No surprise here. When the Massachusetts legislature passed a law, at the request of a dying Ted Kennedy, to allow the Governor to appoint an interim successor, a key justification was that the interim appointee not only would not run for office but also would remain neutral in the special election.
That special appointee was Paul Kirk, and yesterday Kirk violated his neutrality by appearing at a campaign event with the Kennedy family to endorse Martha Coakley:
Kirk said he didn’t think twice before endorsing Coakley, even though the Legislature reversed Bay State laws and allowed Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint him based on the promise he would stay neutral….
An ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy – a close friend of Kirk’s – was the first to suggest legislators should prevent the temporary appointee from running for the seat to avoid the appearance of a political handoff.
Embattled House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle took Kennedy’s suggestion a step further, attaching a resolution to the controversial bill blocking the appointee from “endorsing any candidate in the special election.” The language is nonbinding
because legislators can’t legally prevent anyone from running for office. But Democrats vowed that the appointee would honor legislative wishes….
Bridgewater University political professor George Serra said Kirk’s endorsement violates the spirit of the agreement.
“If he’s truly a placeholder, he really should have no role in the election process,” Serra said.
And the Democrats also are promising that you can keep your current insurance if you like it, and they will not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 per year. You can take that to the bank.
Update: Jules Crittenden has more.