Surprise! In a story released early this morning by WCVB -TV5 Boston, Senator Edward Kennedy’s interim successor for the Massachusetts Senate seat will be long-time Kennedy family friend, Democrat Paul G. Kirk. Kirk is also a founding board member of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Kirk will fill the post until a January 19 special election vote. This move, which has been highly criticized among many of the voters of Massachusetts, provides Obama with the 60th U.S. Senate vote needed to pass the proposed health care bill.
According to the “Boston Channel Breaking News” alert; the information was leaked, from a Democratic aide, who asked to remain anonymous. Governor Deval Patrick has since, formally announced his interim pick for the Massachusetts Senate seat today.
Republican Party Takes Court Action
Moving quickly to try to block the Governor’s action, the Massachusetts Republican Party filed an injunction this morning in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. The Party claims it takes 90 days for a law to go into effect in Massachusetts and Governor Patrick overstepped his authority by signing an emergency letter that places the law into effect immediately. A hearing is scheduled Friday morning.
Why the Urgency Now?
From a life-long Massachusetts resident and voter viewpoint; this reeks of all the stuff that has been making many of us crazy here, and sadly, it is really no big surprise, especially when it comes to the Kennedy clout, which has not backed off a bit since Senator Kennedy’s death.
I originally thought it didn’t matter who took the Senate seat for the short-term until we could cast our votes in January. Time passed, though, and my opinion about that began to reshape itself.
As I watched, read and listened to news and various reports, it became more obvious; the only reason, this controversial measure to change the law to put someone in the seat temporarily without Massachusetts voter approval came about, was to get the vote Obama needed for “his” plan.
I believe it has nothing to do with the people of this state and their need for representation. We have not had any active representation in the Senate for well over 15 months (probably more) since Ted Kennedy took ill, so why bother now with less than four months left until “we the people” can vote. I clearly see no emergency to fill this seat before January.
While watching the news last night, a Boston reporter said, “The Kennedy family wants Ted Kennedy’s long-time friend, Paul Kirk, to get the seat.” Does it ever end! It was never the “Kennedy” seat to begin with. That seat belongs to the people of Massachusetts.
Well, hello Kennedy family…many of you who do not even vote in Massachusetts; my choice for the betterment of my state is not a pharmaceutical lobbyist and person who sits on a board overseeing a health insurance provider, as Kirk is and does.
I feel terrible I ever thought for a minute, this interim candidate did not matter. I was displaying a defeatist attitude, which I am not proud of. Shame on me!
In all fairness, I admired many of the things Ted Kennedy did for Massachusetts. I am among the many, however, who has a love/hate attachment to this historically intriguing family and the tragedy and triumph they have experienced.
Governor Patrick has certainly been up against the powerful Kennedy kingdom throughout this political debate over filling the Massachusetts seat for the next four months. Could it have gone any other way?
In my opinion, if this U.S. Senate seat was legitimately filled in the best interest of the people of Massachusetts, it would have been slightly easier to take if Patrick went with, at the least; a Republican who happens to support Obama’s health care reform. Other than that, there is no sense in closing the barn door now!
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