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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 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.

By Patricia E. Gaston  |  December 14, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
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The Illinois GOP has really screwed up again. They should be capitalizing on this Blagojevich thing, but the GOP players are too tied to the Dem players. There's really just one political party in Illinois, and it's as dirty as it gets. Republicans go to prison here as often as Democrats, if not more so. Nearly every scandal is bi-partisan in Illinois.

This special election thing is just the latest gimmick. Consider that the very GOP leaders from Illinois who say it would be so great are the very same dinosaurs who won't allow real elections within their own State Republican Party! These same people have viciously opposed their own Republican membership from having a real vote. They won't even give Republicans the same voting rights Illinois Democrats have here in their State Party.

See for example:

Cross and McKenna now say they want direct elections – just not for Republicans

Posted by: fromillinois1 | December 15, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy it while it last, pollyanna Obama supporters... reality lurks around the corner, with a truncheon.

Why did Obama LIE about discussing the seat with Blago? Three news outlets + Axelrod on are on the record saying he did talk to him the day after the election.

Who from Team Obama offered Blago a corporate BOD position for his wife? It's on the tapes that Obama's crew could provide that.

Is that Emanuel on the conf. call with Blago? He's getting pretty testy with the press lately (when they can find him)... and is untypically and suddenly absent from PEBO's press-conferences.

What did they mean on the FBI wiretap when Blago's advisers said Obama had to "suck it up" for the next couple years? Temporarily refrain from cheating, bribing, and stealing... Chicago-style?

Blago's (convicted) bagman was Rezko... you know, the guy that helped Barack buy that nice house by overpaying for an attached lot (in a package deal).... so Obama could get a hidden pay-off? And the real estate agent was...? None other than Patti Blagojevich- Hot Rod's obnoxious wife.

Obama has now bus-chucked former allies Blago, Rezko, Ayers, Wright, Pfleger, and Khalidi the minute they got into hot water... not a speck of loyalty.

Any one of them probably has five things on Barack that could get him impeached... or at minimum, exposed as a blatant liar (Rezko's already singing now).

Have you noticed how The One seems all nervous and stuttering lately? What happened to the swagger?

Now that they've all been made enemies, it's just a matter of time for WHEN critical mass is reached... then "ObamaMania" goes >pooof

Let the truth be told... the de-programming of the Obama Cult is desperately needed... and long overdue.

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | December 15, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

What a joke the Repubs were dead set against the constitutional convention initiative on the november ballot because they said we couldn't afford it. Well, where is the money for this coming from?

Posted by: sam51 | December 15, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

While we are at it, put the Gubernatorial seat on the ballot also along with the Lt. Governor. Clean out the whole nest with just one election expense.

Posted by: Czechbikr | December 14, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

If Quinn indeed places Blago, then he should pick the next Senator because it's the law, and more importantly, he and Blago really didn't know one another, and haven't spoken to each other in over a year. They weren't exactly the best of friends. Quinn would be his own man. Besides, the Repubs here are just trying to take advantage of the situation for their own political purposes. Let them wait until the next election to try and get their own person elected to the Senate.

Posted by: SGall23241 | December 14, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of opportunists! And what a mature name and graphic for a website.

Posted by: joetarcy | December 14, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

So funny

From the Lipman Times (the new 24/7 Obama news site--so cool!)

Colbert Report Video of the Night

Rod Blagojevich's Birthday

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | December 14, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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