August 27th, 2009
09:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Patrick supports Kennedy's wish for interim senator

Patrick supports appointing an interim senator.
Patrick supports appointing an interim senator.

(CNN) – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, told CNN Tuesday he supports the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's wish to appoint an interim senator to serve during the five months before a special election is slated to be held.

Calling the proposal "eminently reasonable," Patrick told CNN's Larry King. "Massachusetts needs two voices in the United States Senate, especially at a time of momentous change like this."

Under current Massachusetts law, a special election must be held 145 to 160 days - about five months - after a Senate seat becomes vacant. The winner of that election serves the remainder of a senator's unexpired term.

Last week, Kennedy - who died Tuesday at age 77 after serving nearly five decades in the Senate - urged that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election can be held.

Patrick also said he has no interest in running for the post itself.

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Filed under: Deval Patrick • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Opus X

    The law didn't apply to Uncle Ted when he was alive, so why should it now? So MA now needs two voices- why is that true now and not under the previous law before it was changed to suit the needs/wishes of Uncle Teddy? The argument to change the previous law was that the voters should decide and not the Governor. Why is that not applicable now? How long will the government get away with changing the rules to suit the party in power?

    August 27, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Bifster

    How come being represented by two Senators was not an issue when they passed the law. Oh yeah, a Republican was Govenor then.

    August 27, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Really?

    Wastn't Kennedy the main person who put that law into place to escape from having a Rep take office? Wow that backfire if they can't get that changed. And if they do change it, get ready for fireworks because that would be such "crap".

    August 27, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. machtim akannah

    Pure politics. With a Republican governor, appointment was not desireable and the method was changed to an "emergency" vote. Now with a Democratic governor and the "need" to have an additional Democratic vote for the health care plan, a reversal is being pursued. The hypocrisy is simply overwhelming.

    August 27, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Scott, Tucson

    Just another case of your typical democrats at work wanting to change the laws again to suit them. Now if this was an Republican issue, the democrats and their media lackeys would be screaming bloody murder for weeks to come.

    What's so comical about this is that the dems in that State changed the laws when they thought Gov Rommey might appoint a senator to replace John Kerry and now it's blowing up in their faces.

    August 27, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Bedtime for Obonzo

    It would be nice if CNN would note that what the Governor wants is exactly what was in place in Massachussets in 2004. At that time, Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Kerry engineered the current procedure in order to deny Republican Governor Mitt Romney the chance to appoint a senator had Kerry won the 2004 presidential election.

    August 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. BostonDEE

    The democrats in Mass are a joke!
    In 2004 – Repub Gov., so let's change the rules so they favor democrats.
    2009 – Democrat Gov., so let's change the rules so they favor the demcrats. People need to wake up and vote these clowns out of office because they obviously don't care about anything but themselves and their liberal, socialist agenda.

    August 27, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Alan

    I wonder if they had a Republican governor if they would still feel the same way?

    Why are we not hearing about "following the rule of law" the Dems love to spout off about.

    August 27, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Post always rejected by CNN

    I would like to see how this goes over on replacing a senator or congress person....First the governor would be allowed to replace the congress member. BUT if the person was a republican or a democrat the governor would have to choose a person from that party. Then if there is a law that says a special election should be held, then they should have a special election.

    I think replacing the member of congress with the party of the original member would stop all the conterversary and make the procedure fair to everyone. But of course I suppose the republicans would find fault, they find fault with everything.

    August 27, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. jjr

    Why can't they just wait? If they try to change the law midstream, I guarantee that there will be lawsuits trying to stop the change and in which case the special election will probably preceed any change. The democrats should sit tight and wait and not try any of their elitest shanigans, since they are the ones that changed the law to begin with. This way they can sit back and actually read the healthcare reform bill that they are trying to shove down our throats.

    August 27, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. fred

    Bad idea. Changing this law back just makes Patrick and democrats look like they're playing politics with the law (when the 2004 law change is looked at).

    August 27, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Mississippi Mike

    Of course he would, he's heavily invested in pushing through Obama's agenda. What he's going to do is give Mitt Romney a huge opening to raise hell over this back room deal. Deval's doing a bad enough job as it is, he is setting himself up to follow in the footseps of Blagojevich and Paterson. That's not a path he wants to go down but here he is taking the first step.

    August 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    Does anyone see the irony here? The Democrapic congress in Mass passed this law so that a Republican govenor couldn't appoint a Republican to an opening at the federal level. Now, they want it changed because the law they passed isn't convienent? Does anyone else smell a double standard?

    This isn't about the loss of a great American – which Ted Kenedy was – it's about highlighting the double-standards of the Democraps.

    August 27, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. ?QUESTIONEVERYTHING?

    I'm sure he does support it and now you know why we Independents can't stand either party. Whether it is Illinois or Massachusetts (Or any other state.), politics seem to bring out the worst in people. The farther to the left or right, the worse they are.

    August 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Of course a Democratic governor would find it "eminently reasonable" to be allowed to appoint a Democratic interim senator! I guess he's hoping people are too dumb to see how transparently, and contemptibly, self-serving that would be.

    Yes, it's likely that the Democratic Machine in Massachusetts will succeed in saddling the state with yet another tax-and-spend socialist as Kennedy's replacement, but it's only fair, now that a lot of people are finally catching on that tax-and-spend socialists are ruining the American economy, that Massachusetts voters be given a chance to elect someone less fiscally dangerous.

    August 27, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Jesse

    Not much of a suprise that Kennedy's Senate seat is being treated as a family heirloom. Massachusetts political corruption is rampant as one party rule in the state has made that possible. Just happy I don't have to live or pay taxes there.

    August 27, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Bob of Lompoc

    If the Repulicans can steal the 2000 Presidental Election, then the Democrats in Massachusetts can turn a law, which they passed not too long ago, on it's head. Screw anybody that disagrees.

    August 27, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Torch

    Dems, I wouldn't do that. Even though Mass is just about as liberal as it gets. The public is so outraged, that they may see this heavy handed-ness and vote in the other guy.

    Be careful what you wish for, I'd take the good chances a Dem would win the seat regardless versus an appointment that would stink as bad as Roland Burris.

    August 27, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Of course, now that a Democrat is the governor just change the laws again to suit THEIR needs.

    Just another log on the fire that illuminates the hypocrisy and double-standards of the Liberal Left.

    And they wonder why we don't trust them?

    August 27, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Longhorn who speaks the truth.

    Of course he does. He wants the Senator's seat.

    August 27, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. PJ

    This line of thought might be credible except for the fact the Uncle Teddy had the law changed in the other direction when a Republican governor was set to appoint a Republican Senator. The state of party politics in America is shameful!

    August 27, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. fellow from chicago

    I'm sure Patrick thinks this call for an immediate replacement for Senator Kennedy will put him in high esteem among the Democratic elite, but for John Q. Public he looks like a common Dem crook with no regards for the Massachusetts law that Kennedy himself put into place.

    August 27, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Dean

    Last week, Kennedy — who died Tuesday at age 77 after serving nearly five decades in the Senate — urged that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election can be held.

    Let's see now, it is my understanding that Kennedy was the one who was responsible for the law in the first place to keep the Republicans from doing what the Democrats want to do now.

    The more I see the more I realize that our politicians are the scum of the earth.

    August 27, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. karen

    Senator Kennedy was the one who conveniently supported the law when Kerry was running and there was a chance that Mitt Romeny could select a Senator. Now that withTed Kennedys passing they want to rewrite the bill yet again to favor the democrats. You can't have it both ways just to suit there needs. Go with the law on the books whats fair is fair.

    August 27, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Maria - Proud Democrat

    As a Democrat I am ashamed at the shameless efforts by Gov. Deval Patrick.

    This is a terrible joke and only makes Mass look bad in the eyes of Americans. This is Blagovich all over again.

    How can he stand there with a straight face and pretend he cares about the people of Mass when this is all about political games.

    It's these type of games that are hurting America.

    My fellow Democrats just changed the law in 2004 to keep the Governor at the time from possibly appointing a Republican Senator....and now they hypocritically want to change the law again so that this time the Gov. CAN appoint a Democratic Senator.

    SHAME ON YOU ....GOV. PATRICK AND EVERY OTHER SHADY POLITICIAN THAT IS WILLING TO SELL THE STATE OF MASS. TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. ........You are going to make Blago look like a Saint.

    August 27, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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