(p. A3) BOSTON — The Democrat-controlled legislature in Massachusetts is poised to pass a bill in coming days giving Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick authority to appoint an interim senator to succeed the late Edward M. Kennedy, strengthening the party’s U.S. Senate majority and bolstering prospects for passage of a health-care overhaul.
The interim-appointment issue is contentious in part because five years ago, the Democrat-dominated legislature voted to take appointment power away from Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, changing rules so a seat remains vacant until a special election. The shift came as Sen. John Kerry campaigned as the Democratic nominee for president, and a Kerry victory would have given the governor the chance to name a Republican senator.
Some Democrats have expressed discomfort over the about-face, and Republicans are irate. State Republican party Chairman Jennifer Nassour called the Democrats “gigantic hypocrites.”
For the full story, see:
WILLIAM M. BULKELEY and JENNIFER LEVITZ. “Vacant Senate Seat Triggers Flip-Flop.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., SEPTEMBER 17, 2009): A3.
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