* I told subscribers that this was possible late last week. The governor is leaning in favor of a special election…
Should he stay in office, Gov. Blagojevich is warming to the idea of holding a special election for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
The governor — facing criminal charges that he put the seat and other state-government decisions up for sale — was optimistic at the start of the weekend that he would sign a bill that would strip him of his power to name Obama’s successor, a Blagojevich source said Sunday.
* Meanwhile, Dick Durbin has flip-flopped…
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, for instance, was an early supporter but is now calling for Blagojevich to resign so that the lieutenant governor could appoint a senator.
* Cullerton leans against…
“The most immediate solution to the short-term problem is if the governor could step aside, which the constitution allows, and Pat Quinn would become the acting governor and he (Quinn) could appoint the U.S. senator and that would be acceptable to the U.S. Senate,” said Cullerton (D-Chicago), who assumes the leadership of the chamber next month. […]
In his radio interview, Cullerton didn’t directly address what plan he favors, noting only that “with a special election, it’s very complicated because it’s very costly.”
“We need a senator immediately. We need a senator to be there to be voting in the first week of January to support…our incoming president, one of our former colleagues,” Cullerton said.
* House GOP Leader Tom Cross appears to be leaning towards the “hybrid” plan discussed yesterday by LG Pat Quinn. A temporary appointment followed by a special election…
A spokesman for House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), who expects to meet with Madigan possibly today, endorsed the package that was making the rounds.
“We feel the best way to restore any confidence the citizens of Illinois have in their government overall and in particular who the United States senator will be is to have a special election. The very preliminary language we’ve seen seems to accomplish that task,” Cross spokesman David Dring said.
* Jim Edgar is against the special election…
Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says the last thing the state needs right now is another partisan political battle.
EDGAR: I would much rather see that some, I don’t…blue ribbon committee or something come together and try to come up with a name of someone maybe who just would serve two years even and try to take this out of the political realm quickly.
* But the IL GOP is full steam ahead…
Illinois Republican Party leaders are launching a television campaign to push their position that a special election should be called to fill the vacancy caused by President-elect Barack Obama’s depature, a move to prevent a Senate appointment by scandal-scarred Gov. Rod Blagojevich or Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn if he takes over the top job.
With Blagojevich hanging onto office despite last week’s arrest in a corruption case, Republicans are seek to seiz the political advantage of a reeling state government headed by Democrats at every level.
“Blagojevich Democrats like Pat Quinn did nothing to stand up to Governor Blagojevich and his ethical lapses,” said Joe Birkett, the DuPage County state’s attorney.
Birkett questioned why “Pat Quinn stood silent” when they ran together in 2006, when it was known that Blagojevich was the “eye of the storm”
* Black leaders see Senate seat being hijacked
* GOP sees hope for revival amid scandal
* Quinn a good man, but voters should pick senator