* 3:59 pm - OK, that’s it for me. Check the news feeds. I’ll leave comments open for the rest of the night. Heading back to the beach, I think.
* 3:53 pm - The governor’s chief legal counsel has resigned…
The Blagojevich administration’s top lawyer, William J. Quinlan, resigned today — the same day that the governor announced he’s decided to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.
“Today, I have decided to resign my position as General Counsel and return to private practice,” Quinlan wrote in a memo to his staff.
The memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, made only a passing reference to Blagojevich’s Dec. 9 arrest on corruption charges.
“We should not let recent events diminish the pride in our accomplishments or the commitment to public service with which we approach our job each day,” he wrote. “The state of Illinois is a great place to live and work. The opportunity to serve its citizens is truly an honor.”
“He expressed confidence in his ability to have the trust of people to the extent that he could not only do a good job, but that he also could help restore trust,” Davis said.
“He sort of indicated that with all his years of statewide service, a lot of people knew Roland Burris, and knew what Roland Burris stood for, and knew that he had a record of working with all different kinds of people,” Davis said. […]
“I knew how much time one would need to spend defending the decision. I didn’t want to spend so much of my time dealing with that,” Davis said.
“He had a slightly different perspective,” Davis continued. “He was willing to go through it. I was not.”
* I didn’t notice (the sound was off on the TV I was watching) that both Blagojevich and Rush used the word “lynch” in their remarks…
Rush asked his audience “not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor.”
“There are no African-Americans in the Senate and I don’t think anyone — any U. S. Senator that’s sitting in the Senate right now wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate.
“Feel free to castigate the appointor but don’t lynch the appointor,” Governor Rod Blagojevich said as he left.
* From Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias…
Gov. Blagojevich’s actions today demonstrate an even greater need for the General Assembly to move quickly with impeachment proceedings and remove him from office. The question here is not whether Roland Burris would make a good Senator. The question is whether Blagojevich should have the right to make the appointment.
Regardless of whether he wanted to appoint Mother Theresa or Abraham Lincoln, I believe Blagojevich lost that right when he allegedly attempted to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder. He abused his power and should lose his appointment power. Because of Blagojevich’s actions, the appointment process has been tainted and will continue to be tainted as long as he holds office. In the best interest of the people of Illinois, I encourage Secretary of State White to refuse to certify the appointment.
* The Republicans have no subpoena power. Keep that in mind while reading this…
The minority spokesman on the committee investigating impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today he will subpoena the governor’s nominee for U.S. Senate.
State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-82nd, of Western Springs, had asked former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to turn down the governor’s appointment.
“If Mr. Burris decides to accept this appointment, as I assume (he will) against the wishes of the millions of Illinoisans, I feel it is necessary he be compelled to testify before the Special Investigative Committee,” Durkin said.
* From Speaker Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown…
I think I will defer on today’s questions.
Be assured the impeachment process will continue
* Jesse White was just asked about the blatant racial component in Blagojevich’s latest move: “Even though Roland Burris is an African-American, it doesn’t mean that an appointment by a different governor would not be [a black person].”
* Blagojevich video clip blaming everything on the GA…
* From a good friend…
And if this is a race thing, how could [Burris] represent mortgage lenders during the midst of the subprime mess?
Roland Burris has no idea what sort of heat is coming his way. The hostile microscope. The negative, probing press. He’s never had to endure anything like this. He’s a goner, and he has no clue.
* This is the governor’s exact quote which blamed it all on the Illinois General Assembly…
But let me say again, the law requires that the Governor make an appointment of the United States Senator in the absence of any other law that would have given the people of Illinois a chance to be able to elect a successor. And when the legislature didn’t act on the legislation which would have given the people the right to elect the next senator, failing then, it’s the Governor’s responsibility to fill the vacancy.
* Kevin reports from the scene that several African-Americans began shouting questions at Pat Quinn, but were eventually quieted by reporters. “They seemed like lackeys,” Kevin said. Go figure.
Another complication in the selection is that Burris is a registered lobbyist in Illinois and Washington, D.C. His Chicago-based firm, Burris & Lebed, is registered in Springfield to represent clients ranging from Comcast to the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. In 2007, the firm was also registered to represent the Illinois Association of Mortgage Bankers. The firm is registered in both Springfield and Washington to represent MicroSun Technologies LLC, an Illinois-based maker of battery and power supplies.
Burris’ lobbying partner is Fred Lebed, a veteran Democratic political operative who once served as executive director of the Cook County party and has also held a number of state government posts.
Associate Senate Historian Don Ritchie said the four examples since 1913 include Democrat Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, who died while a Senate committee was investigating corruption charges against him in 1947; Republican Frank Smith of Illinois, whom the Senate voted against seating due to corruption charges in 1928, and Democrats Henry Clayton and Franklin Glass of Alabama, both of whom withdrew their bids in 1913 after a dispute arose over the governor’s authority to appoint them.
Ritchie also said senators are often seated but then investigated by the chamber’s Rules Committee to determine whether any charges against the senator have merit.
That was the case in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s case, Ritchie noted for example. The Louisiana Democrat won a narrow election in 1996 and was seated while the Rules Committee probed charges of voter fraud before ultimately exonerating Landrieu after 10 months
But Ritchie conceded the Blagojevich situation was different.
“We really haven’t had a case like this,” he said. “There’s just nothing quite comparable.”
* The blatant play to race-baiting on Rush’s part wasn’t unexpected. He’s said pretty much the same for weeks now. But Rush went way beyond that, promising to pressure the Congressional Black Caucus and the Senate Democratic Caucus on behalf of this appoitment.
* CNN is now playing up the Jesse White angle. Keep in mind that this is not a state law that requires certification of the Senate choice. It’s a US Senate rule. This may very well stick.
* And, it’s over. Wow.
* Congressman Bobby Rush just said he wanted to “thank God” for this decision to appoint Burris. Laying it on thick. “He’s an esteemed member of this state and of this community… My prayers have been answered.”
* Blagojevich said he was “absolutely confident and certain” that the US Senate would seat Burris. He may be in for a surprise.
* The governor is fillibustering the press with a long statement about how not filling the vacancy would deprive the people of Illinois of full representation in the US Senate.
* Burris said he was called by Blagojevich on Sunday. He had no comment on the governor’s legal status, saying that as a former attorney general he believed in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.
* 1:58 pm - Letter from US Senate Democrats on the pending Blagojevich action…
It is truly regrettable that despite warning from all 50 Democratic senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.
Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated senators without delay.
We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.
* 1:58 pm - Jesse White statement…
As I have previously stated publicly, I cannot co-sign a document that certifies any appointment by Rod Blagojevich for the vacant United State Senate seat from Illiois.
Although I have respect for former Attorney General Roland Burris, because of the current cloud of controversy surrounding the Governor, I cannot accept the document.
* 12:59 pm - Secretary of State Jesse White’s office says they will not certify the appointment. Certification is required to be seated in the Senate.
* 11:30 am - So much for spending quiet time on the beach. Sources say that Gov. Blagojevich will appoint Roland Burris to the vacant US Senate seat.
Secretary of State Jesse White has said he wouldn’t sign off on any Blagojevich appointment, as is required, but his spokesman could not be reached. I’ll let you know what I hear.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected today to name former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
The action comes despite warnings by Democratic Senate leaders that they would not seat anyone appointed by the disgraced governor who faces criminal charges of trying to sell the post, sources familiar with the decision said.
Shortly after Obama’s Nov. 4 victory, Burris made known his interest in an appointment to the Senate but was never seriously considered, according to Blagojevich insiders. But in the days following Blagojevich’s arrest, and despite questions over the taint of a Senate appointment, Burris stepped up his efforts to win the governor’s support.
Though he is 71, Burris has said that Obama’s replacement should be able to win re-election and he has noted that despite a string of primary losses in races ranging from Chicago mayor to governor and U.S. senator, he’s never lost to a Republican.
* 12:11 pm - A quick check of campaign finance records shows Burris’ consulting company has contributed about $11K to Blagojevich’s campaign fund. The consulting company has benefitted from a bunch of state contracts since then, many of which doing PR work on behalf of IDOT minority contracting efforts.
Blagojevich privately credits Burris with playing a major role in the governor’s 2002 Democratic primary win. Burris took the African-American vote away from Paul Vallas, who was always quite popular in the black community. Blagojevich finished behind Burris and Vallas in Chicago (he barely won his own congressional district), so Burris’ spoiler role was crucial to Blagojevich’s win.
The Senate will not seat Roland Burris if Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich attempts to appoint him, a Democratic leadership aide said.
Majority Leader Harry Reid views Burris as “unacceptable,” the aide said.
* 12:38 pm - From the IL GOP…
Statement from Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna on Roland Burris Senate Appointment:
“Illinois Republicans were the first to demand Rod Blagojevich have nothing to do with appointing our next United States Senator.
“Because they went back on their word and refused to strip Blagojevich of his appointment power and pass a special election, Illinois Democrats have created yet another constitutional crisis for Illinois.
“Blagojevich Democrat Roland Burris is emblematic of the old-school, pay-to-play culture that has plagued Illinois for generations and this appointment is another embarrassment for the people of Illinois.
“Once again, Blagojevich Democrats have failed the people of Illinois by refusing to strip Rod Blagojevich of his senate appointment power and blocking a vote of the people.”
Figures. About the only Democrat with as little integrity as Blagojevich. When everyone else runs away from the dung heap, Roland jumps in looking for his pony.
- Just Observing - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 11:45 am:
Roland Burris is a good, non-controversial pick. He will be seated and the pick will be relatively undisputed by the U.S. Senate and the state legislature. The U.S. Senate needs a Dem in the seat (for the vote) and Illinois needs representation.
Blago never ceases to amaze. I wonder if the self-described illustrious Roland has room for this new honor on his headstone (I’ve tried finding that remarkable monument on google with no luck; it’s something to see, though).
I predicted awhile back that Burris would be Quinn’s choice that he would tap. He will be seated and he will likely be reelected, IF he is renominated. However, I think Lisa Madigan or someone else will take him out in a primary. Maybe not.
This is a bold move by Blago, if they refuse to seat Burris Blago will lead the cry of racism to try to make the SOS and Senate leadership look bad. He has no restraint in the lengths he will go to embarrass people he thinks ar ehis enemies.
Burris will claim he used a statewide grand jury to go after drug dealers. He used it once got the publicity and lost the case. Easy to get to Roland Burris, just name him man of the year or man of anything and he will show up so that he can inscribe his tombstone with another dead epitath simiar to his contributions to Illinois - worthless. A do nothing blow hard.
The Governor continues to “appear” that he is doing his duties. Going to work everyday at the Thompson Center, signing bills and making this appointment.
Both parties need to ensure that this appointment doesn’t take place in order to cut Blago’s perceived “I’m in charge and look I’m doing my job” persona right now. Of course, the perception is geared toward joe public, not us politicos.
Burris is probably the only pick Blago could have gotten away with.
Let’s hope Madigan, Emil/Cullerton, and Reid all step up and see this as the Governor tipping his hat to their concerns and don’t drag this issue on any longer…
- No Peotone Airport - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 11:57 am:
I have a hard time envisioning either Jesse White or Harry Reid backing down from their pledges to derail any attempt by Blagojevich to make this appointment. (Let alone BOTH of them.) Stranger things have happened, though.
I don’t recall Blago beating Vallas in Chicago but Burris closed the gap by siphoning off what otherwise would have been Vallas’s votes. Blago won the ‘02 primaries by taking the downstate by a big margin due to Vallas’ lack of organization there.
Not for a second did I believe Burris was running in ‘02 to win. I give credit to Rod for the cleverness of his appointment.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:02 pm:
As Blago continues to pretend he is relevant it is truly a miracle that he got caught so red handed that he can no longer be at all listened too. Who would have thought that-not even a month ago-he would have been able to make this pick and was not the universal joke that he has become.
It is amazing to see that there are individuals still willing to pal up with him, however, Burris has nothing to lose. He’s about as relevant as Blago himself.
The sad part is that this selection had to be approved by his attorney who is leading him into a 20 year stretch in the pen and basically destroying his family and any chance of redemption for this pathetic individual. Basically, Mr. Genson is serving himself at his clients expense.
Darn. I guess Mr. Blago did not get my resume. Sorry Bill but I needed a job. Still do. Good Luck Roland.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:10 pm:
If Burris is refused certification and/or seating, what pressure does this apply to the next person who would be Senator? If this is an appointment, the pressure to appoint a person of color (which ironically went away with the Blago arrest) ramps up again, big time.
Just another reminder to the impeachment committee to get the job done swiftly. We knew he was going down swinging, let’s just get him out. Who knows what he’ll do next to show that he still has power? I don’t know if he’s thinking that the more he acts like a Governor, the more the public will back his staying on until the trial is over, but quite opposite is the case. If he were to have just laid low and shut up, he would have had a better chance of hanging on until a trial. No way now. He’s gone, ASAP.
-Jesse White will have to certify a black nominee no matter what he has stated
-Harry Reid and company will not dare refuse to seat a black nominee to their current lily white club
Welcome Sen Burris
Crafty move by Blago to play to his 7% support although appointing JJJ would have really poked White and Reid in the eye
It doesn’t matter what Reid “finds”. The role of the Senate in “seating” a new Senator is to merely determine whether he meets the constitutional requirements with regard to age, etc.. There is clear precedent and a Supreme Court decision which states exactly that.
General Burris is a fine choice. He has a long and distinguished record as a public servant, an advocate for civil and human rights, and a champion for the working women and men of Illinois.
Congratulations, SENATOR Burris!
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:20 pm:
By the way, Blago really is a one man Democratic wrecking crew. When he is done with the party, they will have to call in the troops to clean up the carnage. If I were Barbara Flynn Currie I would call a session tomorrow and get on with the vote. This man is willing to bring anyone down with him including the state. The Legislatures duty is to protect the people of the state and cannot allow this to go on regardless of “supposed due process”.
What does this say about Roland Burris? He has a telephone, reads the newspapers, watches the television, and could have web access - has he been vacationing for the past several months on some distant land?
He is perfectly aware of the situation, isn’t he? Why would he accept a nomination from this man, at this time?
What does this say about Roland Burris? Based on his record of state service it says that he may be a honest guy, but has a political hunger that still goes unsatiated after several primary defeats. Hungry enough to face the reactions he will endure being seen as a Blagojevich stooge.
This situation screws around with the political story being written by a group of risk-adverse legislators. Due to their concern over covering their own behinds, they have left Blagojevich with the executive power to select our next senator.
Gensen said last week that this wouldn’t happen. Hearing it from Blagojevich’s defense attorney gave his claim some credibility. In naming Burris, Blagojevich tackles Gensen publically and casts doubts on any future statements Gensen will make concerning the Governor.
I guess Blagojevich decided after watching last week’s Impeachment Committee hearings that any hopes he had with Gensen are unworkable. With this move, Blagojevich asks Illinoians to replace the losing poker hand he dealt himself.
The entire thing is a ruse and Burris knows it. Yet he is ambitious enough to play along. This casts Burris into a new public light, doesn’t it?
Burris - ye gad. The Bland leading the Blind. He deserves shunning for many reasons, but mostly because he was the early enabler of Blago the Fool, by taking Vallas votes away. Go away Roland, just go away.
Bill, he’ll never be seated. I’m sure Harry Reid doesn’t have the knowledge of Senate precedent, rules and Supreme Court decisions that you do, but I suspect he’s got some pretty smart people working for him.
Shouldn’t the Democrats consider the pleasing result that this solves the problem of the special election issue? Whether Burris is everyone’s cup of tea or not, he’s still a Democrat and not a Republican, and this will save the time, trouble, and money that would have to be expended in a special election.
Y’know, I feel like this is a political version of that show (and subsequent movie) “Jackass” - or some of the stuff you see on YouTube - where people do really stupid, assinine stuff to get their thirty seconds of “fame”. Yep. “Jackass - The Governor”, now in theatres….
Won’t this be a horse that is ridden long and hard in the media in the coming days?
Rich wrote: ” A quick check of campaign finance records shows Burris’ consulting company has contributed about $11K to Blagojevich’s campaign fund. The consulting company has benefitted from a bunch of state contracts since then, many of which doing PR work on behalf of IDOT minority contracting efforts.”
==I’m sure Harry Reid doesn’t have the knowledge of Senate precedent, rules and Supreme Court decisions that you do==
If Reid thinks he can block a legitimate appointment, than you are probably right. He has no say in a duly appointed Senator with no criminal record. He also doesn’t have the votes. I’ll guess he’ll find out. So will we.
1) This is just Blago’s way of sticking the middle finger to the Dems and especially MJM. He understands that the Republicans have focused all their energy on calling for a special election, and knows what kind of headache this will cause.
2) He just considerably sped up the impeachment process.
What role does the Secretary of State play in all of this? This is all the relevant section of the election code says:
(10 ILCS 5/25‑8) (from Ch. 46, par. 25‑8)
Sec. 25‑8. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election, and the senator so elected shall take office as soon thereafter as he shall receive his certificate of election.
(Source: Laws 1943, vol. 2, p. 1.)
- I'm just saying - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:35 pm:
Thanks but i’ve pretty much given up hope of getting appointed. If it can’t be me I would hope it would be a person with the accomplishments, dedication, record, work ethic, intelligence, and experience of that great public servant, General Roland Burris.
A brilliant move on Blago’s part…I don’t see
how-legally or politically-Jesse White or the Dems
in Washington can refuse to seat Burris without
doing even more damage to the Democratic Party in
Hey, BTW, I think that Burris was teamed up with Lon Monk on some lobbying work, at least for a time, last fall; I think they worked that predatory lending bill that Jacqui Collins had. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, it’s just that, if the recollection is correct, it could be interesting, with the talk of Monk be on “the tapes”….
The Dems in the statehouse had their chance to take Blago’s ability to appoint, but they were too worried about the seat falling into GOP hands so they did nothing, and the gov has made them all out to be complete fools again. They really dropped the ball and the gov ran for it a touchdown.
I think the Burris thing will evetually be approved by the powers that be…Roland can’t hurt, and probably won’t help the fortunes of the State of IL, so I agree with Cassandra for once…watch Blago use the race card when faced with the stiff opposition of those who have said they will refuse to seat any appointment of his to the post…remember what he did when folks critized Patty for her real estate sweet deals? Uh huh..
This is going to upset the Obama team BIG TIME. We have a serious financial situation in this country, we are at war in at least two theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan), Israel is now the lead of story for every news outlet, Obama is trying to get his things in order so he will be up to speed the nano-second after he takes the oath of office, Obama has been deflecting lots of negative attention from him and his team about Blago, and now this announcement, which will draw every single media outlet’s attention away from more important matters of the day.
Am I surprised by this appointment? Not at all, considering yesterday was such a horrible day for Ed Gensen in front of the committee (talk about getting spanked). We all know that after such negative publicity, Blago craves something positive. The point is that this announcement will prove to the entire country (and it should to Ed Gensen as well) just exactly how seriously delusional Blago really is.
As for Roland Burris, yes he WAS a fine politician in his day. Since being AG, he has tried (unsuccessfully) to be Governor at least twice and I think Mayor of Chicago, even though his home is Centralia, Illinois. Burris has contributed to Blago, has contracts under Blago’s administration, so why in the world would Roland want to end his political career with this as a footnote?
I think with yesterday’s hearing, Blago sees the writing on the wall and thought he’d go for the appointment and let the chips fall where they may. Remember, publicly he practically dared Fitzgerald to wiretap him, even though he knew it had already been done. Now he is daring Harry Reid to refuse to seat Roland Burris. Bill, even though you don’t think it will successful - it will be succesful. And on the odd chance that you ARE correct, it will leave Illinois without a second senator for many months (of course, why should that matter, we have only had one senator for the last two years anyway), perhaps the entire two remaining years, while this plays out in the court system.
Way to go Rod. You’ve outdone yourself yet again. But this time, you are on the radar of the entire world press and for this deed, you will be literally drawn and quartered.
Blago is a master here… the house has to recess pending a judge to decide if Fitz can change his mind and release some tapes (because maybe this impeachment thing isn’t working so well), and bam Blago comes out with Burris on the day off…
Now, if the House had just acted like it was in charge and issued supeanas to anyone remotely connected to this rot in Illinois they maybe could have been a few steps ahead of the Guv and in charge of events.
Why do so many people think ANY Republican has a chance in a special election? Topinka? Burkett? Kirk? Please– the state just voted overwhelmingly for Obama. His support of ANY Democrat will kill any Republican in a special election.
The fact that Burris would accept the appointment says all that needs to be said about Burris and the type of politician he is - and this does not even take into account the fact that he campaigned for Blago to appoint him
Roland should be applauded for having the foresight for pre-planing. Just another reason why he will make a great Senator.
As for Genson, check out the national news channels. They seem to think he had a pretty good day and the talking head legal experts think he brought up many valid points.
==I’m sure Harry Reid doesn’t have the knowledge of Senate precedent, rules and Supreme Court decisions that you do, but I suspect he’s got some pretty smart people working for him.==
The US Senate is a club. They make up their own rules. Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader and the leader of the Senate Democrats can bury Burris in committees totally irrelevant to the state of Illinois.
While I don’t know about the powers to deny Burris a seat in the Senate, I do know the Senate rules already in place grant immense powers to the Majority Leader that also happens to be your Senate party leader.
This is why you see Quinn, Durbin, and the Republicans calling for a special election.
Bill, you and I know that the national news channels are so far behind this Illinois thing that it’s not even funny. They were reporting last night that Blago is going to work every day, “as usual”. You bet he is because he can get some camera time and he knows the press is following him so he doesn’t want to be seen exiting his vehicle every day at the front door of his campaign headquarters. You, I, and everyone else in this State knows that Blago has been working out of his home or campaign office for years. There are people in the Governor’s JRT office who wouldn’t recognize him if he walked in the front door. So pullleeeeze, don’t rely on the national news channels to take the pulse of the committee or to determine if Ed Gensen had an “UP” day or not.
MSNBC has a post up on whether or not the Senate can refuse to seat a Blagojevich appointee that appears to support Bill’s position that their discretion is very narrow. Apparently the US Supreme Court ruled that the House couldn’t refuse to seat former NY Congressman Adam Clayton Powell on a vote of 8-1.
It strikes me as a very cagy pick intended to divide the enemy.
Burris is an ex-AG and respected figure, one diffcult for White to reject.
I think Harry Reid is, as usual, a lot of sound and fury signifying not much.
Burris is a close to being a Republican as a Black Democrat can be in Illinois, and the GOP leadership in legislature knows it (even if McKenna’s staff does not.) He is a someone the GOP in the U.S. Senate can support to outflank Reid by making him look like the jerk. He will be seated.
And to think he screwed Vallas in the past. Politics can make strange bedfellows!
2010 sure is getting more interesting day by day . . .
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 1:04 pm:
How can they possibly even think of denying him the seat with all the immense clout Roland has. Jesse White and the Senate wouldn’t think to stand in the way of a Burris sponsored by a Blago.
Why are you people carping about politics? We have a governor disabling our state and destroying what is left of any citizen goodwill towards their government.
We are angry and cynical - and we are still getting screwed by this guy because of the bumbling antics of our elected officials.
Blagojevich is to blame for his behavior, but so is everyone else who’s job it is as elected officials to remove him before he damages Illinois further.
A special election is needed not because of party politics. A special election is needed because of the destroyed credibility this government currently has. Why do you care which party does what when we are all witnessing that both parties are too disabled to take action during this crisis? Who cares who wins at this point? How could you even care about something so unimportant? Are you blind?
We all knew Blagojevich would have to go. Madigan even drew up talking points. Conversations have been had. Plans have been discussed. What we do not have is action at a time when action is so badly needed.
Now this? And some of you people want to talk about politics! Are you people nuts? Who cares about that when both parties are obviously so corrupt and stagnant they can’t even kick a criminal out of office?
It is over! The citizens of Illinois are demanding an end to this horrible farce! Will someone please do something?
USAGE: Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.
My intended meaning was that he will be drawn & quartered in the press, the written and spoken word (literally, literature, written word, etc.). Would virtually or figuratively be better words for you?
The Supremes won’t touch this if Blago or Burris sues. There’s no disenfranchising of voters. You think they’re going to honk off the Senate (who make their appropriations and create federal judgeships) for Blago and Burris?
Passing a special election still wouldn’t have made a difference… the bill would still be sitting on the Gov’s desk and he’d still be leagally able to make the appointment. So the lack of a special election is not the problem.
I for one can’t wait for the swearing in. It’ll be so nice to see Roland’s family gathered there — The Senator-to-be himself, and his adult children, Roland II and Rolanda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Burris
(The names of his children are really Roland and Rolanda, although I’m assuming the wiki comment in my link saying that he comes “from a long line of Sudanese Arab descent” is one of those humorous wiki errors that hackers sometimes try to insert.)
- Jake from Elwood - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 1:18 pm:
Governor Jet Fuel has named perhaps the only Illinois politician with a larger bulletproof ego than his own.
No doubt that Genson will now file suit against SOS White to compel him to certify Burris.
I refuse to believe that the US Senate will retract their pledge not to appoint.
The saga will continue for days and weeks to come.
Bill, please take your Ritalin.
Scooby has the correct case. Though the Powell case pertained to the House, the Supreme Court used reasoning that held to a very narrow interpretation of Congress’ constitutional power to affect who they might seat. It’s hard to see this court overturning that precedent, so I don’t see how Reid can block the appointment.
Here’s a question. Rich, the statute says that the temporary appointment lasts till “the next election of representatives in Congress”.
I think a good lawyer could argue that the special election to fill Emanuel’s seat meets that burden, and the state should hold the Senate replacement election at that same moment, based on existing statute without any change.
Earnest, you’re a genius. So even if Roland is seated, it wouldn’t be for long would it? Oooo, the plot thickens.
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 1:29 pm:
I predicted a few weeks ago that the Governor would appoint someone. He will come out and say He has the constitutional duty to appoint someone to the seat. Burris has been a constitutional officer of this State, and I am sure if Jesse rejects this it will go to the State Supreme Court and he will be seated. If Hyde rejects him, he will take that to the Federal Supreme Court and he will win there too.
Brillant Move By Rod, plus now he can show that the tapes were indeed just “Talk”.
Until people realize that this guy is going to go down fighting, and the quicker the knock-out the better it is for everyone.
Here is the real bit of law that involves Jesse……..
(15 ILCS 305/5) (from Ch. 124, par. 5)
Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State:
1. To countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor.
2. To make a register of all appointments by the Governor, specifying the person appointed, the office conferred, the date of the appointment, the date when bond or oath is taken and the date filed. If Senate confirmation is required, the date of the confirmation shall be included in the register.
Even if the courts force Burris to be seated, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and the other Senate Dems can vote to expel him from the Senate.
Returning us to square one.
The best possible solution is for Dick Durbin, Madigan, and some other leading Democrats to come out and tell Blago, in the media, who an acceptable person is to appoint to the seat.
Preferably a temporary caretaker (Given his age, Burris would have worked quite nicely in this role, had MJM, Dick Durbin, or someone else with a decent reputation suggested him prior to the appointment), then Blago appoints that person.
The appointee would be minimally tainted, especially if s/he accepts the appointment and says that s/he will not run for election in 2010.
That gives the 2010 Senate Candidates 2 years to prepare for running for the open seat.
It reassures the public that Blago is effectively powerless because Durbin and MJM told him what to do.
It reassures the public that Illinois Dems will police their own (the Impeachment and subsequent removal from office will strengthen such a perception).
And it helps protect us from not having a Junior Senator for god knows how long.
The other good option is for Blago to appoint Jim Edgar to the seat. Imagine that, Blago smears another Republican on his way out of office.
If nothing else, it would make for good political theater.
[…] UPDATE 2: The IL Sec. of State will refuse to certify Blago’s choice. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)No TitleLet The Whitewashing Begin!Batchelor: Senator Caroline EntitledGovernor Blago’s Top 10 Craziest Moments […]
- Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 1:42 pm:
White is going to get sued and he’ll have to certify. The law doesn’t really give him any discretion. Unless there’s some precedent out there that I’m unaware of. Senate Dems are going to have a hell of a time keeping him out too. Not that Burris is a bad choice, but this whole thing makes the state and national parties look like a bunch of bumbling idiots… again. Special election! Wait, uh no. We won’t seat an appointment! Wait, uh no. Next: Impeachment! Wait, uh no.
This has NOTHING to do with appointing a senator and ALL to do with influencing the jury pool. The jury that will hear his case will likely contain several African-Americans who like and support Burris.
Rod is hoping that the Black community will be upset if Burris is not seated and that will somehow transcend to the jury pool. he only needs one person to be acquitted.
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Oh, yeah, sure, like Jesse White is really gonna stop this freight train? Ha-ha-ha!
Certification is a purely ministerial function. And if White refuses to certify the Burris appointment, then all Blago/Burris need do is ask a judge to issue a writ of mandamus directing White to do his duty. An absolute “gimme” motion, if you ask me.
(And oh, wouldn’t it be something if the AG is maneuvered into having to seek the writ!!!)
In Powell v. McCormack 395 U.S. 486 (1969), the Supreme Court held . . . that the House of Representatives did not have the authority to “exclude” a constitutionally-eligible person from serving in Congress. Representative Adam Clayton Powell (D-NY) – who brought the case . . . alleged that the House’s decision to exclude him was unconstitutional. Powell, who was accused of misusing travel funds and paying his wife an unearned Congressional salary, fit the constitutional requirements for office as stated in Article 1, § 2, Clause 2.
In the majority opinion, [U.S. Supreme Court] Chief Justice Warren wrote that the Court’s analysis of Article I § 5
demonstrated that in judging the qualifications of its members Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution. Respondents concede that Powell met these. Thus, there is no need to remand this case to determine whether he was entitled to be seated in the 90th Congress. Therefore, we hold that, since Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was duly elected by the voters of the 18th Congressional District of New York and was not ineligible to serve under any provision of the Constitution, the House was without power to exclude him from its membership.
Thus, it would seem that Harry Reid lacks the authority to refuse to seat a duly-appointed Senator assuming he or she meets the constitutional requirements.
[courtesy of www.dailywrit.com ]
Doesn’t it seem that IF this is what happens in a couple of minutes, this will be another version of Blago v. The World? He will have appointed “man of the people” to do the “work of the people” and he will take on big, bad Jesse White and evil Harry Reid all the way to the US Supreme Court, if need be, to protect the people and interests of Illinois!
This is a typical Blago distraction away from the criminal issues & impeachment inquiry.
If what many posters are saying is true, that the U.S. Senate has minimal authority to reject an appointee, and that Jesse white is compelled to certify the appointment, then it is amazing that Harry Reid and Jesse White shot their mouths off about rejecting an appoitnment from Blago without checking to make sure they can.
Almost as dumb as Durbin immediately calling for a special election before he realized the seat could be won by a Republican in that scenario.
In the case of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Adam Clayton Powell, Powell had been duly re-elected by the voters in his district, knowing full well the charges that were out there against him. It is understandable why the court, at that time, may have been hesitant to overturn an election. There is no election to be overturned in the case of Rod’s appointment. And, say whatever you want about precedent, but the Supreme Court can do as it wishes, hence the word, “Supreme.” Stare decisis is a pleasant fiction to be trotted out by senators at confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices; everyone pretends to respect it.
Just in case someone needs to talk to some other blowhards with little current, relevant experience DePaul serves up this little buffet…DePaul University Faculty Available For Expert Commentary on Illinois Governor, Senate Vacancy Stories
As the story of alleged corruption by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich continues to unfold, DePaul University has experts available, including over the holiday break, who can discuss several aspects of the case. Issues they can address include the governor’s legal woes; Illinois state constitutional questions; filling the vacant Illinois Senate seat; Illinois campaign finance issues; the impact the governor’s plight is having on Illinois’ image and Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics; and the media’s role in the Blagojevich story.
(Media-Newswire.com) - As the story of alleged corruption by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich continues to unfold, DePaul University has experts available, including over the holiday break, who can discuss several aspects of the case. Issues they can address include the governor’s legal woes; Illinois state constitutional questions; filling the vacant Illinois Senate seat; Illinois campaign finance issues; the impact the governor’s plight is having on Illinois’ image and Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics; and the media’s role in the Blagojevich story. Here are a few of DePaul’s experts:
* Len Cavise, professor, DePaul University College of Law. Cavise is a noted criminal defense attorney with expertise…omebody else to do something.” Cavise can be reached at 708/704-5965…..* Jeffrey Shaman, professor, DePaul University College of Law. Shaman is a constitutional scholar and noted authority on the First Amendment. ….* Donald Hermann, professor, DePaul University College of Law. Hermann is an expert on ethics, the insanity defense and legal competency. …..
* Woods Bowman, professor of public service, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Bowman can comment on current and emerging problems with the state budget and government operations.
* Craig Sautter, visiting faculty, School for New Learning. Illinois governor, although he never thought it would be due to the impeachment of the seated governor. ….And the list goes on…
* Wayne Steger,
* Mike Conklin, journalism instructor, College of Communication. A longtime reporter for the Chicago Tribune and personal friend of John McCormick,….(Oh, wow)….
* Bruce Evensen, professor of communication, College of Communication. He is an expert on media ethics. ….* Bruce I. Newman, professor of marketing, College of Commerce. He is an expert in the areas of campaign finance reform, candidate image and marketing and advertising. marketing campaigns, and not necessarily those with the finest character.” Newman can be reached at 847/987-6932 or firstname.lastname@example.org…..
* Ola Adeoye, visiting assistant professor of political science, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Adeoye is an expert on the American political system, state politics and Chicago government. …..
Regarding all the chatter about lawsuits if Burris is not seated, I think that the Gov’s days of legal show-downs over the consitutional power of the Governor are over. Where’s he going to get the dough to fund an expensive folly like that? Threatening others with protracted legal action is a lot different when it’s your dime….Maybe somebody would back litigation on behalf of Burris…
Seems obvious to me that Blago is still delusional. He thinks he’ll be exonerated and he’s appointing a 71 year old in the hope that Burris will step aside and let him (Blago) “parachute” into the Senate seat when all of this passes over.
Of course, this all presumes that Burris will be seated. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Rod’s thinking that Jesse White and Harry Reid will blink first rather than create a constitutional crisis. It’s just delusion and nothing more.
Well said VanillaMan. Any person who looks at this situation in strictly political terms has lost touch with reality. Most regular joes and janes out there thinks Blago is guilty and will be gone sooner than later. And no matter what people thought of Burris before today, most will see this for what it is: a desparate attempt for some odd type of glory. His acceptance of Blago’s “appointment” disqualifies him from becoming a member of the Senate. To try and analyze this move by Blago (who it helps, what he is thinking) is pointless. All of our respectable journalists and opinion writers will surely not focus on these q’s, but upon the fact that until the Legislature votes Blago out, our government will not be able to properly operate to the benefit of its citizens.
Andy McKenna, take a deep breath and read your State Constitution. If the GA passed legislation the same day Rod was arrested, he could have sat on it until the expiration of the 95th GA, which would have required the 96th GA to start all over again, which would have left Rod with the ability to sit on the new legislation until about the Ides of March. There is plenty about this situation to criticize, but the General Assembly was powerless to stop Rod from making this appointment. Any legislation to strip Rod of his power would not have affected him nor would it have solved the problem, but it would have further weakened future Governors.
in regards to Powell v. McCormack 395 U.S. 486 (1969)
The phrase “…since Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was duly elected by the voters of the 18th Congressional District of New York… ” would need to be replaced by “Since General Roland Burris was duly appointed by the corrupt Governor of Illinois….”
Does the CNN feed not have sound? Or is it just off? Anyone else with this problem?
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:02 pm:
Remember, we’re talking about something that’s, ummm, ……. “golden” here. Just four years ago, the office in question was pursued by a man who blew nearly $30 million of his personal fortune for an unsuccessful chance to obtain it. Surely a 1/3 slice of the golden thing is worth a couple hundered thou in attorney fees for what looks like a much more sure prospect.
I agree with others that differentiate this situation from Powell of New York. Powell was re-elected by his district. Burris is being appointed, so the notion of “letting the people speak” is absent.
I also wonder if the certification of the SoS is an historical records keeping paperwork processing detail, or an actual bar to a governor’s appointment power as authorized in the federal constitution.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:15 pm:
Capitol View - but Burris’ ascension to the seat was every bit as legal and by due process as Powell’s was.
Sap - not to promote mcKenna’s bloviating, but the potential for this governor to be in the position to appoint the next US senator has been apparent since, at least the time that MJM was drawing up the articles of impeachment last summer. And the gov was no more or less “fit” at that time as he is now. Oh well, hindsight, 20/20, yadda yadda.
Pardoning death row inmates, nominating an African American to fill the seat that will not be certified, there is nothing an Illinois Governor facing indictment will not do to affect the potential jury pool.
- And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:19 pm:
This is a freak show!! Rod should be in a rubber room. Rush plays the race card. Great. That’s what we were missing here. How do we make this stop. It is totally out of control. HELP!!
That conference was bizarre, but Blags played a good hand today. Announce you’re going to appoint a staid, experienced, well-respected AA; have Bobby Rush play the race card to pressure the seat as staying in AA hands. Have White & Reid say they’ll block it, but they have law in their hands–as Rush alluded to [and yet said, “I’m no lawyer…”].
Wow…What a statement by Rush. Glad he slipped in “lynch” before he stopped speaking. He made sure to tell everyone that the African American man should be given every chance. How about just speaking to the qualifications of the man instgead of the race. It’s a shame that RB is putting Burris through this. Bad move for the Dem’s too. They can’t confirm Burris but they really can’t afford not to.
The Chicago/Illinois way!!
Trot out the sick Bobby Rush. I listened on the radio. Was the stage also full of black ministers?
Blago has just scored his 2nd touchdown and will soon get the ball back…could be a rout
- Holdingontomywallet - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:27 pm:
Was this press conference given under a circus tent? I kept waiting for a clown to appear with a squirt gun. So Bobby Rush thinks this should stick because we need an African American in the Senate? Great justification. The hits just keep on coming, thanks for the national publicity governor, Illinois appreciates it.
Obama needs to issue a statement immediately. “I do not support this appointment. I support Secretary of State White’s decision to not “certify” the appointment. We will fight them on the beaches………we shall never surrender”.
I don’t know who has the larger ego Burris or Blago. I do know who has the larger head.
I do not see the big deal here. The selection for the senate seat could have been worked out behind the scene months before the election when it was clear the BO had a good shot. Names could have been suggestted, people agree/turn down the option, get vetted, and a final choice made that would work for everyone pending a presidential win. Apparently it did not happen. So BO wins and this show goes on as if the entire process starts only after the election. In the mean time, the Gov gets arrested and suddenly all kinds of people have public ethical/moral/CYA dilemas as if entire Blagojevich issue has not been followed in Washington, Springfield, and Chicago. At the end of the 2 years the person would still be learning their way around. How much actual influence can you really get in the 2 years of a 6 year term? Does it really matter who is seated? The Blago situational kryptonite will rub off on whoever is there. If Burris is willing to say “Yes” and he thinks he can be effective, then good for him. I gotta assume he knows what he is stepping into and at least knows how the legislative process works. Is he re-electable? I do not see it. The $11,000 and state contracts for his company will never go away. It is clear many of the names mentioned in Cap Fax are giving the seat very wide a pass. The coming DC reception seems to likely be mild tolerance of something to ignore. White should cert him like the constitution calls for and let him get to DC to do the time. Get this out of the way for what is coming. None of this changes any of the other issues Rod is facing.
No one’s yet mentioned the way RB stumbled over that $14k in contributions. You’d think they would’ve prepped him for those questions.
- Rod Is Brilliant - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:47 pm:
This is a brilliant move by Blagojevich. He gets a trusted insider (Burris was his transition team co-chair, and has been kept close through numerous state contracts by the Governor) who has been a reliable fundraiser for Blagojevich (the Governor has consistently looked to fundraising as key to his Senate appointment). Surely Burris can be counted upon by Blagojevich to be there for, perhaps, a clemency request in exchange for a key vote needed by the Obama administration, or a push to a lobbying group for a job for Patti, or similiar things. Burris has a long record as a public servant, most recently as a lobbyist representing clients before Rod Blagojevich. The African-American angle makes it politically incorrect to inquire about discussions/deals between Blagojevich and Burris, or involving Burris’ lobbying/fundraising associates. This is just brilliant.
Again, good choice. If the gov didn’t appoint someone, we’d hear how bad it was for the state. Nobobay likes what has allegedly gone on but it appears that he managed to find a clean, public servant equipped for the job.
As Rich clipped at the top there is no precedent, but the Senate can set their own rules. Even if somehow he does go 3 for 3 on the court challenges, he still will not be seated on any committees and my guess is he may or may not be invited to even caucus with them.
On 2nd thought, I like this move, MORE MORE!!! Keep hammering on the “Self-Destruct” button.
Rich, you’re the one I really feel sorry for in all of this. You thought you could take a few days off over the holidays; however, your time off between now and February 11 might be pretty slim. I can recommend a good surgeon to have that Blackberry imbedded into your hand.
The real story is the question of why Burris would ever entertain such a thing. Everyone knows he will never take the seat. Reid and Durbin would never allow it, regardless of what Jesse does.
It’s never going to happen. I think the Governor has just given the Republicans yet another seat or two during the next cycle. It is pure spite or he has lost his mind, what’s left of it. In fact this is an additional article of impeachment, not that we can add any at this point or need to.
Madigan, Currie and Cullerton have recourse but to expedite the process immediately. You dems are beginning to hemorrhage. This state is blue, yes. But it’s not that blue. No state is that blue.
I never thought Cross had a chance as Governor until now. Keep it up and we may take the House back. I’m not kidding. Blago has done more for the Republican party of Illinois than Cross or Watson ever dreamed of doing.
What matters is how the Republican leadership reacts to all of this. Stretch this out Republicans! They are hurting and they know it.
Blago has “enjoyed the limelight of the past two weeks”. Let’s give him a lot more enjoyment then.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:04 pm:
That had to be one of the most bizarre news conferences I have ever witnessed. And Bobby Rush just poured more gasoline on the raging bonfire.
Am I the only person who feels that Burris looked completely blindsided by the press reaction? What does that say about him and our current governor? Could he have looked more clueless?
I watched it on the CNN live feed (which ended up being WGN). Is it possible for Illinois to sink below “laughing stock of the nation?” After getting off the phone with some friends in Florida, I can honestly say that is the first time they called me in winter to ridicule something up here other than the weather.
Happy New Year to everyone! 2009 promises to be even wilder than any of us would have ever imagined!
About two weeks ago one of Blago’s guys said that he might just name someone to the seat, I believe Rich responded with a “Even heaven couldn’t help the Democrats if that happened.”
Well, here we are….
I can only think of two rational reasons Blago did this:
1. To gain favor with the african american community and the CBC in order to maybe get a reduced sentence
2. To completey screw with the dems in the state.
That’s it, that’s all I can come up with.
Can the Blagobots come up with anything else that’s rational?
So the Democratic governor in Illinois is still around three weeks after being arrested?
Blagojevich is known to the Democrats who supported and elected him twice, right? So why are they once again surprised that he went back on a promise? He has never been trustworthy, so why are these people acting so surprised?
The Illinois Democrats have known Rod Blagojevich for years, and knew how he operated. They watched him ignor his gubernatorial duties, fight with nearly every legislator in Illinois, slash their budgets for personal gain, take revenge on his opponents by moving state offices and prisons, accuse them of being “drunken sailors”, for the past six years - but they still backed him for re-election?
He was arrested three weeks ago, and yet some of them still act like his arrest was a surprise to them.
How long can the Illinois Democratic party play stupid? When will they take responsibility for empowering the worst governor in Illinois history? When will they curb the man they made governor?
Illinois’ fiscal system is in meltdown. Our bills are in default. Our governor is out on bail. Yet with the exception of Fritchey, Lang, Currie and a handful of others publically demanding immediate impeachment, Illinois Democrats are looking for ways to win votes instead of doing the people’s job of driving their man from office.
Blagojevich has few friends now. He has been radioactive for at least a year. Polls show he is nearly hated by a vast majority of Illinoians. Yet Illinois Democrats hum and haw looking for an escape route for themselves instead of for their constituencies.
Now this. Blagojevich proved once again that he is the one willing to take action and that he is the one with the testicular virility in Illinois government today. As he stinks up Illinois, the very idea that our legislators could rid themselves of Blagojevich without themselves stinking like trash is laughable.
All you Democrats supported Rod Blagojevich. You owe us big time. Do what we want now - impeach him and remove him from office ASAP!
I’m in a bar, with an open side facing the ocean. It’s about 80 degrees here and I’m sipping a frozen drink in swimtrunks and a goofy Hawaiian shirt whilst typing away. Yes, it sucks to have to work on vacation, but it could be worse. I could be home.
Note also that Bobby Rush beat Obama in the 2000 (I think) congressional election. Is he the only person Obama has ever lost an election to?
I suspect Obama probably has a few choice profane words for Blago right about now…
- I'm just saying - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:13 pm:
I really hate to say this, but this may have politically (And im’ just being the devils advocate here) have been a smart move
#1) It takes a bit of the attention off of him for a week
#2) it will also take some of the attention off of him as this goes through federal court
#3) it now allows a racial element to enter the equation, where is the great savior
So although it was ridiculous, it may have been a good move.
And I really hate saying that :)
When you are losing the game, control the clock, that is exactly what the Gov is doing.
If only the GA hadn’t been slow on whether or not we should have a special election. The door was opened and he went thru it. Also I’m very disappointed with the attempts to make any appointment to this seat a racial thing.
Fritchey was just on FoxNews … He is all about Sound-bites for his own good, but please, not during a crisis. He is looking more and more the opportunists. Then he says how honorable Burris is, and how it was working for him, then calls the whole thing a “Black eye” but not about Burris … If Burris accepts, which he did, does that not taint Burris, like the ILGOP says? Fritchey wants the press… taint, no taint, no problem, just give me the mike!
Get a freaking grip, people…these tactics have been used for decades in Illinois. Why the surprise?
Reading some of these comments is as amusing as the shock..SHOCK of the rest of the Illinois politicos that someone was trying to trade an appointment for political favors. HERE?!? In ILLINOIS?!?
Most of you are acting like Illinois politics is pure as the wind driven snow. Illinois politicians crying racism every chance they get. If you are surprised by this, I suggest moving back to whatever kinder, gentler place you came from.
I still believe that White or the Senate can block this appointment, but if they cannot their best bets might be to completely bomb this nomination and go after Burris as hard as they can right now as previewed in one of the updates.
How much credibility would one Roland Burris have in the U.S. Senate?
He’s got a base. He’ll do ok. He’ll do OK for himself but he’ll get Illinois a big cut too.
Note also that Bobby Rush beat Obama in the 2000 (I think) congressional election. Is he the only person Obama has ever lost an election to?
Yeah, talk about rubbing the Prez Elect’s face into it….
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:20 pm:
Blago did this for a couple of reasons, the first and perhaps the most important is he can say that all the stuff on the tapes were simply talk. (as his attorney said yesterday) That he accepted NO money for this and that he intended to nominate Burris all along. It could potentially put doubt in a jury about the conversations on tape. (after all OJ got off)
Secondly he did so because he wanted to stand up there and thump his chest to all Republicans and Democrats, showing that he is STILL the Governor, and will be until he is removed.
Overall, if the Legislature would stop playing politics and do what is right this would never would have happened.
- The Court Jester - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:25 pm:
As a friend of mine called me and said, “only in Illinois can a Saturday Night Live skit break out at a Gubernatorial press conference” If your not playing offense, your playing defense…
Not sure if you heard or saw, but ABC7 Chicago reported that on Christmas Eve Blago offered the Senate seat to Danny Davis but he turned it down.
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:27 pm:
This is starting to bite Obama hard. He really needs to get this Blago thing settled before he takes office, otherwise, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. Wrong or right, the pendulum is already starting to swing the other way and he hasn’t even been sworn in. I am not sure if it is inexperience or fear of what Blago might have on him but he needs to lance this boil-now.
I think the post arrest scenario is playing out better than Blago could have planned. He has managed to make the Illinois General Assembly, Lt. Gov and AG all look foolish. Rod knows this mess sets precedent and they are being overly cautious and the lack of action gave us today’s drama.
Rod might very well be delusional but he has done a pretty darn good job making many of our other state office holders look pretty bad as well.
He’s going to take everyone down with him. Add Burris and Rush to the list.
Unless Blago did a different press conference for radio (where I listened) than he did for TV, then there is one important point you missed about him throwing the GA under the bus. He said;
that when the general assembly failed to pass a law calling for a special election; as they said they would do, and WHICH IS SUPPORTED.
So not only did he call them hypocrites but he rubbed it in their faces that they had an opportunity to take the power away from, and he would have supported them doing so, but they failed to act on what they said they would do.
So not only did he call them hypocrites but he rubbed it in their faces that they had an opportunity to take the power away from, and he would have supported them doing so, but they failed to act on what they said they would do.
Excellant point… and failing to first take the power to appoint, they should have paneled 50 / 50 Dems and GOP on the commission and called every witness remotely connected to keep the momentum on their side.
Inside they looked like hot air and tools of Fitz.
The Guv’s got testicular virulity on his mind and today he showed it.
A messs for Illinois, a mess for Obama, a mess for America (someone mentioned Cynthia Mckinney above…the Israilis just rammed her boat she was sailing with supplies to Gaza) and Illinos is just going to overwhelm Obama with this morass.
Oswego Willy, I’ll actually come to Fritchey’s defense on this whole issue. I saw him on Fox and thought that his comments were spot on. In fact, I think he’s done great through this whole debacle-he’s toned down the rhetoric, not been partisan, and has shown a deep understanding of the whole issue. He’s been far more statesmanlike than Lang and Franks. Sure he’s been I’m the media a bunch, but that’s because he’s pretty smart and articulate, not because he’s sending out press releases (I don’t think). All on all, he’s been one of the few bright spots for the Dems in this whole thing.
- Burris Good/ Blago Bad - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:50 pm:
United States Senate Rule II
CERTIFICATE OF APPOINTMENT
To the President of the Senate of the United States:
This is to certify that, pursuant to the power vested in me by the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of __, I, A__ B__, the governor of said State, do hereby appoint C__ D__ a Senator from said State to represent said State in the Senate of the United States until the vacancy therein caused by the __ of E__ F__, is filled by election as provided by law.
Witness: His excellency our governor __, and our seal hereto affixed at ___ this __ day of __, in the year of our Lord 19__.
A word used in the UK (where I happen to live) springs to mind: “blag.” Looking at this wiktionary definition http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blag I believe that English verb meanings 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 apply to Blago, and so do English noun meanings 1 and 3.
The “Feedback” column of New Scientist magazine refers to the coincidence of some people’s names seeming to describe their job as “nominative determinism.” Blago is a blagger. Coincidence or something more?
Quinlan’s gone??????? Wow, what’s the carnage count up to now?
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 3:59 pm:
Getting back to the “property right” and “due process” issues, if the gov (who has been arrested, but as of this writing has not been indicted or impeached) makes the appointment within his lawful powers, and Burris is not certified and/or seated according to state law, the state and US Constitutions, and US Supreme Court precedent, does Burris also have a civil claim here?
Scoot, I agree that we should vote the Chicago Democrats out of office, in 2010. Republicans should have a Contract with Illinois. The 2010 primary will be held on Feb. 2. In May 2010, republican candidates should announce a set of promises that would be similar to the Contract with America. They would promise that, if Illinois elects a Republican, for governor, and republican majorities of the state senate and house, they’ll pass about five bills, including tax cuts, to the 2002 rates, a repeal of the 2003 law which allows illegal aliens to attend state universities and pay in-state tuition, and a repeal of the 2007 law which allows illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses.
A lawsuit is definitely coming. Blago and Co. sued Jesse White last spring for refusing to accept filing of one of the HFS healthcare expansion rules that had been blocked by JCAR. That suit has never been resolved, pending the outcome of the legal action concerning the legality of the healthcare expansion itself.
Burris on ABC7 live right now…says Blago’s problems are Blago’s problems, not Burris’…says “why should my reputation suffer”…”i’ve done nothing wrong”…”the real story is that burris is prepared to lead”
If this does go before the courts, who pays the legal bill?
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 4:06 pm:
It is kinda ironic.
Blago found a old African American pol who has been around so long and doesn’t have a future to take the tainted appointment in the hopes that he can become a U.S. Senator and carry Blago’s water. He doesn’t care how it happens because there is no other way he will get it so he is willing to cut a deal with the devil if necessary.
He is going to be stopped by an even older African American pol who’s been around even longer and who doesn’t care what anybody thinks with unquestioned scruples and morals who will stop this fiasco right where it started.
- I knew it before term one - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 4:26 pm:
Phineas: Who is the even older AA pol who will stop this?
- MikeintheSuburbs - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 4:26 pm:
I think Blago may win this one. First, the Sec of State is obligated by the state Constitution, Sec 5, to make the certification. Second, the Senate probably lacks the authority to refuse to seat him if he meets the minimum U.S. Constitutional requirments of being old enough, and living in the state. Can you spell “mandamus”?
Jesse White is older than Burris but his signature is really not required to certify this appointment-I think Phineas is wrong. Obama should step in but he doesn’t seem to be able to handle Blago at all.
Let’s see what the impeachment brings and hopefully it will be swift. I pray for the day SOMEONE clean Blago and his cronies out at ALL THE AGENCIES and send them packing back to Chicago. I’d like to see Springfield be the capitol again!! We’d save a lot of dollars in travel costs for his HACKS; OMB, budget, CFOs, Directors, Deputy directors, etc. Get the picture. But “business as usual” will probably bring new hacks. :) Go Jesse Go. And to the US Attorney….THANK YOU AND SAVE US FROM BLAGO AND COMPANY.
Phil Collins, the state GOP won’t be thought of as serious for as long as Andy McKenna who is considered to be the artitech of defeat remains state GOP chairman. He’ll put up another liberal candidate pretending to be a Republican and that person will lose. McKenna is the state GOP’s own worst enemy.
I am not an apologist for Blago (really can’t stand him), nor am I a huge Burris fan (don’t dislike him, just not a fan), but Blago is entirely within his rights to do this, and everyone else who says they will block it are the ones who are overplaying their hands.
Did Bill Clinton stop being president when he was under impeachment proceedings for perjury? No.
Is Jesse White going to try and block all those pardons he just issued? Did Jesse White refuse to assign public acts to the bills he signed? No.
This is the same thing. He made the appointment because he is still Governor until the GA or the US Attorney figure out a way to get him out of there. Burris is only going to be a US senator for 2 years, those pardons and bill last forever (or until repealed in the case of the laws).
Is a court of law going to say that a Senate Rule supercedes a state law. I don’t know, but I don’t think so.
I think Blago outmaneuvered everyone here, and that is that. It still isn’t going to change the fact that he will likely be without a job in a couple of months, and may have permanent housing courtesy of US Government very soon.
Rod is going out of his way to exercise his authority as Governor… which makes him more dangerous than ever. Someone please stop him before he gets a notion to close more prisons, fire more state workers, withhold 95 percent of the SOS and Attorney General budgets, declare free health care for all pets, make Elvis’ birthday a state holiday, or move a nuclear waste dump to downtown Springfield…
Obama released a statement this afternoon. Will Burris reconsider given that the President-Elect has just gone on record opposing the appointment?
Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it. I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place. While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy.
>If the gov didn’t appoint someone, we’d hear how bad it was for the state. it appears that he managed to find a clean, public servant equipped for the job.
The Burris supporters sound so silly. They’re left clutching at straws like this one. I mean, the whole state political structure and a surprising number of regular voters have been up in arms for 3 weeks trying to prevent Blags from appointing anyone, and Darlene says we would have been mad if he didn’t!
If that’s the best you’ve got, don’t even try. Just call Roland and tell him not to sell the house in Centralia just yet.
As much as I want Blago out of the governor’s office and into a cell, I’ve got to back him on this one.
He has the constitutional right to appoint the senator. The General Assembly has taken no measure to prevent that and they have taken their sweet time to move slowly on impeachment.
The Secretary of State has no legal reason to deny his signature or the placement of the state seal on the appointment.
And the U.S. Senate has no grounds to block Burris from taking his seat. Unless there is evidence that Burris tried to buy the seat since the arrest, there’s no evidence connecting him to any of the governor’s schemes for the seat. This is personal for Blago, it’s just political. That’s fair.
Roland Burris will a more legitimate U.S. Senator than Al Franken and his attempt to steal the election one questionable ballot at a time.
Remember Rich’s headline on the 29th - “The Governor is a cooked goose”? Well, it looks as though the “goose” is fully-feathered and still running around, and the baking pan is no where in sight. (Sigh)
- Stuck on the Ryan - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 5:58 pm:
*Roland Burris will a more legitimate U.S. Senator than Al Franken and his attempt to steal the election one questionable ballot at a time.*
Hilarious, considering that the questionable behavior in the Minnesota race is the Coleman campaign’s attempt to cherrypick the disputed absentee ballots in an effort to subvert the voters’ will. A close race with a systematic approach to counting the ballots is a bit more legitimate than an appointment by a governor caught on tape attempting to sell the seat. Unfortunately for Burris, the question is raised: Did he have to give Blagojevich anything for the appointment? Blagojevich’s behavior makes that question necessary to ask.
Like it or not… the guv followed the law today by appointing Burris. The SOS and the U.S. Senate will have to follow the letter of the law as well… which is why this appointment could very well hold up. Injecting their personal/political preference does not hold legitimate legal weight.
Under any other circumstances, Roland Burris would have been an acceptable choice, especially if he meant to be only a placeholder and his future electability were not an issue.
But the U.S. Senate, the POTUS Elect and everyone on down have sworn to high heaven for the past three weeks that Blago cannot be allowed to make this appointment, and they have to stick to that. Roland Burris did not deserve to get caught in this mess and he did make a big mistake accepting this appointment.
After all the self-righteous posing is over, what legal arguments remain that will actually prevent Burris from being seated?
After Lisa’s ill-considered foray into the Supreme Court, it is obvious that there is a whole lot of “leaping before looking” going on in Springfield these days.
Burris has been appointed by a sitting state Governor pursuant to a lawful power, and that Governor has not even impeached, much less tried before the Senate.
Correct me if wrong, but it is hard to see how Jesse White would have a legal leg to stand on if he refused to certify. It is not a power of veto on subjective grounds. If White does not certify, he may well be subject to a judicial writ of mandamus to force him to do so (but then again, this is Illinois - what judge would cross the Speaker that much?)
As for the Senate, Harry Reid says LOTS of things, much of which is real Clint Eastwood hard guy stuff. But I think it will be tougher to actually turn Burris away rather than just talk about it. There is Supreme Court precedent that strongly indicates that the reason for denial cannot be subjective, and must be one of objective assessment of qualification, and those requirements are minimal.
In any event, to turn a way a U.S. Senator it had better be a damned good reason, and I simply do not believe that Blago’s troubles are enough. Durbin can carp about the $14,000 all he wants, but to a precedent of denying a Senator over that . . . ???? Half the Senate would have to resign.
It seems to me that Burris’ real challenge is to avoid simply being annihilated by the press, the to the point where even he won’t want this job.
Finally, Roland Burris is a pretty smart guy. I’ll bet he looked into all the legal angles long and hard before accepting, and decided he could not be legally blocked from taking the seat.
- MikeintheSuburbs - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 6:32 pm:
I just finished watching Burris on Channel 2 News. It looks like the following may now happen: (1) Burris files a mandamus action in state court to compel Jesse White to certify the appointment. Burris wins as the certification is a purely ministerial act which White cannot refuse to perform; (2) Burris goes to Washington where the Senate refuses to seat him; (3) Burris goes to federal court and the US Supreme court citing the Powell case; (4) Burris wins but in the meantime; (5) Blago is impeached and removed from office; (6) Quinn appoints Danny Davis; (7) the Senate promptly seats Davis; (8) Burris sues
and wins again as his appointment was valid at the time and the seat was therefore already filled by the time Quinn makes the appointment so teh Quinn appointment is a nullity; (9) this takes us right up to the 2010 election. Happy New Year!
Question ? Is Blagojevich going to go down in history as the sleaziest politician this country has ever seen ? Surely in the top 10 ?
There were probably worse but none as arrogant and self-centered. He has destroyed everyone around him, including his family. But it doesn’t seem to matter to him. After all he said it himself. ” I’ve really enjoyed all the media attention of the last few weeks.
Never, never a dull moment in Illinois politics. It just doesn’t get any crazier than this……..or does it? I think Burris will win the day on this one, and Blagojevich will continue his drive toward the cliff!
Oh please, during his primary run for governor Rod played this guy(Burris)like a fiddle. It really was surprising how simple minded and gullible Roland was.
A few compliments from Rod and Roland was on the Blago wagon.
Actually the only guy under a bus right now is Blagnumbnuts and it goes back on forth everyday to the tune the wheels on the bus go round and round…BTW Capt Fax should have revealed he is barside with his thong not just swim trunks….
Three things from this press conference stand out.
1. The Governor has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What did he say about enjoying the press attention? WOW!
2. Roland Burris just threw away four decades of public service. I hope the US Senate throws him away as well. I have no respect for a man who would allow himself to be used as a pawn to pander to the one constituency group that the Governor may have on his side.
3. Someone needs to tell Bobby Rush that it’s almost 2009, not 1969. He’s fighting 40 year old battles. That’s not change we can believe in.
Bill, what is your drink of choice? I’ll send you a bottle or two when this is all over! Rich, enjoy your vacation as best you can. It’s only going to get crazier next week (and the week after that…).
So, Confused, how much of the Blago Brain Trust is left?
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 7:02 pm:
How does this benefit Rod personally, in some way harm others politically and, to a certain degree, improve his position legally? These, of course, are the three standards he uses when making any decision (as he has told us) so take a look.
Personally, he flips the bird to all the people he thinks have betrayed him and are piling on: “supposed” friends like Hoffman, Emmanuel, Schakowsky, and many, many others, including Durbin and the President-elect.
Politically, by bringing Rush into the equation he says to those considering a primary run for Governor and U.S. Senate “Go ahead and oppose an african american that I’ve legally appointed to replace another african american U.S. Senator–step right up and get yourself an african american in the primary.” Especially, mind you, if you’re MJM’s daughter and Pat Quinn–not especially beloved in AA community anyway.
Finally, legally. His ability to govern is not impaired in the least. He is showing up at work, he’s signing bills, he’s filling vacant jobs, he’s working on the problems of the people. He even went so far as to fulfill his constitutional obligation to make sure Illinois has a seated 2nd Senator in D.C.–he made sure we had representation.
And as for Quinlan, if memory serves right, he was right there in the middle of some of those conversations at Rod’s place. So I don’t know whether the act was all that noble.
I’m not justifying any of these things; just thinking out loud here. Remember, though: personal, political and legal. Always.
As far as destroying his family, I don’t think Blago has seen anything yet until Patti takes him to the cleaners in the divorce. I don’t like her but I would have a little more respect for her if she got rid of that nasty wart. And it will happen. Blago’s not near the bottom yet.
Ms. Port Belly Mushroom, Blago has thought all along he could govern from either his home or his campaign headquarters. What is so sick about what has transpired in the past 3 weeks is that he is just now, after 6 years, showing up for work and signing bills. That doesn’t mean he is governing. How do you know he’s filling vacant jobs? Perhaps you mean Obama’s seat. And what problems of the people is he working on? Please enlighten us.
Corrupt Illinois politicians have long used white guilt to get their way. This is but the latest incarnation. Our obsession with race has given us this dilemma.
- Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 7:38 pm:
NPR had several reports on the story, including an interview with former Gov. Thompson. You’d think Big Jim was a consultant to Rod…
===There is a point of view, as expressed by former Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson on All Things Considered Tuesday, that the Illinois secretary of state has no power to refuse certification and the Senate has no power to refuse to seat an appointee who meets constitutional requirements.===
This is bound to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court at some point. The Adam Clayton Powell case does set a significant precedent, but in this case, no one can argue that the will of the voters of Illinois would be thwarted if Burris were to be denied his seat. The only person whose will would be thwarted (besides Burris himself) would be a governor who stands accused by federal authorities of grossly abusing his power to make that very appointment.
I had been arguing for just letting Quinn make the appointment when he becomes governor but now I think the only real choices are either a special election or just leaving the seat vacant until 2010.
[…] State Democrats also used the appointment to emphasize the need for impeachment. The spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said, “be assured the impeachment process will continue,” while State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias issued this statement: Gov. Blagojevich’s actions today demonstrate an even greater need for the General Assembly to move quickly with impeachment proceedings and remove him from office. The question here is not whether Roland Burris would make a good Senator. The question is whether Blagojevich should have the right to make the appointment. Regardless of whether he wanted to appoint Mother Theresa or Abraham Lincoln, I believe Blagojevich lost that right when he allegedly attempted to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder. He abused his power and should lose his appointment power. Because of Blagojevich’s actions, the appointment process has been tainted and will continue to be tainted as long as he holds office. In the best interest of the people of Illinois, I encourage Secretary of State White to refuse to certify the appointment. […]
NPR had Jesse White on and he agreed with Thompson.
- MikeintheSuburbs - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 7:48 pm:
I don’t believe the rationale of the Powell decision hinged on his having been elected. However, in the days when state legislatures appointed Senators, it was not uncommon for the Senate to refuse to seat someone due to scandals of various kinds. In fact, one of the very last such cases involved a Chicago politician who was appointed by the GA after having thrown a few bribes around, so given that this is also an appointment, possibly the Powell case could be distinguished. It should be interesting no matter what. Just when you thought the Repubs were down for the count, the Dems managed to form the firing squad in a circle yet again. Fire away!
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 7:55 pm:
The POTUS-elect’s statement might carry some moral authority here. If Burris can be made to look more pathetic than he already does by everybody piling on him as well as they are piling on the gov, he may decide it just ain’t worth it. He, the guv and Bobby Rush could circle the wagons, and they could probably raise enough $ from freak-show and train-wreck lovers everywhere to mount and win the necessary legal challenges. Although it is a distraction he certainly didn’t ask for or want, Barack’s intervening appeal may initiate a ripple of sanity here, but it’s no sure thing.
I wonder if Pat Quinn and others are huddling with the intention of cutting a deal with Burris: sit tight, let the impeachment process work its way through, get Quinn’s endorsement after Blago is removed with the understanding Burris is one and done here, clearing the field for 2010. If Burris agrees to lay low here instead of play the guv’s fool, it might play out better for him than the circle-the-wagons route. Although there will undoubtedly be a good many people who will have trouble with a Burris appointment no matter what, on principle.
Interesting to see if Quinn keeps pushing the special election ball. Does this latest act increase the clamor for a SE, or does it even matter at this point?
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 8:02 pm:
Pot Calling Kettle-
You don’t have to be a Blago lover to think Roland Burris’ nomination is on firm legal ground here. Several folks, including some attorneys, are of the same opinion. And I haven’t heard a convincing rebuttal yet, other than some vague references to the US Senate’s omnipotent power of rulemaking, which seems to be strongly overridden by the Powell precedent.
I have the perfect analogy. Rod reminds me of the Baby Face Nelson character in ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou’. Remember the scene where the whole town is dancing him to the gallows and Baby face is just ecstatic. The one guy says “Nelson’s right back on top.” Remind you of anyone ?
===I’m sipping a frozen drink in swimtrunks and a goofy Hawaiian shirt whilst typing away.
So typical non-Capitol attire?
- Where's Abby Spout-n-off when you need her - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 8:30 pm:
Wow, now Quinlan? Hopefully this means he has made his last call to agency lawyers, directors and others berating them, ordering them to stop putting things in writing or questioning their being “a team player”. Just like the rest of the blago-ites, he can run, but he sure can’t hide. These truly are bad people, folks.
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 8:31 pm:
Two things about Burris that really rubbed AA the wrong way.
Burris was (and may still) be getting $5 grand a month from Jim Reynolds’ Loop Capital (for what, it wasn’t clear) at the same time he was chair of his buddy Blago’s “blue-ribbon” pension commission.
If that had been John Glennon and Merrill Lynch, people would have been screaming to the G.
(Source: MSRB Form G-37 Disclosure Reports, 2005-06)
Burris also has this cute way of calling agency heads and saying that he was “considering” signing a lobbying contract with a particular firm and inquiring if the firm was doing any business with the agency (he already knew the answer), was the firm “held in high regard” by the agency, yada yada yada. In short, if he hadn’t already signed up the company, he was assessing the difficulty of the sale beforehand without triggering any of those silly ethics reports.
AA thinks Burris will make license plates before our license plates ever read “Land of Burris,” as he so obnoxiously once proclaimed.
VanillaMan, there is something we can do. Besides the proposal to lob shoes at the Governor’s residence on January 17 (which is a sublime idea) there’s a way we could turn the tables on our Pay-to-Play Governor.
Corporate types call it a separation package. I call it Pay-to-Go-Away. And notwithstanding my HallowThanksaKwanzakanakuhCrispieCreamieNewYears fundraising face plant last year, I could come up with the dough for this ;-)
Safe and happy New Years to all. This debacle will end. Sooner would be better. I just hope we are somehow improved after the trouble. Sadly, my faith is fading.
I am so relieved - this is guv’s last hurrah, or nearly so. Come 1/14/09 he will need to be in two places at the same time. Which will it be? Contempt of a Federal Court or Violation of the Illinois Constitution? Chuckles abound. Yet the Indictments Printing Press is in overdrive. I don’t know how much more of this excitement and fun I can take. A hearty Thankyou to the Democrats of Illinois especially and also the national scene. This is priceless - at least I wish it was.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:19 pm:
Has anyone noticed the parallels in the Drew Peterson case and the Rod Blagojevich saga? The story details, and the brazen antics, seem to be bizarrely alike in so many ways. And both drawing unwanted national attention to IL.
- Speaking at Will - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:23 pm:
Just wanting to make it an even 340 comments. Lets try to make it to 400 on this post people!
- Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:26 pm:
Now we have 341 comments but who cares, Illini over Purdue in overtime.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has just added a new medical condition manifesting itself only in the midwest state of Illinois but threatening to become pandemic. No it’s not the flu, it’s Blagojevichitis and it is both very irritating and very difficult to get rid of!
Picking a Cook County African American Democrat is Blagojevich’s way of sticking it to the Cook County White Democratic establishment. Anyone else reminded of Neil Hartigan, Eugene Pinchon, Audrey McCrimon, and the Harold Washington Party? It’s like 1990 all over again!
As to the precedent set in the Powell case Reid’s office is claiming that they are exercising power that falls within the narrow scope set forth in Powell. Unlike Powell who was determined to have won a fair election and the candidate was judged by the body to be without the merit to serve, Reid’s position is that the process that selected Burris (Blagojevich’s appointment of him) has been tainted by fraud and the Senate can refuse to seat a Senator who got a seat through fraud. They are making the case that a fraudulent appointment process is just the same as a fraudulent election where they do have standing to refuse to seat the winner of a fraudulent election.
Interesting argument, and clearly different than the Powell case. I’m not a lawyer so I have no idea what the courts might do.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:52 pm:
Agreed that Roland Burris is generally perceived as being a good and decent man, at least by IL political standards. Closer to Lincoln and Simon than Blago and Big Bill Thompson, anyway.
But just think…if Burris could have just waited a few weeks (assuming Blago could find no one else of any stature to accept his nomination), Pat Quinn may very well have given him at least an interim appointment without having to deal with the swirling maelstrom he has now.
After losing the Democratic Primary in Connecticut, Joe Lieberman filed for; ran and won the General Election as an Independent which the Connecticut constitution allowed him to do.
Harry Reid swung the caucus doors wide open for Joe Liberman and gave him a nice comfortable seat as the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
During the most recent General Election campaign; Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) who had been embraced by the Democratic caucus; endorsed and campaigned for the Republican Presidential Nominee.
Even though the Democrats increased their majority in the Senate; and their candidate won the Presidency, Harry Reid has come out and said that Joe Lieberman will retain his committee chairmanship.
I have to believe Roland Burris should be asking Senator Reid and the other Democratic leaders (i.e. Durbin) publicly, about what appears to be a double standard here. Lieberman came back to the Senate only because his state constitution allowed for it. Burris would go to the Senate also because his state constitution allowed for the Governor to appoint him. Also, despite the fact that they called a Special Session to do so; Illinois Democratic leaders chose not to take that right away from the Governor.
Even though one was elected; and the other appointed, neither could go to the Senate with a constitutional provision allowing for their route to get there, and yet the Democrats did not refuse to seat Lieberman (and continue to support him, even after his support of McCain), but will now refuse to seat Burris.
This double standard scenario; along with the racial and potential ethnic conflict ensuing could be another problematic quagmire for Harry Reid to deal with if Burris continues to pursue this as well.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 10:04 pm:
After reading the link and the comments, I am not moved that much off my previous position that Reid has a weak case, absent any direct evidence of isolated quid pro quo re: Burris and Blago, irregardless of the Jackson conversation, “flawed process” argument…but I do think that Burris’ ascension might (and I stress “might”) be effectively blocked by court challenges to the point that 2010 would be around the corner. It then becomes a game of who blinks first. In any case, unless an accommodation of Burris can be reached by all parties (except the soon irrelevant gov), it is very likely IL could be minus 1 US senator for a while.
Rod Blagojevich just opened Illinois Political “Pandora’s Box” with his statement today appointing former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris.
“…To NOT fill the vacancy would be o deprive the people of Illinois of TWO United States Senators, to deprive the people of Illinois, their appropriate voice and votes IN the United States Senate..”
Well, lets look at that comment for a moment.
In Barack Obama’s run for Illinois Senate, he ran on a platform of “Change”. He ran on saying he was going to change Illinois Politics and would work FOR the people of Illinois.
Since his election to office, Barack Obama LEADS the United States Senate in “NO VOTES”. He had absolutely NO intention of serving the people of Illinois as he knew he would immediately begin his campaign for President.
We in Illinois, have been left to the ridiculous policies of Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Puppeteer.
We in Illinois have been living for the last 3 years with only ONE Senator as our voice, and HE only listened to the people who contributed heavily to HIS election.
Governor Blagojevich, how you sleep at night is beyond me, knowing your children will grow up knowing their father was almost the most corrupt politician in the state would literally shame ME to death.
This is the correct link; you’ll have to copy/paste since AA is old and doesn’t know what he’s doing with a computer half the time.
Off topic, but good Lord channel 20 is goofy. They’re doing a piece about mortgage foreclosures, and I’ll be bleeped if the first snip of b-roll isn’t some generic neighborhood in North Neckersknob, but a nice 10-second pan down one of the toniest blocks on Wiggins Ave. right here in the ‘patch. Pretty unlikely that the folks living in those particular cribs are missing any mortgage payments.
Who exactly is going to force the United States Senate to accept this appointment? The Supremes? Consider this:
Assuming Jesse doesn’t certify (Way to go, Jesse — you’re the man!), that eats up some time…
Assuming the Senate doesn’t seat Burris (jhow long does it take to determine that?), that takes up some time…
Assuming Burris or Blago sues in federal court, that takes up some time….
Assuming the final decision would be kicked up to the Supremes, that takes up some time…
Who are the four of nine Supremes who are going to sign the writ to even consider this travesty? LMAO!
If Blago is not impeached, convicted and out of office by the time it gets to the Supremes, making his appointment moot, the justices (who can tell time and read calendars) will ignore this nonsense until November 2010, making it moot.
You don’t get to the Supreme Court by letting fools like Blago and Burris play you.
I guess the real question is - can a fraudulent process become a fair/legal/legitimate process midstream or is it that once it become tainted, it’s tainted throughout? Clearly the Senate has the power to refuse to seat a Senator that won an election through fraudulent means. It seems logical that the same standard would apply to someone who got an appointment through a fraudulent appointment process.
So it seems reasonable that you could say that the appointment process began on the day that Blagojevich said in the press that he was directing his staff to start vetting candidates, or election day, or the day Obama resigned the seat (pick any one) and concluded when he made the appointment today. During that process evidence was alledgedly gathered showing that Blagojevich tried to derive criminal benefit from the appointment process thereby tainting it and making it a fraudulent process. I imagine that Reid’s lawyers will say that once the process became fraudlent it was tainted in a way that couldn’t be undone, and I imagine Burris’ lawyers will say that any alledged fraud ended with the Governor’s arrest and everything that happened after including the appointment itself was part of a legally appropriate process.
Here I see two arguments in Reid’s favor, 1) the criminal complaint is pretty strong evidence indicating fraud and Burris’ lawyers would have a tough time proving that at some point the criminal behavior stopped and then he got appointed. It’s not like Blagojevich is going to stand up for him and say “sure I was acting like a criminal there for a while, but I stopped that before I called up Roland and offered him the seat.” And 2) the Constitution gives the Senate final say in deciding the matter so Reid only has to prove to the Supreme Court that the issue is the process and not the candidate in which case the Senate could then decide that once the process was fraudulent it remained fraudulent.
But like I said, I’m not a laywer, just a layperson so you or others may have a better opinion on the matter.
I just had a thought. Remember when Bob Dole resigned his Senate seat to run against Clinton?
Imagine if Obama had resigned his seat to run, and these buffoons had their little circus in August, during his campaign, rather than after.
Obama must be a little embarrassed, a little angry, a little happy just to have moved on, but part of him must be just delighted that circumstances conspired to delay the debut of the Rod Blagojevich Reality TV show until December.
Scooby, your two posts are the only thing that has given me much hope in all this; well stated and convincing. I’m not sure of the law either, but you give me hope that we’ve at least got a case to make, when a lot of others are just saying, well, they’ll refuse to seat him, then the Court will order them to.
- MikeintheSuburbs - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 10:56 pm:
One bright spot here is that if Burris has to sue to get seated, it could be tied up in the courts through the 2010 election. Assuming Blago gets thrown out of office, Quinn can try to “rescind” the appointment and appoint someone else, who the Senate will go along and seat, while Burris sits out the court cases. The Powell case took more than the two years of Powell’s term, so, since there is no way that Burris would win the election in 2010, he would become a non factor. Why does he want to put himself through all this?
The phrase “it has to get worse before it gets better” comes to mind after today’s unbelievable news conference.
Rod just can’t help himself… he said himself he has “enjoyed the limelight” in the past few weeks. I guess he just missed it.
Did anyone notice in the news conference how he couldn’t shut up, then caught himself, and said “of course this is Roland’s day… this is about Roland today.”
It’s a toss-up on what situation has got to be more of a nightmare to obama — the economy or this blago-nightmare. Both situations are ones where folks are saying it will get worse before gets better…
I’m trying to see the up-side in all this, and what I’d like to see is that in both major glimpses we are providing the nation into Illinois — corruption & race — I really hope by putting them on display in such a blatant & ugly way, it WILL get better.
This administration is Old Yeller, and the Committee needs to lock and load and get this over with.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:23 am:
Unless you use a standard of “guilty until proven innocent”, it may take some time to determine that the selection process was any more fraudulent than normal. To a due process standard, not just the court of public opinion. Looking at the way the selection process worked or is working in NY and DE, one could argue the case that the political puffery here was no worse than the quid pro quo that could be argued is at work in those states to a contemporary standard. And again, we’re a long way from seeing proof that the Burris selection, in and of itself, is illegal or tainted through a due process standard.
- shadrockbonb - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:29 am:
Ah, Political dick measuring at its best and the people of Illinois be damned. Durbin and the rest of the Senate Democrats could have moved Blago from the national limelight by accepting his legal authority to appoint Burris. Once the issue of the Senate Seat has been decided Blago moves down in newsworthyness in national media. So, who wants to keep this issue with Blago a national distraction from P-E Obama? It just makes no sense unless you realize the egos involved don’t give a rat’s A– for the people of Illinois.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:40 am:
I will say this…Reid’s “decision” not to seat a Blago nominee was the first “decisive” thing in this whole ordeal. The hard working people of the state (especially in the private sector) look at this slow, excruciating, drawn-out process, knowing that if it were them pulling these kind of shenanigans in their workplace, they’d be out on their ear in about 2 seconds flat.
What we saw today was the actions of a man who realizes the walls of his world are closing in on him, and through his own little vindictive final tour of shame before the Feds drop the hammer is his attempt to destroy the Democratic Party that he feels have been trying to destroy him. This twisted logic is in good concert with the way Blago has conducted himself the last few years. He knows exactly what he did today. He has taken what is only one of his final efforts to destroy the state Democratic party. This was a good blow. More to come, better believe it!
I know many people who served at the highest level of the Burris administration who would challenge your assertion about him being a “good and decent man.” They would (and may) tell you about the crooks and thugs in his administration. They would tell you about the time he used the state plane to transport his dog and his hat. They would tell you about a litany of other abuses of power and office.
I suspect that before this business is over, Roland may emerge with neither his reputation nor his career intact.
Burris being seated is at the least an open legal question. As Scooby said, the Powell precedent was set in a case where the reasons the senate didn’t want to seat were unrelated to Powell being duly elected and qualified.
In this case, the reasons are everything to do with the appointment process, which could arguably covered under the Senate having final judgment on the election of its members. I think the argument that fraudulent appointments are analogous to fraudulent elections is a strong one. Whether they’d have to show Burris specifically was appointed improperly rather than Blago acting illegal in his appointment process is more tricky, but there certainly isn’t any precedent in this area for people to predict the Supreme Court on.
If they follow due process it seems far from the forgone conclusion that lots of people think the Powell precedent makes it.
- Jeff in Evanston - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 4:37 am:
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has no grounds to refuse to certify the appointment of Roland Burris. U.S. Senate Rule II doesn’t give White any authority to refuse. The overall governance of this matter comes from the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that the governor calls a special election unless the state legislature has empowered him or her to make temporary appointments — which, here, they have.
The Illinois statute on filling vacancies is real simple: 10 ILCS 5/25‑8: “When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress.”
There is no federal or state authority for White to refuse to certify. On the contrary, it’s a purely ministerial act. He is primarily a recordkeeper under Article V of the State Constitution and has a duty to certify the appointment under the Secretary of State Act, 15 ILCS 305/5, which says, “It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State:
1. To countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor.
2. To make a register of all appointments by the Governor, specifying the person appointed, the office conferred, the date of the appointment, the date when bond or oath is taken and the date filed.”
Jesse White would be violating the law and would be subject to an action for mandamus, if he refuses to certify the appointment.
Fact is, while it’s not what many would have wanted, what Gov. Blagojevich has done is not only legal, but was his duty as long as he has not resigned or stepped aside. I’m with Jim Thompson on this one.
If Quinn were smart (admittedly, a big if),if or when he does get to be governor he would re-appoint Burris who is a great choice.By that time,the term would be more almpost over and Roland is certainly as capable of “serving” as Reid or some of those other yahoos in the Senate. This process was not proven to be “tainted” and the FBI summary of these mythical wiretaps that no one can hear is not evidence. Where is the evidence? Where is the indictment? Where is the wrong doing? The committee doesn’t need evidence to impeach Rod but the Senate will need some to try to usurp the right of the state of Illinois to representation by their duly appointed Senator. They should do the right thing and seat Burris and this whole thing goes away. If they don’t, we can all strap it down, sit back, and get ready for some hard ball, Illinois style.
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 7:48 am:
Reality Check is right. Simple enough.
Bill, of course, has some nostalgia in his heart for the Rod that Neverwas (he was only a creation in Hoffman and Bill’s minds–we’re seeing the real deal now, unadulterated without Bradley, without Lon to filter him).
Bill is absolutely right, though. Quinn should seat Burris. This helps him as well in an eventual primary (while Lisa and Alexi can eventually be painted as conspiring to hurt Roland, Pat has stepped up to make things right).
As for the charges. It doesn’t matter what evidence is presented against Rod, whether ALL the wiretaps are laid out in full (because I guarantee you there are MORE), the bleating of innocence won’t end because as he said regarding Pubic Official A, those actions don’t describe him.
There are two Rods. That is the secret to this thing. Rod Jekyl and Rod Hyde. The feds just happened to arrest the wrong one. And if they arrested the right one it would be the wrong one. And so on and so on.
That’s the great thing about our justice system, Emil is telling him.
- Speaking at Will - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 7:50 am:
Good Morning Bill. Nice to see your keeping on the firing line for te Gov. However, no need to keep propping the Gov up, he already made his senate appointment, your out of the running.
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 8:05 am:
I don’t understand why Burris would do this. He has to be making a hefty retirement from his State Legislative Retirement. Now he is ruining his good name. This doesn’t make since.
- MikeintheSuburbs - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 8:14 am:
Jeff from Evanston is absolutely correct on the lack of authority that White would have to refuse to certify the appointment, although a court suit may have to be completed and I am not sure how the court would even enforce it’s order other than to hold White in contempt and try to put him in jail. White would be opening himself up for impeachment if he refused to do his job, not that anything would be done by the GA.
Second, we have the US Senate. I beleive they are trying to distinguish the Powell case. In Powell, the congressman was accused of various corruption charges having to do with his behavior in office, but there was no question about the validity of the election. If the voters knew about the corruption charges and voted for him anyway, that’s their choice (he was succeeded in the seat by Charlie Rangel). In the case of Burris, they would be looking at the appointment process and whether it was procured by fraud. The Senate did this a number of times prior to the direct election of Senators and refused to seat a Chicago appointee who had a summer place where I live.
At any rate, the Senate can take it’s own sweet time doing an investigation on this, during which Burris will be denied a seat. Quinn could then make an appointment himself and allegedly “rescind” the Blago pick, and that person (probably Danny Davis) would be seated immediately. Further lawsuits would ensue, but would not be resolved prior to the 2010 election at which point it would become moot. You can see why Davis refused to take Blago up on his offer. He may come out of this smelling like a rose and get the Senate seat anyway.
I blame all this on Pat Quinn. He has stood shoulder to shoulder with this governor for 6 years. Even vouched for Rod’s honest character. Pat refused to have a special election therefore leaving a crack open in the door for the snake Blago to slither thru.
Quinn needs to resign.
I’m in agreement with most that we need a special election in Illinois. But the special election should be for Governor.
It is comical that Quinn would be upset with the Burris pick. Again the pot calling the kettle black. Quinn tied himself to Blag long enough to get reelected.
There is a problem with a special election for governor in Illinois. Is there anyone that has not been corrupted by the political filth in this state. I think not.
Lot of chatter on TV this morning that the Senate ultimately will seat Burris because of the race card. I think the card is overplayed. Obama has come out publicly against the appointment, as has Jesse White. Triple-J has said the appointment process is tainted (he should know).
With Obama on board, that should be enough cover for the Senate for any race card heat. Who is going to supply that heat, anyway, and in what ways that would move the Senate?
- “Where is the evidence? Where is the indictment? Where is the wrong doing?” -
Bill, you’ve just posted the funniest words I’ve ever seen on this blog. It’s a new high - or low - for you on behalf of wrong-way-Rod.
- InquiringMind - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:12 am:
I doubt the U.S. Senate even takes a vote on expelling Burris. All the Senate Dems are concerned about is losing this seat in two years, and this pick has just about botched that for them. They are just mad at themselves for having muffed letting Blago outsmart them.
Maggie — I don’t recall Quinn choosing to tie himself to Blago. If he wanted to return as Lt Gov, what choice did he have? The past two years, he has been most vocal about recall and when pressed, he didn’t hesitate to say that if it passed, the Gov would probably be the first recalled. Then when Emil wanted to tie the recall to both the Gov and Lt Gov, Quinn didn’t whine or complain — he still pushed for recall, knowing he’d be heading out the same door as the Gov.
As far as pot calling the kettle black, Quinn ran for a statewide office and was elected by the people. Burris has allowed his ego to take center stage once again. There is a link near the top of this string that shows the monument/tombstone that Burris has created for himself. We blew the photo up yesterday at work to read all that he had inscribed — oh, my! This is a man with one very large ego! If you haven’t taken a peek, do so! It says a lot about Burris!!
The fact that Quinn has gone to work everyday in a position that has allowed others to do virtually nothing, says a lot about Quinn.
Roland Burris has a monumental ego — his crypt is proof positive. (And who notes their master’s degree their grave???)
Which cemetery holds this self-glorifying colossus? Someone needs to get a news team down there pronto.
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:22 am:
Maggie. Quinn will inevitably take heat for being Lt. Governor in the Blago administration and for his previous comments regarding Rod’s honesty. That is fair game. I don’t think anyone would say he has “stood shoulder to shoulder” with any Dem politician over the years, though.
It does raise the question, though, that if Alexi gets branded as being the big tent for all the Rod hangers-ons and Lisa wears the collar for MJM’s perceived foot-dragging on impeachment, who makes out like the real statesman/woman for the Dems?
Maybe, none other than Daniel W. Hynes, Esq., and current resident of the Comptroller’s office. Or, even though Jesse has said he will not run for higher office, maybe he responds to calls to “calm the waters” and runs to “restore integrity”.
Can any of them beat a decent GOP candidate like Whitley after the smoke clears and the environmental damage is done to the Dem Party?
Only here in the Blue state of Illinois!
As an aside, Rod has enjoyed his time in the limelight, though.
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:24 am:
I’m sure Dick Durbin is planning a long conversation with Roland today.
I agree with an earlier observation that Rod found an old senile black man and used him as a puppet. Roland might think he has the law on his side but he has damaged what was a commendable record up to now.
If he’s seated, he won’t get any committee assignments and what good is he doing for Illinois then?
The NY Times noted Burrises mosaleum in today’s paper.
Burris is going to get the open Senate seat. There are no obstructions standing in his way that will fall against seating him. The obstruction options that were available have not been exercised by the Illinois General Assembly and the Illinois State Senate.
Both failed to craft a bill to place on the Governor’s desk to temporarily strip him of the powers to appoint a replacement. The impeachment option has dragged its feet trying to craft a legal case for impeachment when the entire process is political from the getgo.
It’s going to be almost impossible to lay the blame for this on the minority Republicans in the state. Blagojevich is capitalizing on all the failures of the Illinois legislature. He’s now popped the cork in the Democrat’s champagne. This filth is now going to be dragged out of the state to the nation’s capitol.
==If he’s seated, he won’t get any committee assignments and what good is he doing for Illinois then?==
Locking in the federal pension? Oh wait. For Illinois? Good luck there.
- Dan S, a Voter, Taxpayer & Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:34 am:
Blagoof is going to stir the pot as much as possible because he has caught the national media’s attention. He knows he’s going down and he is doing everything he can to embarass the President-elect. I did not vote for Obama, but he is going to be my President and I sure as hell don’t want him to fail now. Muzzle Blagoof put him in a closet and lock the door.
- Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:36 am:
Come on gang, we got make this a 400 count thread, we can do it.
This is where you lose it. We shouldn’t be cutting our elected officials any breaks - ever. They are not gods. They work for us. We are to fire them when they give us any reasons to fire them.
We are supposed to elected our best and brightest, not lower our standards so that a criminal like Blagojevich can stay in office. We cannot get better government with the supposed standards you claim. Bill, they are far too low.
When any of our elected officials behave as Blagojevich has done, and is doing, they should be removed from office - regardless of whether their behavior is proven “tainted” or “illegal”. Every politician just keeps their seat warm until the next person replaces them. We own those seats.
Defending Blagojevich is defending an individual unworthy of having ever been elected. His behavior in office demands that he be removed as soon as possible, regardless of legalities. He is a politician, not royalty.
He lied to everyone. He defamed an office even though after George Ryan, the standard of excellence was at an all-time-low. He abused us. He made us look like idiots, especially those who supported him, believed him, and had any hope for him.
This man told us he was the White Knight. After Ryan, he was to clean up Illinois. He promised ethical government. He set his own standards. He is a corrupt failure, by his own words.
We don’t have to prove anything beyond the evidence he has delivered daily over the past six years in office. He is the worst governor in our lifetime, perhaps in Illinois history. If you care about our state, you will agree with 92% of your fellow citizens that Rod Blagojevich needs to be removed from office ASAP.
The law no longer matters in this case. Genson will defend him in a criminal trial. But the public’s verdict of Rod Blagojevich is GUILTY!. And it is through citizens that we choose our elected officials, empower them, follow them, and trust them - not through the courts.
Time to stop the bleeding!
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:42 am:
Whitley’s got to prove he can extort money first. I forgot, Bill. Maybe he’ll hire himself a bunch of attorneys, instruct them to figure out the $$$ attached to the signing of each bill or release of each grant, figure out a price on board and commission appointments, hire the best polling firms to determine message, and then . . .
. . . wait a minute, already been tried.
Now I’m LOL.
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:48 am:
Witley is not a politician. He comes across as a very aloof person when you meet him. He has a quick temper and that will be displayed if he runs for office.
==Muzzle Blagoof put him in a closet and lock the door.==
That option has not been exercised. The Illinois General Assembly and the Illinois Senate turned the ball over on downs. They did not impeach immediately. They did not remove him from office the day after. They GAVE THE FOOTBALL BACK TO THE GOVERNOR.
We are getting exactly what we deserve right now. If we think the filth in our state is represented mostly or solely by Governor Blagojevich we are a voting population that deserves every last bit of scrutiny. The 49 other states should bury us right now.
The ILGA is running out of time. They have to impeach ASAP. The IL Senate has to remove the Governor the day after impeachment. The failure to exercise these options immediately has turned the state into a laughing stock.
The Governor is free to defend himself from Federal charges as a former elected official impeached and removed from office by the representatives of the people in the State of Illinois. All this posturing by Democratic lawmakers in Illinois is going to bury their party.
What was a total embarrassment, is slowly morphing into political suicide.
It’s New Years Eve and for God’s sake we have not even had any shots of (Fr.) Pflegermeister yet. Be that as it may; I am not waiting until midnight to celebrate!
In the immortal words of Rodney Glen King King:
“People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?…It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice….Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out”
That being said; I would like everyone to take some time out this morning and run this soundtrack in the background:
and then come back here for a group grope and to priase the lord and pass the peace pipe.
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:51 am:
Bill, I have to tell you that the Governor must have done his homework on this one. I have to hand it to him. He has effectively put the Illinois Dems, and the US Senate Dems on the defensive.
I think Roland will get the seat, but get crushed in the election.
Bill, what is next on the Governor’s to do list?
- He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:53 am:
Rich, How’s Vacation?
- Ms Port Belly Mushroom - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 9:59 am:
400, awesome. Awe-inspiring.
By the way, Burris could have beaten Jim Ryan (in the George Ryan name confusion campaign) and certainly taken care of JBT as well.
Rollin’ with Roland! I’m in!
- MikeintheSuburbs - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 10:04 am:
By the way, both Quinn and Davis are very independent, reform oriented Democrats who built their careers on standing up to machine politics. They should not be lumped in with the Blago crowd (now down to one or two). Burris, on the other hand, has always been a go along kind of guy. What he is doing now is not out of character for him.
Sorry; I didn’t realize that the previosuly link left out the Madigain-Blago embrace. It’s kind of hard to wax nostalgic about that ancient history from this past summer without that getting the Full Monty.
A picture is worth a thousand words; but the video is priceless!
- Just My Opinion - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 10:13 am:
What I find incredibly frustrating about the politics in this State is that we are all blaming someone for the condition Illinois is in. We blame Blago, Quinn, Jesse White, Bobby Rush, Roland Burris, Dick Durbin, Barack Obama, Mayor Daley, Ed Gensen, Mike Madigan, Emil Jones – even Bill.
But the bottom line folks is that we have no one to blame but OURSELVES for the embarrassing political mess in Illinois. We had a chance to vote for a new constitutional convention but yet were swayed by scare tactics from special interest groups who were afraid of losing the clout and power for which they pay.
We have more than a dysfunctional governor; we have a dysfunctional legislature and political process. When will we wake up and take charge of our political system? When will we stop falling for empty promises from politicians who want to keep feeding from the public trough? When will we hold our politicians’ feet to the fire and make them actually keep campaign promises and when they don’t, when will we have the guts to vote for their opponent in the next election? How about all of you who voted for Blago this last time because you were perfectly happy “at least having a democrat” and didn’t want the seat to go back to a republican? How many of you put Blago signs in your yards because you were told to do so by someone who had absolutely no power over you? How many of you signed Blago’s petition to run for governor, especially for the second term? Didn’t you know by the end of the first 4 years that he was a crook and was looking at a Federal indictment? Didn’t you know that subpoenas had been served on his office? Didn’t you remember Patrick Fitzgerald, way back then, talking about Blago’s hiring schemes? Were you absent on the days Blago made his State of the State speech and always had someone to blame (the legislature was spending like drunken sailors, or was it those mean people running the State Board of Elections). He was always throwing someone under the bus.
Wasn’t it enough that Blago forced all State employees to take his new “ethics test” and chastised them for completing a Pre-Kindergarten level test in 5 minutes, and forced them to retake it, taking more time to read and answer questions? That amounted to a whole lot of bathroom, coffee and smoke breaks just to draw out the testing process. Yet Blago apparently has not taken the test himself or, worse yet, didn’t feel it applied to him who needed it most. Ah yes, Mr. Ethics, Mr. Change, Mr. No More Business As Usual, and a lot of Illinois voters fell for it. I admit to falling for it in 2002 but not in 2006. I was eager for change. I was eager to get out from under 26 years of GOP ruling Illinois. But it didn’t take long into the first term for me to realize that we would be far better with a GOP in that seat than a crook.
Wasn’t it enough that Blago was using the State plane as his own personal aircraft? Didn’t you know that he was working largely out of his home in Chicago or his campaign headquarters and rarely showing up at either his Chicago or Springfield governor’s offices? Wasn’t his cozy relationship with Emil Jones and the games they played with legislation enough to make you puke? Wasn’t the one upsmanship with Mike Madigan and the games Madigan played enough for the people in Madigan’s district to turn Madigan out of office, along with Jones and Blago?
Who is to blame for this fiasco, this neglect, laxity, ineffectiveness, collapse, disappointment, debacle, catastrophe, this botched-up mess?
WE ARE. WE THE VOTERS ARE RESPONSIBLE. How long are we going to sit back and let it continue? When will we decide that we, the voters, the residents of Illinois, are going to take back our state politics and for once not be the State at the bottom of the ethical barrel? We deserve what we ask for, we deserve who we vote for, we deserve exactly what we have right now. This current legislature will not fix it. In fact, I’m skeptical at this point if Blago would be found guilty in the Senate. I think he is furiously calling Senators getting those much needed 20 people to not cast a guilty vote against him, if this impeachment process gets that far. I, personally, believe the House committee is just going through the motions and some are scared to death that Blago has ammunition to use against them. Otherwise, we would see this whole impeachment process sail through the House and it would have already been in the Senate for the trial. I’m beginning to believe that we are stuck with Blago unless Patrick Fitzgerald comes to our rescue.
WE MUST REMEMBER THIS. We must demand change and the only way it can ever possibly come about is for us, the voters, to remember that WE have the ultimate power. It’s time for us to stop surrendering that power
By the way, both Quinn and Davis are very independent, reform oriented Democrats who built their careers on standing up to machine politics.
Who have they stood up to lately?
Where in this mess because very few stood up.
I’d rather have a Burris who is-what-he-is in the senate than some of the phoney reformers who never stood up.
- lincoln street - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 10:45 am:
Thanks for getting this grounded in reality, MikeintheSuburbs. Whatever their faults, Davis and Quinn are not machine Dems. To see someone blaming Quinn for being too close to Blagojevich …
- 2ConfusedCrew - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 10:53 am:
I can just see Rich ….face down in the sand ….after a nite of tequilla shots…his thong all twisted up…Slick Willie’s resignation letter partially burned ’cause it was used to lite the beack bonfire….oh the tragedy…..lets go for a thousand posts before Capt. Fax sobers up…..maybe Special-ElectionAndy can explain how many meetings he tigers (StateWideTom and VandaliaFrank) had with Blagoofer/Lobbo1/FR1while the tapes were rolling???????