* Mark Maxwell at WCIA has a long piece up about the race for Illinois Senate President. Here are a couple of excerpts…
“Illinoisans need to trust their elected leaders, particularly those who lead the legislative chambers,” Emily Bittner, a spokeswoman for Pritzker said in an email on Sunday. “The governor strongly believes that those who have been subject to federal raids or indictment would taint the outcome of that election and should not participate in selecting the next Senate President.”
“The election of the Senate President is among the oddest elections,” [Sen. Don Harmon] said in response to Pritzker’s statement. “It’s entirely an internal debate and deliberation. In the end, we will need to figure out what the appropriate ground rules are.” […]
Should Senate Democrats agree to accept Pritzker’s guidance and bar Senators Tom Cullerton and Martin Sandoval from casting a vote, the pool of available Democratic senators would shrink to 37 and increase the likelihood of a protracted battle between warring factions.
Enter the Republicans, who hold 19 votes in reserve.
While it could prove an incredibly unlikely scenario for a number of politically sensitive and risky reasons, many of the Senate Republicans admitted they have discussed the possibility that if the conditions were right, one or more of them could play a role in electing the next leader of their chamber. Others suggested they might even listen to offers from certain of their Democratic counterparts. Two Republicans, who spoke anonymously in order to avoid disrupting delicate discussions, confessed they already had, and described casual conversations about the prospect of crossing the aisle to back a candidate if that person made public pledges to support ‘Fair Maps’ or to grant concessions at the committee level.
1) The governor has to be a bit more careful here; 2) The Republicans would be playing a very dangerous game if they tried to interfere. From the Senate’s rules…
Election of the Minority Leader. The Senate shall elect a Minority Leader in a manner consistent with the Constitution and laws of Illinois.
The entire Senate votes on the Republican Leader. Mess with the Democrats, they could mess with the GOPs.
…Adding… Good point in comments…
You can’t assume anything if this succession battle goes completely off the tracks, but hypothetically, I would think that the same bipartisan group of 30 senators that gets together to pick a president would also cut a deal to pick the minority leader — two votes on two different motions by the same 30 members.