Bill OK'd to replace Kennedy in Senate
The Massachusetts state Senate, fulfilling one of Edward Kennedy's dying wishes, approved a bill Tuesday allowing the appointment of a temporary replacement.
BOSTON — The Massachusetts state Senate, fulfilling one of Edward Kennedy's dying wishes, approved a bill Tuesday allowing the appointment of a temporary replacement for the late senator.
Kennedy, who had made health-care overhaul one of his lifetime priorities, wanted to ensure that Democrats would have a crucial 60th vote to end a potential Republican filibuster when health legislation comes up for consideration this fall.
The 24-16 vote in the state Senate means Gov. Deval Patrick could appoint an interim senator as early as today. The measure passed the House last week. The appointee would serve only until a special election takes place Jan. 19 but could play a critical role in congressional Democrats' efforts in coming months. Under current law, Kennedy's seat would remain empty until the special election in January.
Michael Dukakis, the former governor and 1988 presidential nominee, is said to be under consideration. Other possibilities include Paul Kirk, a former Kennedy aide and Democratic National Committee chairman who now heads the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston; Evelyn Murphy, a former lieutenant governor; and Charles Ogletree, a professor at Harvard Law School.
The bill does not prohibit the temporary appointee from seeking Kennedy's seat permanently — legislators feared that such a condition would not pass constitutional muster — but Patrick has said he will ask the appointee to promise not to run in the special election.
Meg Whitman runs for Calif. governor
Former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman formally announced her bid for governor of California on Tuesday in Fullerton, Calif.
The billionaire has pumped $19 million of her money into her campaign operation.
In her announcement, she lamented regulation and taxes that she said strangle job creation and demanded reforms to improve the state's public schools. She repeated her February vow to cut at least $15 billion in state spending and to eliminate redundant government agencies, and said she would lay off 40,000 state employees. But, as then, she offered no specific cuts and did not suggest which agencies or employees she would target.
She is seeking the Republican nomination next year, competing against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell. Among Democrats, major candidates include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown, a former governor, has not formally announced his intentions.
Whitman launched advertisements Tuesday, which the campaign said were running on radio stations across California and highlight Whitman's experience at several well-known companies.
Candidate admits missing elections
Linda McMahon, who stepped down from her job as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment to seek the Republican nomination in Connecticut for the U.S. Senate, acknowledges on her campaign blog that she didn't vote in the 2008 presidential primary after Sen. John McCain became the presumptive GOP nominee.
In a Sept. 16 blog entry titled "One of My Regrets," McMahon said she also missed a general election in 2006 and several local elections.
"I talk all the time about how important it is for people to vote. And it is. Yet, I haven't always been the best example myself," she wrote. During the 2008 presidential election, WWE organized a campaign called WWE's Smackdown Your Vote! and released a voter guide to help young voters "articulate the issues important to them in this national election."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is preparing to launch a national fundraising committee and began sending invitations to a high-priced November fundraising dinner, another signal the Republican may be positioning himself for a possible 2012 presidential run.
Seattle Times news services
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