It seems that the Democrats on Beacon Hill have changed their minds.
They used to believe that it was best for the voters to decide who would represent them in the Senate in the event that a seat opened up.
I wonder what could have changed.
They also said the concern raised over Massachusetts losing a vote in the Senate for some months are outweighed by the political advantage that a temporary officeholder could have in a special-election campaign.
“It is an issue, but in this case, given a relatively prompt election process, I believe the voters ultimately are better served having a US senator in office who they picked, rather than a US senator who was picked for them,” Straus said.
“A decision by the voters is always preferable,” he said. Allowing Romney to fill the seat temporarily would put “the governor’s thumb on the scale” in the selection process.
Now, with rampant speculation that Kerry is being considered for secretary of state, Patrick has said he is open to considering changing the law back.
“You can imagine how complicated and competitive it would be to have to choose among the extraordinary range of talent we have here in the commonwealth to fill a Senate vacancy,” Patrick said, according to SHNS. “On the other hand, it’s expensive to run special elections. So, as I say, I’m not driving it. If it comes to me, I’ll deal with it when it does.”
It’s very noble of Governor Patrick to be looking out for ways to save the taxpayers some money, but imagine if George Washington had decided that the cost of an election was prohibitive…
Democracy is worth the cost. And something tells me that in 2004, the Democrats on Beacon Hill would have agreed with me.