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Illinois Democrats reeling as Blagojevich scandal develops

By Hari Krishnan

Springfield (Illinois, US), Dec.14 (ANI): Democrats in Illinois could face a fierce battle from Republicans if a special election is held after the fallout of the Blagojevich corruption scandal.

According to Fox News, the scandal surrounding Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has shocked political circles in Illinois, casting a spotlight not only on the state's reputation for corruption but also potentially tainting the field of likely Democratic contenders for President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

The most prominent name on that list of contenders, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is literally facing howls of protests from some of his constituents.

About a dozen protestors stood outside his Chicago office Saturday shouting, "Ho ho ho, Jesse Jr. gotta go."

According to Fox News, so far, Blagojevich and his chief of staff are the only people facing charges in the federal investigation into the governor's alleged attempt to put a price tag on the appointment of Obama's replacement.

But even if other Illinois Democrats have no connection to any wrongdoing, many have associated with Blagojevich.

Political analysts suggest that those associations, however innocent, could make it difficult for a Democrat to claim the open Senate seat if a special election were held.

It isn't clear yet how the seat will be filled. Technically, Blagojevich still has the power to make the appointment, though he also faces pressure to resign and a movement to oust him.

The state Legislature, meanwhile, may attempt to bypass the governor's office by scheduling a special election for the seat. If that happens, the protesters in Jackson's neighborhood are adamant that the congressman shouldn't be elected, though several passersby shouted support for Jackson.

Sixty-six percent of all Illinois voters said the state should hold a special election, according to a Rasmussen report. Twenty-one percent disagree and 13 percent are undecided.

The Illinois House will meet on Monday to discuss and possibly vote on a bill to hold a special election. (ANI)

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