Monday, January 05, 2009


There are reports that the Senate Majority Leader has discussed his preferences for Barack Obama's Senate replacement with Illinois Gov. Rod Stupidovich. Er, I mean Blagojevich.

If this is true, it would mean that Harry Reid should disqualify himself from the confirmation process, because it would indicate a clear conflict of interest.

From the Washington Post:
Illinois's embattled governor said through his spokesman Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has a conflict of interest regarding the Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Reid telephoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in early December to discuss the seat, said Lucio Guerrero, a gubernatorial spokesman. Guerrero said he did not know firsthand which candidates Reid supported during the call, but added that he knows Reid's candidates did not include Roland W. Burris, the man Blagojevich picked.

Senate leaders have vowed to oppose the appointment of Burris.
Of course, Harry Reid denies the report. It might be interesting to see if the FBI was wire tapping Gov. Blagojevich's phones in early December when Reid supposedly had the discussion about the seat. If I was Blago, I'd request the FBI release the tape. It would be interesting to see what happens then.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Reid and his top deputy in Senate Democratic leadership, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, also rejected reports that Reid, in a telephone call to Blagojevich prior to the governor's arrest, expressed doubts about the electability in 2010 of three African-American contenders to fill the vacancy— Chicago Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis, and state Senate President Emil Jones Jr.

Reid accused Blagojevich of "making all this up" and denied saying "who not to appoint." Durbin, on ABC's "This Week," likewise pointed the finger at the two-term Democratic governor.
I can't really say that I care much for Harry Reid (as you may have gathered from my numerous rants on this blog), but I would absolutely hate it to be true that he may be blocking Burris simply because he didn't get his way on the selection.

There's one way to put this all to rest. And that is to seat Roland Burris, and if at some point he is found to be dirty, impeach and remove him.

That's why we bother to actually write down our laws, rather than just make them up as we go.


Bob Symmes said...

"Easy in, but not easy out, said the lobster in the lobster pot"

Let's keep this simple: if John Rowland had the opportunity in January 2006 to name a US senator, would you have decried that action (even though it was entirely legal)?

For myself, I refuse to make any decision on Mr. Burris. He might, in fact, be an eminently qualified candidate (and more importantly, he might prove to be an excellent Senator). But this isn't the issue.

The issue - despite the efforts by Hons. Rush, et al to push this through use of race (an issue which indeed needs to be heeded in the Senate) is in fact the appointer. This is even more apparent than my Rowland analogy above, since Illinois Gov. Bla-bla-bla is specifically accused of attempting to accrue personal gain from this appointment.

As a (small "D") democrat, I feel the appointment of this position, in this special case, should be placed in the hands of Illinois voters. (And, as a capital "D" democrat, I feel confident that the Democrats can retain this seat with a decent candidate.)

The Democrats have one of the best campaigners in modern history, with the greatest bully pulpit available.

Forget Burris - the beneficiary of damage control by a fatally tainted administration; why not continue to take the high road

CT Bob said...

This entire controversy could have easily been avoided had Harry Reid not been such a coward about having a special election to find the replacement. He was worried (needlessly, I'm sure) that a GOPer might have won the seat in an open and fair election.

Well Harry, you sure as hell avoided the election and instead got stuck with a big ol' pile of steaming crap. Here's a spoon - get to work!

And let's cut this stupid appointment crap and make it law to hold a special election to fill the seats from now on. I'm sure there are quite a few good candidates for cabinet positions that Obama rejected due to their governor's GOP credentials. What a waste of talented people, all because of a ridiculous succession policy.