CITIZENS   FOR  LIMITED  TAXATION
and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

CLT UPDATE
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Caution:
Unscrupulous Democrats are running, scared


Democratic candidate Angus McQuilken hasn't even conceded yet, but that didn't stop Romney from crowing that Republican Scott Brown's apparent 343-vote win in the Needham-based Senate district is the opening salvo in the upcoming wave of GOP challenges to incumbent lawmakers....

Top Democratic bosses in the Legislature scoffed at the GOP bravado.

"I can understand Gov. Romney's stirring the pot," said House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran. "I'm not sure it has any relevance whatsoever to other races."

But Democratic Party chiefs aren't whistling past the graveyard - admitting they're worried about the GOP threat, which includes at least 110 challengers to the 170 Democratic lawmakers.

Democrats are furiously raising money and recruiting candidates to run against the tiny band of GOP incumbents, while fine-tuning a theme of job losses in the "Bush-Romney recession."

"We take this very seriously," said Democratic Party Chairman Phil Johnston.

"We're going to do everything we can to maintain our majorities."

The Boston Herald
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Romney declares GOP Senate victory will be first of many


State Sen.-elect Scott Brown ought to make sure Democrats don't change the locks before he moves into his new State House office. That's just about the only trick left in their bag....

Brown proved his mettle by winning with the odds stacked against him. Senate President Robert Travaglini and other party power brokers concocted what seemed a sure-fire scheme: Set the election on the same day as the presidential primary, ensuring a heavy Democratic turnout would sweep their candidate into office....

It's not surprising that a defeated McQuilken and Democratic pundits and party leaders would now turn around and blame the very process they rigged for confusing the voters.

A Boston Herald editorial
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Color of reform is Brown


Looking past a possible recount in Tuesday's state Senate election, Gov. Mitt Romney hailed state Rep. Scott Brown's apparent victory as proof that the Republican Party's campaign to reform state government is resonating with voters....

McQuilken has not conceded defeat, however, even though Brown's campaign has claimed a margin of victory of 350 votes.

Yesterday morning, McQuilken said he was still deciding whether to seek a recount....

Romney conceded that McQuilken has "every right" to challenge the outcome of the election, but Brown said a recount does not fit with the Democrats' rationale for scheduling the election on the same day as the presidential primary.

Senate Democrats have claimed that piggy-backing the senatorial election on the presidential primary would save communities an estimated $200,000.

"The whole point was to save cities and towns money. A recount doesn't do that," Brown said.

The MetroWest Daily News
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Romney celebrates Brown win;
McQuilken won't concede yet


Yesterday. Democrats downplayed Brown's success and Romney's role, saying that the district leans Republican, despite former Senator Cheryl Jacques's long tenure.

"I don't think the Republicans should take much comfort in the results," said Philip Johnston, the chairman of the state Democratic Party. "Angus McQuilken fought to just about a draw in one of the most heavily Republican districts in the state."

Still, privately, many Democrats worried that voters were sending them a message that they like Romney's calls for change on Beacon Hill. That not only heightens their concerns about the fall legislative races, but puts pressure on them to consider the governor's initiatives more seriously.

Brown's strong tally came despite the odds that the Democrats stacked against him. Democratic Senate leaders scheduled the election for the day of the state's presidential primary day, when Democrats were expected to head to the polls to vote for hometown favorite US Senator John F. Kerry.

With about three times as many Democrats as Republicans showing up at the polls, the date was expected to wipe out Brown's built-in advantages. As a state representative, he represents nearly 20 percent of the district....

Some analysts said that Brown's race against McQuilken is a wake-up call for the Democrats. McQuilken, former chief of staff to Jacques, was portrayed as a State House insider by Brown.

The Boston Globe
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Romney seeks to build on win
Republicans are recruited for key state Senate races


Rob Cunningham, blasted the Democrats, saying a recount would cost taxpayers money and would delay Brown taking office.

The election was contentious from the start, with the state Republican Party suing over the date, saying it gave Democrats an unfair advantage because it coincided with the Democratic presidential primary. The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the date. "Now they're talking about delay tactics that would cost towns more money and make sure towns don't have representation during the budget," said Cunningham. "In the end, they're being self-serving."

Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, downplayed both the cost and the delay, saying that a recount could be done in about a week and that the cost, which is borne entirely by towns in the district, would be minimal. "[In] an election, you want accurate results," he said. "We don't quibble about paying for accuracy."

The Boston Globe
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Senate race recount still possible
Brown, McQuilken consult specialists


Massachusetts Democrats are devising a plan to keep John F. Kerry's US Senate seat in their party's hands by blocking Governor Mitt Romney from naming an interim replacement if Kerry wins the White House.

Beacon Hill lawmakers want to pass legislation that would leave Kerry's seat vacant for two months or more, until a special election is held to fill it.

The Boston Globe
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Democrats eye plan to protect Kerry Senate seat


Ann Dufresne, a spokeswoman for Senate President Robert Travaglini, said holding the special election on the same day as the presidential primary will cost between $150,000 to $200,000 less than if it were held separately.

"It only makes sense not to burden communities," she said....

The MetroWest Daily News
Nov. 19, 2003
Election date angers GOP: Special vote to fill Jacques' seat
will coincide with presidential primary


"They're playing politics with the constitution," said Massachusetts GOP Chairman Darrell Crate. "We view their actions as sneaky, as greedy, as unconscionable, and, most importantly, as unconstitutional."

In addition, Dufresne said holding the special election on the same day as the presidential primary would save up to $200,000.

However, Crate said it would have been even cheaper to hold the primary for the special election on March 2 and have the general election about a month later, when some communities in Jacques' district are holding local elections.

"They came forward with a reason for this, which was to save taxpayer dollars. We've proven that that is not true. There is a lower-cost alternative," Crate said.

The MetroWest Daily News
Dec. 4, 2003
GOP files complaint about election


Whatever the outcome next Friday, in its desperate search for a fig leaf the Democratic Senate majority has made an interesting -- if disingenuous -- argument: the senators' alleged concern for the cost to a few communities of holding a special election. Although the cost-savings they randomly fabricated has been exposed as a lie, their alleged concern is now a matter of record.

CLT intends to embrace and address that concern. If all those Senate Democrats are honestly that interested is saving a few municipalities the cost of one special election, then surely they'll support saving many municipalities the cost of many special elections.

A law halting perpetual Proposition 2 override special elections will save a far more significant amount -- especially in those communities which, after defeat, just keep coming back with another and another within months.

CLT intends to file a bill to satisfy the fiscal concern advanced by those 34 Senate Democrats and the state Democratic Party. "An Act to Limit the Financial Burden of Special Elections" will propose a law that requires all future Proposition 2 override votes in any of the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth to be held only during the next regular municipal or state election.

CLT UPDATE
Jan. 3, 2004
Scheming Senate Democrats plot to steal election


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Look how insecure the long-dominating and unassailable Democrat junta has become at the first sign of competition. Massachusetts Democrat elites have become so desperate at just the whiff of threat to their longstanding stranglehold on power that they're hellbent on breaking rules and laws, discarding even decency and common sense in an all-out jihad to maintain control.

And they've begun to appear petty and scared, their thinly-disguised rationales have become transparently lame excuses. The veneer is eroding away.

They've become so panic-stricken at even the possibility of losing a mere seat or two here or there that they're tripping over their last dirty tricks disguised as  high-minded justifications, adding naked hypocrisy to the pervasive corruption that itself is bringing down their long reign of unchecked power.

They blatantly rigged former-Sen. Cheryl Jacques' departure to add an additional year of taxpayer-funded pension by her hanging onto her seat for a day or two into January before resigning. But that created a problem with holding an advantageous special election to replace her, moving it beyond the date of the Democrat presidential primary.

So next they rigged the special election by moving it back to the Democrat presidential primary date nonetheless.

This was to save municipalities in that senate district "between $150,000 to $200,000," the Democrats piously claimed. By the time the court challenge brought by the state Republican Party went before the state Supreme Judicial Kangaroo Court,  those alleged savings had been reduced to $51,780, according to a sworn statement by Secretary of State William Galvin.

So they got their election this week on Super Tuesday, and the Democrat nonetheless got beaten by Republican state Rep. Scott Brown. Now the Democrats' excuse for defeat is that voters were confused by having to take two ballots -- one for the presidential race, one for the senate race.

But the Democrats intended for that very "confusion," were instrumental in creating it, calculated that it would add to their advantage. The malodorous stench of an election rigged by arrogant Democrats had an unintended consequence, and more such consequences are on the horizon.

So in utter desperation, the failed Democrats are now looking toward a recount, in a long-shot effort to somehow switch some 350 votes, or make them disappear, or disenfranchise those voters. Of course, a recount will cost those very same municipalities in that senate district more money -- those very same municipalities the Democrats alleged they were trying to save from the cost of an additional special election when they maneuvered it to Super Tuesday.

The dirty tricks aren't yet over -- and remember -- it was just a year ago this month that Beacon Hill Democrats last flexed their muscles, spit in the face of a superior court judge who'd called for a new election over voting irregularities, and unilaterally installed one of their own in the House despite his order.

The Boston Globe on Mar. 21, 2003 ("House seats disputed Cape victor") reported:

After almost five hours of debate, the Massachusetts House voted as expected yesterday to install Democrat Matthew C. Patrick as representative of a Cape Cod district, disregarding a Barnstable Superior Court ruling that a new election should be called.

"It is clear, according to the case law in Massachusetts, that we have the authority to make the decision as to who should sit and who is elected in the 3d Barnstable District," said majority leader Salvatore F. DiMasi. "It is clear Mr. Patrick won that election." ...

The controversy began in November, when Patrick won the seat by 17 votes, after a recount, over Republican Larry Wheatley, in an election in which some voters were given the wrong ballots, and one polling station closed for 35 minutes.

In December, Superior Court Judge Richard Connon ordered a new election because of the voting irregularities. But House leaders said the courts have no authority over the matter; a House panel found Tuesday that Patrick was duly elected and recommended the full House vote to seat him. Republicans decried the committee's action as a "bag job."

The vote yesterday reflected the Democrats' lopsided majority in the House, with 116 Democrats voting to install Patrick and just 21 Republicans voting against it.

Can we expect Senator-elect Scott Brown to fare any better when one party holds all the power and shamelessly wields it always in its own best interest, not in the interest of its alleged constituents or the rule of law?

Simultaneous with this glaringly undemocratic corruption, Democrat legislators are also working to strip the power of interim gubernatorial appointments from Gov. Romney in the unlikely event that U.S. Senator John Kerry wins the White House. Nobody complained the last time this occurred in 1960, when U.S. Sen. John Kennedy was elected president. Then-Governor Foster Furcolo appointed Benjamin A. Smith II, a "designated place-holder," to fill JFK's senate seat until an underage Ted Kennedy was legally old enough to run for and win it in 1962 -- but of course Furcolo was a Democrat.

And what is the primary reason for stripping the governor of this historic power now? "The people should have a right to vote immediately, not have to wait two years until the next scheduled election." But it was sure alright to wait two years for Teddy.

The Democrat's latest dirty trick would of course require a statewide special election -- and the Democrats just got done telling us that a mere senate district special election costs money and should be avoided, used that excuse to rig the date of this week's Super Tuesday election between Rep. Scott Brown and Angus McQuilken.

And here we are again, right back at the beginning of what passes for Democrat logic, circuitous logic at best, situational ethics better known as "win at any cost."

"Win at any cost" disguised by phony Democrat rhetoric is wearing awfully thin -- and has become all too transparent for many. Scott Brown's against-all-odds victory proved that.

But, handicapped by blinding desperation, this endangered species of Democrats has few winning tactics remaining and diminishing support. Their only hope in these waning days of unlimited, unchecked power is to push that corrupt power to its limit and hope to ride out the rising tide of voter disgust.

The unscrupulous Democrat power structure is now running scared, and that's when a cornered animal can turn most dangerous.

Chip Ford


The Boston Herald
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Romney declares GOP Senate victory will be first of many
By Elisabeth J. Beardsley


Gov. Mitt Romney is declaring the first shot fired in the new Massachusetts Republican revolution, boasting that the GOP's squeaker victory in a special Senate election is a "great symbol" of things to come.

Democratic candidate Angus McQuilken hasn't even conceded yet, but that didn't stop Romney from crowing that Republican Scott Brown's apparent 343-vote win in the Needham-based Senate district is the opening salvo in the upcoming wave of GOP challenges to incumbent lawmakers.

"The Democratic machine up on Beacon Hill worked very hard for Angus, and they didn't win," Romney said.

"The long odds that were overcome by Scott Brown's campaign is an indication that the people of Massachusetts want to see reform."

McQuilken has not yet decided whether to call for a recount.

Top Democratic bosses in the Legislature scoffed at the GOP bravado.

"I can understand Gov. Romney's stirring the pot," said House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran. "I'm not sure it has any relevance whatsoever to other races."

But Democratic Party chiefs aren't whistling past the graveyard - admitting they're worried about the GOP threat, which includes at least 110 challengers to the 170 Democratic lawmakers.

Democrats are furiously raising money and recruiting candidates to run against the tiny band of GOP incumbents, while fine-tuning a theme of job losses in the "Bush-Romney recession."

"We take this very seriously," said Democratic Party Chairman Phil Johnston.

"We're going to do everything we can to maintain our majorities."

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The Boston Herald
Thursday, March 4, 2004

A Boston Herald editorial
Color of reform is Brown


State Sen.-elect Scott Brown ought to make sure Democrats don't change the locks before he moves into his new State House office. That's just about the only trick left in their bag.

Attempts to swell the ranks of Republican statewide officeholders (not to mention Congress) have been hampered by the reality that, unlike the Democrats, the GOP doesn't have a "deep bench." There's not a plethora of candidates with the experience of running successful campaigns waiting in the wings.

Well, watch out, the Republican bench just got deeper.

Brown proved his mettle by winning with the odds stacked against him. Senate President Robert Travaglini and other party power brokers concocted what seemed a sure-fire scheme: Set the election on the same day as the presidential primary, ensuring a heavy Democratic turnout would sweep their candidate into office.

They were too cute for their own good. The gamesmanship played right into Brown's hands, who convincingly used it as evidence that electing Angus McQuilken would send a senator to Beacon Hill with the same old Beacon Hill mentality.

It's not surprising that a defeated McQuilken and Democratic pundits and party leaders would now turn around and blame the very process they rigged for confusing the voters. Nor, when you count all the special interest money spent on McQuilken's behalf, did the Democrats get outspent 4-1, as some claim. The spin that this is a heavily Republican district is equally bogus. Democrats account for 25 percent of registered voters, Republicans just 17 percent. And the district's been represented by a Democrat in the Senate since 1992. Put another way, Cheryl Jacques won the seat six elections in a row.

Whether Brown's election sends any message about the gay marriage debate is unclear. This much is clear: Scott Brown was a compelling candidate but, more importantly, he had a compelling message. Democrats choose to ignore the power of being on the side of reform at their peril.

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The MetroWest Daily News
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Romney celebrates Brown win;
McQuilken won't concede yet
By Michael Kunzelman, Staff Writer


Looking past a possible recount in Tuesday's state Senate election, Gov. Mitt Romney hailed state Rep. Scott Brown's apparent victory as proof that the Republican Party's campaign to reform state government is resonating with voters.

Romney, flanked yesterday by Brown at a press conference in the corner office, said Brown's defeat of Millis Democrat Angus McQuilken ushers in "a new day in Massachusetts politics."

"The Democratic machine up on Beacon Hill worked very hard for Angus, and they didn't win," Romney said. "Against all those odds, a candidate stepped forward, fought with a message of reform and was able to win."

McQuilken has not conceded defeat, however, even though Brown's campaign has claimed a margin of victory of 350 votes.

Yesterday morning, McQuilken said he was still deciding whether to seek a recount.

"With an election this close, just a few hundred votes out of 40,000 ballots cast, that is by anybody's definition a close outcome," he said. "This decision is about what's best for voters. I feel I owe it to those voters to consider what options are available."

If McQuilken decides to ask for a recount, he must notify Secretary of State William Galvin's office by Monday at 5 p.m.

A recount would be automatically ordered by Galvin if the official tally has McQuilken losing by under one-half of 1 percent.

If McQuilken lost by more than one-half of 1 percent, then he would be required to obtain at least 10 signatures from each of the 51 voting precincts in the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District before he could file a petition for a recount.

McQuilken would have to file those signatures with local town and city clerks within 10 days of Tuesday's special election.

"If he gets those signatures, then there would be a recount," said Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff.

Romney conceded that McQuilken has "every right" to challenge the outcome of the election, but Brown said a recount does not fit with the Democrats' rationale for scheduling the election on the same day as the presidential primary.

Senate Democrats have claimed that piggy-backing the senatorial election on the presidential primary would save communities an estimated $200,000.

"The whole point was to save cities and towns money. A recount doesn't do that," Brown said.

Anticipating a recount, Brown's campaign has contacted town and city clerks across the district and requested copies of all records associated with the election.

Sherborn Town Clerk Carole Marple said Brown campaign's request included a complete list of voters, records of any repairs to voting machines and the names of all of the police officers who transported voting machines.

"It does seem extreme at this point because there's not even a recount yet," Marple said.

Brown's campaign manager, Rob Cunningham, said the records requests are a necessary precaution.

"We need to be prepared if Angus asks for a recount," he said. "We believe there was no significant irregularities to speak of and a great deal of integrity in the results."

Brown said he wants to be sworn into office by Wednesday, when the Legislature resumes its debate on plans to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage. But a recount would almost certainly delay his swearing-in for weeks.

"I'm hoping Secretary Galvin will stick to his word and swear me in before the next constitutional convention so I can properly represent the people of the entire Senate district," Brown said.

Either way, Brown will be able to vote in next week's constitutional convention. McQuilken's election, however, could have added a potentially critical pro-gay vote to the Legislature.

Ron Crews, a prominent opponent of gay marriage who serves as head of the Newton-based Massachusetts Family Institute, said the divisive issue appeared to be the "defining factor" in the race, given that McQuilken is an outspoken supporter of gay rights while Brown already has voted to ban same-sex marriage.

"This was a clear difference between the two candidates," said Crews, an Ashland resident. "The marriage issue was one of the major reasons why people crossed over party lines and voted for Scott Brown."

Brown apparently earned more votes than McQuilken in five of the district's 12 communities: Attleboro, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville and Wrentham.

McQuilken carried Franklin, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Wayland and Wellesley.

Brown appeared to rely heavily on his hometown base of support, as he received at least 800 more votes than McQuilken in Wrentham. McQuilken, in contrast, only beat Brown by eight votes in his hometown of Millis, possibly reflecting the fact that Brown's House seat includes one precinct in that town.

Brown also fared better in Needham than some anticipated. McQuilken captured nearly 1,000 more votes than Brown in the town, but some observers expected Jacques' longtime chief of staff to win by a wider margin in her old hometown.

"I think (McQuilken) probably expected to do better in Needham, given that he has got some roots here," said Needham businessman Richard Gatto, one of five Democratic primary opponents McQuilken defeated on Feb. 3.

Republican Party leaders claim the election results indicate at least 1,500 Democrats in Needham alone crossed party lines to vote for Brown.

"Democrats did cross over," Brown said. "In Needham alone, there were 4,700 Democratic ballots. I only lost by 1,000 in Needham. We were down 30 points two weeks ago. There was a major crossover there."

McQuilken garnered strong support in the northern end of the district, but Brown compensated by posting wide margins of victory at the southern tip, in communities he has represented in the House.

"Angus didn't stay close enough in the southern towns," said state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.

The race to fill Jacques' Senate seat was widely viewed as a critical test of Romney's campaign to expand the ranks of Republican lawmakers on Beacon Hill. Accordingly, the Massachusetts Republican Party invested more than $100,000 in Brown's campaign.

Although Jacques' seat was held by a Republican for decades before she was elected in 1992, GOP leaders insist Brown was the underdog heading into Tuesday's election.

"Given the long odds that were overcome by Scott Brown's campaign, it's an indication that the people of Massachusetts want to see reform. They want to see change," Romney said.

But the governor downplayed the notion that Brown's win is a harbinger of widespread success for other Republican challengers this fall.

"I can't tell you that we're going to be able replace sitting incumbents," Romney said. "Maybe we'll pick up one or two or three new seats in each (chamber). Maybe we'll just be able to hold our own, given the fact that John Kerry is going to be the Democratic nominee, as well."

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The Boston Globe
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Romney seeks to build on win
Republicans are recruited for key state Senate races
By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff


Celebrating a strong GOP showing in a special state Senate race, Governor Mitt Romney signaled yesterday that he plans to use that momentum as he launches aggressive campaigns against scores of other Democratic incumbents this year.

State Republicans have recruited candidates to challenge Democrats in key Senate districts in affluent areas from Cape Cod to Acton. They say Romney's message will resonate in those races, as it did in Wrentham Republican Scott Brown's contest against Democrat Angus McQuilken of Millis Tuesday. Unofficial results show a Brown victory, though a recount is possible.

The party is drawing on funds that Romney and others helped raise. But Republicans have also become skilled at a political practice that Democrats once dominated: voter turnout efforts.

In the state Senate election Tuesday, Republicans made 50,000 phone calls and generated hundreds of absentee ballots from GOP voters. It's a major shift, driven in part by the Republican National Committee's push, launched after the 2000 presidential contest, to improve field operations at the state level.

"What you are seeing is the strengthening of the Republican ability to turn out its vote," said Rob Gray, a Massachusetts Republican consultant and adviser to Romney who served on the RNC task force. "Republicans have the resources and now have the know-how. They made a big bet and it paid off here."

Romney drew on that same operation in his 2002 gubernatorial victory.

Yesterday. Democrats downplayed Brown's success and Romney's role, saying that the district leans Republican, despite former Senator Cheryl Jacques's long tenure.

"I don't think the Republicans should take much comfort in the results," said Philip Johnston, the chairman of the state Democratic Party. "Angus McQuilken fought to just about a draw in one of the most heavily Republican districts in the state."

Still, privately, many Democrats worried that voters were sending them a message that they like Romney's calls for change on Beacon Hill. That not only heightens their concerns about the fall legislative races, but puts pressure on them to consider the governor's initiatives more seriously.

Brown's strong tally came despite the odds that the Democrats stacked against him. Democratic Senate leaders scheduled the election for the day of the state's presidential primary day, when Democrats were expected to head to the polls to vote for hometown favorite US Senator John F. Kerry.

With about three times as many Democrats as Republicans showing up at the polls, the date was expected to wipe out Brown's built-in advantages. As a state representative, he represents nearly 20 percent of the district.

Tuesday's results are particularly being felt in those Senate districts that Romney's Republican operatives have targeted for the fall campaign.

On Cape Cod, Democratic incumbent Robert O'Leary is facing a challenge from Gail Lese, a pediatrician from Yarmouth. Senator Susan C. Fargo, the Lincoln Democrat, has drawn a wealthy Republican businessman, John Thibeault of Chelmsford. Two Republicans -- Marlborough City Council president Arthur G. Vigeant and Rod Jane, a School Committee chairman in Westborough -- are vying for the chance to take on Senator Pamela P. Resor of Acton.

The GOP has even targeted one of Senate President Robert E. Travaglini's top lieutenants, Ways and Means chairwoman Therese Murray of Plymouth. She is facing a well-financed campaign by Tim Duncan of Falmouth, although GOP insiders concede that he faces an uphill fight. Republicans are also hoping that attorney James Coffey can defeat longtime Democratic incumbent David P. Magnani of Framingham.

Overall, GOP leaders say, the party is fielding about 70 challengers to House Democrats and another 18 to Senate incumbents.

"The Democratic machine up on Beacon Hill worked for Angus and didn't win," Romney said, referring to the support McQuilken got from organized labor and party leaders. "Against all those odds, a candidate stepped forward, fought with a message of reform, and was able to win. That's a great symbol for what we hope to have this fall as well."

The GOP state committee is holding a workshop this weekend on Cape Cod for candidates it has recruited for legislative races. Romney is expected to attend the Friday night session.

The party spent $120,000 for Brown's race, has about $475,000 in cash left, and plans more aggressive fund-raising, said Dominick Ianno, executive director of the state Republican Party.

Some analysts said that Brown's race against McQuilken is a wake-up call for the Democrats. McQuilken, former chief of staff to Jacques, was portrayed as a State House insider by Brown.

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The Boston Globe
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Senate race recount still possible
Brown, McQuilken consult specialists
By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff

Both sides in Tuesday's tight Senate election said yesterday that they were consulting recount specialists, as Democrat Angus McQuilken continued to leave the door open to challenging Republican Scott P. Brown's apparent victory.

Brown, a state representative from Wrentham, leads by 343 votes out of more than 37,000 cast in the district southwest of Boston, according to an unofficial tally of the preliminary results.

"This isn't just about me," said McQuilken, adding that voters have been calling him to urge a recount. "The outcome is going to affect voters in this district for years to come." Brown's campaign manager, Rob Cunningham, blasted the Democrats, saying a recount would cost taxpayers money and would delay Brown taking office.

The election was contentious from the start, with the state Republican Party suing over the date, saying it gave Democrats an unfair advantage because it coincided with the Democratic presidential primary. The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the date. "Now they're talking about delay tactics that would cost towns more money and make sure towns don't have representation during the budget," said Cunningham. "In the end, they're being self-serving."

Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, downplayed both the cost and the delay, saying that a recount could be done in about a week and that the cost, which is borne entirely by towns in the district, would be minimal. "[In] an election, you want accurate results," he said. "We don't quibble about paying for accuracy."

Philip Johnston, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said the recount decision is up to McQuilken, but added, "I hope he considers it very seriously.

"I know better than anyone that any election that is this close can be overturned, so I think that it would be perfectly appropriate if Angus makes a decision to ask for a recount," said Johnston, who had his win in a 1996 congressional primary overturned by a court.

Johnston said he had heard one report of a voting irregularity, which he referred to the McQuilken campaign. According to Galvin, if McQuilken does request a recount, he can specify certain precincts or entire districts.

In this case, McQuilken would have to get up to 10 signatures from registered voters in each ward and 10 in each precinct, where he requests the recount, according to Brian McNiff, spokesman for Galvin. The requirement is lower for towns with fewer than 2,500 voters or that do not have precincts, he said. Signatures would be due Friday, March 12.

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The Boston Globe
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Democrats eye plan to protect Kerry Senate seat
By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff


Massachusetts Democrats are devising a plan to keep John F. Kerry's US Senate seat in their party's hands by blocking Governor Mitt Romney from naming an interim replacement if Kerry wins the White House.

Beacon Hill lawmakers want to pass legislation that would leave Kerry's seat vacant for two months or more, until a special election is held to fill it. That would prevent the Republican governor from naming an interim senator, as is currently required by state law.

The initiator of the proposal - Representative William M. Straus, Democrat of Mattapoisett - insisted he is not being partisan. But Republicans say the Democrats are being premature.

"John Kerry and his supporters are doing everything but measuring for drapes at the White House," said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's communications director. "We have a long campaign in front of us."

Drawing on some Massachusetts political history, Fehrnstrom recalled that a Democratic governor named an interim senator when John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.

"The last time a temporary appointment was done, it was by a Democratic governor, and I don't remember the Democrats having a problem with that," he said. "Why suddenly now do they have a problem?"

Straus, the House chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, said he wants to make sure that voters choose who will represent them in the US Senate. He said that Kerry's campaign success has brought an immediacy to the issue of filling Senate vacancies, but that it is not the driving force behind the concept.

"It's always preferable to allow voters to fill these important positions," Straus said. "I would think the governor who is publicly very much against patronage appointments, would be in favor of this."

Kerry has held the US Senate seat for nearly 20 years, and an opening would set off a scramble in both parties. The GOP hasn't held a US Senate seat in Massachusetts since 1978. With the US Senate closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, any advantage in choosing Kerry's successor could be crucial in determining which party controls the chamber.

Under state law, Romney would appoint an interim senator, most probably a Republican, who would have nearly two years to use all the advantages of incumbency, including building a strong public image and raising a campaign war chest for a special election in 2006.

Under the Straus proposal, the Senate seat would remain vacant until the state holds a special election to fill it, 60 to 180 days after the vacancy.

Straus said such a system would also avoid having two Senate contests taking place in the same year. Senator Edward M. Kennedy will face reelection in 2006. With a gubernatorial election taking place that year, Straus argued, voters would face a lot of confusion.

Straus's plan is still in development. He has directed the Election Laws Committee staff to research and develop the legislation. It would have to pass the Democrat-controlled Legislature and would probably face a veto by Romney.

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