The next step in the Blago-gate drama is how the Senate seat will be filled. Republicans of course want a special election and have opened up a public campaign. But plenty of Illinois Democrats want that option as well (those who might not be at the top of the appointment list but could make a run at a special election, for example), so it is not entirely a partisan affair. Majority Leader Harry Reid, not surprisingly, wants no delay. As far as he is concerned, the seat should be filled by appointment as soon as they can get Blago out of the way. Right now, it’s a political free-for-all.
Putting aside the partisanship — if that is even possible — if the seat is filled by appointment, that person will face extreme scrutiny. Was this a deal-within-a-deal? And was this person one of the Blago-considered candidates from the criminal complaint? The sniping will go on endlessly. The only way to remove that cloud is to have an election.
Blago meanwhile is cleverly hinting he would sign a special election bill — which might lessen some the pressure to resign immediately. One thing is for certain: only dynamite or an impeachment will get Blago out of office. That’s the last card he has to play. Well, that and a very public trial in which Rahm Emanuel and others are called as witnesses.