EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 20, 2013

Editorial: Why replacing a senator isn’t cheap


So our Democratic legislators did what any high-minded elected officials would do to serve the interests of the people they were sworn to represent ... yeah, right! Here’s what they really did: They changed the law to serve their own partisan political interests. No longer would a gubernatorial appointment be sufficient to fill a Senate vacancy. Now, an election would be required. Our Democratic leaders were confident that, in a general election, a Democratic Senate candidate would mop the floor with a Republican challenger.

This whole charade was rendered moot when Kerry failed to win the presidency. But the change in the law remained.

In 2008, with Democrat Deval Patrick safely in the governor’s office, Democratic legislators considered changing the law again back to gubernatorial appointment after Sen. Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer. Why take a chance with an election when an appointment is a sure thing?

Shenanigans on that epic scale were too much for the Democrats to tolerate so they left the special election system in place — only to be hoist on their own petard when Democrat Martha Coakley ran possibly the worst campaign in history and lost to Brown in the 2010 election.

This is the law that is in place now. We’ve little choice but to pay the bill.

But taxpayers ought to remember just who is to blame for the high cost of replacing a senator, and reward them when their own turns come to face the voters at the polls.

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