Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Durbin still can’t get a call-back from the governor *** UPDATED x1 ***
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Durbin still can’t get a call-back from the governor *** UPDATED x1 ***

Friday, Nov 21, 2008

* The second most powerful United States Senator says he can’t get his calls returned by his own governor

Democrat Dick Durbin, the state’s other U.S. senator, has said he wants to talk to Blagojevich about who might replace Obama. But spokesman Joe Shoemaker said Durbin’s calls to the governor haven’t been returned.

“He has not been able to talk to him. We’ve tried,” Shoemaker said.

*** UPDATE *** Lucio Guerrero responds…

Just to set the record straight: The Governor’s office reached out to Sen. Durbin’s office on Friday to check the Senator’s availability for a phone call on Monday. We have yet to hear back from them. Although some are trying to make this a big issue, the Governor will of course talk to the Senator about finding a replacement in the Senate. I am sure the two will speak in the near future, it’s just a matter of scheduling.

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* And Jesse Jackson, Jr. wanders over to the other side of the US Capitol…

Minutes after the Senate opened at noon Monday for its lame-duck session, the only lawmaker milling around the second-floor elevator banks was … Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).

Though Jackson is a leading candidate to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate, Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich has yet to make his appointment.

So what was Jackson doing on the wrong side of the Capitol?

“MSNBC,” he said, explaining he had a TV appearance on the Senate side.

Nevertheless, it did seem Jackson was walking more slowly, checking out the Senate hallways, imagining what it might be like for him should he be tapped to fill the seat.

Asked if he knew anything about Obama’s replacement, he replied, “I don’t, I don’t.”

Jackson boarded the public elevator just to the right of the “Senators Only” elevator as a male aide explained in a hopeful tone that Blagojevich plans to announce his appointment around Christmas but definitely before New Year’s.

“We just have to wait,” the aide said anxiously.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Hanging Chad - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 6:27 am:

    The governor won’t make the appointment until the very last possible second. It gives him a) the ability to feel important for a change, or b) the leveerage to cut a deal for the next US Attorney.

  2. - Dan S, a Voter and Cubs Fan - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 7:39 am:

    What’s the over/under on what happens first, Blago appoints or Blago get indicted?

  3. - How Ironic - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 8:14 am:

    Blago would have called him back, but he didn’t hear the phone ringing. With all that toilet flushing going on in the office and all.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 8:18 am:

    Hanging Chad, I think you’re right on Point A, but not Point B. Everything’s too far along now for a different U.S. attorney to make a difference.

  5. - Madison County Watcher - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 8:24 am:

    What happens when Blagojevich appoints a new US Senator who will not support the reappointment of Patrick Fitzgerald? Doesn’t he need the support of BOTH of Illinois’ Senators? Could this happen?

  6. - Irish - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 9:01 am:

    No, one Senator can block any person from being submitted. As a matter of senatorial courtesy, Durbin will run the name or names by the junior senator before it or they are submitted to Obama. Unless they change the rules of the senate, a senator can put a hold on a nomination so that it does’nt get a vote. If the senate does’nt confirm, and the position has expired, after certain number of days, the judges of the Nothern District will appoint an interim USA.

  7. - Anon - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 9:29 am:

    Madison County - The senior Senator holds the cards on the reappointment when he/she is in the same party as the President. Then-junior Senator Peter Fitzgerald got to suggest Patrick F. because Bush was President. So the new Senator will have no say in this.

  8. - phocion - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 9:38 am:

    I’m too lazy to look this up:

    Could the legislature pass a new law requiring that the Governor’s appointment of U.S. Senator be subject to approval by the legislature? Could they get a veto-proof deal done in time?

  9. - Oh my Bama - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 9:41 am:

    Although Peter Fitzgerald was a member of the party in power and the decsion was his regarding US Attorney, he consulted with the senior Senator Durbin as a couresty. Durbin is very much a gentleman and I would imagine he will do the same unless Rod makes a bone head choice. I CANNOT BELIEVE that the governor won’t return the call of the second highest ranking memeber of the US Senate!

  10. - there he goes again - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    This kind of behavior is yet another nail in the Governor’s coffin. When someone like Senator Durbin calls, you answer the phone; you don’t take a message; and you certainly don’t wait more than an hour to return the call.

    I don’t need to read Chris Mathews book about politics 101 to know that. Stay tuned.

  11. - Hanging Chad - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 11:09 am:

    Wordslinger, you’re probably right about the appointment of a new USA. My favorite rumor is that Rod is holding out for an Ambassadorship to Serbia. No extradition agreement with the US, as I hear it.

    Hey, it’s fun to speculate, eh?

  12. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 11:19 am:

    Hanging Chad: interesting! You are correct that there is no extradition treaty between Serbia & the USA. Remember, Rezko was in Syria when he was indicted. Syria has no extradition treaty with the USA. I woulda stayed there if I was Rezko.

  13. - In the Know - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 11:21 am:

    Patrick Fitzgerald’s name was submitted to Durbin before it was submitted to the White House. Durbin did not oppose Fitzgerald’s name from going foward. Thereafter, it went to George Bush, who was told about Fitzgerald’s choice on a flight to Chicago to speak before Chicago businessmen on the subject of the economy. Durbin had a say, and he said fine. Had Durbin said no, Durbin could have doomed the appointment as he did for one nominated in Southern Illinois.

  14. - Collar Observer - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 11:26 am:

    Phocion - you are not serious about the Legislature approving an appointment to U.S. Senate? How about the people have some input? Last time I looked - my lawmakers didn’t come close to represently us! I heard a good idea (not that it has a chance in hell of happening) that the Governor hold public forums on the appointment. That would at least make it look like we had some chance of being reporsented by the new Senator.

  15. - North of I-80 - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 11:50 am:

    Gov B will pick Patrick Fitzgerald to be US Senator, where he will do OK but shaking hands with unsavory characters and having to fund raise will not sit well. Out of his element.

    That clears the way for Obama inauguration, the mass-firing of ALL US Attorneys so that Gov B will become named as US Attorney Northern IL.

    Lisa runs for governor against Jesse Jr, Pat Q and Oberweiss next round.

  16. - Redbright - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 12:55 pm:

    The 17th Admendment gives the State Leg the power to fill vacancies. Three states require special elections. Having a Gov do it is the cheapest way and certainly the most expedient, our situation notwithstanding.

    I can’t find any time deadline on the appointment of Obama’s replacement. Does anyone have it?

    (The rules on the election to fill a vacant House seat are clear: less than 90 days after the member’s resignation.)

    Can Blago delay forever? I do assume that at this point he is trying to hold out until the indictment comes down.

  17. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 1:00 pm:

    there is no time limit attached to the US Senate appointment and vacanicies in the US House are filled by Special Election, not appointment

  18. - Redbright - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 1:17 pm:

    Yes Downstate: I specifically stated the time constraints on the Special Election for House replacements. But I’ve got to believe there is some time limit someplace for the Senate replacement.

  19. - DzNuts - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    Rules, schmules… it’s all “advisory”. This is probably trivial but worth noting: an earlier poster (a few weeks ago) correctly noted that Blagojevich doesn’t have sole authority on the appointment; apparently the Senate Rules also require the Secretary of State to sign the appointment. So, interestingly enough, Jesse White has kind of a veto authority on this.

    Also an interesting idea to hold statewide public forums to get the citizens input. I laughed at first, but what a great way to build up hope of so many people, inspiring a populist movement, then crushing the people’s will and completely ignoring those pesky downstate insiders. This could be huge.

  20. - John - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 2:01 pm:

    Actually, Patrick Fitzgerald’s appointment expired several years ago and he was never reappointed. His term is over but he serves until he resigns or a replacement is appointed to replace him. As such, if no action is taken, he will remain the USA for the Northern District.

  21. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 2:54 pm:

    Madison County Watcher, this is not the first time you’ve “asked” a stupid question like that and then not bothered to stick around and read the answer, or you ignored the answer, then “asked” it again.


  22. - Illinois.Pundit - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    Has anyone thought that the Guv might be making a deal? Obama’s choice for his replacement in exchanged for two pardons to be named later!

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:04 pm:

    LOL. And that gets the president what? A pal in the Senate in exchange for forever tarnishing his legacy?

    Is that you, JK? ;)

  24. - Dan S, a Voter and Cubs Fan - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    After reading the “update” am I to assume that Blagoof’s goof’s read Capitol Fax?

  25. - Phil Collins - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:10 pm:

    Blago. will probably appoint a woman (Rep. Schakowsky) or a Black (Rep. Davis or Rep. Jackson), to get more support of one of those groups, in 2010. We haven’t had a lady U.S. senator since Carol Moseley-Braun left that office, in 1999, so Blago. will appoint Schakowsky.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:10 pm:

    Of course they do. Everybody does.

  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:13 pm:

    PC, you’ve made the fatal mistake of applying logic. You’ve also not taken into consideration the downsides.

  28. - IrishPirate - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    I do love the image of TRIPLE J wandering around the Senate side of the Capitol peaking into the private areas and cloakrooms. All that ambition and so little substance.

    I have no idea who Blago will appoint, but I am available. I have no recent felonies and am not under investigation by any Federal agencies. Any alleged sex scandals I may fess up to were “youthful indiscretions” and if I deny any it is likely I forgot because of brain damage caused by copious amounts of alcohol.

    I will also publicly promise to make birthday,graduation, Xmas, Hanunkah, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa gifts to the Blago daughters for whatever period of time our esteemed Governor may be out of state. I forgot Diwali. Will gift cards be ok?

  29. - Redbright - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:19 pm:

    I think it is fascinating that Durbin is willing to tell the national audience about the Blago situation. Could he know that about an indictment (and thus want to broadly advertise he is not a friend of the Gov’s)? I was shocked that the Gov was allowed inside the VIP section of the Obama election night extravaganza.

  30. - Crystal Clear - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:37 pm:

    —Although some are trying to make this a big issue, the Governor will of course talk to the Senator about finding a replacement in the Senate.—

    It is a big issue. The Gov and his administration has a track record of not returning phone calls. Also, it is curious that the Gov’s office just today reached out to Sen. Durbin after the Senator called him out on it. Heck it’s only been 2 1/2 weeks since the election, and why would the Gov. think he should talk to the #2 Senator in the US Senate about the pick?

  31. - DzNuts - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:42 pm:

    Interesting that, according to the Gov’s spinmeister (miss saying Spin Sisters), they reached out to Durbin on Friday. Did the Governor reach out to Schakowsky, Davis, Jones and Gutierrez before making a call to Durbin? C’mon. Are we to believe that the Governor of the Great State of Illinois, the omniscient and omnipotent leader of the State of Lincoln, has to get on the schedule of calls for Durbin? Please. If Elvis personally called Durbin, are we to believe that Durbin would not take the call? This is sooo hollywood. “Our people called your people”… yada yada yada. Puhh-leeze.

    Some things never change. I think Guerrerro would have been better off not even opening that can of worms. Just say the Governor is too busy governing or some other old, tired line.

  32. - Dan S. a Voter and Cubs Fan - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 4:08 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 3:10 pm:

    Of course they do. Everybody does. Forgive me Rich, I knew that. A thousand pardons please. LOL

  33. - bluedog demo - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 4:24 pm:

    JJJ is definitely on the short list for Obama’s replacement. He would need to spend the remaining years of the senate term traversing the state in an Obama like fashion in order to introduce himself to the voters. The ” old man ” would have to be ” stifled ” in order for Junior to find his own way !

  34. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===JJJ is definitely on the short list for Obama’s replacement===

    Sez who?

  35. - Illinois.Pundit - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 4:48 pm:

    Maybe its a short list compared to the list of those running for Rahm’s seat…LOL.

  36. - Illinois.Pundit - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 4:52 pm:

    PC I would love to see Jan get it, but if Rod’s going to appoint a non African American, it’s going to be Duckworth. I think there is too much pressure to appoint an AA to the seat. I think it will either be JJJ or for payback purposes Emil. Obviously, of those two choices, I would prefer JJJ. However, I would love to see either Jan or Tammy get the nod.

  37. - Bookworm - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 5:24 pm:

    Durbin noted today that the sooner a replacement is appointed, the more seniority that senator will have over others who don’t take office until January, which could make a difference in things like committee assignments.

    Hmmm… could it be that Blago is stalling because, among other things, he DOESN’T want the new senator to have a single day more seniority than necessary? And that he sees this as a way of sticking it to Obama, Durbin, and all Illinois Dems for not giving him enough respect?

  38. - DzNts - Friday, Nov 21, 08 @ 10:21 pm:

    Why on earth would Schakowsky want the job, when she would a near automatic chance of re-election to her house seat (and maintain or expand her leadership/seniority/pension formula) versus a 2-year gig, no seniority and a very, very real chance that she would lose in 24 months.

    This appointment needs to go to someone who doesn’t need it. Someone who could spend a few days in D.C., hang out at some parties, get some checks from lobbyists, identify some real estate venture deals, and hire some staff to work a few distict offices across the state. Fly back to Chicago (er, um, I mean the district)on Friday afternoons, maybe head “downstate” to Morris or, if feeling really crazy, maybe fly to Mattoon. Fly back Saturday afternoon, attend a little fundraising event in Chicago on Saturday night; go to the famous church of Jeremiah Wright on Sunday before flying out of Midway back to D.C. That would be a great gig…

  39. - Jeff in Evanston - Monday, Nov 24, 08 @ 12:38 pm:

    Jan explained in last week’s Evanston Review why she’d want the job:

    “Individual senators, regardless of their seniority, have more power than individual House members in determining policy. And because of my closeness with Dick Durbin, as well as my experience in the House, I think there would be a lot of roles for me to play that would be of significant use to the State of Illinois.”

    Sounds valid to me.

    As to the Gov’s delay, he explained it like this at his Nov. 5 press conference:

    “I think I told you guys this: I’m a lifelong Cubs fan, and I don’t believe in thinking too far ahead, and I don’t want to jinx anything, and I, you know, was determined, for the karma of it, not to think about this issue before Barack Obama was elected President. I had this nightmare that if I did, that I would jinx him, and he would suddenly not win an election that he was destined to win. And so the process begins today, the thinking begins today, and the search, to the extent that you would characterize this as a search, begins today, and you just gotta be a little patient.”

  40. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 24, 08 @ 12:48 pm:

    Jeff, you wrote that Blagojevich was a successful politician on your recent blog post. You are not part of the reality based community. lol

  41. - Jeff in Evanston - Monday, Nov 24, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    Reality is so confining. Geez, Rich, you probably don’t even believe in jinxes. :)

    Seriously, just because Bobby Knight was often highly unpopular, and erratic, didn’t mean he didn’t win a lot of basketball games. All I was saying in my Gapers’ Block post was that Blagojevich is, what, 14-0 in elections? Anyone who makes it to governor, regardless of how they govern, or how they exit the office, has had some success at politics and has, more than once, put personal likes and dislikes aside for some other purposes. I’m not arguing that he’s had a great run in Springfield — but, lately, who has?!

  42. Pingback ArchPundit | Dear National Bloggers - Monday, Nov 24, 08 @ 2:57 pm:

    […] Apparently Durbin doesn’t get called back by the Governor […]

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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