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Michael Madigan

Top legislators propose special Senate election

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate's top two Democratic leaders said yesterday that any senator chosen now by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich would be irrevocably tainted by the allegations of corruption against the governor.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard J. Durbin of Illinois called for the state Legislature to quickly pass legislation for a special election to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. Other Illinois lawmakers in Washington went further, calling for Blagojevich's immediate ouster, either by resignation or impeachment.

"This is a sad day for my state," Durbin said. "No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could...