12-18-2012, 03:41 AM
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This is not a political commentary, but more importantly a humanitarian one.

As you may have heard, Massachusetts' Senator John Kerry has been selected to be the nominee to be our next Secretary of State. Although I can see how he is qualified for the position, it puts Massachusetts in the position of having it's third high profile Senate election in three years.

To be honest this third Senate election is making me somewhat anxious as I realize that most likely this will mean one more barrage of political advertisements with each side doing it's utmost to fill viewers with fear about the prospect of election of the other candidate.

Although I've structured my life so that I don't actually see much commercial TV or listen to commercial radio (thank you Netflix, NPR and internet), I still go to the gym in the evening where there are banks of TV's set up in front of the cardio equipment. I am still a bit anxious and sad at the same time at having to be exposed, even bombarded, at the upcoming collection.

I realize of course that my fellow citizens in electoral battleground states were carpet bombed with political ads of a length of time that rivaled the siege of Leningrad, so I I don't really have the right to complain. Yet present day political ads are so overwhelmingly ubiquitous and so inflammatory that I'm not happy at the prospect of having to go through this again. So if you're involved in one of these new Super-Pacs who took political advertising to a whole new level in the last election, in the name of all that is good and holy, please take a rest in Massachusetts this year.

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 12-18-2012, 09:17 AM
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Well at least you are getting to elect your next Senator unlike South Carolina. Also Illinois when Obama became President. On the bright side for us (IL), that appointment finally brought down a few of our corrupt pols.

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 12-18-2012, 09:30 AM
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I grew up in Massachusetts and still follow politics there.

Not really a great thing for Massachusetts. First you guys lose Kennedy and now you lose Kerry. Your senior senator will be from 2012.

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 12-18-2012, 12:03 PM
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I work for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and Kerry becoming Sec of State really opens up a lot of uncertainty here. Not to mention there was some discussion about Governor Deval Patrick accepting a position in the administration (potentially US AG). That would open up everything around here.

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 12-18-2012, 12:35 PM
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(12-18-2012, 12:03 PM)jpakstis Wrote: I work for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and Kerry becoming Sec of State really opens up a lot of uncertainty here. Not to mention there was some discussion about Governor Deval Patrick accepting a position in the administration (potentially US AG). That would open up everything around here.

Wow Josh I cannot imagine that. Every single time there's a change in power not knowing whether you'll keep your job or not.

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 12-18-2012, 02:29 PM
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I'm speaking a bit tongue and cheek in my original post, reflecting on the "I need to take a shower after seeing too many political ads on tv" feeling.

Doug, as I understand it Mass law changed when Mitt Romney was governor and there was concern in the overwhelming democratic state legislature about a governor having the power to install a GOP replacement for an obviously aging and ill Ted Kennedy.

The governor can appoint a temporary Senator, but their must be a special election to select the Senator shortly there after.

Josh, you certainly would have more "inside baseball" knowledge that I, but Deval Patrick has been pretty adamant about how he want's to finish out his term. Wouldn't staffing the Mass AG's office be more a function of Mass AG, Martha Coakley?

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 12-19-2012, 07:41 AM
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(12-18-2012, 02:29 PM)redrako Wrote: Doug, as I understand it Mass law changed when Mitt Romney was governor and there was concern in the overwhelming democratic state legislature about a governor having the power to install a GOP replacement for an obviously aging and ill Ted Kennedy.

The governor can appoint a temporary Senator, but their must be a special election to select the Senator shortly there after.

That's correct and that's what happened when Ted Kennedy passed. Gov. Patrick appointed Paul Kirk to be the interim senator until an election could be held (not sure, but my recollection is that the election needs to be within six months of when the seat opens up).

Of course my boss was the odds-on favorite for that seat until Scott Brown raced by her as she decided to take the last month off. Those were interesting times to be in this office.

(12-18-2012, 02:29 PM)redrako Wrote: Josh, you certainly would have more "inside baseball" knowledge that I, but Deval Patrick has been pretty adamant about how he want's to finish out his term. Wouldn't staffing the Mass AG's office be more a function of Mass AG, Martha Coakley?

Staffing wouldn't be an issue for someone on my level, i.e. a "line" AAG; it would be more along the lines of the administrative positions, but it might filter down to someone like my immediate supervisor.

The issue is more how many offices would be in flux as a result. As background, my boss, Martha Coakley (i.e. the AG), is going to be up for her third term in 2014. However there is a sort of "term limits" law on the books that states that if an elected official (in specific offices which includes the AG's office) can only be paid for the first two terms, so if she runs again, she will unpaid.

She has said she wants to be AG; however, if the senate seat opens up, I would think she would want to run (unless the sting of defeat in '09 is too much). However, when/if the governor's seat opens up I would think she would really want that spot. Of course if Scott Brown didn't get the senate spot, I think he'd be a great candidate for governor, as sort of a centrist Republican in a state that generally likes to balance its heavily Democrat legislature with a Republican governor (e.g. William Weld, Mitt Romney). Then it'd be like the Patriots and Giants re-matching against each other last year. And this doesn't even address the Senate seat; it seems that just about everyone set up "exploratory" committees for that one the moment the Presidential election results came in.

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 12-19-2012, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Josh for your comprehensive answer. My wife used to work for UMass office of the President, sounds like your office has very similar dynamics.

Turns out though that the law about electing U.S. Senators dated back to the John Kerry presidential campaign of 2004 when Mitt Romney was governor and democratic legislators were fearful that he would replace a President Kerry's senate seat with a republican replacement.

In any event, as Massachusetts citizen I want to thank you for your service in the AG's office. I know that it's a responsibility that is at least as unheralded as it is important.

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