoint. Due in no small part to Kennedy's efforts, the law now requires that the seat remain vacant until a special election can be held.
In support of replacing the governor's power to appoint with a special election, Democrats made these arguments:
"The overwhelming point here is the people ought to have the opportunity to check out the character of the people who will represent them in the Senate. We on the committee looked at whether we should have a temporary appointment in the event of an opening. If we were to allow that appointment, it would be wholly undemocratic and wholly unrepresentative of the majority of the people of Massachusetts." � Senator Brian A. Joyce, State House News Service, 6/23/04"This is an elected position, not an appointed position, and there�s been a process that�s evolved over a period of time where I believe the people should vote and voice their opinions in situations of significance." � Former Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, New York Times, 6/25/04Interestingly, just three years ago, Massachusetts Republicans proposed a bill that would allow the governor to make an interim appointment until a special election could be held. But the Dems killed it with a big NO.
But, darn it. Now that special-election law has become mighty inconvenient for the Dems. Massachusetts isn't able to hold a special election for Kennedy's empty seat until January, 2010. This would, presumably, be far too late for the newly elected senator to cast that critical health care vote.
So what to do? Change the law again, of course. The Massachusetts legislature will meet tomorrow to discuss doing just that.
After all, it was Teddy's dying wish.
What makes this especially rich is that Ted Kennedy got his senate seat because of the governor's power to appoint. Back when Ted was 28, two years short of the legal age to run, Papa Joe lobbied the governor to appoint a hand-picked place-holder.
The governor obliged and appointed a family friend to serve for the remaining two years, paving the way for Kennedy to take the seat when he was thirty, a seat he held until his death.
So what's sauce for the goose isn't always sauce for the gander. Not in politics, anyway.