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Democrats scheming to change Senate appointment rules for the third time in 16 years

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

WOBURN — Even after last week’s withdrawal of a House “budget” amendment that sought to strip Gov. Charlie Baker of his lawful right to appoint an interim U.S. senator should a vacancy arise in 2021, Beacon Hill Democrats apparently haven’t given up. 

Democratic House Ways & Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz earlier this week let slip that the scheme is still alive and “may be better for another day,” per a State House News Service report.   

On Wednesday, Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons defended the governor’s appointing authority.

“The rules are the rules, and Gov. Baker has every right to appoint the next Senator should the need for an appointment arise,” Lyons said. “Every time this situation arises, the Democrats scheme to change the rules.” 

In the summer of 2004, Beacon Hill Democrats were so certain that then-U.S. Sen. John Kerry would claim the White House that they voted to strip appointment powers from then-Gov. Mitt Romney. When a vacancy arose in 2009 following the death of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, Beacon Hill Democrats discovered that their 2004 vote effectively denied Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, appointing authority, so they voted to change the rules again. 

Patrick got to make another appointment in 2013 when Kerry departed the Senate. Now, seven years later, the Democrats are signaling that they’ll change the law for a third time. 

“The Democrats love changing the law whenever it suits them,” Lyons said. “Gov. Baker has worked diligently to provide bipartisan leadership in the governor’s office and now we’re finding out exactly what these Democrats are all about. 

“The corrupt Democrats on Beacon Hill will alter any law that doesn’t give them a partisan advantage, even if they’ve already changed it twice before.”