December 30th, 2008
01:47 PM ET
9 years ago

Sources: Senate Democrats to block Burris appointment

(CNN) - Two Democratic officials tell CNN Senate Democratic leaders are planning to block Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate seat once held by President-elect Obama.

The officials said this has nothing to do with Burris, an African-American leader and former state attorney general: "anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich can not be an effective representative of Illinois and will not be seated by the Democratic caucus," said one.

A spokesman for President-elect Obama says the transition has no comment on this. But they note Obama has previously called on the governor to resign.

UPDATE: Senate Democratic leadership released a statement saying Blagojevich's appointment of Burris was "unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand."

(Full statement as released after the jump)


Washington, DC-Senate Democratic Leadership made the following statement today in response to reports that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will nominate Roland Burris to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat. Earlier this month, all 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus called on Blagojevich to step down and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the seat. The text of that letter is below the statement:

"It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris's ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

"Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year – outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated Senators without delay.

"We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat."

Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris • Senate
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Roland Burris

    Why should I suffer?

    December 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Sherrol in Canada

    I totally agree with the Senate Democrats. Blagojevich is totally out of line and he knows it. He's just trying to distract from the impeachment hearings.

    December 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Blago called the Senate's bluff, and now it looks like the Senate is going to up the ante.......great game of Texas Hold Em going on here!

    December 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Venia

    I think Blago is just a touch insane and I also didn't appreciate him calling Obama names because Obama wouldn't be willing to go along with the corruption.

    December 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Dr. Willie

    Wow! Governor Blagojevich hit a home run with this appointment. It was the smartest (and perhaps only) option available to him. We (the citizens of Illinois) need someone to represent us when the Senate recovenes. We are fighting two wars, our economy is in crisis, our auto industry is crumbling and pieces of our government in Illinois is now tainted and perceived as corrupt. Roland Burris is the right many at the right time. In more than 30 years of service, he is not been involved in any corrupt dealings in a very corrupt environment. Two thumbs up for the pick. Way up!!!! Dr. Willie

    December 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Richard Rohde

    He seems to fit right in? Why would they block him?

    December 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |


    December 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Soccer Nana


    December 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Pam

    They should not block it. Mr. Burris is a good man, who has never been involved in any scandals.

    December 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Jake

    Soo...who thinks that Blagojevich appointed this guy just to get him out of the way and make his case more believable?

    December 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. ros

    burris is an upstanding citizen and former will do no justice the him if they refuse his appointment..blago made a chess move.. the dem leaders will look ridiculous and like juveniles to just do it out of spite.

    December 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Jordan - San Marcos, TX

    Good for them for sticking to their word. This whole thing is unfair to the people of Illinois and to Mr. Burris who apparently is very qualified and upstanding. Perhaps he should run for the seat in 2010 during a special election, provided that being appointed by Blago does not taint his reputation too much (even if that is undeserved on Burris' part). It's clear that Blagojevich is going to cling to power and he needs to be removed as quickly as is legally possible.

    December 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    Good for them.

    Burris shouldn't accept it either.

    December 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Rob

    We as democrats can not support your nomination for Senator to replace Obama sine we support your impeachment asGovenor of the State of Illinois.Please resign as our Govenor.

    December 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Griff

    You only have to live in Britain, and you know the BBC Positive Bias towards the Arabs... But then the So-Called Queen was in Bed with the Arab's for Half a Century... I got sick of the BBC/Royal bias in that direction... Now I am Pro Israel...

    December 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. richard

    Democrats will always try to take away power and give it to themself. Anyone suprised at this

    December 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Is this Blagojevich guy still around? How old is this story? My the wheels of justice turn slowly. It seems as though there are too many bureaucrats in the kitchen. Or is it too many lawyers seizing on an opportunity to make a lot of money at Illinois and United States tax payers expense? Business and government in the U.S. – what a joke ! "Clowns to the left of me...clowns to the right of me...".

    December 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Mike H.

    Obama can't duck taking a position on this issue. It's his former seat and Blago's appointment doesn't fall under Obama's "we only have one president at a time" mantra. Obama has to stand up and be counted!

    December 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. show me state

    Here is what Barry didn't Want .

    He had told him long ago with a fresh Pack Of Joe the Camel . You must nominate Ayers . Wright. UH HUH

    December 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Irritated in Fl

    If Burris were any kind of decent man he would politely decline Blogs attempt to circumvent llegalities. If he were any kind of HONEST politician, he would step back and let the legal proceedings take place and hope that he could be picked and vetted through a proper procedure. But no, he's an Obama Chicago politician and as usual they have to try and skirt the rules. I hope the Senate refuses to seat him and furthermore, because of his attempts to slide in maliciously, that he be banned from any possible future seating. The people need an HONEST choice to be their represenative and this just smells like corruption as usual in Chicago.

    December 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Proud American

    Thank God, Blagojevich shouldn't be able to appoint a dog catcher.

    December 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Chipster

    Did I miss Gov. Blagojevich's conviction? Has his appointee been accused, arrested, or proved guilty of anything? We have a nation in crisis on many fronts. The last 8 years have been disastrous. Don't our leaders have anything more important to do right now?

    My advice is to seat a Senator from IL as soon as possible because we need to leadership and action to correct the damage – on so many fronts – of the past 8 years of incompetence. Stop wasting time on an on-going investigation that may never prove anything. Get to work on the nation's business and let law enforcement and the justice system do theirs!

    December 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Donna

    Mr. Burris is affiliated with a truly lousy lawfirm named Gonzalez Saggio. He may or may not be competent but his firm has some truly bad attorneys.

    December 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Chi.

    Knowing fully well that any appointment made by him would be blocked, Gov. Blagojevich is only using this as a political strategy to sideline potential candidates. This guy is never to be trusted. By this appointment, Mr Burris is out of the picture. Who is next?

    Chi- Fishkill NY

    December 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Lauren the Designer

    Good. As they should. I can't believe that guy would have the gall to appoint someone after everything that has happened. He must have been inhaling too much Aqua Net.

    December 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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