Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… Burris will testify Thursday *** Crack in the wall *** Poll: Block Burris *** Affidavit released *** Guv responds *** Affidavit posted *** Guv’s criminal lawyer approached Burris *** Burris videos ***
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This just in… Burris will testify Thursday *** Crack in the wall *** Poll: Block Burris *** Affidavit released *** Guv responds *** Affidavit posted *** Guv’s criminal lawyer approached Burris *** Burris videos ***

Tuesday, Jan 6, 2009

* 11:42 am - I suppose it’s the least the governor can do for his newest (and perhaps most effective) human shield

Now that Roland Burris has been turned away from the Senate, where will he hang his hat?

Since Burris has not been sworn in as a senator, he doesn’t have an office in the Russell, Dirksen or the Hart Senate Office Buildings that house the nation’s 100 senators and support staff.

But will have a Capitol Hill view if he chooses.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has offered Burris space in the state’s Washington office, which rests at the foot of Capitol Hill.

CNN has updated its post…

Update: A Burris associate tells CNN that Burris rejected Blagojevich’s offer to use his office space.

* 12:08 pm - Not a lot of news from hizzoner, but I’ll post it anyway…

But in a clear reference to the federal corruption charges and impeachment proceedings against the governor, [Mayor Daley] added that Burris “has a cloud over him because of the uncertainty in Springfield.”

And…

Daley also said he has no preference in the coming election to select a new congressman as a replacement for Rahm Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff. The mayor said he doubted that he would endorse anyone in the special election for the 5th Congressional District.

* 12:15 pm - Roland Burris will testify to the House impeachment committee Thursday at 3 o’clock. So, it appears our Senator-Designate is coming home soon.

* 12:30 pm - A Democratic crack in the wall…

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) broke with her party’s leadership Tuesday in calling for Roland Burris to be seated in the Senate once his paperwork is signed by the Illinois secretary of state.

[Sigh] Didn’t Feinstein sign the letter to Blagojevich warning him that whomever he appointed wouldn’t be seated?

And Republicans are taking full advantage of a bad situation…

Congressional Black Caucus members and Feinstein – along with some senior Senate Republicans — are siding with Burris’ fight to be seated.

* 12:44 pm - Not that anyone cares what the rest of the country thinks, but here you go

A majority of Americans say Roland Burris should be blocked from taking a U.S. Senate seat and Illinois should hold a special election to fill the vacancy he was appointed to fill, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. […]

Interest in the dispute is high — six in 10 are following it closely — and support for Burris is scant. By nearly 2-1, 51% to 27%, those surveyed say the Senate should block him from taking his seat. A similar majority, 52%, say Illinois should hold a special election as soon as possible to fill the office.

* 12:47 pm - I’ll post this as soon as I get a copy

In a formal affidavit, Roland Burris says he had only one limited conversation with Governor Rod Blagojevich before accepting his appointment as a U.S. senator. […]

Burris says he was approached by a Blagojevich attorney about taking the Senate post on Friday, December 26. Two days later, he accepted the appointment in a phone call with the governor.

* 12:56 pm - Statement from the governor…

“The people of Illinois are entitled to be represented by two senators in the United States Senate. As governor, it is my duty and obligation to appoint a senator when there is a vacancy. I have done that by appointing Roland Burris, a good and decent man with a long history of public service in Illinois. Any allegations against me should not be held against him and especially not the people of Illinois,” Governor Rod R. Blagojevich said.

* 12:59 pm - To read Roland Burris’ affidavit, click here.

* 1:03 pm - According to the Burris affidavit, he was approached by Sam Adam, Jr., the governor’s criminal lawyer. After speaking with some lawyers, including former prosecutors, I think that’s gonna open up a huge can of worms on attorney/client privilege for both Adam and Blagojevich.

* 1:12 pm - 5th Congressional District Democratic candidate Tom Geoghegan has been getting a lot of favorable write-ups on the Left side of Blogistan, and he now has a recommended diary at DKos.

* 1:20 pm - US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke about Burris on the floor today…


And Burris almost walked into traffic this morning…


In case you missed it, here’s Burris’ presser…


* 1:46 pm - From the Belleville News-Democrat’s editorial page

Poor Burris, he’s so impressed with his own self-importance he can’t see that he’s just a distraction from fellow Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s trouble with the law.

Agreed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

109 Comments
  1. - This Guy - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 11:50 am:

    Out of whose pocket? The state’s? Rod’s? Burris’?

    At the risk of sounding cliche, something stinks here.


  2. - Scooby - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 11:56 am:

    If he sits down at a desk the cost may bankrupt the state.


  3. - what the heck - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 11:56 am:

    Jesse white needs to sign the appointment this is just make Illinois and President Obama look bad!


  4. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    And all of this since Jesse White wouldn’t sign. Imagine what happens if the court rules he must….


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===And all of this since Jesse White wouldn’t sign===

    There’s more to it than that.


  6. - 2010 - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    So he’s going to have a desk for people to lobby him on the Hill to vote on legislation though he is not allowed on the floor as a Senator, therefore, no voting card?

    A constituent calls him for help with social security or a passport…does he get through to federal agencies to help constituents?

    Also, does he get complimentary Jelly Bellies like the other congressional delegates in Illinois for folks to chew on while waiting for him?


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    He’s going to have some time on his hands, so it’s a great base of operations, near the Air and Space Museum and the new National Museum of American History, which I hear is boffo.

    For days when the shoes pinch, or a long liquid lunch, I recommend Bullfeathers, just north of the Capitol dome. Great place to catch up on the soaps and roll right into Jeopardy.


  8. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===And all of this since Jesse White wouldn’t sign===

    There’s more to it than that.

    Well, that gives the Senate Ds a reason to not seat him. That is also why they can’t seat Al F - he has no cert from the Minn. SoS.

    IF Burris gets one, then the heat REALLY gets on.


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    I figured Roland would take out a wand and fix everything.


  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===IF Burris gets one, then the heat REALLY gets on. ===

    Since the IL Supreme Court didn’t move on Burris’ motion to expedite his hearing, I wouldn’t be too awful sure of that.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:26 pm:

    The Supremes silence is deafening. They’re politicians. They knew the time constraints. It’s good to be a judge.


  12. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:27 pm:

    He’ll get his seat… the appointment is completely legal and the Senate doesn’t have unlimited grounds to not seat people. Could Reid have not seated any Republicans should he so desired?


  13. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    “[Mayor Daley] added that Burris ‘has a cloud over him because of the uncertainty in Springfield.’”

    Of course, if anyone dared to ask if the Mayor felt that he, himself, had a “cloud over him” because of the “uncertainty” caused by the mutliple federal investigations into his administration, he’d probably get all red-faced, sputter off some gibberish about how he can’t be responsible for the actions of people he hired and storm out of the room.


  14. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Reid was just on the floor telling Coleman not to sue because Minnesota needs it full representation to tackle our nations problems, etc., etc., etc.,and that Al is the next Senator.
    What a hypocrite!


  15. - Cynic - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    Pot calling kettle — Please tell me that’s a “magic man” reference. I nearly spit my coffee when I heard that.


  16. - Speaking at Will - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    Is it just me, or do all these posts over the last few days that say something along the lines of “well, its a legal appointment, and you can’t do anything about it since it is after all legal” ring pretty hollow and shallow at the same time.

    This is obviously not strictly a legal issue. Last I checked this is a politcal blog, and the U.S. Senate is using politcal moves to stall the appointment as they should be.

    As I watch this circus unfold its obvious to me that Burris does not need, deserve, or have any good reason to be seated as the next Senator from Illinois.

    He has been a part of a corrupt governors attempt to distract the public from the real issue at hand, and that is the criminal indictment that is going to come down on Blago’s head in the next few months.

    Roland Burris, please just go home and fade away, this is a sad chapter in Illinois that is only being perpetuated further by your politcal clown act.


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    Feinstein is losing it. She had to publically come out against another California Democrat for CIA director, and now she had to publically come out against her Senate Majority Leader and the rest of her Democratic caucus?

    What’s up with her loose lips over the past 24 hours?


  18. - Gabriel - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==Reid was just on the floor telling Coleman not to sue because Minnesota needs it full representation to tackle our nations problems==

    You’re kidding. That race is pretty ugly. They actually have voting locations where the number of ballots exceed the number of people they tallied to vote on election day. That’s a huge problem.

    Was Roland Burris also approached by the Governor’s defense counsel, Sam Adam Jr, as the emissary to offer the Senate seat? Burris has to see how troublesome this method of negotiation really is.


  19. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    The big surprise, to me, in the USA Today poll isn’t the results but the fact that 6 in 10 respondents NATIONWIDE say they are following the Blago/Burris situation “closely.” I woulda thought people outside Illinois would be somewhat detached or disinterested in it by now, but I guess not.


  20. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    Rich! What was wrong with that!? It wasn’t excessively rabid, gratuitously insulting, or a rumor :(


  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:00 pm:

    One thing you can say for most politicians is that they are consistently inconsistent.


  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:01 pm:

    –(Feinstein) said she has spoken with African-Americans in California who say he is “very well respected.”–

    I don’t know what her angle is in this, but that’s a rather patronizing statement, isn’t it?

    I suspect she found out that Obama cleared Panetta with Reid before the announcement, bypassing her and Rockefeller.

    Obama’s Dream Team should know to make a courtesy call to the appropriate committee chair before making an announcement of an appointment that requires Senate approval.


  23. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Why not. Burris will get his ego-trip-Senate-seat; gov goofy will skate. IL stays the laughing stock of the country. IL taxpayer/citzens keep getting the shaft. Wonderful.


  24. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    From the Governor:

    “As governor, it is my duty and obligation to appoint a senator [who has paid me and helped to payroll my wife] when there is a[n] [opportunity to reward those who support me finacialy]. I have done that by appointing Roland Burris, a man [whose self created masoleum alleges he is good and decent] with a long history of public [corruption] in Illinois. Any allegations against me should not [be used to block my dual goal of rewarding somone who has paidme while allowing me to conintue vindictively making an appointment in the face of Quinn and my detractors].” Governor Rod R. Blagojevich [would have said if he was being honest].


  25. - Jechislo - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    You know, seating Burris now may give the Republicans the best chance there is at capturing Obama’s seat in 2 years. It’s for sure, the Illinois legislature isn’t going to call for a special election now. Burris will forever be tainted by Rod’s appointment. Someone appointed by Governor-in-waiting Quinn would stand a very good chance of being re-elected. Hmmmmmm. Maybe we CAN get a Republican elected in 2010. Boy, would the Republican candidates come out of the woodwork to run against Burris!


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:09 pm:

    ===gov goofy will skate===

    Wanna bet?


  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===You know, seating Burris now may give the Republicans the best chance there is at capturing Obama’s seat in 2 years.===

    Which is a big reason why so many Republicans are arguing on Burris’ behalf. Intellectually dishonest, but effective, I suppose.


  28. - Concerned Observer - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    Gabriel — don’t believe what the WSJ wrote on the Minnesota Senate race. Part of my job involves keeping a somewhat close eye on that race, and to my knowledge, there weren’t any precincts that actually had more votes than voters. If there were, I’m pretty certain the Coleman people would have brought it up, and done so with THX sound and Technicolor graphics.

    That’s not to say there weren’t issues, of course. One precinct simply lost more than 100 votes. And the rejected absentee ballot thing is a mess.


  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:14 pm:

    People, we have enough stuff here to comment on without dragging Al Franken into it.

    Enough.

    Move along.


  30. - You Go Boy - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:14 pm:

    I’ll say this for Burris (and faint praise it is indeed), he’s similar to many Senators in that his ambition/greed far exceed his talent and desire to serve the public. Taking a lesson from another disreputable pol, when denied entry to the chamber(pot), he should have taken a “wide stance”.


  31. - COPN - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:20 pm:

    ==[Burris affidavit]I think that’s gonna open up a huge can of worms on attorney/client privilege for both Adam and Blagojevich.==

    why oh why must you continue tempting even more dime store legal analysis from commenters.


  32. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    === why oh why must you continue tempting even more dime store legal analysis from commenters. ===

    yah what kind of crazy blog spurs discussion on political legal issues…. How dare non-lawyers talk about the law! if only we had kept up the extensive use of latin to drive the people away from discussing law.

    I sure hope the commoners dont take up talking about the landed gentry next, chaos will ensue.


  33. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Rich,

    Just for reference: do you think that the Democrats are being any less “intellectually dishonest” about the Burris fiasco than the GOP? After all, the certainly know as well as us that seating him would be harmful to their prospects for holding it in 2010…..do you think that isn’t factoring just as heavily into their opposition to it?


  34. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Ask the local gentry they will claim it’s elementry


  35. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:34 pm:

    Is it any surprise that the Burris appointment is part of Rod’s legal defense strategy? But here on the CapFax Blog, you’ll get the full story.

    Sen. Feinstein and Bobby Rush are each clearly under the influence of an imperius curse. Burris needs to be kept away from other elected officials. This whole appointment is part of a plot to get him into the House Impeachment Committee hearing so he can stop the impeachment. His wand won’t trigger the metal detectors, and you know they won’t search him. We can only hope that Speaker Madigan and Rep. Currie have the power to resist.


  36. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    Driving to the office in a masochistic mood I turned on Rush Limbagh in order to give myself a verbal lobotomy and he did not disappoint as he plead Burris’s case. I suspect he has a hidden agenda.

    He also announced that William Ayers is actually running the show for Obama and all his moderate cabinet appointments are for show.

    So there ya go, I am starting to think the Russian KGB professor is right and the US will disintegrate in 2010. The good news is Illinois will become part of Canada, hey.


  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    COPN, bite me.


  38. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    Rich-

    Call it intellectually dishonest if you want but I think the law matters. If it were George Ryan making a shady appointment like this I’d say the same thing. If they didn’t want to make the appointment the could have impeached him “no confidence” style in early december or called a special election. The Senate can sandbag, sure, but in the end its Burris’ seat…

    And never underestimate the ability of a republican to lose an election. ;)


  39. - COPN - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    and Rich…it’s “Me mordi”


  40. - carbon deforestation - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    Sam Adam may say he approached him as a friend, etc. One of the Chicago tv stations was using some old B-roll footage of Burris and I think I saw Adam walking with him.

    Blago should not have made any statement, every time he talks it makes people angry all over again.

    Rich - I have a great QOTD for you. Kissinger famously survived both Nixon terms and was kept by Ford. Which agency heads / directors will be kept around under Quinn?


  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===If it were George Ryan making a shady appointment like this I’d say the same thing.===

    And you’d still be wrong.

    Try looking up Frank L. Smith, a wannabe Senator from Illinois. Twice rejected by the Senate. Once when the governor appointed him to fill a vacancy, and once when he was trying to take his seat after an election. Illinois went two years with only one Senator. We can do it again, and we might.


  42. - Gabriel - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:50 pm:

    Jechislo: Republicans saying to seat Burris are overlooking the obvious. Burris wouldn’t even win a Democratic State Primary in 2010. The GOP would end up running against a more formidable foe with state wide backing.

    The GOP should be whipping their members to back Reid on this. Just stall.


  43. - RJW - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    I’m not a lawyer but if Mr. Adams did indeed talk to Burris about the appointment as Burris states then can’t Mr. Adams now be called as a witness in the criminal investigation? Did Mr. Adams get his law degree from a correspondence company??


  44. - GA Watcher - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    John B:
    We’ve benn over this before. There’s no way the Senate would have acted on impeachment with due haste as long as Emil Jones is President. The House has had to string things out in order to get turn the process over to the new Senate and the new leadership.


  45. - Former State Employee 2 - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    So Burris is using the State of Illinois office in Washington, and Gensen is using the Executive Mansion. Is this OK? Are they reimbursing the state for any of this?


  46. - RJW - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:05 pm:

    Former State Employee:

    The Governor can let anyone he chooses use the mansion or any other office. He is still, unfortunately, the Governor. He has many more powers. Why do you think people want him impeached so quickly.


  47. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    What are the attorney/client privilege issues at stake with Adams approaching Burris?

    Confused. Can someone elaborate?


  48. - Reddbyrd - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    Capt Fax: Looking to MINN might help put McKenna insights into context …he thinks IL is a laughing stock NOW….I think IL has been Humor HQ
    since the GOPs sent Keyes, TugBoatAnnie, Brickhead Joe, etc etc to the head of their classes.
    With the GOP triumph in MINN — having a real senator lose to a comic, we learn the Republicans have a national humor agenda


  49. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    It should have been quite easy and sensible for B&B to get a Ciurt Order directing Jesse White to certify a document written and signed by the Governor.

    The document was within the statutory authority as of today of the sitting Governor.

    The signature was real.

    That is all the certification does.

    It would have been a short morning interlude.

    So why didn’t B&B go that route? Reid would then have had no out. Could it be that Governor B wanted .the tumult and Roland B was not smart enough to work it out? Now it becomes an impeachment sideshow.


  50. - Macoupin County Kid - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    “So Burris is using the State of Illinois office in Washington, and Gensen is using the Executive Mansion. Is this OK?”

    Burris using the States office in Washington - I have no problem with that.

    Gensen using the Executive Mansion - That’s just flat out wrong.


  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===It should have been quite easy and sensible for B&B to get a Ciurt Order directing Jesse White to certify a document written and signed by the Governor.===

    Burris filed with the IL Supreme Court. They’ve ignored him so far.

    Kinda undercuts the whole argument, if you ask me.


  52. - Gabriel - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==The House has had to string things out in order to get turn the process over to the new Senate and the new leadership.==

    Why? What’s wrong with putting the trial to remove the governor from office on the State Senate agenda?

    ==What are the attorney/client privilege issues at stake with Adams approaching Burris?

    Confused. Can someone elaborate?==

    I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know the legal implications of Adam acting as the Governor’s emissary to potential senate candidates. However, every attorney learns in law school the moral standing that one strives to uphold. In this case, Adam acting as defense counsel for the Governor should put him outside of acting in any other capacity for the Governor. That’s fault one. Fault two is Roland Burris listening to the Governor’s defense counsel acting as an emissary on his behalf.

    Sam Adam Jr is the Governor’s counsel hired to defend him against a Federal criminal complaint. How he can operate in other capacities on behalf of the governor is a real mystery?


  53. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:23 pm:

    ===Why? What’s wrong with putting the trial to remove the governor from office on the State Senate agenda?===

    Have you never heard of Emil Jones?


  54. - Cynic - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:26 pm:

    Rich,

    Given that Jones is about to get outta dodge, and given that Blago will not survive much longer, what incentive would Eml have for helping his buddy?


  55. - Bubs - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    The Frank Smith case was back in the 1920s. Since then, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Adam Clayton Powell case. It has changed the rules of the game.


  56. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    Because he is who and what he is.


  57. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    “It should have been quite easy and sensible for B&B to get a Ciurt Order directing Jesse White to certify a document written and signed by the Governor.”

    Excellent point.

    Any Circuit Judge would have entered that order without even bothering to notice White. Then if White appealed, the Appellate Court would have had to give legal reasons for overturning and there are none.

    Now we have Supreme Court judges all conflicted because they are eyeing the 7th Circuit or maybe other plum assignments.

    If Burris becomes Senator, he can only hold up their appointments. It’s Obama who gets to appoint.

    Burris has been getting bad legal advice.


  58. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    The Powell case was not about a tainted election or appointment, but about a tainted member.


  59. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===Any Circuit Judge would have entered that order without even bothering to notice White.===

    Don’t bet on it. Judges are slightly political here.


  60. - Macoupin County Kid - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    “The Powell case was not about a tainted election or appointment, but about a tainted member.”

    Wasn’t Powell appointed after McKinley’s death?


  61. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:35 pm:

    I think Feinstein’s reaction is precisely because of the Panetta appointment.

    Feinstein is rankled because the Obama folks made a minor oversight of senatorial prerogative in not running the California-based nominee past the California senator. So she’s trying to flex a little muscle.

    You mess in my kitchen. I’ll mess in yours.

    It is a tad childish, but not unexpected from the US Senate. And not a long-term battle either ought to pursue.


  62. - Gabriel - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    ==Have you never heard of Emil Jones?==

    So put the impeachment record on Jones’ plate. Make him organize the trial to remove Blagojevich. Let him snooze on the trial if he so chooses.

    If the Illinois Democrats cannot remove this tainted governor in a swift fashion they completely destroy all electoral credibility. It’s crucial that the party act in the interests of the people. If they’re protecting the party by delaying the game to get past Emil Jones how are they going to explain this?


  63. - COPN - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    ==What are the attorney/client privilege issues at stake with Adams approaching Burris?==

    MacBeth, here’s my dime store thought. Rich said I could take a “bite” at it.

    Atty/client privilege keeps hidden the contents of conversations that involve legal advice. The Gov may be unable to claim the privilege for any atty/client conversations regarding “legal advice” that the Gov’s attorney revealed to another person (e.g. Burris). This exception to the privilege (i.e. breach of a duty by lawyer) usually would only extend to the conversation that was breached by the Gov’s attorney.


  64. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:38 pm:

    “I think Feinstein’s reaction is precisely because of the Panetta appointment.”

    Maybe.

    But how about needing the AA vote in the upcoming governor’s election?

    If that is the case, then you can bet all the others who want to advance politically and need the AA vote are going to following her lead.


  65. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    ==every attorney learns in law school the moral standing that one strives to uphold==
    You gotta be kidding!


  66. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    ===So put the impeachment record on Jones’ plate. Make him organize the trial to remove Blagojevich. Let him snooze on the trial if he so chooses.===

    What you’re advocating is a political game like Jones has been playing with the House for the past two years. Jones will mess with impeachment. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near it. If you can’t see that, then you’re either blindly partisan or just plain blind.

    Best to wait until he’s gone and then the games will subside.

    BTW, those sorts of mindless soapbox posts irritate me to no end. Try to avoid them. Thanks.


  67. - Obamas' Puppy - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    I heard Burris got an A+ in High School speech class. At least that is what his masoleum says.


  68. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

    Also, Emil Jones leaves office in eight days.

    Take a breath.


  69. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    COPN there may be an even messier problem for the Gov under attorney client.

    Adams represent the Gov individualy, not the office of the Govenor (the office can not enegage in criminal conduct). By talking to burris on behalf the office of the Gov, he is blurring the lines on who his client is. The privelege as to the office runs to the office, not the individual. So when Quinn becomes Gov he could waive the privelge on behalf of the office and require Admas to discuss all legal advice etc relative to the office of the Gov.


  70. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:56 pm:

    Not advocating anything, just want to know.

    Reid refused to seat Burris in the US Senate. Can Blago refuse to convene the new IL Senate? No Senate = No Impeachment trial.

    Been wondering about this for a while, I figure I’ll get, oh, several opinions.

    Thanks,
    TimB


  71. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    === Can Blago refuse to convene the new IL Senate? No Senate = No Impeachment trial.===

    LOL. Oh, man, I shoulda deleted your comment.


  72. - earnest - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    >This is obviously not strictly a legal issue.

    In DC, they can’t just ignore the law and the constitution. So at one level, it is strictly a legal issue. The politics will have to hew closely to the law. The question is whether a convincing argument can be made that the appointment is illegal.

    Having said that, yes, most of the posts saying it’s legal ARE shallow and hollow. They wave their fairy wands and pretend that no one could possibly think otherwise.


  73. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:04 pm:

    What Rich, nobody had thought of that already???

    TimB


  74. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    Not as far as I know.

    Let’s change the subject.


  75. - Lynn S - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    Powell may have been appointed for his 1st term, but by the time the referenced court case occurred, he had run for and won election to the House a few times. In the late ’60’s, Powell was accused of corruption, and an election occurred before the case was completed. Powell ran for re-election and won, and then the House refused to seat him because of the corruption trial. Powell then sued for his seat, and that’s where we’ve got the ruling that B&B (and others) keep referring to.

    What I find interesting is that fact that there is language in that Supreme Court ruling that specifically says that to deny Powell his seat is to overturn the results of a lawful election (i.e., the people in Powell’s district were well aware of the trial was unfinished when the election occurred and they still gave him the largest number of votes). Burris has been APPOINTED, and I’m willing to bet one plugged nickel that that will be an important point to any future jurists hearing anything about our newest political circus.


  76. - Bubs - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    “The Powell case was not about a tainted election or appointment, but about a tainted member.”

    All the better, really. There is no allegation that Burris payed to play, offered to, or was asked to. Reid’s real reason, demosntrated by his phone call to Blago, is to avoid seating a loser re-election candidate for 2010. I suspect that Reid is holding losing cards unless he can come up with something directly implicating Burris.


  77. - earnest - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:13 pm:

    Gabriel,

    While Burris might lose in a primary in 2010, it’d be a bruising primary. I wouldn’t want to go into a general election as the Democratic nominee who beat the only African American in the Senate.

    Frankly, I think we should be lobbying Gov. Patterson in NY. If he’d appoint a black Senator, some of the pressure would be off. Though as a black person himself, appointing another black in NY could be seen as disproportionate.

    Too bad Colorado couldn’t step up. If there’s nobody else between now and March 2010, then opposing Burris is a suicide mission. You may not blow up on primary day, but your plane just isn’t going to return from the mission.


  78. - jerry - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    White’s refusal to endorse, the Senate’s refusal to seat, its all about the delay. They’re trying to give the State House time to finish impeaching so that the New Senate can vote to remove.

    Then Gov Pat Quinn gets to rescind Burris’ appointment.

    Burris was just appointed to maximize the damage Blago could cause on his way out.

    Diane Feinstein, apparently, really wants to be the new Joe Lieberman.

    And, aside from loose cannon Feinstein, the Democrats are playing politics every bit as much as the GOP. We want to hold the seat in 2010. Burris all but ensures Senator Mark Kirk, unless someone knocks him off in a primary.


  79. - COPN - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:21 pm:

    Ghost–I appreciate the banter. Would your rule have extended to Quinlan?


  80. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:23 pm:

    MSMBC is reporting that Reid said that Burris would be seated when Jesse White signs his form.


  81. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    Listen to the video, Bill. That’s not the end.


  82. - Scooby - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Burris’ affidavit misspells Adam Jr’s name. I guess everyone prefers Sam Adams.

    Also, I thought I read somewhere that Burris put himself in the running for the appointment back around the time of the election. In the affidavit he claims to have had no prior contact with the Governor or his representatives prior to the Adam Jr. call and meeting. Is my recollection wrong? It seems unlike Roland Burris to declare interest in being Senator and not follow up on it.


  83. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    Macoupin County, I have no idea whom you’re talking about. The case at issue involves Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of New York (Harlem), who served from 1944 to 1970, when he lost the primary to Charlie Rangel (who still holds the seat today).


  84. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    Macoupin County Kid, just in case you’re wondering, you were deleted because you have no idea what you’re talking about.


  85. - Gabriel - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    Lynn S: Good post. I too think the lack of an election for Burris is the key pivot for the court.


  86. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    I guess everyone prefers Sam Adams.

    Always a good decision.


  87. - Capitol View - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:01 pm:

    Feinstein and others are now saying that they will support Burris when the Illinois SoS certifies the form.

    Knowing that Jesse White will not do so, why not say this and win favor with Af-Am voters in the various states? It’s the same as saying that they will support the Burris appointment when the moon falls out of the sky.

    Feinstein isn’t breaking from the herd, she’s making the first of many similar announcements that a Democrat ought to make. This is an Illinois problem, and if we can’t solve it here, it does not become a federal problem.

    Is Feinstein flippant, and a bit self-serving? So what??? Her statement does not bother me at all.


  88. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:02 pm:

    COPN under what fact pattern? Its not my rule, it came about when yan switched from secretary of State to Gov, and tried to supress certain conversations he had with attorneys while secretary of State. The court held the privlege was not his to assert, but belonged to the office, and the current office holder could waive it for conversations that occured during Ryans tenure.


  89. - 2ConfusedCrew - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:08 pm:

    If you want to change the topic from Blagoof %*)%*) up the Senate Inaugural while he plea bargains over the trial, let’s switch the terrible BlaCub decision to get a new broken down madman to funble around in right field for $10 million per year. Let’s blame BlaCub — again


  90. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    It all comes down to cook,winnebago and madison counties who created all this mess. They voted blago in for a second term with all the alligations floating around.


  91. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:42 pm:

    Jesse White was just on Roe Conn and said that (a) he would not resist a court order to certify the nomination and (b) he doesn’t think the Senate needs his certification to seat Burris.

    Hot potato!! – Pass it on

    It’s looking to me like a lot of Democrats are starting to realize that there’s no legal path out of this mess (that they created, it should always be remembered) and that Burris is going to be seated, and none of them want to be the last one trying to keep out the Senate’s only African American member


  92. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 4:52 pm:

    White has been saying that for days.

    Nothing new there.


  93. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 5:11 pm:

    Really?? Huh. Kind of makes his refusal to sign seem more political and less principled, as I had previously thought it was.


  94. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 5:20 pm:

    Burris has filed some new docs with the Illinois Supreme Court.

    http://www.state.il.us/court/SupremeCourt/SpecialMatters/default.asp


  95. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 5:21 pm:

    Change we can believe in is going to be wonderful - Finally, once and for all, we will have transcended race, ethnicity, gender etc. Happy Days Are Here Again.


  96. - 2ConfusedCrew - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 5:33 pm:

    can’t believe you don’t wanto to change th subject to the doomed choice of Milton Bradley…If this is not a Blagoof On The Loose move I don’t know what is


  97. - Anonymous Coward - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 5:59 pm:

    “Writ of Mandamus”

    Anyone care to translate? I’m just a software developer… English is occasionally a 2nd language to me.


  98. - Stu - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 6:23 pm:

    I’m just an engineer, but I can use Google :P

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandamus


  99. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 7:13 pm:

    Given what we know so far about Blago’s pay-to-play methods, before Burris is ever seated (if he ever is), I hope that there is an investigation into what donations he has made to Blago’s campaign fund.


  100. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 7:38 pm:

    Also, since attorney Adams was the one who took the deal to Burris, he should be called to testify about what was said, and any promises that may have been made. We cannot assume, given what has been released about Blago’s attempts to sell that seat, that just because an attorney made the approach this time, that it was completely legit and above-board.

    This conversation with a non-client is NOT protected by attorney client privilege, and therefore Mr. Adam’s testimony could be compelled. Since he is now a person who should be called as a witness, he may have a conflict in continuing to represent Blago.


  101. - Maggie - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 7:41 pm:

    Excellent article in Forbes magazine. Laurence Tribe is a constitutional lawyer and he states anyone saying “legally the senate has to seat Burris” does not know the law.
    Blagojevich And The Constitution
    Laurence H. Tribe, 01.02.09, 01:30 PM EST
    The Senate doesn’t have to seat Burris.


  102. - Anonymous Coward - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:24 pm:

    @Stu
    Sigh

    Wikipedia = Crap


  103. - MikeintheSuburbs - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:31 pm:

    Feinstein is right, as I have been saying all along. There is no LEGAL reason not to seat Burris. There may be a political, moral or ethical ones, but the law is the law. When we start to depart from the law to serve other ends, no matter how noble and uncontroversial, we lose our democracy.

    I don’t see that White can simply refuse to sign the appointment letter, or that it should matter if he does or doesn’t insofar as the Senate seating is concerned. As I pointed out earlier, I think the Marbury case settled this question long ago. An constitutional appointment is valid when made. It doesn’t matter if lawmakers later grafted on other technical requirements. This also has implications as to whether or not Quinn can try to rescind the appointment later and appoint someone else. The appointment, once made, is made.


  104. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:38 pm:

    Quote of the Day - Chuck Sweeney in the RR Star, elaborating on Burris’ reference invoking God’s will in his selection:

    “You say anointed, I say appointed, let’s call the whole thing off.”


  105. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 8:51 pm:

    I’m afraid Burris has about exhausted his diversionary usefulness. Look for guv to pull another one out of the hat in a day or two! They need to get him out of there very soon, he is a multi warhead timebomb with an unstable fuse.


  106. - Bubs - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 9:28 pm:

    Burris’s documents state that the Senate Clerk’s stated reson for not accepting the Certificate is that Senate Rules require the counter-signature of the Secretary of State.

    Senate Standing Rule II does not explicitly state that. It does state that the Clerk should keep a ledger that has the names of the Governor and Secretary for each Certificate, and it quite obviously assumes that two signatures will be on the document, and its suggested Resolultion forms have blanks for the Secretary.

    But it does not affirmatively and plainly require the second signature. She merely interpreted it that way.

    Interesting.


  107. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 3:36 am:

    Bubs - Asking for sigs of the Governor and SecState is the Senate tradition (it is a body steeped in tradition … the group gave Larry “bathroom stall” Craig a standing ovation last year for his, ahem, service).

    There is nothing in the Constitution saying both are required (neither in Article I nor the 17th Amendment) though on a very technical, esoteric level the 17th Amendment could be interpreted to require that an individual state’s laws regarding vacancies must be followed, in which case Burris’ paperwork is indeed incomplete since state law requires certification by both the Gov and SecState.

    …If the Senate’s going to block him, it would have to be via arguing in court over the meaning of the word “returns” in the first clause of Art I, Sect 5.

    I’m biased in favor of blocking any Blago appointment because of what he allegedly did to the appointment process itself, but I take “returns” to mean the Senate can judge the integrity of appointments (or lack thereof).

    Burris and allies are trying to make this personal (his qualifications, his past statewide offices, his race, his personal story…) because that’s how they win the argument. Notice how the national media now always introduces him as “the former Illinois Attorney General” as if he was just in that office? He is technically qualified to be a US Senator because he meets the age, citizenship and residency requirements. That is what the SCOTUS majority opinion on Powell distills down to (defining “qualified”).

    But to block him, the Senate cannot make it about Burris (or any other appointee) personally but instead about the process of the governor’s appointment. If they accept Burris, they bolster the precedent of accepting allegedly tainted/suspicious/corrupt appointments.

    On a side note… re a special election. I still think a special election for a statewide office like this is a huge financial burden during a down economy, but the 17th amendment does say “the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.”

    This is a temporary appointment, so perhaps this clause leaves wiggle room for the state lege to still enact a special election.


  108. - The Conservative - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 7:06 am:

    Someone please bring the popcorn, this is more fun than woman’s wrestling. The acting taking place on this stage is comical. The drama, the slight of hand then the opera, what a combination.


  109. - Maggie - Wednesday, Jan 7, 09 @ 7:41 am:

    The task of deciding whether public trust would be unacceptably compromised by seating any appointee of a governor whose overheard comments had poisoned the public well should not be confused with the task of deciding whether someone is guilty of election fraud or of corruptly conspiring to sell a public office for personal gain.
    But that the Senate’s early December decision to exclude any Blagojevich appointee reflected nothing about the particular person he appointed cuts for, not against, leaving the matter to the judicially unreviewable judgment of the Senate itself.

    For the danger of invoking doubts about the process of election or appointment, as a pretext for excluding someone that a Senate majority finds objectionable, is minimized when the decision to exclude is made in advance of any individual’s appointment, and thus under the classical philosopher’s veil of ignorance about whose ox might be gored.
    From:Laurence H. Tribe is a professor of constitutional law at Harvard.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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