Monday, July 26, 2010

Illinois Special Election for U.S. Senate a Potential Game-Changer

I'm fascinated by the recent turn of events concerning the lawsuit over former (and disgraced) governor Rod Blagojevich's appointment of the hapless Roland Burris to Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, now that we're apparently going to have a special election.

American voters tend to have short memories, but you may recall that when the whole debacle was unfolding, many Democrats supported the call for a special election to fill the vacant senate seat (caused by Obama's president victory) but ended up backing sheepishly away, as Burris shouldered his way into the U.S. Senate whether the Dem powers-that-be liked it or not. You can hardly blame Roland Burris, but you can blame the Democrats for not sticking to their original call for a special election, especially with what we now know of Blagojevich's desperate attempts to gain from his appointment power.

Now that a federal judge has ruled we're going to have a special election, the timing of all of this has the potential to really throw a spanner into the works of the hotly contested U.S. Senate race. The fact that time has simply run out, and any special election could actually be held on the same day as the general election, has the potential to confuse and frustrate voters, as well as affect the outcome of the general election.

The Tribune this morning cites Congressman Mark Kirk, the GOP nominee, as stating that if a special election is held, he will run for the seat. If he won the special election, and also won the general, that would give him a leg up in seniority in the Senate.

Alexi Giannoulias, on the other hand, is being a bit more cagey about his plans, probably because sitting Senator Roland Burris is now apparently having a bit of remorse about not running for a full term (as well as not a little wounded pride) and has declared that if a special election is held, he's running in it.

There appears to be some talk of having 'party leaders' pick the nominees for the special, to avoid a costly primary. There is little doubt that the GOP would pick Kirk; despite the constant undercurrent of rumbling from the party's far-right on ideological differences, and Kirk's recent flap over his military record embellishments, Pat Brady and the rest of the party leaders are solidly behind Kirk.

So, what would happen on the Dem side? I would expect that there would be some behind-the-scenes efforts to get Roland Burris to back off and allow Alexi Giannoulis to run, so that the general election nominees would be the same on both teams. But Burris may well resist that pressure, and if so, Giannoulias will have to do some fast talking to save face, if at the end of the day, he publicly seeks the nomination but he's not the Dem nominee in the special. Having two different candidates for U.S. Senate at the same time (if, in fact, the special election also takes place on November 2, at the same time as the general election, as some have speculated) would be disastrous for the Dems. Not to mention the fact that this whole debacle will simply remind Illinois voters about why we're in this mess to begin with (thanks, Governor Blagojevich).

Given how resistant Burris was last time to doing the will of the Dem leadership, I don't see him backing down this time. What could they possibly offer him? Is there any more room on his tombstone anyway?

Stay tuned, folks, this has the potential to be a game-changer in the U.S. Senate race. Although maybe I should take that back, as I think Mark Kirk will win no matter what, but I see the special election flap working heavily in favor of the Republicans.


Anonymous said...

Hey TA! Time for me to vent for a change!

Quinn, Durbin and the majority of Democrats initially supported a special election, then backed off. Democrats then claimed that a special election would be too expensive for Illinois taxpayers.

Former Chicago Alderman Marty Obermann, a Democrat, then filed suit to demand a special election be held. The Federal Appellate Court agreed with him.

Now we are going to hold a special election for U.S. Senator to fill the vacancy now held by Roland Burris. That individual could serve for as little as three weeks before the regular election results kick in.


Democrats bumbled and stumbled their way through managing our State Affairs and we end up with this pathetic result along with a 13 Billion dollar deficit, a deliberate plan to not to pay bills to hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, schools, social workers, and a budget that increased spending and red ink in the face of declining revenues.

Democrats in Springfield after the Blagojevich fiasco had major opportunities to pass serious ethics reforms and clean up government. Instead they nibbled at the edges, proclaimed their actions great instead of laughable, and continued with business as usual. Unions line Quinn's campaign war chest. Quinn backs unions striking for more pay on highway and construction projects financed in part by those Federal Stimulus dollars which were supposed to add jobs. Quinn now cuts pay for a handful of state employees (who are all non-union) after giving raises to his own people to minimize the cut, and then pretends he is hard at work balancing a budget he let run wild during his first term and wilder during his second term.


Democrats have bumbled and stumbled their way through managing our Federal/National Affairs in the past two years. That "stimulus" package that was to save and create a ton of jobs over a year ago? No jobs. Now Obama is claiming that Republicans are blocking new efforts to create jobs.

Democrats were going to get us out of two wars immediately, and somehow after two years, we are still in Iraq and adding more troops to Afghanistan.

The BP oil disaster, if it happened under Bush's watch, would have had Democrats screaming bloody murder. Now they are silent as the Federal Government under Mr. Hope and Change, stumbles and bumbles and issues red faced proclamations while the greatest environmental disaster in mankind continues under his watch.


Nice job! Nice performance!

Has everyone had enough?


For nominating the bumbling Patrick Quinn for governor. For nominating Giannoulias for U.S. Senator, who can only recite Democrat positions as brainlessly as Burris does. For nominating Dan Seals to continue to recite his same message going on 6 years which has been rejected by voters of the 10th twice now.


Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

It's another headache for the democrats and gets the media beating them up more for being stupid. It might help alexi by allowing him to raise double the funds for his race which he needs a lot more badly than mark.

all in all another democrat problem for them created by them.

I was in the area over the weekend and saw comrade jan in evanston at the jewel doing her weekly grocery shopping-the one next to the whole foods-she looked old and miserable so I didn't get in her face and bother her, and try to get her to say or do something that would embarass her on youtube. If her enemies read this blog you can find her there on sundays since she doesn't seem like a whole foods eater.

Maybe next time if I'm not as worn out from the saturday night festivities.


Anonymous said...

Dold anti-Medicare and anti-Medicaid? Sounds like he's 'more conservative then he lets on'.