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.