Over the weekend, Boston Herald scribe Hillary Chabot wrote a piece about Bay State Democrats eyeing a potential move that would allow Governor Deval Patrick to appoint a United States Senator should John Kerry take a post in the Obama administration.
To serve as a brief refresher – back in 2004 state Democrats took the power to appoint away from Governor Mitt Romney. This move was to ensure that Governor Romney would be unable to appoint a Republican to the United States Senate. In 2009 when Senator Ted Kennedy passed away, Governor Patrick couldn’t stand the idea of a vacant seat pending a special election. As a result, the Governor joined state Democrats in changing the law to allow him to appoint an interim senator of his choosing before a statewide special election. With the present-day rumors that Senator John Kerry’s move to the Obama administration is all but certain, Democrats are contemplating changing the law – again - so that Governor Patrick would have the power to appoint, forgoing a special election completely.
Any such move to change this law at this point in the game could accurately be seen as corrupt. To imagine that Governor Patrick and state Democrats would change the law midterm, thus denying Massachusetts voters from being able to exercise their constitutional right to vote, is unfathomable. Elections can, and often do, have consequences. However, the fear of losing a United Sates Senate seat is by no means ground to change what is already law. It would be wise for Governor Patrick and state Democrats to leave the law unchanged.
See below to read the Boston Herald article in its entirety.
Whispers Build of Change to Special Election Rules