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Kennedy’s Seat – Which Perspective?

I scrolled through world newspapers looking to see which ones covered the death of Senator Kennedy, and many did!

I found this article in Cuba’s Prensa Latina that I’d like to share with you.

(Translated into English by toolbar)

Democrats and Republicans prepare weapons for Senate seat
Thursday, August 27th, 2009

August 27, 2009, 11:17Washington, Aug 27 (Prensa Latina) The Republicans and Democrats ready their weapons today to win a Senate seat in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, vacated by the death of Edward Kennedy.

For the first time in 25 years this land has an empty seat at the federal upper house, and must be filled by a special election before 160 days.

Nobody knows who will take the place of Kennedy, who remained in his seat 47 years, but one thing is certain, the fight to replace him will be fierce, CNN* estimated.

Massachusetts is essentially a one-party state, the Democrats control the government and Congress, recalls.

However, it stresses, the Republicans have a special interest in that seat, then conquer It will leave the Democrats a majority in the federal upper house.

Currently, the so-called blue party has 60 seats out of 100, while their rivals have the rest.

That number allows the Democrats to defeat any delaying tactics by the Republicans, known in the jargon of American politics as filibustering.


Demócratas y republicanos preparan armas por escaño senatoril jueves
27 de agosto de 2009

27 de agosto de 2009, 11:17Washington, 27 ago (PL) Los republicanos y demócratas alistan hoy sus armas para conquistar un escaño senatorial por el estado norteamericano de Massachussets, vacante tras la muerte de Edward Kennedy.

Por primera vez en 25 años ese territorio tiene vacío un asiento a la Cámara alta federal, y deberá ser llenado por una elección especial antes de 160 días.

Nadie sabe quien ocupará el lugar de Kennedy, quien se mantuvo en su curul 47 años, pero hay algo cierto, la lucha por reemplazarlo será feroz, estimó la televisora CNN.

Massachusetts es esencialmente un estado unipartidista, los demócratas controlan el gobierno y el Congreso, recuerda.

No obstante, subraya, los republicanos tienen un interés especial en ese escaño, pues conquistarlo le arrebataría a los demócratas la mayoría absoluta en la Cámara alta federal.

En la actualidad, el llamado partido azul tiene 60 asientos, de un total de 100, mientras sus rivales cuentan con el resto.

Esa cifra le permite a los demócratas derrotar cualquier táctica dilatoria presentada por los republicanos, conocidas en la jerga política norteamericana como filibusterismo.

Boston Herald – great coverage! This photo of the Senator’s casket arriving at the J.F. K Library in Boston is from their site:

>>>>>WASHINGTON (CNN*) — As Americans paused Wednesday to remember the extraordinary life of Sen. Edward Kennedy, political observers also took note of a rare development caused by his passing.

For the first time in 25 years, the state of Massachusetts has an open Senate seat. Nobody knows who will take it, but virtually everyone agrees that the fight to replace the Bay State’s liberal lion is guaranteed to be fierce.

Massachusetts is essentially a one-party state. Democrats control the governorship and every congressional seat and have overwhelming majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

One unintended consequence of this monopoly is a lot of pent-up political ambition. Bay State Democrats itching to go to Washington usually have to wait — for a long time. Kennedy won his Senate seat in 1962; John Kerry won his in 1984.

Massachusetts law requires a special election for Kennedy’s seat to be held within 160 days.

A long-term vacancy could have effects far beyond Kennedy’s home state of Massachusetts, since his death deprives Democrats of the 60-vote majority necessary to force laws through the Senate despite Republican objections.

Just last week, Kennedy urged that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election could be held. Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday told Boston radio station WBUR that he is in favor of the change and would sign it into law if the state legislature passed it.

When the special election is over, the winner will serve out the remainder of Kennedy’s term, which expires in January 2013. A slew of local officeholders have nothing to lose and everything to gain by tossing their hats in the ring.
So who’s on the list of possible contenders?

Start with the state’s 10-member House delegation. With the exception of 72-year-old Rep. John Olver, each one is considered a possible contender, said Bill Mayer, a Northeastern University political scientist.

Rep. Ed Markey, a 17-term congressman from north of Boston, ran for Kerry’s Senate seat in 1984. He also briefly aired television ads during his 2004 House re-election bid. Why? There wasn’t a serious threat to Markey’s House seat, but he wanted to raise his profile in the event of a Senate vacancy created by a Kerry presidential win over George W. Bush, Mayer said.

The one caveat for Markey today: He may not want to give up his chairmanship of an influential House committee dealing with climate-change legislation. The same goes for Rep. Barney Frank, who has plenty of name recognition but may not want to cede the helm of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.

Rep. Mike Capuano, now in his sixth term from Somerville, currently has the seat once held by President Kennedy and House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He took office in 1998 by edging out a 10-candidate primary field with 23 percent of the vote.

Capuano and others might try to follow that same blueprint for a statewide victory, Mayer said. As little as 20 percent may be enough to win a heavily contested Senate primary.

Capuano, Rep. Stephen Lynch from South Boston and Rep. Jim McGovern from Worcester might also bet that their stronger urban Democratic organizations can help them eke out a victory if the primary turnout is low.

Money is certain to be a key factor. Former Rep. Marty Meehan, now the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, has almost $5 million in contributions at his disposal that could be used for a Senate run.

Massachusetts Democrats might, however, decide it’s time to turn the political page by sending a woman to the U.S. Senate.

The state’s politically ambitious Attorney General Martha Coakley has the distinction of being one of the few women to win statewide. Rep. Niki Tsongas of Lowell, on the other hand, has the benefit of a famous name. Her husband — former presidential candidate Paul Tsongas who passed away in 1997 — represented Massachusetts for one term in the Senate from 1979 to 1985.

But the most famous name in Massachusetts politics is, of course, Kennedy. Ted Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, has so far expressed no interest in filling the seat, according to sources. Speculation is nevertheless rampant that she might ultimately try to keep the seat in family hands.

Former Rep. Joe Kennedy, who held Capuano’s seat from 1987 to 1999, may also try to launch a political comeback on the strength of the current wave of emotion and nostalgia. The nephew of Ted Kennedy and son of Robert F. Kennedy, he currently heads Citizens Energy Corp., which provides home heating fuel for low-income Americans.

Massachusetts may be headed for its most hotly contested Senate race in at least a quarter century.


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