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Euitorial: Kennedy suovessor vole ubout nahin but power Page 1 of 2 ‘The EagleTribune Editorial: Kennedy successor vote about nothing but power September 23, 2009 01:23 am \When in 1779 John Adams helped draft the Massachusetts Constitution, his uiding principle was to crate a "government of ls and not of men.” ‘Adams recognized a fundamental truth fist expressed by the ancient Greeks: that sound government must be based on laws that apply to al, noton the whims of despots, tyrants or even well-meaning kings. ‘The Massachusets Legislature's Democratic majority has once again shown ts contempt for Adams, the world’s oldest operating constitution and the people of ths state by turning the rule of law on its head ‘The people of Massachusetts may stil be ruled by the law. But our legislator fee fee to change the law to suit their needs at any given point in time. And so we are ruled, as Adams sought 10 avoid, by the whims of ‘men — legislators who bend and shift the law to serve themselves, not the people. ‘Adding insult to injury, they do so while proclaiming loudly and falsely that they are acting only in our best ‘And soit is with the bill concerning the U.S. Senate vacancy created by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. ‘The state Senate yesterday, as did the House lat week, approved a measur to allow Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an interim senator who will serve uni a special election is held Jan. 9. ‘The lie legislators tell to soothe their consciences is that Massachusetts must be represented ata times by two senators. The truth is that legislators expressed no such concer over representation while Sen. John Kerry missed dozens of votes while running for president in 2004 or when Sen. Kennedy missed nearly all votes during the final months of his illness ‘The truth is that thsi all about politial power. Local state Sens. Steven Baddour, D-Methuen, Susan. ‘Tucker, D-Andover, and Bruce Tar, R-Gloucester, voted agains! the bill. Last week, state Reps. David ‘Toms, D-North Andover, Brian Dempsey, D-Haveril, Linda Dean Campbell, D-Methuen and Bradley H. Jones Jr, R-North Reading, voted against the measure inthe House. Kudos to those senators and representatives for standing up for he rule of la Prior o 2004, the governor of Massachusetts had the power fo appoint senator fo fila vacant seat. But the ‘state's Democratic legislators could not stomach the possibility of Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's appointing. a successor fo Sen. Kerry if Kerry were to win the presidency. So legislators in 2004 made all sors of noble-sounding pronouncements about the right of the people to elect their representatives and stripped Romney of his appointment power. Senate vacancies must now be filled ‘through an election held within five months ofthe vacancy. ‘When the state's handful of Republican legislators suggested that the govemor could appoint an interim — Intpu/ww eagletrbune.com/puopinionocel_story_266012353.html/esourees_pinstory 9723/2009 ‘Editorial: Kennedy successor vote about nothing but power Page 2 of 2 precisely the law before the Legislature today — Democrats shot them down. But now a Democrat i athe [govemor’s office. And a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority inthe US. Senate is at stake. Now, it seems, {interim senatorial appointments are Vital to fhe continued survival of democracy In ths state. The hypocrisy IS staggering, Copyright © 1999-2008 enh, ne. hhup //www.cagletribune.com/puopinion/local_ story 266012353 humllresources_printstory 9/35/2009