PI Original Josh Kalven Sunday December 14th, 2008, 1:41pm

Quinn Open To Idea Of Senate Appointment Followed By Special Election

On Friday, I painted the decision over how to fill Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat as an either/or situation: either the legislature calls a special election or Pat Quinn becomes acting governor and makes the appointment himself.  But since Friday night, Quinn has ...

On Friday, I painted the decision over how to fill Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat as an either/or situation: either the legislature calls a special election or Pat Quinn becomes acting governor and makes the appointment himself.  But since Friday night, Quinn has begun floating a new scenario in which he would appoint an interim senator and a special election would follow in the spring.  On NBC5's City Desk this morning, Quinn emphasized that Illinois needs a second senator, adding, "If something can be worked out where there's always a senator that replaces Barack Obama and ultimately there's a special election, I'm willing to consider that."  Watch:

Appearing on NBC's Meet The Press with Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, Quinn was a bit more specific.  He said he'd seen "a bill on Friday night that would provide for a temporary appointment to the U.S. Senate until we could have a special election."  Madigan later asserted that a special election "is the best thing for the people of the state."  Watch:

I haven't seen any reporting on the bill to which Quinn referred.  I gave him a call yesterday seeking more specifics, but it hasn't been returned.  We'll let you all know if we learn anything more about this proposal.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jan Schakowsky has continued to make the media rounds and she -- like Madigan -- is a vocal supporter of holding a special election.  On CNN yesterday, she said, "[A]t this point, putting the decision in the hands of the people would give more credibility to the candidate."  Watch:

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