Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… *** Burris rejected *** Fitz gets more time *** Guv sets election for 5th *** White signs off *** Burris to hold 12:30 presser *** Watch it here live *** White explains *** Burris video ***
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This just in… *** Burris rejected *** Fitz gets more time *** Guv sets election for 5th *** White signs off *** Burris to hold 12:30 presser *** Watch it here live *** White explains *** Burris video ***

Monday, Jan 5, 2009

* 10:43 am - The DC dance has formally begun

Firing the first shot in Washington in the fight over the appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, Gov. Blagojevich’s acting chief of staff hand-delivered Burris’ nomination certificate to the Capitol this morning — only to see it rejected by the secretary of the Senate. […]

The secretary of the senate and two assistants acknowledged receipt of the document “but did not formally accept it” because it did not bear Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s signature, Guerrero said.

* 10:58 am - Fitz gets more time to indict

Federal prosecutors have been granted an extra three months to seek an indictment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

U.S. Chief District Court Judge James Holderman entered an order allowing the indictment deadline to be extended from Jan. 7 to April 7, according to the court docket in the Blagojevich case. Prosecutors had sought the extension last week, citing the complexity of their investigation of pay-to-play politics in the Blagojevich administration.

The other Fitzgerald motion to release some surveillance tapes will be dealt with this afternoon.

* 11:51 am - Guv sets election dates for the 5th. A March 3rd primary - which is the “real” election - is less than 2 months away. From a press release…

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a Writ of Election designating Tuesday April 7, 2009, as the date for the Special Congressional Election for the Fifth District Seat which was formerly held by Rahm Emanuel, now President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff. The Governor also set Tuesday, March 3, 2009, as the date for the Special Primary Election.

The two dates follow the recommendations outlined in a letter from Cook County Clerk David Orr and Lance Gough, Executive Director of the Chicago Election Board. […]

By state law, the Governor is required to set the date of a special election for a Congressional seat within five days after the vacancy is created.

By the way, Secretary of Jesse White’s signature is on the proclamation. A White spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment. I’ll let you know what he says when he says it.

* 12:04 pm - The governor’s office says that Secretary White signed the 5th CD election proclamation today. That’s an interesting development. White, you already know, refused to certify the Roland Burris appointment. Burris has taken White to court over that refusal.

Yep. Fun times.

* 12:04 pm - WGN News just Twittered that Roland Burris will hold a 12:30 pm press conference today.

* 12:26 pm - You can watch Burris’ 12:30 presser by clicking here

* 12:31 pm - It’s starting now. Burris is shaking hands of a smattering of supporters at the airport.

Burris said his “people tried to reach out” to the Obama team, but wasn’t successful.

“Race has never been a concern of mine… I have looked at the state of Illinois as the only state in the nation has elected four blacks statewide.”

Burris said he would travel to Springfield on Thursday “if we can” to testify before the House impeachment committee.

“All the drama, I guess it keeps you all in a job,” Burris said to the gathered reporters.

Burris said he has not talked to the governor lately and doesn’t intend to.

“Why should I separate myself from Rod Blagojevich?… He carried out his duties and he filled the vacancy as according to law.”

“I am the junior Senator according to every law book in the nation.”

Burris said he did not expect “this kind of theater” after his appointment was announced. He blamed Illinois’ designation as the “laughing stock of the nation” on the media.

Burris just said he’s sending an affidavit to Springfield regarding his appointment.

End.

* 12:42 pm - Secretary of State Jesse White just called. White explained what he considered to be the big difference between refusing to sign off on the Roland Burris appointment and signing off on the 5th CD special election.

The special election, White said, was essentially a perfunctory “paperwork” act. But signing off on an appointment after the governor was arrested for allegedly attempting to sell that very Senate seat is a completely different, and far more serious, matter.

* 2:03 pm - Zorn: Burris vs. his mausoleum

* 2:08 pm - In case you missed it, here’s Burris’ presser…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

131 Comments
  1. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    Great dreams are dreamed by people with human flaws. Great policies and actions are sometimes set in motion by those with broken souls. Great deeds are not always done by good men.

    –Harry Reid 1999


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:53 am:

    Guess that SOS certification had some significance after all.


  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Yep.


  4. - Retired State Employee - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    I read in this same story that the courts have given Fitz the 90 extension that he was seeking. I doubt at this point that it will slow the impeachment proceedings. I expect that the release of the tapes will be granted also.


  5. - Steve Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Can we safely assume that NONE of this re Burris would be
    happening if Democratic control of the
    Senate were contingent upon Burris being seated?


  6. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    but did not formally accept it

    Formal pops up a lot today. So what’s the informal acceptance look like?


  7. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Do you really think that SOS certification has meaning, or is this just a political ploy? To me, it seems the latter. Later, when Jesse White is shown it is his duty to sign the certification, and he does so, the Senate Dems can say, “We did everything we could to keep Burris out of the Senate.”


  8. - GOP'er - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    Oh good grief, the U.S. Senate allowed Republican Larry Craig to stay around after he had been arrested for soliciting sex in a public airport bathroom!

    But Roland Burris isn’t good enough for that club? Where’s the evidence?

    Blago will be gone soon, in the meantime he has the legal authority to conduct the duties of the Gov.

    When Bill Clinton was being impeached I don’t remember anyone saying he still couldn’t conduct the business of President.

    Give Burris his damn seat and get on with Blago’s impeachment.

    Enough with the drama already!


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:05 am:

    –When Bill Clinton was being impeached I don’t remember anyone saying he still couldn’t conduct the business of President.–

    You must not have had cable or a radio.


  10. - Mommy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:18 am:

    I think the idea of a special election is the way to go. The people of Illinois need there voices herd and this is a way of doing this. I think everyone is afraid of what the people are really thinking.


  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:22 am:

    You will need to return to Springfield Mr. Burris and be questioned by the Impeachment Committee. Just like during the Middle Ages, the bride must pass a few tests to prove virginity before the marriage is publically accepted.

    Now some are going to claim that these questions are based on race, but we are understandably worried about the Blagojevich/Burris wedding. Blagojevich is like Hugh Hefner claiming that after sixty years of pin-ups, Roland, his newest calendar girl, is of exceeding purity.

    The Impeachment Committee wants to discover how Roland Burris has become the new “71 Year Old Virgin”.


  12. - Captain Flume - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    Didn’t Ed Genson tell the House Special Invetigation Committee that the Governor would NOT make an appointment to fill Obama’s US Senate seat? Not that he needs to raise his street creds with committee members, but whatever E.G. says allegedly on the Governor’s behalf must surely be taken with even more salt now. I wonder if the Governor actually told Mr. Genson that he would not make the appointment and if Mr. Genson believed him, or if Mr. Genson was Axelrodding (mis-speaking in the manner of David Axelrod - newly coined).


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:39 am:

    Now that this has become an open US Senate fight, I believe we will see that voters are unwilling to be publically endorsing Governor Blagojevich’s appointment.

    What Reid, Obama and other Democrats have done by drawing a line in the sand, was raise this argument to a level where Blagojevich’s poor standing among citizens cannot muster enough public support to put Burris over.

    That is one of the reasons for the race card. The fools who are falling for it are the only ones willing to step up and be publically seen teaming up with Blagojevich. You would have to be nuts to publically side with Blagojevich today.

    Those hiding among the legal arguments are cowards unwilling to take a stand against this wrong.


  14. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    A Roland Burris sitting in the US Senate is a fitting tribute to a state that twice elected Rod Blagojevich for governor. AAMOF, it could be argued that the Burris selection is one of the gov’s most sane and responsible of his major actions as gov…not that that’s saying much.


  15. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:49 am:

    VanillaMan,

    Is there evidence that Burris “paid to play”? Is there evidence that he is unqualified for the position?

    As legislators, our senators should follow the rule of law and do things legally. That’s a lofty expectation, to be sure, but they vow to “support and defend the Constitution” when they take office. We should hold them to that vow.

    And if it’s morals you’re concerned about, how moral is it to block a perfectly acceptable nominee because of the person doing the nominating? That is wrong.


  16. - uh oh - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    Alright, now what happens if SoS certifies the special election action?


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===what happens if SoS certifies the special election action? ===

    He did.


  18. - Not a Fan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:05 pm:

    Fan,
    No Rod nominee is acceptable. Now do you get it?


  19. - Lurker - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:05 pm:

    I’m a voting, taxpaying citizen of Illinois and I want to hear what Burris has to say. Really - what’s he thinking?


  20. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:05 pm:

    Funny he didn’t do it on a Saturday like he did for the special to fill Hastert’s seat.

    So much for enfranchising voters…


  21. - Jay Stewart - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    The deadline for the indictment is also April 7. Could be an interesting news day.


  22. - Mommy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    Everyone in politics has done some “pay to play.” We need a person who has never been in politics, but can play with boys. Someone who takes this job seriously, and someone who is in it for the people. Elect me.

    I am mom of two boys and that alone is more experience than you can imagine. I believe you all need a mom’s stand on some topics. I will treat you all like you are my children and anyone who gets out of hand get put on a naughty chair, and I will not hesitate to send someone to there room for a time out.


  23. - Cynic - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    Fan of the Game — The decision to seat Burris has nothing to do with Burris himself. Before Burris was appointed it was clear that anyone who Blago appointed was going to be “tainted” and the pols said as much. Their subsequent actions are consistent with these proclamations.


  24. - Anon - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==As legislators, our senators should follow the rule of law and do things legally. ==

    And the Senate rules require certification by the SOS, so they are following the rule of law.

    As to whether they can deny Burris even after all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, I think that, under the Adam Clayton Powell case, the Senate has the authority to deny someone based on a flaw in their credentials (i.e., don’t meet the age and residency requirements in the constiution or there is doubt concerning the propriety of the election or appointment), but not on their “worthiness.” That means they could bar Burris pending an investigation of his appointment, but can’t say “boo” about an undeniably properly elected Larry Craig.


  25. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

    One Man-

    The reason there is no Saturday SE is that there is an available muni election cycle to coordinate the SE with. A Saturday SE would be a waste of money here, where the 14th SE last year had no other election to coordinate and resulted in a $1 million headache for several county boards of elections, which was only slightly compounded by the Saturday factor.


  26. - BlagoBlogger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    I don’t get it. If we have to have a special election anyway for Rahm’s seat, why not add the Obama seat to the ticket as well??

    No one is going to allow this Bozo to appoint a Senator and lets face it, Obama’s been MIA as far as bein the “voice of the people of Illinois”, since his election.

    We need someone “trustworthy” in that seat to offset Dick Durbin and his one-way Senate bills.

    www.Blagoblog.com


  27. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    Cynic, I understand that and appreciate their positions. I despise the governor’s actions as much as the next guy. But I want my legislators to do the legal thing, and in this case that means seating Burris.


  28. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==Those hiding among the legal arguments are cowards unwilling to take a stand against this wrong.==

    Those of us who support the legal arguments are acutally trying to resurrect the concept of the rule of law. No matter how angry or disgusted we might be with this matter, ANY Governor that has not has their powers restricted by the Constitution, or by the inability of the General Assembly to do so, must act within their responsibilities.
    The General Assembly must bear a high degree of responsibility for allowing this problem to have started.
    They write the laws, don’t they?


  29. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==When Bill Clinton was being impeached I don’t remember anyone saying he still couldn’t conduct the business of President.==

    Bill Clinton was not accused of selling official actions. A more appropriate response to his impeachment would have been to insist that any woman who entered the oval office had an escort.

    I think White makes his position less tenable by signing some things and not others. What else has he had the opportunity to sign next to the Gov’s signature since the arrest? Are these the only two?


  30. - Cynic - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:23 pm:

    Anon — I urge you to re-read Powell v. McCormack. Powell was duly elected and the justices based their ruling on respecting the people’s vote. Moreover, they stated that the Senate could disqualify someone under the grounds set out under the Constitution. Theoretically, the Senate can refuse to seat because the appointment process was tainted. This is quite a different scenario than the matter contemplated by Powell.


  31. - Team America - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    BlagoBlogger, the special election for the 5th CD is only for the 5th CD, whereas the Senate seat is a state-wide election. Big difference in logistics. But it ought to be done, regardless.


  32. - Cynic - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:26 pm:

    BlagoBlogger - I can give you 50 million rea$on$ why. Obama’s seat, unlike Emanuel’s, would require a statewide election. Natch that costs far more.


  33. - Anon - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==Anon — I urge you to re-read Powell v. McCormack. Powell was duly elected and the justices based their ruling on respecting the people’s vote. ==

    Isn’t that what I said?


  34. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    VM, your “virginity” analogy is disgusting.

    “Hiding among legal arguments” is an interesting observation coming from someone who considers himself a patriot. By the rule of law is how we run this country and this state, so unless you are arguing for armed insurrection as provided for in the Declaration your statement is patently offensive.


  35. - Cynic - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    Anon - read your post to quickly. My apologies.


  36. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Quote of the day: Burris said he can be in Springfield and Washington because “I’m the Magic Man.” BTW…notice how old all the photogs are?


  37. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    ==Theoretically, the Senate can refuse to seat because the appointment process was tainted. This is quite a different scenario than the matter contemplated by Powell.==

    Theoretically, bumblebees aren’t supposed to be able to fly either! The Powell case tested whether the Legislative Branch could refuse seating a duly ELECTED individual. The test that the court used to decide the qualifications for seating was exactly as the constitution is written: age, residency, etc.

    Refusing to seat an appointee because of the ‘worthiness’ of the appointer? Do the laws and constitution mean anything anymore?

    And I hope that we have not reached the point where we want to start looking at reversing all the decisions of the Executive after the fact. Lets see…..
    ALL APPOINTMENTS……….RECINDED
    ALL APPROPRIATIONS……..RECINDED
    ALL PROCLAMATIONS………RECINDED
    ALL CONTRACTS………….RECINDED
    ALL COMMISSIONS………..RECINDED

    Give me all the money back, and lets start over!

    I can’t wait to see how many vested interests would line up at the court house doors to challenge that!


  38. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    Is there evidence that Burris “paid to play”? Is there evidence that he is unqualified for the position?

    Sorry, but if your standard is “evidence”, your standard is too low. Innocence of criminality is not the threshold for the US Senate, regardless of it’s past.

    As legislators, our senators should follow the rule of law and do things legally. That’s a lofty expectation, to be sure…

    No it obviously is not a lofty expectation. As we have been witnessing over the past month, that is considered legal is highly debatable. Your argument has opened us up to being forced to accept unacceptable behavior just because some folks like you are willing to use legalese to measure what is right or wrong. Thankfully, most of the world doesn’t do this on a daily basis, or have done so historically. Your faith in the law isn’t delivering the quality we need in government, is it?

    And if it’s morals you’re concerned about, how moral is it to block a perfectly acceptable nominee because of the person doing the nominating? That is wrong.

    You are wrong on many counts. You claim that a nominee willing to accept an appointment from this governor at this time is “perfectly acceptable” - how could this be true? What person would accept an appointment from Rod Blagojevich as he faces impeachment and being stripped of his ability to appoint a senator? How could that willing accomplise be “perfectly acceptable” to you? Or to anyone?

    Once again, your standards are too low. We elect people to office based on non-legal standards. Losers in elections do not sue because they have been denied an office they sought. We do not, nor should not use, legal basis as the final criteria for judging our elected officals. What we are seeing in Illinois right now is what happens when you do.

    Stop taking comfort in legal definitions. The millionaire lawyers are paid to lower these standards, even as we cry out for justice and for what is right. Stop pretending that criminality should be first determined before granting anyone the public responsibilities of holding elected office.

    We must demand better than the 13-inch “yardstick” you are using to measure our politicians with.


  39. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:38 pm:

    I don’t know Roland Burris well, but I do know I don’t want him as Illinois’ senator. He keeps saying “I am the senator.” What an ego!


  40. - Concerned Observer - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    Roland — you really didn’t see this coming? Where can I buy a set of those blinders you apparently wore for a month?


  41. - Princess - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    Considering the media is surrounding him and tossing questions all at once, Burris is gooding a pretty good job at his press conference. Looks slightly overwhelmed if trying to acknowledge all speaking to him, being out of practice I assume. I still like the guy, voted for him over the years, always liked his warm smile and kind eyes and to at leadt me, seemed trustworthy–I really don’t have a problem with his appointment, just wish it had not come from Rod.


  42. - Princess - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    I don’t think ‘leadt’ is a word, was suppose to be ‘at least’


  43. - moo - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    northernwatersports: It is not to do with the “worthiness” of the appointer, it is to do with the legality of the appointment process.

    The Senate is the judge of elections, and could refuse to seat someone if say election officials were caught on tape offering to sell the election to a candidate. An appointment is likely analogous under the law, and if the Governor committed fraud, then the Senate is likely entitled to refuse to seat them.

    This does not make all appointments ever made by the executive branch reversible.


  44. - Keep Smiling - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    “I feel good.” - R Burris
    Wow, no one else in the state of Illinois does. Except maybe our supremely honorable governor, who feels good and magical everyday.

    It’s ironic that Burris can talk about the good that he thinks he’s doing for the people of Illinois, without wondering what the good people of Illinois think about what he’s doing. Sure wish there was a poll on whether citizens desire that he take the appointment right alongside whether we think its legal for him to be seated.


  45. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    Vanilla Man,

    While I can agree with some of what you argue, this is not one of them,

    ==We do not, nor should not use, legal basis as the final criteria for judging our elected officals. What we are seeing in Illinois right now is what happens when you do.==

    Roland Burris was not ELECTED. He was APPOINTED. And until some evidence is shown that Blago, Burris, or someone else committed a crime or conspiracy regarding this matter, the current law and constitution already lay out what mechanisms are to be used to fill the vacancy. And until the General Assembly uses its own constitutional authority to strip away the powers of the Executive, he can (and will) use any powers granted to him.


  46. - Glenview - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    What Started It ALL…

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2009/01/05/090105ta_talk_burleigh

    Rich, let’s not forget waht brought us all the way here. What a great story- amazing that Pam Davis still doesn’t have her hospital…


  47. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    no Mayoral or Rahmbo endorsement in the 5th CD race so far. In the words of Flounder from National Lampoon’s Animal House: “Oh boy! This is gonna be great!”


  48. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:56 pm:

    VM, as always I am intrigued by many things about people who think as you do, but especially by this. If the law is not the determiner of such things as these, just who is? A priest, rabbi, or minister? A newspaper? This blog? you?


  49. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:56 pm:

    moo-

    You’re right. Some appointments have and surely should have been reversed. In the case at hand, the Federal Legislative branch can use its power to censure or expel members for pretty much any reason they want. That is a political litmus test.

    What we are discussing with this dilema is whether the APPOINTMENT to the vancancy, made by a sitting EXECUTIVE, who’s powers have not been stripped by a lawful authority, or recalled by the voters, is legitimate?

    I think that as long as Blago is still in power, that the law (unfortunately) is on his side.


  50. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    “And until some evidence is shown that Blago, Burris, or someone else committed a crime or conspiracy regarding this matter”,

    northernwatersports, if you don’t think an arrest for trying to sell the seat based on taped conversations of the person designated to appoint the seat is evidence that the selection process is tainted then what would be “evidence”?


  51. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 12:59 pm:

    Princess, if it isn’t, it should be. We’re running out of good ones. Or, I suppose we could just do what the Queen suggested to Alice. Just change or determine the meanings of words as events warrant. After all, they belong to us.


  52. - Levois - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    Heard a little of that presser on the radio. Should I be surprised that he’s referred to himself in the third person?


  53. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===Should I be surprised that he’s referred to himself in the third person? ===

    Not at all.


  54. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:15 pm:

    But if the Senate is refusing to seat based on the selection process-not the person selected-then why does it matter whether the person selected qualifies if they deem the process invalid. At the very least, it is their duty to completely review the process and if necessary uphold the right of the Senate to preserve the integrity of the selection process. If Burris wins in committee or in court so be it, but they are obligated to due their duty as they deem fit which was previously stated not to seat any person appointed by the this tainted public official.


  55. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    Phineas J. Whoopee-

    I agree with you!! The selection process is tainted.

    But at the end of the game, if all the components of the law have been met: still powerful Gov appoints qualified citizen, with no evidence that either received/or conspired to receive benefit because of the appointment, then the appointment stands. If, after the seating of the appointee, that a connection is made of material benefit to either, or a conspiracy to provide material benefit to either, then the US Senate can expel him.

    Either way, Illinois loses; Burris is least senior member of the chamber because of late paperwork, Burris gets expelled for criminal acts/conspiracy, creating another vacancy, vacancy causes Illinois to lose influence over vital federal largess or other matters for not having the seat filled at all. Either way, this sucks.


  56. - Anon - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    ==VM, as always I am intrigued by many things about people who think as you do, but especially by this. If the law is not the determiner of such things as these, just who is? A priest, rabbi, or minister? A newspaper? This blog? you? ==

    Careful, Mr. Schorf. You’re getting dangerously close to the argument for “strict constructionist” interpretation of the constitution advanced by Bork, the most reviled jurist in US history (probably because no one can answer his argument, which is basically, “If you’re not following the written document, you’re just making it up as you go.”).


  57. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:22 pm:

    ===with no evidence that either received/or conspired to receive benefit because of the appointment, then the appointment stands.===

    The counter-argument is that others may have been previously excluded because they did not pay to play. Therefore, taint. Therefore, no Sen. Burris.


  58. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    I knew this was coming. Dems (especially the attorneys) should be embarrassed.

    I fail to understand the difference between SOS White’s assertion about his job requirements. I cannot find any legislative, civil/criminal case history or other legislative/constitutional requirement or record that the SOS’s offical duties instills the responsibility to APPROVE a Governors appointment, other than to enter it into the official record. Now SOS White says that some matters are more important than others? I guess the SOS is a co-partner with the Gov.


  59. - Gabriel - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    Not that it surprises me as an Illinoisan, but how the heck can I explain to non-Illinoisans how Burris can blame the media for turning this into a circus when it was in fact Burris himself that turned this into a circus by accepting the appointment?


  60. - northernwatersports - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    Point to you Rich.


  61. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:36 pm:

    Rich Miller is exactly correct, I personally think Valarie Jarret should have been the Senator. I think the evidence will show she was unfairly excluded because she refused to pay to play. How many others were unfairly excluded? Why should Roland Burris benefit from a tainted process?

    The Senate must preserve the integrity of the legislative body and allowing accused criminals to dictate policy and membership cannot be allowed.


  62. - Amy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:36 pm:

    what about previous pay to play from Burris? those campaign contributions and the lobbyist activity? it’s not as if the clock for bellying up (ahh, memories of Miriam) started just for this transaction. Roland has a history.


  63. - RJW - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    Steve Schnorf:

    I agree with everything VM has said. The thing that is offensive is those that are willing to stand by and let things proceed just because the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Somebody has to make a stand against this corrupt Governor. This is a U.S. Senate seat at stake here. Regardless of what you may think the rules and laws say, that is for the Courts to decide and not you or I. I say challenge everything the Governor does - even if to only delay the actions until impeachment. Let the Courts determine what is right and wrong. Look how long it took the Courts to get George Ryan and look at the damage that was done while he committed his illegal acts.


  64. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    The SOS is not in a position to “approve,” however, he is in a position to certify that the process was legit. In this case, his lack of a signature suggests that the process was somehow improper. The back and forth on this blog has been over the same question: is an appointment by a Gov. accused of trying to sell said appointment valid, or, does the appointment need to be held up until the accusations surrounding the alleged attempt to sell the appointment are adjudicated?


  65. - Macbeth - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    Do we want a senator who “did not expect” the kind of a theater that he’s now encountering? I mean, what did he expect? A smooth and orderly process?

    I assume he’s been reading the news in the weeks leading up to his (bizarre) acceptance. Bobby Rush gave plenty of theater on that Tuesday press conference.


  66. - Gabriel - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==is an appointment by a Gov. accused of trying to sell said appointment valid, or, does the appointment need to be held up until the accusations surrounding the alleged attempt to sell the appointment are adjudicated?==

    The only reasonable outcome is a special election at this point. There was a period of time where the Illinois legislature could have acted swiftly to impeach and remove Governor Blagojevich allowing Quinn to ascend and appoint a successor. This time has passed.


  67. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==VM, as always I am intrigued by many things about people who think as you do, but especially by this. If the law is not the determiner of such things as these, just who is? A priest, rabbi, or minister? A newspaper? This blog? you? ==

    The determiner of the law is called Politics. Politics appoints the judges, and writes the laws. When your politics is corrupt, then the corruptions flows throughout the system. Those that rely on The Law are worshipping a false god.

    Citizens are empowered to make these decisions. They choose among themselves as to whom they would like to hold public office. They make these decisions based on many factors. Each of us decide differently. We just elected Obama president based on “hope and change”. There was nothing legal about that election, unless you considered your vote based on legalities.

    But in the United States, we must have good politics. In Illinois, our politics is corrupted. Trying to clean up our state government via the laws written by the government itself is a fool’s errand.

    Voters must demand a higher standard of excellence than the ones we’ve been seeing in Illinois. Our standards are too low. Saying that someone has a legal right to a public office is a poor excuse for permitting someone willing to take a political appointment from a governor while the governor is facing impeachment and removal for filling that very political appointment.

    Burris fails as a public servant, and sells his soul by taking this appointment at this time. Another line on his tomb wasn’t worth this.


  68. - Phil Collins - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    In the Special 5th District Election, when can the petitions be circulated? When can they be submitted? I know someone who will probably run.


  69. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    Up until last week, I admired Burris and would have supported him for this appointment. Based on the last week, he needs to go quietly into that good night. His ambition seems to have overcome his good judgment.

    ==“Why should I separate myself from Rod Blagojevich?… He carried out his duties and he filled the vacancy as according to law.”==

    I think the U.S. Attorney would disagree (as do the taped conversations currently available). If Burris has additional information, he should share it.

    ==“I am the junior Senator according to every law book in the nation.”==

    Has a case like this ever been adjudicated? I doubt that this situation is in any law book.

    ==Burris said he did not expect “this kind of theater” after his appointment was announced.==

    If so, he is politically incompetent. If not, he is lying to his constituents from day 1. Either way, we would be better served by someone else.


  70. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:50 pm:

    RJW, I couldn’t agree more that the courts are the people to decide whether something is legal or not. But VM seems to say the question of whether they are legal is irrelevant, but are they proper? And so I simply ask, “who decides?”.


  71. - Blago Sphere - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    {The counter-argument is that others may have been previously excluded because they did not pay to play.}

    Others may have paid the ante as well. We have not yet heard from Raghuveer Nayak, but if he has been granted immunity we may find out for certain why Fitz had a little premature ejactulation. Interrupting the Governor’s beauty sleep may have been the only thing that prohibited the JJJ appointment that was perhaps scheduled for later that day.

    In that case no Sen. Burris either.

    Nobody has exonerated JJJ yet; except himself.


  72. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    Why should Roland Burris benefit from a tainted process?

    Thank you for saying in one line what I find difficult saying in two paragraphs! Well done!


  73. - Ghost - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    Why do people keep treating Burris like he is an honored elder statesman? he was a bad AG. He has made a number of contributions to blagos campaign fund; Burris himself said the gov was incapable of Gov… that is unless he gives Burris something Burris wants. Buiss, the unelectable Dem is pushing all out for this appointment because he cannot get voter support for office. Lets not treat Burris as qualified just because we want to focus on blago.


  74. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    “There was nothing legal about that election, unless you considered your vote based on legalities.”

    I need to clarify - “There is nothing legal about that decision, unless you considered your vote based on legalities.”

    Excuse me.


  75. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    VM, I am totally losing track of what you are trying to say, so I’m going to quit trying. There was nothing legal about Obama’s election? Geez.


  76. - RJW - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    Steve Schnorf:

    I think that after 6 years of seeing state government destroyed and become totally disfunctional, and of seeing a Governor ignore the laws and rules of the State, some of us have become very cynical of the legal process (and for that matter every other process in the state). In my view the Courts have not been there to prevent this Governor from doing his illegal acts and those of us inside state government (and probably some outside) have no faith in the legal establishment’s ability. If this were a 3rd world country, I would probably participate in a coup to overthrow the entire state government. That is how bad it is for me.


  77. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    That was my fault - please see above.


  78. - RJW - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:00 pm:

    Please note (for any law enforcement types who may be reading) that my reference above to a “coup” was for emphasis of feeling ONLY and NOT of an actual real event.


  79. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    Schnorf, my hat’s off to you for your able and admirable defense of due process and rule of law in recent weeks. The mob always wants to trash what separates us from the despots in the name of righteousness.

    Rich, I think your point on whether there is taint to the appointment (those who wouldn’t play ball) is excellent as well.

    There’s a federal separation of powers issue that’s bigger than either Blago or Burris. Reid is drawing a line in the sand that the appointees must follow Rules of the Senate (SOS certification) and that the Senate has the final say on whether the appointments are kosher.

    You can cite the Powell case from the Warren Court (I’m not sure it applies here), but the Roberts court is a brand new ball game. He’s daring the court to challenge the Senate on the issue. If they do, let’s see how they do on those judicial pay raises and new judgeships they want.

    Reid is a tough old bird.


  80. - Bubs - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    Jesse White just hung himself out to dry by certifying the 5th CD Writ. He just admitted that the Governor is competent to make key political decisions . . . that Jesse White likes.

    The counter-argument does not work in that it makes Roland Burris prove a negative dreamed up by opponents to his appointment - i.e., no Burris unless it is proven by him that no one else was “previously excluded” for refusing to engage in pay to play. Burris’ opponents would first have to prove that an subjective exclusion occurred within the head of Blago (no mean feat given all the dark, empty space in there), and even then it’s very shaky, in that there is no assertion of misconduct in the offer to Burris.

    Besides, the Governor’s power is plenary, and he can exclude people because he doesn’t like their tie. If the argument is that Burris cannot be seated because Rod Blagojevich thought “bad thoughts” about others, this is getting rather esoteric, not to say far-fetched.


  81. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===If the argument is that Burris cannot be seated because Rod Blagojevich thought “bad thoughts” about others, this is getting rather esoteric, not to say far-fetched. ===

    Who has ever made that argument?

    Try to stay within the boundaries of Earth, please.


  82. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:19 pm:

    –We just elected Obama president based on “hope and change”. There was nothing legal about that election, unless you considered your vote based on legalities.–

    VM, what in the world are you trying to say?


  83. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    It’s getting kinda weird when the Right is coming up with so many excuses for why Burris should be seated. Methinks that has more to do with stirring the pot than intellectual honesty.


  84. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:23 pm:

    The mob always wants to trash what separates us from the despots in the name of righteousness.

    Wow! It takes a real limp wrist to be able to pat yourself on the back like that! Most of us have muscles in our arms!


  85. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    –We just elected Obama president based on “hope and change”. There was nothing legal about that election, unless you considered your vote based on legalities.–

    VM, what in the world are you trying to say?

    ==That was my fault - please see above.==

    Your legal people…Geez!


  86. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    It’s getting kinda weird when the Right is coming up with so many excuses for why Burris should be seated. Methinks that has more to do with stirring the pot than intellectual honesty.

    How bad has it gotten? The GOP is making fun of us or offering pity. Thanks @#$Q#%$!~!


  87. - A Citizen - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    The sheer weight of the number of words on this issue posted here is grounds not to seat Burris until a thorough vetting of the process for the time period from initiation of Fitz’s wiretaps to the outcome of impeachment proceedings. The cloud of doubt is thick and acrid.


  88. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:30 pm:

    Rich,

    Not on my part. I simply want the law to be followed. If the Senate seats Burris and then votes to expel him, that’s its prerogative. I would think it vindictive, but legal.

    As it is, Sen. Reid is advocating circumventing the rules–even the Constitution. Do we really want politicians who pick and choose which rules they will follow? I don’t.


  89. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===As it is, Sen. Reid is advocating circumventing the rules–even the Constitution.===

    He doesn’t think so, and neither do I.

    Your opinion is not necessarily fact here. Try to accept that, please.


  90. - Bubs - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:34 pm:

    Sorry, I became flabbergasted at the keyboard.


  91. - sal-says - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    Is it only in IL that we can take a horrible situation and find new ways to make it worse? What a disgrace.


  92. - Bubs - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    “He doesn’t think so, and neither do I.”

    We will all find out soon enough.


  93. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    –Wow! It takes a real limp wrist to be able to pat yourself on the back like that! Most of us have muscles in our arms!–

    Don’t scare me like that, big fella. Given your day-to-day comments, I suspect your wrists are unusually toned from constant exercise.


  94. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    It’s getting kinda weird when the Right is coming up with so many excuses for why Burris should be seated.

    It’s the least arbitrary action Rich. It’s the strict constructionist line. It’s what our Law says. The Guv has the right and duty, and Burris is his guy.

    So whether that plays out to the GOP’s advantage in 2010 or not, seating Burris is the conservative move.

    I think it’s the most sensible course for Dems too, but they have done a very bad job of late making politic moves.


  95. - Keep Smiling - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    Here’s what was said in 2/11/2002 Sun-Times article:
    == “It sounds like a pretty sweet deal for him,” said John Pelissero, chairman of the political science department at Loyola University Chicago. “The timing couldn’t be better in terms of him having the cash he needs to run [television] ads.

    “On the other hand, one has to look at such huge contributions and loans from one source and realize it will raise a big, huge red flag to voters as to what this individual expects in return from Burris.”==

    And according to an Oct. 26, 2006 archived Trib article, Burris’ $1 million campaign saviour Joseph Stroud contributed $100,000 to Blago’s campaign for re-election, via Telephone USA Investments.

    In this environment, it’s impossible not to feel suspicious about happy appointments and common relationships and big campaign contributions. That’s what taint does — it causes suspicion. Hopefully there isn’t a pending telecom bill in Washington on the horizon.


  96. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    ===We will all find out soon enough.===

    Exactly, and in the meantime, try not to assume that your opinion is the end-all, be-all.


  97. - moo - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

    Anyone want to give odds on Burris, if he gets seated, losing in the 2010 primary and running as an independent anyway - taking a chunk of the black vote with him. Maybe that’s one of Reid’s considerations.


  98. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:04 pm:

    ===losing in the 2010 primary and running as an independent anyway===

    That’s illegal in Illinois.

    Try a tiny bit of research before posting, please.


  99. - MikeintheSuburbs - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:13 pm:

    In the interest of objectivity, let’s look at the law here:

    (1)The SOS certification is required by Senate Rules. Presumably, Burris can get the courts to require White to do his job in this regard. If not, they are not doing THEIR job. That will remove that impediment;

    (2) The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 5 reads: “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of it’s own members…..”

    (3) The Powell case referred to the “qualifications” portion of the above language and held that “qualilfications” as used in this section, is limited to age and residence;

    (4) There was no “election” held. The Senate previously judged nine “elections” of Senators prior to the 17th Amendment when Senators were “elected” by state legislatures, and refused do seat some of those, including one from Chicago;

    (5) “Returns” in the Illinois Election Code refers to reports from elections. However, “returns” in 18th Century parlance also may have encompassed what we would now classify as an appointment, where there was no election either by popular vote or by a state legislature;

    (6) Since the 17th Amendment, the Senate did try to refuse to seat one popularly elected Senator who had previously been convicted of felony corruption charges when he had served as Governor. He had served his sentence and sucessfully run for election to the Senate. 48 voted not to seat him and 52 voted to seat. He eventually went on to become Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (He may not actually have been corrupt, by the way. He was a strong populist who rubbed a lot of vested interests the wrong way, and charged that they had conspired to trump up the charges, which may very well have been the case).

    (7) The question of whether or not an appointment falls under the rubric of a “return” has not been decided and there is no precedent;

    (8) Given the language of the Constitution, it is possible that the courts would consider this to be a “political question” and not touch it, although that didn’t stop them in the Powell case which involved the same general provision so they would have a tough time explaining their way around that.

    There you have it.


  100. - One of the 35 - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:13 pm:

    The point Rich made last week is still extremely compelling. Burris commented shortly after Blago’s arrest that he (Blago) was unable to perform the duties of governor…. that is until he decided to appoint Burris to the Senate seat! Such duplicity is a characteristic I don’t want in my Senator.


  101. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:16 pm:

    I don’t see a problem with White certifying the special election and not certifying the Senate appointment.

    Emanuel’s resigned and there will be an election.

    The Senate appointment is the subject of a criminal complaint and we’ve all read some pretty damning tape transcripts. Very different in many ways.


  102. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    …a characteristic I don’t want in my Senator.

    I can think of characteristics I don’t want in many of the candidates to replace Obama.

    But Illinois Law gives that power to the Guv, not you or I, and Springfield chose not to strip the Guv of that power, and give it to you or I in a special election.

    So that’s it…


  103. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:18 pm:

    Nice summary of the points, Mike!


  104. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    I assumed any thoughts about legalities and what the courts might interpret things were opinions. I was taught not to use phrases like “I believe” or “in my opinion” because it is evident it is is an opinion.

    Sorry if I ruffled feathers.


  105. - Support for Burris - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    Burris took advantage of an opportunity because the Illinois Legislature failed to vote to hold a special election. Since, Rod is still the Governor he took action. Seat Burris. Yes, the president elect who is MIA needs to publicly support Burris and tell Reid to accept Burris so congress can move on. The Illinois voters will determine who should go to Washington in 2010 not some back room deal made with Reid.


  106. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    Burris just took a beating on CNN. And I don’t mean that as a slap at him (although he willingly joined the circus), but at the vapidity of the MSM.

    Economy in the tank, new president, war in two theaters, invasion in Gaza, and what intrigues the MSM? Burris and Blago, a has-been and a soon-to-be-has-been whose actions really have no effect on anyone outside of Illinois.

    They are, as Mencken said, “as fascinating and appalling as a two-headed boy.”


  107. - Black Ivy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    Rich, why were both of my posts deleted?


  108. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 3:45 pm:

    Black Ivy, you’re banned until you answer my question from the other day.


  109. - Rob_N - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:04 pm:

    GOP’er says: “Blago will be gone soon, in the meantime he has the legal authority to conduct the duties of the Gov.”

    (Bill Baar, this reply goes for you too…)

    …Per Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution the Senate has the legal authority to conduct an investigation and make a determination as to the propriety of Blago’s appointment (ie, “return”).

    By the by, that ol’ Constitution thingy would be the “law book” of law books in our nation… since Burris thinks every law book in the nation has magically declared him the junior Senator from Illinois despite the fact he’s not actually a Senator. (Not even a Senator-designate is a Senator.)

    Mike, very excellent summary with one minor nit to pick.

    I’ve stated elsewhere that there will be a precedent set in this case no matter what.

    With regards to your point #8, the Powell case specifically involved an incumbent who had been duly re-elected. Yes, it’s the same section of the Constitution, but a different portion of the clause in question.

    There was no evidence that any problems occurred in Powell’s election. Indeed, his election was not a part of the then-House leadership’s investigation and resolutions.

    What the Supreme Court decided (in a nutshell) was that the Constitutions lists only three qualifications for elected legislators and officers: age, citizenship and residency. Powell met all three qualifications and, again, was properly elected by the voters. The Warren Court found that because he met all 3 Consitutionally-specified criteria and had been duly elected in an election that was without improprieties that the House could not bar him from being seated (”exclude” him) by a majority vote… in other words, the House could not create “new” qualifications for membership no matter how well-intended.

    The House’s only options with regards to Powell were punishment (by a simple majority vote) or expulsion (by a 2/3rds supermajority vote). The House could not exclude someone that had been elected. (The House chose to punish Powell by fining him $25,000.)

    Burris is a wholly different case. As you state, he was appointed, not elected, and the appointment process itself is alleged to have been tainted by the governor. Even if Blago were to appoint Lovie Smith or Cardinal George or you … the process was tainted from the get-go because some otherwise qualified contenders were disqualified by the governor because they wouldn’t “play ball” by enriching him.

    What the Senate needs to do tomorrow when it convenes is form a special committee to investigate the “return” and make a recommendation to the full Senate on whether or not to accept the appointment.


  110. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===What the Senate needs to do tomorrow when it convenes is form a special committee to investigate the “return”===

    Nah. Send it to Rules for 90 days and then create the special committee.


  111. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:20 pm:

    As you state, he was appointed, not elected, and the appointment process itself is alleged to have been tainted by the governor.

    Many legal experts are equating an appointment process with a general election, the difference being that an appointment is an election with one elector as proscribed by state and constitutional law and precedent. There are those who disagree. You know the saying, get more than one attorney in a room and you’ll have at least 2 answers. To the taint issue, most people would agree the process has been tainted based on what they see or hear in the media, but the specific question of Burris’ appointment process still has not received a due process examination, which I’m sure it will as long as he is pressing the issue.


  112. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:20 pm:

    This is what I mean about the Right and their games with Burris. From Rush Limbaugh today

    RUSH: I love this Blago story. Blago sticking it to the Democrats in Washington and sticking it to The One, The Messiah, the Most Merciful, Barack Obama. This Roland Burris guy holding a press conference now saying, “Hey, I’m going, Illinois needs full representation.” As I said earlier today, Mr.Burris, if Harry Reid will not seat you, go to Denny’s. They will seat you if Harry Reid will not. Try this…


  113. - Jaded - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    What the heck is tainted anyway? Is he the Governor or isn’t he? If he is, then he enjoys all the rights, priveleges and powers of the executive. If he is not, then he shouldn’t be allowed to sign bills, certify special elections, make pardons or commutations, and make appointments. If he is Governor, then how can anyone say, “well you can sign bills, pardon people, commute sentences, certify special elections, convene the Illinois Senate, but you can’t make appointments.”

    It just doesn’t wash if he can’t make this appointment legally, then everything he has done since that first week in December should not be legal and binding. That may just be my opinion, but how can you argue otherwise.

    If the Senate investigates the “return” then the only possible finding is he either had the legal authority to appoint Burris, or he did not. If he does, then there is nothing they can do, if he doesn’t, then that must mean he is not legally Governor and everything he has done in the last month must be undone.


  114. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:23 pm:

    The problem with Rush, potential GOP Chairman, etc. is that they do not know when to quit. They are even less adept at playing the race card than Bobby Rush.


  115. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    ===the only possible finding is he either had the legal authority to appoint Burris, or he did not===

    That’s simply not true.

    Some of these comments are beginning to border on regurgitated talking points.


  116. - Ann O'Namus - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:29 pm:

    On the tapes, Blago tried, among other things, to get his wife a job. And then there’s this on Huffington Post today. Isn’t this a suggestion of pay-to-play? It may give Harry Reid some strong ammunition.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-felsenthal/did-roland-burriss-busine_b_155169.html


  117. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:46 pm:

    Rich, I hope you aren’t counting me among the “Right” who you accuse of trifling with this. My interest is simple. I partially try to defend my rights by defending the rights of those with whom I disagree. I’m not willing to subscribe to the “they won’t come for me” approach to civil rights.


  118. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 4:51 pm:

    steve, impeachment is a very rare thing in the states, particularly Illinois. It’s rare partially because the players involved in impeaching could be impeached themselves. So, acting as if this impeachment thing will become commonplace is defying history and stretching reality .


  119. - MikeintheSuburbs - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:02 pm:

    Rich: I agree that the Senate can delay the Burris seating for 90+ days. The point is, why? What is the purpose being served? If they just want to be sure he is not himself tainted, that’s fine. What concerns me here is that the real reason to delay is to allow for Quinn to make a competing appointment.

    I am certainly no Roland fan. I met him only once and was not impressed. However, I can see nothing but a protracted legal conflict which will distract us, as it already has, from Obama’s historic Presidency and what needs to be done to get us out of the economic and international quagmires we have gotten ourselves into. The recent attack by Israel, which seems to have been timed to take advantage of the transition to power in the US, is a case in point.


  120. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:04 pm:

    Rich, I’m not suggesting impeachment will become commonplace. That’s part of what is making this difficult. No one is sure what the rules are, and some appear to believe there aren’t any rules.

    I’m simply arguing that due process and the rule of law is important, regardless of the case. So, in this case I want Roland Burris’ civil rights protected, and Rod Blagojevich’s. Elected officials (and others) shouldn’t get to decide when they have to obey the law. This is a good example of a case where I think its real important to get it right, not get it fast.


  121. - Amy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:09 pm:

    ah, longing for Doonesbury to cover this with
    an actual cartoon to cover our cartoonish pols. helmet of hair with nothing under it, cowboy hat with nothing under it, although maybe with a tombstone (hat tip to Kass).


  122. - Black Ivy - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:13 pm:

    Rich, I have great respect for you and your insightful blog.

    I am simply bothered and wary of insider politicos making a “caricature” of Roland Burris. I fear that they feel they have license do so because he is a Black man and race has been raised as an issue in filling the U.S. vacancy.

    My remark a couple of days ago was simply a plea to you to refrain from poking further fun of Mr. Burris (rcial stereotypes, jokes, etc.). I would love to see you rise above the racist vitriol. You’re better than that, Rich, otherwise I would NEVER visit your blog as frequently as I do!

    Peace?


  123. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:15 pm:

    Some people in this state seem to view the Governor losing his job (impeachment) as being more terrible than going to jail. It borders on the bizzare.

    The people of Illinois shouldn’t have to wait till their politicians couldn’t be hired at a K-Mart before they decide they shouldn’t lead the state.


  124. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:18 pm:

    BI, I try extremely hard every time I write about race to be as decent as I can, while still writing truth. I don’t ever appreciate insinuations or outright charges that I’m racist, sexist, whatever. If you can point to something specific, then by all means do so. I would gladly learn from that. But broad-brush attacks on me without proof will always be met with counter-measures.


  125. - Macoupin County Kid - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 5:32 pm:

    “The people of Illinois shouldn’t have to wait till their politicians couldn’t be hired at a K-Mart before they decide they shouldn’t lead the state.”

    I’m beginning to wonder if people with any kind of business savvy should be allowed into politics. While I lean to the right big time, I’m not naive enough to see that all in all, politicians seem to care very little for the principles they run on. We’ll see if President-Elect Obama is any different, but anymore, I can’t differentiate between a D and a R when it comes to results.


  126. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 9:14 pm:

    Black Ivy wrote this about insider politicos:

    “I fear that they feel they have license do so because he is a Black man and race has been raised as an issue in filling the U.S. vacancy.”

    While I respect your views, as an insider politico, I object to your sterotype of my people. I’ve known and respected Roland Burris for twenty years, I’ve voted for him, volunteered for him and have contributed to his campaigns. He is as or more qualified to be a US Senator than any other Illinoisan.

    Having said that, he needs to understand that this is not about him. He is being used by the Governor as a human shield and a punchline for the late night comics.

    When Rod tells this story in prison, he’ll be laughing his behind off about the look on everyone’s face when he made the appointment. For him, it’s all a game. For Roland Burris, it’s about his reputation and legacy.

    And by the way, race wasn’t “raised” as an issue, Burris supporters injected it. It’s shameful, but complaining about Rich’s writing is way off the mark.


  127. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:04 pm:

    47th, I respect your views and your right to support Roland Burris for Senator or any other public office. I also concur that Burris’ supporters, from the moment of his “appointment,” played the race card to his detriment.

    We also agree that nothing from Capitol Fax on this matter had even a hint of racist comment.

    Having said that, I think there are some legitimate questions about Burris’ suitabiiity for office and ultimately his qualifications. His bizarre speech and behavior at several moments over the past week, an adequate (at best) record as an elected official, and his relationship to Blagojevich-style pay to play “consulting” work. But most of all, the simple fact that the voters of Illinois have said “No Thanks” to Burris the last FOUR times he has presented his credentials for their consideration should be reason enough to either make him earn the seat by election or to allow the next Governor to substitute a more credible candidate.

    Burris should step back while some portions of his reputation remain intact.


  128. - Speaking at Will - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:19 pm:

    “The people of Illinois shouldn’t have to wait till their politicians couldn’t be hired at a K-Mart”

    That is very offensive to people who work at K Mart. ; )


  129. - Big Mama T - Monday, Jan 5, 09 @ 10:49 pm:

    AA - You are right on the mark. Trotting out Bobby Rush and his inflammatory language at the Press Conference was pathetic. All parties involved, especially Bobby Rush should be ashamed of themselves. What a disgusting side show.


  130. - Captain Flume - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:20 am:

    == the voters of Illinois have said “No Thanks” to Burris the last FOUR times he has presented his credentials ==

    The voters in national primaries rejected Joe Biden at least three times, yet he was chosen to be the V-P with Barack Obama and no one raised a question about that decision. Now we could be stuck with someone very few voters wanted to elect outright. I hope that is not the case on several levels, but it is the position the national electorate has been cornered with.


  131. - Dan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:24 am:

    Nice job by Burris! :)


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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