Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Quinn and Madigan show in Springfield

State legislators have returned to Springfield to see what they can do about Governor Blagojevich. They appear to be set in the decision that the governor can't be allowed to appoint the successor to Obama's vacant seat in the US Senate. They're also mulling over the possibility of impeaching him. So what's going on behind the scenes? Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn seems to be jockeying himself for the future:

Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday with plans to disarm and dislodge Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose arrest in an alleged attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat has thrown state government up for grabs.

But with Republicans looking to turn the tables on Democrats who control the Statehouse, and disagreement among leaders over whether to proceed with impeachment and how to handle the Senate dilemma, the only certainty on the agenda is chaos.

Blagojevich, arrested Tuesday on charges alleging that he sought bribes for everything from Obama's Senate seat to state jobs and contracts, met with a prominent defense attorney Sunday but stayed largely out of sight and made no comment about his situation.

In his absence, leading Democrats and Republicans jockeyed for position in a growing battle for the two biggest prizes in state politics: the office of governor and a seat in the U.S. Senate. ...

Quinn said he is considering legislation that would allow for a temporary appointment to the Senate to fill the Obama vacancy until a special election could be held. That's somewhere between his first position in support of a special election and his second position that he should make the appointment if Blagojevich resigns or is tossed out through impeachment proceedings in the legislature.

Quinn is still calling for his two-time running mate to resign."It's very important that whoever is governor get an opportunity to appoint at least a temporary person until an election could take place," Quinn said on the show.

Appearing with Quinn on the show, fellow Democrat Atty. General Lisa Madigan, whose father is Illinois House speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, once again declined to rule out accepting an appointment to the Senate.

Her reluctance to take herself out of consideration presents an added political dimension as she urges the Illinois Supreme Court to remove Blagojevich from office at least temporarily and put Quinn in charge, which could allow him to make the Senate appointment.

Simply put, Quinn wants Blagojevich's position, and if he gets it and the legislature restores the governor's appointment powers (if they manage to strip it away from Blagojevich) then Quinn would likely appoint Madigan to the vacancy. This works two-fold for him and the party. First, it gets her out of the state making her unable to challenge him in the next gubernatorial election. Second, it keeps the seat in Democrat hands as opposed to taking a risk on a special election. The RNC has launched a pair of ads that try to tie Obama to this (which isn't out of the realm of possibility even though Fitzgerald stated he wasn't involved in this), and it's also an effort to get the people to force the legislature to call for a special election.

The legislature isn't full of idiots. Remember, this is Illinois we're talking about here, and the Machine politicians are quite shrewd. They know if this goes to a special election they could lose Obama's seat especially with the Blagojevich scandal erupting. So it makes sense to impeach him rather than strip the powers away. But is that really a serious option? Republicans in the legislature would be smart to oppose the impeachment in an effort to win that seat. No one really knows what the outcome of this will be, but it appears to resemble a three-ring circus in a state made famous for it's political bread and circuses.

Publius II


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