June 26, 2004


Mass. to Get Special Vote if Kerry Wins (Fox News, June 23, 2004)

If John Kerry is elected president, his seat in the Senate would be filled by the winner of a special election rather than a successor picked by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney under a bill approved Wednesday by the Massachusetts Senate.

The Senate voted largely along party lines, 32-8, after a sometimes testy debate pitting the badly outnumbered Republicans, who opposed the change, against Democrats. The measure now goes to the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill requires a special election not more than 160 days and not less than 145 days after a vacancy is created in the Senate. Under the bill, a vacancy is created when a letter of resignation is filed, even if the incumbent senator does not actually resign until a later date. The winner of the special election would serve out the remainder of the unexpired term. Kerry's term ends in 2008.

Although Romney could veto the measure, the Democrats have the votes to overturn it.

Democrats have learned an invaluable lesson over the past two election cycles--only the U.S. Supreme Court can stop them from subverting the orderly administration of electoral democracy and that only in rare cases.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 26, 2004 3:20 PM

1. Moot point, because Kerry isn't going to win;

2. A Democrat victory in a special election is by no means a certainty anymore;

3. Rule changes that favor you short-term, invariably come to bite you in the backside long-term.

Posted by: Mike M at June 26, 2004 9:19 PM

Mike: Rule 3 assumes that when long-term comes to bite, you (or rather them) won't just make another rule change to push it back. If the Democrats in Massachusetts ever see the voters becoming more conservative while they still have the governorship, they'll just revert to the old way just in time to keep their power. And if they needed to switch to something else, they'll do that too.

Posted by: Just John at June 26, 2004 10:00 PM

This effectively prevents the MA Governor from appointing an interim Senator for over 5 months - I wonder if this conflicts with federal law over the Senators.
Mike M - I agree that this is a short term move that prevents the GOP governor from putting in a GOP senator that one would think would have the advantage once the election is held. The GOP has won the governorship for the past 12 years (since Dukakis) and a decent candidate like Celluci should be able to win a Senate race.
I expected the MA Dems to pull something like this. My only question is whether this allows Kerry to resign (i.e. before the same sex marriage vote in July) or whether he will stay in through the election.
Just John -

Posted by: AWW at June 26, 2004 10:11 PM

AWW: Exactly. Thank you. ;)

Posted by: Just John at June 27, 2004 11:36 PM

If Celluci runs he wins. He is essentially
a pre-vetted candidate (i.e., no skeletons).

If they can pull him away from the bar the
Dems could wheel out Ray Flynn, but I don't
think he beats Celluci whose advantage is he
hails from outside Boston and has more appeal
with the Suburbanites that elected Romney.

Posted by: J.H. at June 28, 2004 9:36 AM