Illinois GOP Pushing for Special Election for Senate Seat
By Kari Lydersen
The Illinois Republican Party has launched what they are calling a "grassroots campaign" to push for a special election where Illinois voters would decide who will take President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.
On Monday the party is launching a heavy statewide television advertising campaign and a round of live-connect calls informing voters of the special election possibility and asking them to contact their legislators in support of the measure.
The party also launched the website FriendsofBlago.com which party chairman Andy McKenna called a "vehicle to communicate about the web of connections" surrounding the governor. The site currently features an online petition demanding a special election and a spider web graphic with photos of Blagojevich and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), surrounded by tiles with question marks and the words "Who's Next?"
During a conference call Sunday, party officials demanded Quinn not be allowed to appoint the Senate seat, if Blagojevich, a Democrat, resigns; is impeached; or removed from office or limited in his activities, as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan requested Friday from the state Supreme Court.
"Pat Quinn is part of Rod Blagojevich's administration and should not be allowed to pick the next U.S. Senator," said Republican DuPage county State's Attorney Joe Birkett. "When it would have taken political courage to speak out, Pat Quinn was silent."
A special election would potentially take place in conjunction with February primary elections. Democratic officials reportedly have reservations about a special election since disillusionment over the scandal might help a Republican candidate.
Posted at 3:15 PM ET on Dec 14, 2008
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