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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Recall Elections A Possibility?

The State Assembly in Illinois today passed (75-33) a Constitutional Amendment that would allow for the recall of elected officials in Illinois. It's a shame that such a rule doesn't already exist here, but hopefully our representatives in Springfield can take care of that problem.

When you think of it, having the Assembly, State Senate, and Governors Mansion (or a Chicago Condo) occupied by Democrats one would think the Governor would be safe from having stuff like this pop up. It's no secret that the proposed amendment is aimed squarely at Gov. Blagojevich, and his own party, at least in the Assembly, seems to be pretty happy to give the means to get rid of him.

However, Emil Jones, the leader of the State Senate still has to bring this up for a vote there. Considering his ties to the Governor, and the fact that he seems to work to the beat of his own drummer, it's no slam dunk this will see the light of day in the Senate. Jones carries a pretty big stick, and regardless of the "will of the people" would probably twist a lot of arms to get it to fail and save his friend. Passing it would require all GOP Senators to vote yes, plus 14 of the 37 Democrats.

Should Jones bring it to the floor, and it passes with the 60% vote required, it would still require citizen approval in November, making April 09 the earliest it could be used. It would then require nearly 420,000 petition signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

For those (like me) who'd like to see a recall election of Blagojevich, keep in mind that it wouldn't necessarily mean a GOP candidate would get the office. Anyone can declare as a candidate for the position, and who ever gets the most votes would take over should the recall itself succeed. Considering the state of the GOP in Illinois, Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan or Emil Jones are all just as likely to win the office as anyone the GOP could bring to the table.

If you would like to call Mr. Jones and ask him to bring this bill to the Senate floor, his number in Springfield is (217) 782-2728, his local office in Chicago is (773) 995-7748, or you can fax him at (773) 995-9061.

To find the contact info for your State Senator check this page http://www.ilga.gov/senate/

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