Illinois Senate seat now also a special election

posted at 12:15 pm on July 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Tea Party activists and conservative Republicans have offered lukewarm support for Republican nominee Mark Kirk in the US Senate race in Illinois thus far, less than enthused at his moderate policy stances over the years in the House.  A federal court may give them more motivation to get enthusiastic about Kirk in his fight against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias for Barack Obama’s old seat.  Governor Pat Quinn complied with a court order to declare a special election for the two months remaining on Obama’s old Senate term on the same ballot as the normal Senate election — which means one of the two candidates will take office for the lame-duck session:

Illinois voters will cast two votes for U.S. Senate on Nov. 2 — one for a senator who will serve 60 days and the other for one who will serve a six-year term — under an order issued Thursday by Gov. Pat Quinn as required by the federal courts.

Yet to be finalized is who the candidates will be for the short-term vacancy that falls between Nov. 3, the day after the election, and Jan. 3, when the new Congress is inaugurated. However, a federal judge overseeing the matter indicated Thursday that appointed U.S. Sen. Roland Burris won’t be eligible for the special election to finish out the term of the seat once held by President Barack Obama.

U.S. District Judge John F. Grady said he is prepared to issue a formal ruling in the next few days that would automatically place on the ballot major party contenders who won nomination in the Feb. 2 primary as candidates for the short-term vacancy. That means Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones would appear twice for election.

This somewhat mirrors the situation in Delaware with the seat vacated by Joe Biden, who ran for re-election in 2008 simultaneously with his VP bid for Obama.  The election in Delaware is strictly a special election to fill the remaining two years and two months of Biden’s term.  Mike Castle and Christine O’Donnell are vying for the Republican nomination, and O’Donnell is making the lame-duck session an issue, claiming that Castle may be too liberal to be trusted to keep Democrats from forcing the remainder of their agenda during the last two months of the year.

In Illinois, the primary is already over, so that tension doesn’t exist.  But it does create more urgency for Republicans to push Kirk across the finish line.  First, while Kirk has his problems, Giannoulias would be exponentially worse, especially since he would support the Obama agenda without question once elected.  The immediate concern of the lame-duck session would become moot with a Kirk victory, however, as it would give Republicans 42 votes, more than enough to block card check, cap-and-trade, and any other unpopular part of Harry Reid’s agenda after the election.

Will this development give activists enough motivation to get in line behind Kirk?


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A federal court may give them more motivation to get enthusiastic about Kirk in his fight against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias for Barack Obama’s old seat

Uh, why would that be? A big government liberal republican is the same as a democrat…. slow screw versus the quick screw as I have mentioned many times before.

paulsur on July 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The immediate concern of the lame-duck session would become moot with a Kirk victory, however, as it would give Republicans 42 votes, more than enough to block card check, cap-and-trade, and any other unpopular part of Harry Reid’s agenda after the election.
Will this development give activists enough motivation to get in line behind Kirk?

If the Rs w/b brighter and more pragmatic, yes. Key word is “if”.

These are precarious times. Perfection and abstracts prolong the national disaster. One can better afford the ideal aims, in less divisive and better times. This is not a lab experiment. Obama, Reid and Pelosi are your enemies. Keep focused.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Who’s to say Kirk wouldn’t vote with the Democrats?

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Will this development give activists enough motivation to get in line behind Kirk?

sure hope so, not too thrilled with what I’ve seen so far, methinks he’ll be possibly the next scott brown?

cmsinaz on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

paulsur on July 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

…and sandee…what is the 3rd and ideal option, at this time, in IL?

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

True ,Kirk couldn’t be as bad as the Democrat. I have to admit, as much as I hate to, that sometimes we have to bite the bullet and vote for the lesser of two evils. Like Brown ,who has disappointed on some things ,the alternative would have been much worse.

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

what is the 3rd and ideal option, at this time, in IL?

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Indeed. In DE, the GOP still has a primary. In IL, it’s either Kirk, Giannoulias, or the Green Party candidate. It may not be the best option, but Kirk is the only one that MAY not vote for the Democratic agenda.

Ed Morrissey on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Is there any evidence to prove that IF Kirk were the winner, he’d vote against card check, and cap and trade? Illinois seems to be a den of lions more than happy to use practical methods to convince ANYONE to go along with what they want!

capejasmine on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

If the Rs w/b brighter and more pragmatic, yes. Key word is “if”.

These are precarious times. Perfection and abstracts prolong the national disaster. One can better afford the ideal aims, in less divisive and better times. This is not a lab experiment. Obama, Reid and Pelosi are your enemies. Keep focused.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Considering the Angle debacle in Nevada, it seems that some conservatives are more concerned about getting someone who agrees with them 100% of the time than winning elections.

Kirk is the nominee… He’s the only Republican who was going to be able win in IL, so people should just deal with the fact that they don’t live in AL and vote for him.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2010 at 12:29 PM

what is the 3rd and ideal option, at this time, in IL?

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

The primary is long gone here in IL and the “tea party” candidate, that I voted for, was crushed. The “third” option will have to await for the next GOP primary with a Senate seat at stake (2014).

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 12:32 PM

The immediate concern of the lame-duck session would become moot with a Kirk victory, however, as it would give Republicans 42 votes

42 with Brown, Kirk, McCain (safely re-elected and ready to get back to Vareciky status), Collins, Snowe and Graham.

Might as well just shred the constitution now.

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Kirk is my congressmen and I’ve been to a townhall (you should see some of the Leftists nuts he has to put up with) and follow him very closely.

Yes, he blew it big-time on cap & trade. He is weak on a few other things. But he is not as bad as he is made out to be. He is conservative on -most- issues.

I agree with Ed, Kirk is the lesser of 2 evils here. This is ILLINOIS we are talking about…a dark-blue hellhole!

visions on July 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Is there any evidence to prove that IF Kirk were the winner, he’d vote against card check, and cap and trade?
capejasmine on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

He voted FOR Cap N Tax as a Congressman. So the answer is obvious.

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Is there any evidence to prove that IF Kirk were the winner, he’d vote against [...] cap and trade?

capejasmine on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Kirk has publically claimed he would be a ‘no’ in the Senate since it is not in IL’s interest.

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

I’m in IL. We will vote for Kirk just because we want the numbers. I don’t think he is conservative, but I do think he’ll stay with the Republicans much of the time. We need the numbers in the Senate and he will give us another number.

This is IL and we’ll take what we can get. The alternative (the Dem) makes me sick! He is completely corrupt and will be like having Rahm in the senate.

kerrhome on July 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

As one who has lived under two Union Regimes, I feel that stopping Card Check is paramount.

OldEnglish on July 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

If they cannot vote for someone that opposes the Obama agenda, by all means, give them the Obama agenda until they learn. NO MORE MCCAIN VOTES! EVER!

CC

CapedConservative on July 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Indeed. In DE, the GOP still has a primary. In IL, it’s either Kirk, Giannoulias, or the Green Party candidate. It may not be the best option, but Kirk is the only one that MAY not vote for the Democratic agenda.

Ed Morrissey on July 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

There are surely better races to spend money on that one where the republican might not stab you in the back at every turn.

Monica on July 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Uh, why would that be? A big government liberal republican is the same as a democrat…. slow screw versus the quick screw as I have mentioned many times before.

paulsur on July 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

It’s that attitude that gave us Barack Obama. Are you happy with that? I’m not.

Big John on July 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

You people have really lost your minds. This is why you voted in Angle, who is promptly doing everything she can to lose to Reid. Freaking vote for Kirk. At least with him, you know the caucus will get him to vote no on this. There is no way in hell he will vote with liberals in a lame duck session. The democrat is 100% sure to vote with them.

Am i living in the twilight zone? Are people on this board really this dense? This is stunningly stupid.

Chudi on July 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

True ,Kirk couldn’t be as bad as the Democrat

BWAHAHAHAHA.

1. Sponsors “Hate Crime” legislation.
2. Supports partial birth abortion.
3. Voted for Cap and Trade.
4. Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.
Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)
Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 30, 2010 at 12:45 PM

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

ugh, not feeling too good all of a sudden

cmsinaz on July 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Well, ok he could be as bad as the democrat, almost.He is the only alternative in this particular race. Things could change in the future but for now this is where we are.

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Kirk is the nominee… He’s the only Republican who was going to be able win in IL, so people should just deal with the fact that they don’t live in AL and vote for him.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Power over principle. Nice to know what camp you are in.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Principle over power got us Barack Obama…..

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Power over principle. Nice to know what camp you are in.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

If that power enables Jim DeMint to be the Senate Majority Leader, pushing McConnell out, starting 2011, is not that a good thing? Wouldn’t that help insure that the bills coming out of the Senate adhere more to limited government principles?

Kirk will not control the agenda. He will not have the stature nor senority to pull the agenda to the left.

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Who’s to say Kirk wouldn’t vote with the Democrats?

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Being only a freshman Senator, minority leader McConnel should be able imply both the carrots and the sticks of Kirk’s newcommer status. The carrots of what committee assignments he can offer and the sticks of promising that whatever issues Kirk would wish to bring up would never make it to the floor for consideration. If Kirk doesn’t play ball he can be marginalized to being a non-player. He’ll have to take that threat seriously with the playing feild shifting to the Reps, the Dhims will not have as much to offer for crossing the aisle. Also he has to be aware of the fair weather friendship to date of the Obama administration which has a habit of throwing former allies under the bus once they are no longer useful.

If the house looked sure to remain Dhimmi, and the senate looking more iffy with eachpassing day, plus The One’s numbers tanking knowing Kirk I’d say you’re right and crossing the aisle would not only be a possibility, but a probability. But with the way things are moving now and Kirk’s distinct lack of pricipled stands he’ll go with whichever way the wind blows and surely he can read the TEA leaves as well as any hack and will place his votes where they will serve him best.

Archimedes on July 30, 2010 at 12:54 PM

42 with Brown, Kirk, McCain (safely re-elected and ready to get back to Vareciky status), Collins, Snowe and Graham.

Might as well just shred the constitution now.

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

In AZ the good people can still save themselves and the country…but they won’t. I am fully aware that McCain would have slowed down the demise of the U.S., whenas Obama just went ahead and did it. I’m very schooled and enlightened in the “frog boiling in hot water, or slowly warming up in it” theory. I’m with you on the ideals. However, in IL it’s over, for now. Gianoulis is a crook, along with his family, and a complete Obama-bot.

Angle might still beat Reid. This is by far not over.

Internalize this – if at least the House is not taken over by the Rs, and if the Senate doesn’t get a few more Rs, the country can kiss its constitution and standard of living, along with all you knew good bye. It’s this time or no other.

Obama is maliciously vindictive. His own agenda is all that matters to him. He cares not one iota about anyone.

He is clinically NPD.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:55 PM

This somewhat mirrors the situation in Delaware with the seat vacated by Joe Biden, who ran for re-election in 2008 simultaneously with his VP bid for Obama. The election in Delaware is strictly a special election to fill the remaining two years and two months of Biden’s term.

Wouldn’t that be 4 years & 2 months left on Biden’s term?

Has Kirk repudiated his cap & tax vote?

lizzie beth on July 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Power over principle. Nice to know what camp you are in.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Principle over power got us Barack Obama…..

sandee on July 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Indeed. There is good and very bad in all of it.

The ‘good’ is that Obama couldn’t help himself and revealed, too early for him/his, the agenda (kept his word, basically) to alter the country after his Utopian idealism. The bad is that the window to recover from the steep slide is not very wide. It’s a very steep slope, for so many reasons.

It’s no longer a matter of principles versus power – it’s a matter of saving the country and generations to come.

It took me a while, but I’m now finally convinced that his malice surpasses his incompetence, by far.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Kirk has publically claimed he would be a ‘no’ in the Senate since it is not in IL’s interest.

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Look at what he has DONE vs. what he has SAID.

DONE – voted for Cap N Tax
SAID – is against

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Alos, Ed is correct. The banker to the mob would be infinitely worse, if you can’t vote for Kirk then vot against Goulliannis. The Illinois pol who could even be remotely as bad as Alexi would Jan Shakowski and even then it’d be a toss up.

Illinoisans will jusy have to suck it up, hold their nose’s and pull the lever for Mark, I know I will.

Archimedes on July 30, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Power over principle. Nice to know what camp you are in.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Principle is meaningless if the “principled” candidates lose winnable races like Angle is trying very hard to do in Nevada.

Illinidiva on July 30, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Has Kirk repudiated his cap & tax vote?

lizzie beth on July 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM

He’s backtracking on that vote as fast as he is able to, but not very well. Like I said above, he’ll move with whatever the way the wind is blowing and right now its gale force rightwards, so should C&T come up again he’ll bend to whatever pressure serves his best interests.

And, shouldn’t that be refudiate?

Archimedes on July 30, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Kirk’s been my Congressman for seven years. He’s not the ideal conservative candidate, but would you rather have Scott Brown or Martha Coakley right now? That’s the choice here in IL.

SUPPORT KIRK

Trust me, this is the best you’ll get from the People’s Republic of Illinois. And the alternative will be very very bad for America.

TallDave on July 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Has Kirk repudiated his cap & tax vote?

lizzie beth on July 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Apparently so

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM

In Blue states, we often have to settle for RINOs. In Red or Purple states, we must elect Conservatives. We need to eventually get to at least 60 Republican Senate votes in order to make real change. To do that, we need to get some Senators from Blue states, which means we need some RINOs.

BTW, imagine if we had Dem Senators from Maine instead of RINOs. ALL of Obama’s programs, including Cap & Trade, Amnesty, Card Check, etc., would have gone through the Senate and would now be law. As much as they drive me nuts at times, thank God that we have Collins and Snowe instead of Dem Senators from Maine.

mydh12 on July 30, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Also –as I’ve said, I’ve known Kirk for a long time. He held town meetings every few months and I spoke to him and his staff several times. I always got the sense he was a core conservative who moderated some positions for this district (enviro issues like can’n’tax are very popular here in affluent Lake County), not a liberal who took a few token conservative positions.

Senators serve for six years. His convictions will come out more than they have as a rep.

SUPPORT KIRK

TallDave on July 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

If that power enables Jim DeMint to be the Senate Majority Leader, pushing McConnell out, starting 2011, is not that a good thing? Wouldn’t that help insure that the bills coming out of the Senate adhere more to limited government principles?

Kirk will not control the agenda. He will not have the stature nor senority to pull the agenda to the left.

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Well said. Even if they are the exact same candidates, there is a case to be made for simply getting an R vote to take over the Senate, and because it’s the Senate it is all the more critical. Those conservative thumbsuckers that sit out the IL election will be the same ones whining if the democratics hold the Senate 51-49.

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Look at what he has DONE vs. what he has SAID.

DONE – voted for Cap N Tax
SAID – is against

angryed on July 30, 2010 at 1:00 PM

So should I assume he is lying? He is correct in that the district he represents is the type that buys into this environmental stuff. Southern IL is where all the coal is.

WashJeff on July 30, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Mark Kirk “represented” me while I lived in his district. I don’t buy the premise that he would be better than the mob thug, but he certainly wouldn’t be any different from the Maine sisters. He would be a constant target for Dems to “pick off” and get “bi-partisan support” for their agenda.

Sinner on July 30, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Deja vu… Is this the “Vote for McCain” thread again? All the reasons look the same.

CC

CapedConservative on July 30, 2010 at 2:10 PM

You wonder why the majority of us here in Illinois are so damned sick and tired of political corruption in this state?

Wonder no more! You now have a prime example!

pilamaye on July 30, 2010 at 2:22 PM

The thing is that another Republican in the Senate will help with the overall numbers. Imagine that Republicans came within one vote of taking control and with that control someone like DeMint actually might have a shot at majority leader.

It is really a matter of simple arithmetic. Or you can sit back and let the Democrats win knowing that makes it that much more difficult for a conservative Republican to get out of the minority and complain about the fact that the Democrats are still in control.

Terrye on July 30, 2010 at 4:46 PM

sure hope so, not too thrilled with what I’ve seen so far, methinks he’ll be possibly the next scott brown?

cmsinaz on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Mark Kirk makes Scott Brown seem like Tom Coburn.
He’s said that he would vote for Kagan, would vote against repealing Zero-care(because the vote would fail anyway), and has never met a gun control law or form of abortion that he doesn’t think is dandy.
Unless the senate race-either of them-is thisclose I’m voting for the Constitution party candidate.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 30, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Yes, he blew it big-time on cap & trade. He is weak on a few other things. But he is not as bad as he is made out to be. He is conservative on -most- issues.

I agree with Ed, Kirk is the lesser of 2 evils here. This is ILLINOIS we are talking about…a dark-blue hellhole!

visions on July 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Kirk has failing grade when it comes to the 2nd amendment and NARAL gave him an A+. This goes way beyond being ‘weak’.
I’ve lived in Illiois most of my life and I’m more libertarian/conservative than ‘religious right’ but Mark Kirk holds some views that I consider to be evil.
To quote Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”, ‘On the other hand…there IS no other hand!’.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 30, 2010 at 6:34 PM

cmsinaz on July 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Interesting that you bring up our friend Mr. Brown – I just listened to him give a speech at fundraiser, where he explained some of his votes. On, the jobs bill – I can buy his arguement, on the financial reform, well not so much. On the first jobs bill Brown argues that his early cloture vote actually stopped the Democrats from being able to load it win an addition 100 billion dollars of pork that they had waiting in the wings, thus limiting the cost of the bill significantly. On financial reform, his arguement was lamer – do you want us to do nothing? Although he did make a point of saying that because of his work on the bill it is not as bad as it was originally.

Govgirl on July 30, 2010 at 9:27 PM