Thanks for your thoughtful piece on Kennedy’s succession proposal to the Legislature.
You stated that “there is no higher priority than restoring trust in government — lost trust reduces our ability …”
While “trust …” is A priority, it cannot be the HIGHEST priority. We need representation in the Senate NOW, and the critical nature of national policy and politics trumps any perceived embarrassment that the Mass Legislature would suffer if they were to reverse a previous “political” decision with another “political” one. So what?
I believe that the desire, and the ultimate interest of Massachusetts voters is best served by changing the law to this more reasonable proposal. It would be cowardly for the Legislature NOT to act IMMEDIATELY on this important matter.
Thanks for weighing in!
Here’s the thing we all need to take a deep breath and carefully assess — would an interim replacement for Ted Kennedy actually cast any critical filibuster closing votes: For that to be true, Majority Leader Harry Reid would need 59 other votes in line. My current understanding is that he is down around 50 on health care.
I do agree that the legislature should act one way or the other shortly and I expect we will.
Again, thanks for speaking out.
While we can’t pretend to fully transcend the circumstances, I think it’s wrong to hinge this debate on the 60 votes in the Senate. That’s the kind of ad-hoc consideration that got us the 2004 bill, after all. We should not reinforce this precedence of passing legislation based on the current governor’s party.
I think the law should be amended, because it makes sense for a governor to appoint an interim Senator while the special election goes forward. I also think it should only take effect after the 2010 elections, because that would send the message that the law is being passed because it’s the right law — not because of short-term expediency.
Please read the Boston Globe editorial on September 9th: “Representation in US Senate or Vanity on Beacon Hill” … it states, among other good points: “… depriving Mass. of representation in the US Senate to cover up for a past mistake would be another act of surpassing arrogance”
The point of “representation” is NOT just votes that may occur in the Senate, but all of the constituent services that are provided by Senator Kennedy’s office and excellent staff — a staff that has already been given the order to shut down and vacate the office within about 60 days (see Boston Globe, front page from ~ Saturday, Sept 5 (?).
So, if we wait until the special election, we citizens will lose the support of this office. It’s ironic that I just got an email urging me to contact my representatives in Washington, who are:
” Rep. Ed Markey: 202-225-2836
Sen. John Kerry: 202-224-2742
Sen. Vacant Vacant: 202-224-4543 ”
Very soon, the phone number at x 4543 will not be answered, UNLESS the Legislature takes action to do the right thing for the Commonwealth — instead of worrying about being criticized for being “political” (which is what they are anyway).
Thanks, Richard. The most useful input for me at this stage would illuminate what is really at stake in Washington. I am totally committed to health care reform, but am looking for specifics on schedule and vote counts — the question for me is what practical difference an interim replacement will be able to make.
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