The governor of Illinois was arrested a few weeks ago by the Feds for attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's now-vacant Senate seat. Amid much speculation and innuendo, a cloud of suspicion hangs over the governor and all associated with him.
Enter Roland Burris. He has a long list of accomplishments, including a few stints holding statewide elected office. He becomes the governor's pick to take the Obama seat. The entire Democratic establishment gasps and with a typical knee-jerk reaction balk at the selection: he should not accept the office, he won't be seated by the Senate, he can't win in a statewide election, etc.
The Democrats are thisclose to a super majority in the Senate, which means they'll be able to pass just about anything without much resistance from the Republicans. With Al Franken's win in Minnesota, they'll have sixty! But they'll lose it in a special election if a Republican wins the Senate seat in Illinois... oh, what to do?
Burris plans to be in Washington on Tuesday, the first day of the 111th Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democrats have vowed that they will not seat Burris on Tuesday.
The chest puffing and bravado from last week has certainly been toned down. Several sources report that Senate Democratic leaders have now scheduled a meeting with Roland Burris. The meeting between Burris; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, one day after the Senate convenes, said the source. Burris requested Wednesday's meeting, according to the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
In Other News About Empty Senate Seats
Al Franken - an alum of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" - appears poised to become the Democratic Senator from the state of Minnesota after a protracted recount of votes from the November 4th election. State officials report that state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.
The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes. However, Coleman's campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.
In Other News About Obama's Cabinet
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has confirmed in a statement that he has withdrawn his name as the Commerce secretary nominee, citing a pending “investigation of a company that has done business with New Mexico state government.”
Mr. Richardson says in the statement that he and his administration “have acted properly in all matters,” but that the “ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”
In mid-December 2008, a published article stated that a federal grand jury in New Mexico was looking into accusations that Governor Richardson’s administration gave lucrative contracts to a California financier because he contributed heavily to the governor’s political action committees. The article, citing a person familiar with the grand jury proceedings, stated that since August, federal investigators have been examining how CDR Financial Products Inc., of Beverly Hills, California, received two consulting contracts in 2004 worth about $1.4 million to advise the state on a large bond issue for building infrastructure, one of Mr. Richardson’s initiatives.
In a separate statement released Sunday afternoon, President-elect Obama confirmed that he has, with “deep regret,” accepted Mr. Richardson’s withdrawal.
plez sez: here we go... again!
the democrats in congress -- riding a wave of unprecedented UNPOPULARITY -- have taken up the cause of petty politics during a time when they need to find a way to rise above it. i will concede that gov. blagojevich is a "potty mouthed" bad man. i will even acknowledge there is more than a little taint on whoever his selection to fill the seat would be. but he is still the governor of illinois and it is still his responsibility to fill BARACK OBAMA's empty senate seat!
the democrats (and the congress as a whole) have so little room for more political B.S., it is incredulous that they would risk further damage to their sotted reputation by having sen. harry reid stand in the "senate chamber door" to bar seating the only Black member of the senate! good luck on having a democrat win the special election in illinois for that seat!
as onerous as it may seem, as opportunistic as burris has turned out to be (plezWorld doesn't know anyone in his right mind who would accept this appointment from the "dirty hands" of rod blagojevich, except for someone who knows that he'd NEVER be able to win the seat in a legitimate election); President Obama is going to need the support of the full delegation from illinois for his agenda on DAY ONE. the senate needs to hold their collective noses and seat burris... and give the state of illinois time to work out their issues with gov. blagojevich and have a real special election for the seat.
Read the LA Times article about uncertainty with Obama's senate seat.
Read the New York Times article about Burris and Senate Democrats.
Read the CNN.com article about Roland Burris and the US Senate.
Read the CNN.com article about Al Franken winning in Minnesota.
Read the New York Times article about Bill Richardson bowing out.
Read the CNN.com article about loss of Bill Richardson for Commerce secretary.