August 31st, 2009
03:30 PM ET
5 years ago

MA lawmakers set date for succession bill hearing

Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to announce the date of the special election to replace Ted Kennedy's seat.
Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to announce the date of the special election to replace Ted Kennedy's seat.

(CNN) - Two Massachusetts political sources say the Joint Elections Committee in the state legislature plans to hear a Senate succession
bill in just a week and a half.

The decision to consider the measure on September 9, just after lawmakers return from break, highlights the growing momentum to pass a change allowing the appointment of an interim senator to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat until a special election can be held to replace him.

Monday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick announced a new vote to fill the seat would take place on January 19.

One source close to the Kennedy family said former Rep. Joe Kennedy, whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for his uncle, is not eager for the job.

"Joe is reluctant," said the source. "The question is, does the pressure rise to a point where he feels he has to do it? Things here are too new to be able to answer that."

The senator's widow Vicki, who has gone to Maine for a few days following her husband's burial, has also been considered a likely temporary replacement for her husband. The source said that they believed she might consider the post.

"My impression today is that she would take (the appointment) if offered because of his legacy," said the source. "But we all have to remember she has not had time to grieve and in some ways this is just now hitting her. ...... But my gut is if it is offered to her she will take it."

Gov. Patrick said Monday that Kennedy has told him she is not interested in a temporary appointment to the seat. He said they did not discuss specific individuals for the seat.

Other veteran Democrats have been investigating, or having their allies investigate, possible Senate bids.

Reps. Marty Meehan and Ed Markey would bring sizable campaign war chests to a Senate contest, with about $5 million and $3 million respectively, according to the source. Reps. Michael Capuano and Steve Lynch are also considered likely candidates, and have been exploring quietly for some time. Also considered a very likely contender: Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose campaign assets would include her Middlesex County base, statewide experience and probably status as the only Democratic woman in the race.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin contributed to this report

(Updated 3:30 p.m.)


Filed under: Deval Patrick • Massachusetts • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Ron In California

    Typical of the Dems....when your in power, just change the law to suit your political needs. Nevemind that the current law was enacted four years ago by the Dems when a republican Gov. was in office to favor them at that time. This is why people don't trust government. Have some Cajones...let the people decide hold an election.

    August 31, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. On the way out Deval, don't forget the drapes

    I hope the gutless, lying fraud cowards in MY state go back on the bill that THEY voted for just five short years ago to take this same option away from Mitt Romney (R).

    The leader of that fraud was Teddy K himself and this will be a fitting end to his "legacy".

    Please do this Dems, you have NO IDEA of the groundswell that you are going to get hit with come 2010.

    Patrick is first out the door, whomever the coward picks will be gone the same day along with the ones that VOTED for this in 2004, but are changing their minds just because he is a Democrat.

    You will be targeted for removal from office as the vote in 2004 will be posted along with your comments THEN and your vote NOW with your current comments for all the world to see.

    See you next year.

    August 31, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. J.P.

    Laws don't apply to democrats, even when they help craft them themselves.

    Yes, let us change the rules to suit the players.

    August 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. marissa

    I love how they are just ignoring their own laws. Why don't we as country just ignore our Constitution when it doesn't fit what we want to do, that would make our lives so much easier, right.

    August 31, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    The libs compounding the fraudulent elections. Is it any wonder ACORN supports them. Fraud begets frauds and liberals are all frauds.

    August 31, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Debby

    Well not a smart thing to do when the Dems. took it away from Romney and now want that vote for healthcare. Obama and his gang of thugs at it again.

    August 31, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Cali J

    Yes, in the land of Democrats, the laws may be changed at anytime to accomodate the immediate Democrat needs. What a great state. In MA, they just do whatever best fits the situations regardless of the rights of the people. I think all states should be run this way. I think the Red States should be able to vote on throwing all liberal voters out of their states. Yes, and where the majority rules, the larger party should be able to silence the smaller group.
    Sheesh: Only Democrats actually believe and do this kind of stuff.

    August 31, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Bob in Pa

    Why have laws, Dems just change them to suit thei own agenda.

    August 31, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Chris - Denver

    This is real simple:

    Position 1: The Massechusets legislature does not have the authority to change the succession laws as they see fit.

    Position 2: The Massechusets legislature does have the authority to change the succession laws as they see fit.

    If position 1 is correct, then the changes they made in 2004 should be declared null and void and the governor should be able to name a successor. If position 2 is correct, the legislature has every right to change the law back.

    August 31, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom

    Typical vile, scary and downright hateful comments by none other than the far-right. Americans are sick and tired of the old vitriolic and fear-mongering tactics of the far-right. But y'all continue day in day out.

    Just like in the 50's & 60's the far-right continues to cry "the end of America!" The "commies are coming!" The "terrorists are coming!" Fear, hate, division and lies. What else is new?

    Interesting that a law can't be changed because it was enacted in '04! People are STILL FREE in our nation, STILL FREE to change their minds!

    STOP THE HATE........ STOP THE LIES!

    August 31, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. CensoredLikeIranByCNN

    Yeah, ignore the laws like the abortion laws. That doesn't stop the rethuglicans of ignoring and taking the law into their own hands. You thugs only cherry pick your laws. You people get mad when someone breaks a minor law, like crossing the border illegally but when a law is in the books, abortions, you guys kill doctors who performed them.

    August 31, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Dimslie

    Thank you for not mentioning how HYPOCRITICAL the Dims are.

    August 31, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Rick in OP

    Sounds like they are getting ready to auction off a senate seat in Massachusetts.
    At what price does the bidding begin?
    How much did they sell Obama’s seat in Illinois for?
    Does the governor there take checks, credit cards or a briefcase full of cash?

    August 31, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Cali J

    What's most amazing to me is that there are actually Liberals on this board who support this type of action. Our country is in serious trouble. This should disturb all of us regardless of color or party affiliation. We are a government of laws and the laws need to be upheld and should be laws that benefit the general public. For those of you who support allowing politicians to dictate the changing of laws for their own benefit, you are truly sorry losers who will never get what this country is all about. So Sorry.

    August 31, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Nagudcm Sugna

    To truly honor Teddy, I suggest that we let this law stand since it was his life's work instead of ObamaCare.

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. wagon

    I'm still laughing at the Vatican snub of Teddy's letter. He sounded like a guy worried for his soul. Too bad, Ted. Like most Democrats you didn't worry about such things until you were on your deathbed – then you'll showed your true chicken colors.

    August 31, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Navy Jack

    where is the media indignation targeting the political manipulation of state law at the express whim of one polical party?

    buried with Obama's college records and his sought out "marxists and socialist " comrades. oh wait, THEY ARE THE CZARS!

    August 31, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Please do this Dems, you have NO IDEA of the groundswell that you are going to get hit with come 2010. "

    More like a mole farted in its burrow and caused a slight tremor in the garden. Get realistic: the GOP has lied and fear-mongered its way into oblivion and until they learn to play by the rules, it's over for them.

    BTW, this MA law thing might be a distasteful piece of political shenanigans, but it's by the rules and the GOPers are just mad they've been outplayed. Bush and Cheney, however, disregarded the Constitution and international treaties and the GOP in general continues to disregard the fundamental tenets of democracy by spreading lies to misinform and unfairly skew voters' decision making processes. I'll take the MA situation over the rest any day.

    August 31, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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