Rep. Carolyn Dykema speaks on interim senate appointment

The House last week approved legislation that would give Governor Deval Patrick the power to appoint a temporary successor to the late Ted Kennedy in the US Senate. Democrat Carolyn Dykema, who represents Southborough precincts 2 and 3, voted against the legislation.

In this message to her constituents, Dykema explains her vote.

Dear residents and voters of the 8th Middlesex District,

As you may know, last night I voted against legislation that would provide for an interim appointment to the US Senate until a special election is held in January. Thanks to many of you who have voiced your opinion on this issue and I appreciate this chance to share with you the reasons behind my vote.

Underlying my vote is my respect for our democracy and the democratic process. While our party system encourages vigorous debate, it also relies on mutual respect and confidence that the framework of laws that guide the debate are fair and just for all, regardless of party affiliation. Each one of us has a stake in defending this principle because if we can’t trust the fairness of the process for making our laws, we can lose our trust in the laws themselves.

My vote against the interim appointment was not a vote for or against any political party or any policy position. It was a vote for deliberative policymaking and against what I viewed as lawmaking of convenience, seemingly to fit the situation at hand, not driven by our long-term interests.

I believe that as a state and a society we need to move beyond partisan positions, listen to each other, and have rational and substantial discussion about solutions to the many challenges that face us. At the heart of this discussion must be a trust that we are all working for the greater good. That when our government makes laws we all agree to abide by them, not seek to change them when they do not serve our individual interests, whatever they may be. After carefully considering all the implications of this vote, I concluded that any benefits to our state from an interim appointment would be significantly outweighed by the cost in public trust. And we cannot afford to jeopardize this trust, especially with the many challenges that lie ahead.

If you would like to speak with me personally, I would welcome your call. (617-722-2210)


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