A Special Election In Illinois?

Word is starting to circulate that there may be a special election in Illinois instead of an appointment to fill the vacant Senate seat of President Elect Obama.

The story goes like this…… under the US Constitution the state legislature has the power to decide how to fill a vacant Senate seat until the next election. Many states (like Illinois) allow the governor to name someone to the seat but that is not always the case. In some states (like Alaska) the rule is that there will be a special election (I mention the Alaska law because it was also the result of a corrupt governor).

Senator Durbin has called for the legislature to change the state law to call for a special election. The Speaker of the Illinois House and the President of the Illinois Senate have said that they will bring the legislature into session next week to pass such a law.

Of course Governor Soprano could try to name someone to the seat in the next week or so, or he could veto the new law but I don’t think this would change much. The legislature would surely override the veto (probably unanimously) and anyone named to the seat would be under HUGE pressure to step aside for the special election.

This of course assumes that the guv is not forced to resign before then. Many are calling on the legislature to impeach him if he does not resign.

A special election would favor big names who have the money to run a campaign and could attract a serious GOP candidate, though the Democrats would still be heavily favored.

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Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

  • StockBoySF

    “Governor Soprano” (I love it) should resign and a special election called. This gives the Democrats under Obama a chance to show that they will be leaders in how corruption (etc) cases should be handled. Strictly and with no nonsense.

  • elrod

    What if Blago quits (or is impeached) and Lt. Gov Quinn appoints somebody. Presumably that person wouldn't be as tainted.

  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com Patrick E

    Possibly they wouldn't be as tainted, though arguably anyone on the former short list could be.

    It will be interesting to watch though.

    Poor Obama, he's innocent but this is still gonna be a mess for him to deal with.

  • AustinRoth

    Can they pass and change the law that quickly?

  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com Patrick E

    Well they can change it by next week. In theory he could pick someone in the meantime but that someone would almost have to resign immediately to avoid the stench of Blago

  • elrod

    My guess is they pass a special election law. The only question is what kind of special election law. Will there be a full, statewide primary, followed by a full general election? That would take until April to fill the seat. Will the party conventions just select a top candidate for each party and then have the two of them battle in a general election in early February?

    Another possibility is if they impeach Blago and remove him by January 6, Lt. Gov. Quinn can appoint somebody to take office immediately until a full special election in few months is carried out.

    I think the best option is to impeach Blago, remove him, and have Lt. Gov. Quinn pick some sort of squeaky clean elder statesman like Jesse White to serve the term until 2010 when a full-on primary and election can establish a successor.

  • superdestroyer

    Since the Democratic primary is the real election in Illinois, it makes more sense to have not have nominating primaries in any special election. Also, given the massive corruption in the Democratic Party in Illinoins, having the eventual winner picked in a smoked filled back room also does not make any sense.

    The cleanest looking idea would be a non-partisan special election with a large number of candidates.

  • mikeyes

    Hey, Alan Keyes could run again.

  • DLS

    “Hey, Alan Keyes could run again.”

    You beat me to it, Mike Eyes.

    * * *

    “The cleanest looking idea would be a non-partisan special election with a large number of candidates.”

    How many Daleys, how many Durbins, in addition to Patti Blogojevich, would that require?

  • DLS

    Actually, given that Al Franken and his Franken-Friends (with ballots) have not secured the victory in Minnesota Franken had sought, why doesn't Franken try to get his Senate Democratic seat instead in Illinois (and if he fails, then in New York)? One state can be “represented” by a Dem as well as any other.