Turns out that Lisa has given an opinion as AG that the Burris election could be moved up...
From the AP:
State Republicans sought Madigan's opinion, issued late Wednesday night, which came as controversy swirls around Sen. Roland Burris' appointment. Voters are scheduled to pick Obama's successor in a February 2010 primary and November 2010 general election. But the state GOP wants a May 26 election -- effectively kicking Burris out of he doesn't win. Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Illinois Constitution would prohibit moving up the election, Madigan said. "Indeed, a law providing the people of Illinois with an opportunity to elect a U.S. Senator would be entirely consistent with the purpose and the text of the 17th Amendment," Madigan said. "That amendment announces a clear preference for selecting U.S. Senators by direct popular election."
Is Madigan helping to clear the way for Burris to be booted in time for the regular 2010 election and erase any taint of Blago and/or having to run against an African-American and tick off part of the Dem base?
From Hillbuzz, the interesting theory...
Maybe the Madigans are actually gearing up for Lisa to head to the Senate, and losing the seat to [Congressman Mark] Kirk in a special election is the only way to do that. Because black leaders in Chicago (and nationally) are putting continued pressure to keep a black Senator in Obama’s seat (which was Carol Mosley Braun’s old seat from 1992-1998, before it went to Republican Peter Fitzgerald from 1998-2004), Madigan would not politically be able to win the Democratic primary in 2010 to take the seat from Burris (as wails of racism will most surely great any white candidate who tries to “take” the lone black seat in the Senate).
But, just imagine if Burris loses the seat to Republican Mark Kirk in 2009, after at least one other black candidate is encourage to challenge Burris for a primary fight to keep that seat. Conventional wisdom in Chicago is that either Congressman Danny Davis, Illinois secretary of state Jesse White, or Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. would try to run in the special election, and we believe would ultimately lose to Kirk, if any of them managed to take the nomination away from Burris.
So, it would be KIRK, not Lisa Madigan who “took the Senate seat” away from the black community. And Lisa Madigan would then be free to run in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat in 2010, without having to suffer the same pressure from the black community she’d face if the seat wasn’t already in the hands of a white Republican man.
Hmm, that's worth noodling this morning. Conventional wisdom is that Lisa wants to be Guv, but with Pat Quinn being an anti-Blagojevich and apparently largely escaping criticism for being an enabler during Blago's tenure (although many have pointed out Quinn's support of Blago in 2006), perhaps the Governor's mansion option isn't looking as good as it once did.
Hillbuzz gets a little off track in suggesting that former Senator Peter Fitgerald is primed for a political comeback in Illinois, but otherwise this is all food for thought...