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Ear to the Ground

Blagojevich Gets Blagoje-Ditched

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Posted on Dec 31, 2008
Blagojevich!
AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced on Tuesday his choice of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate seat.

Rod Blagojevich, the most recent Illinois governor to be mired in scandal, is finding himself at odds with his own party after Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that Blagojevich’s attempt to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat will be blocked, much to the disappointment of Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris.

Blagojevich, released on bail after being arrested, is accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder the Senate seat left by Obama’s job promotion.


The New York Times:

Within an hour of learning on Tuesday that Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was about to name a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama, the Senate Democratic leadership drew a clear line in the sand: Anyone appointed by Mr. Blagojevich, the embattled Illinois chief executive, would not be accorded Senate membership.

But that declaration has touched off questions of whether Democrats have the power to keep out Mr. Blagojevich’s pick, Roland Burris, a former state attorney general. It is likely that the issue will end up in court.

Democrats said they were confident of their standing under Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, which says “each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own members.” On rare occasion, the Senate has denied seats to candidates whose election outcome was in doubt or who were caught up in corruption.

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By Maani, January 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

I just find it unbelievably ironic and amusing that Blagojevich appointed someone who is actually a good choice - thus putting the Dems in a no-win situation: if they (as they have) offer a knee-jerk rejection based on “principle,” they lose out on a good choice for Senate.  If the take a step back and allow the appointment, they give Blagojevich a “win.”

Brilliant on Blagojevich’s part.

Peace.

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By felicity, January 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

I echo the comments so far posted. 

To quote the righteous, “The governor of Illinois has ‘disgraced’ the good people of Illinois.”  (Pelosi) and Reid are appalled that such a scoundrel should be allowed to appoint an individual to be seated among the Senate heavenly.

But of course Mr. Bush who has ‘disgraced’ America, the American people, the Constitution, international law, human decency, killed and maimed hundreds of thousands?  Kick him out of office?  Aiding and abetting is more like it.

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By tropicgirl, January 1, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know where this editorialist got his slant except from listening to too many democratic talking points. This thing is just hilarious.

The power of the senate, both state and local, is administrative only. The governor was elected and you cannot easily overturn that power, with good reason. Pelosi and Reid would be getting rid of all their enemies this way.

If you deny the appointment, you seemingly would have the right to overturn all the governors actions, which is impossible. You can’t cherry-pick decisions. They had two opportunities to legally overturn him and failed to impeach or endorse special elections.

If he is eventually convicted, in the future, I hope the lawmen come to my home town where this stuff happens on a daily basis.

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By troublesum, January 1, 2009 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

If the people of Illinois are that stupid you have to wonder if Obama isn’t another of their mistakes.

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By Anarcissie, December 31, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

As Blagojevich has pointed out quite a few times, he has not yet been convicted of anything; the business about selling the Senate seat could be interpreted as mere political horsetrading, which goes on all the time and is hardly illegal.

Meanwhile Mr. Burris seems to have nothing against him whatever.  It looks to me like the Democrats are making fools out of themselves.  Nothing new in that, I guess.

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By dihey, December 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Funny how it is suddenly forgotten that Blago was lambasted for “preventing the State of Illinois being represented by two Senators”.

I am neither pro not con this guy but he is brilliant when in his attack mode. Without batting an eyelash he states: “I am making sure that Illinois is represented by two Senators when the next Senate convenes”. Brilliant riposte to the see above.

Yes, the above wanted Blago to resign but he would thereby have all but admitted guilt which of course they wanted.

Consider this: when Senator Stevens was accused of hanky-panky the Senate did not demand that he resign immediately but waited until he resigned voluntarily after he was convicted. The unbelievable hypocrisy of these people stinks to high heaven.

Brilliant because he also cornered PE Obama and his hapless team.

By what rules can the Secretary of Illinois or the U.S. Senate deny to confirm an appointment or seat a Senator? Judging from what I read there are no rules. Their actions can be totally peremptory and arbitrary. What a great form of Democracy! In my book they have absolutely no justification for denying Mr. Burris his Senate seat. If he had run a campaign and won he would be admitted to the Senate without question.
Given this stupid precedence I shudder when I contemplate the day when the Franken/Coleman case reaches the Senate. Then the really big shit will hit the fan!!

If I ever run into trouble I want to have Blago on my side.

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