Lt. Col. @ScottBrownMA: Kirk Won’t Be 60th Vote After Election, Say GOP Lawyers; “Voter Bomb” Commences
A quick poll update:
HotAir.com ran a number of poll models on the Massachusetts special election. While the “worst-case” scenario still shows Coakley trailing by 4 percentage points, it’s important to take note of the number of types of voters involved with any given poll. Of course, as a commenter pointed out in a previous posting, the only poll that truly counts is the one on election day.
Should the State Senator win Tuesday’s special election, certification-stalling may be a non-issue, according to some GOP lawyers. From WeeklyStandard.com:
Appointed Senator Paul Kirk will lose his vote in the Senate after Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts of a new senator and cannot be the 60th vote for Democratic health care legislation, according to Republican attorneys. …
But in the days after the election, it is Kirk’s status that matters, not Brown’s. Massachusetts law says that an appointed senator remains in office “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.” The vacancy occurred when Senator Edward Kennedy died in August. Kirk was picked as interim senator by Governor Deval Patrick. …
But based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.
An appointed senator’s right to vote is not dependent on whether his successor has been certified, the lawyers said. In Massachusetts, the election of a senator must be certified by the governor, the governor’s council, and the secretary of state – all of them Democrats.
If Brown wins narrowly and a recount is being conducted, Democratic lawyers might claim that he hasn’t been “duly elected.” Republican attorneys believe, however, that a candidate has actually been elected, though it won’t be clear who that is until the recount is completed. In Massachusetts, a recount can occur if the margin of victory is less than half a percent of the total vote.
HotAir.com goes on to point out Senate precedent to back the attorneys’ viewpoint:
In this case, we can play a non-corruption game of “follow the money.” The pay date for a new Senator who wins a special election starts the following day after the polls close. Republican John Tower of Texas and then-Democrat Strom Thurmond are both precedents for this action. In both cases, their terms started on the day after election, even though it took weeks for their certification by the state. It’s not clear from Kristol’s article whether they were allowed to cast votes in the Senate, but what is clear is that they were recognized as occupying the seat — and that is an exclusive occupation. Their appointed predecessors could not possess the same seat at the same time, and therefore were excluded from Senate business.
And this afternoon, the Brown campaign sent out an email containing details of his new Internet project, TheVoterBomb.com.
Also, believe it or not, Coakley supporters are even trying the “birther” angle on the Lt. Col.; Prof. Jacobson has the details. I’m not spending more time on this wanna-be story, because according to TexasDarlin’, it’s old news (memo to Coakley supporters: if you’re going to be making up stories, make sure that you don’t take something that the First Lady said back in 2008!).
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In associated news, @scarlett_0hara tweeted about an IFAWebNews.com article where Boston Medical Center is suing the State over its universal health law requiring a cut in funding, causing the hospital to encounter its first budget shortfall in 5 years.
Ted Kennedy’s home newspaper, the Cape Cod Times, is endorsing Mr. Brown.
See my highlighted coverage under the Category, MA Senate.
Photo courtesy BostonHerald.com
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