The Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich just did the unthinkable. This afternoon, the embattled democratic governor named Illinois lawyer and politician, Roland Burris as the person to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Obama resigned from the U.S. Senate after winning the Presidential election in November.
Illinois has been in the national spotlight since Blaogjevich was arrested earlier this month under corruption charges including suspicion of attempting to sell the vacant seat, or trade it for lucrative favors or positions for him and his wife Patricia. Impeachment proceedings are underway, and there have been bipartisan calls for his resignation. The Senate leadership has already stated that they would block any appointment made by the governor.
The Illinois Senator and second ranking democrat Dick Durbin, and Majority leader Senator Harry Reid are leading the way by obtaining signatures in a draft letter. The letter from the Democratic National Caucus demands the Blagojevich resign and not make the appointment to the Senate. It states that the senators, “would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority … to determine whether such a person should be seated.”
Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution states; Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.
The Illinois problem just became the nation’s problem, as Senator’s will have to answer to their own constituents as to how they allow this tainted appointment to serve the people of the United States. Do Americans really want a Senator who may have made “a deal” to get appointed? I’m not questioning Mr. Burris’ ethics, but it does start to stink when looking into his past campaign contributions to Blagojevich one of which was over $14,000. The point being, no matter who this governor would appoint, it will be difficult to separate the office from the taint Blagojevich brought on it.
This appointment is nothing more than a parting shot from a sinking governor, and is a blatant insult to Illinoisans and Americans alike. The taxpayers of Illinois deserve and need a special election. Any appointment of this seat from Blagojevich or his successor, will be ineffective and untrusted by people.
Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White released a statement saying, ” As I have previously stated publicly, I cannot co-sign a document that certifies any appointment by Rod Blagojevich for the vacant United States Senate seat from Illinois…”