January 5th, 2009
02:34 PM ET
6 years ago

Dems consider seating Burris if he promises not to run in 2010

Democrats may consider a compromise if Roland Burris agrees not to run for the Senate seat in 2010.
Democrats may consider a compromise if Roland Burris agrees not to run for the Senate seat in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that one possible compromise idea being considered by some in the Senate Democratic leadership is allowing Roland Burris to be seated in the Senate as long as he agrees not to run in 2010.

A senior Democratic source familiar with Senate leadership deliberations tells CNN that a Democratic concern about seating Burris is that his association with Rod Blagoveich would make him so tainted that he would lose the Democratic seat if he ran in the next election. This idea would clear the field for other Democratic candidates the leadership considers more viable to run in 2010. The source would not be named because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Democratic sources cautioned that this is just one idea being discussed and that the Democratic leadership hasn’t formally settled on making this offer to Burris.

The source familiar with the deliberations said one key to this avenue of compromise, and a way around declarations that anyone Blagoveich appoints is tainted, would be to give the Burris appointment political legitimacy by having Illinois Lt Gov Pat Quinn publicly bless it.

When asked about the possibility of agreeing not to run in 2010, Burris told reporters in Chicago: “I can’t negotiate in the press.” (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Monday, Burris appeared to reject the idea.)

Update: The fact that Blagojevich "tainted" the pick is one reason Democrats are resisting the move, according to the Democratic source - another is, regardless of whether or not Burris is viewed as tainted, the 71-year-old former attorney general is not someone party leaders think can win statewide. They're hoping for younger, more appealing candidates they think have a better shot at keeping the seat.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Puff

    The dems are really starting to show their dirty faces. I think they know already there is no chance for them in 2010 or 2012. They have blown it before they have even begun.
    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN, YEAH RIGHT.

    January 5, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Carter

    This was always political. The more I listen to it, it seems clear to me that the Dems reached out to Governor Rod Blagojevich to get who they wanted seated and were met with Governor Blagojevich’s demand for something in return (which is typical of effectually all politicians, because of the way our system is setup), and the Governor said that he wouldn't give something for nothing. At that point, the Dems, acting in an imperialistic manner, used the U.S. Prosecutor to stifle Governor Blagojevich, in hopes of putting someone in there that the Dems approved, at least that is what the Dems thought. But, whatever else happens, the Governor out-smarted them and put them in a quandary for racial sorts.

    I am a life long Dem, but the more I watch both parties, they all are the same. The President-Elect wants to give $500 (yeah, that'll go far) away so as to spur the economy. Now, if the $600 last year didn't do the trick, what makes them think that $500, will. As long as they our offering a few hundred dollars to average citizens, I am certain it is about Wal-Mart trying to get their hands on relief money (i.e. look out for the upcoming “bail-out relief sale”). If this were truly about the people, forget for a moment that in all likelihood that giving money away will hurt the value of the dollar, the government would be giving away $5,000 tax free, as opposed to $500.

    Mr. Burris should not agree to any demands that he not run for reelection. These party leaders have become political gangster using Mafiosi style tactics for eliminating a person and their political career.

    January 5, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. shelby

    Just like Delaware, where the stand-in will step down so Biden's son can have the seat. Aren't you getting sick and tired of this manipulation of the democratic system so that the "chosen few" can continue to rule? What's next, will someone have to hold a seat for Sasha?

    January 5, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Michael

    This is how it should have been from the beginning. Blagojevich played the right note by selecting a qualified elder statesman with integrity. However, the elder statesman should have justified his acceptance by pledging retire from the seat after 2010.

    January 5, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Bob

    More hypocrisy from the smelly heap that fouls Washington's air.

    January 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    Article 1, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution states, "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members."

    Section 3 says "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State" and "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

    Roland Burris of Illinois documentably meeets these age and residency qualifications, and the Senate acting as "judge" of these qualifications cannot possibly find otherwise.

    Amendment 17 of the U.S. Constitution states: "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies."

    Therefore, Roland Burris should be seated tomorrow as the junior Senator of Illinois, wihtout conditions.

    January 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. jess

    Iam an african american also, and I feel that Burris is unqualified to be in the Senate, and Blagojevich is playing the race card. To give Burris Obama's senate seat is like a slap in the face.

    Burris, see that you are being manipulated and used and refuse the position.

    January 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Danny in Chicago

    Kevin in Ohio-

    Can you post ANYTHING else besides talking about all the Dem corruption? I mean, where have you BEEN the last 8 years? And correct me if I am wrong, but haven't there been way more serious corruption scandels involving the republicans?

    Now I know that both parties have been corrupt, but to insinuate that Democrats are SO corrupt have been responsible for everything is just plain silly.

    You can keep trying though....god knows you will....

    January 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    The Senate has the authority to deny him a seat in under the U.S. Constitution, but they do not have the right to deny any citizen the right to run for office. Besides, it means that Illinois' junior senator to be elected in 2010 would not have the seniority that the proper appointee would be entitled to. This compromise is illegal, unethical, and wimpy.

    January 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Shari, NY

    Martin January 5th, 2009 2:57 pm ET

    This is purely politics as usual. I'm sick of this. I thought this kind of stuff would stop now that Obama is president.
    ___________________

    Whoa, Martin!! The inauguration of Obama has NOT YET COME. Which epoch are you in, dear man – AD or BC ????

    January 5, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. john

    The problem here is that there is no much choice. If Blajoavich is still the governor Democrats can't do much the law is the law. Blajoavich hasn't been charged of anything yet. He still has the power to name the new senator.

    What else can be done?

    January 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Democracy exposed

    What happened to the will of the people?

    January 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Dave

    The rule requiring the signature of the secretary of state is a procedural guideline, not an enforceable law. So Burris has the proper papers. All he needs is proof of appointment by Blagojevich. - The Senate lacks the legal power to block the appointment, so the negotiation is really about whether Reid will screw up Burris's term by forcing the matter into the courts - which would eventually rule in Burris's favor, but cost him (and the people of Illinois) months of actual service while the issue is argued. - Senators are under the same pension rules as other federal employees, which means pensions are fully vested after 5 years, and vary based on the number of years of service.

    January 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Veteran in Kansas

    Its really not up to the seated Senators. They have over stepped their self importance. Right now they are standing on a techicality, he did not have the signature of the Ill Sec of State, the Sec of State has no recourse but to sign the paper or resign he does not have the authority to do anything else. The Governor of Ill like him or not has has the Consitutional authorirty, duty and responsibility to appont the new Senator. The Senate has no authority to reject him unless he does not meet the Consitutional requirements of age, citizenship anf residency. Since he is old enough, an American citizen and a lifelong resident of Ill, he is the Senator from Illinois, thats the end of the discussion. They will now be one Senator short, Illinois will not be properly represented and the they will lose in the courts, PERIOD.

    January 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Jean2

    This is a sick compromise a deal not a solution.. Work for a solution, eliminate MORE LOSE ENDS. AS IF YOU MESS AROUND LONG ENOUGH THE PROBLEM WILL DISAPPEAR.

    I am Africian American and I DO NOT THINK THAT RACE SHOULD DETERMINE THE SELECTION. If you look at the circumstances surrounding this appointment ,Burris allowed himself to be used as a pond, wich I think is more of a travisty than no Africian Americans being in the Senate. To me the best way would be to have an election and both parties recruit minority canidateds for all offiices.

    Burris is making himself appear very desprate.

    January 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Veronica Richmond, VA.

    This sucks!!! No deals, send the crook back to ILL. The Dems are crazy to make deals with this fool, I'm sure he's made a deal with the governor when he is seated, this is just plain BS!

    January 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. proudliberal-independent

    go ahead and cave dems. you are good at it.

    January 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Stef

    Sure he'll "agree". Just like Obama "agreed" to use pubic campaign finance money...

    January 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Mike H.

    So the Democrats seat the "tainted pol" so long as he doesn't run in 2010. Shows you what's important to Harry Reid and co: winning the seat in 2010. Never mind bringing corrupt Blago's man into the Senate. Wow, more change we can believe in!

    January 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Get over it

    What happens if he turns out to be a GOOD senator?????

    January 5, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. SHIRLEY "60"

    HOW VERY ARROGANT OF MR. BURRIS TO TAKE AN APPOINTMENT FROM A DISHONEST GOVERNOR WHO IS GUILTY OF PROBABLY MORE THAN WE CAN IMAGINE, PARTICULARLY AFTER BEING ONE OF THE FIRST TO CALL FOR THAT GOVERNOR TO STEP DOWN AFTER HIS LATEST PAY FOR PLAY SCHEMES. MR. BURRIS NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS FOR THE RIGHT REASONS, AND NO GOOD SHALL COME OF IT. YOU ARE CERTAINLY OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER. REMEMBER, THERE ARE REASONS WHY YOU HAVE RUN AT OTHER TIMES AND LOST, AND SOMETIMES THE EASIEST WAY IS NOT THE BEST WAY TO ACHIEVE YOUR AMBITIONS. YOUR CURRENT ACTIONS REALLY DON'T EXHIBIT THE GOOD CHARACTER THAT YOU CLAIM TO HAVE. YOU SHOULD REALLY EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVES IN THIS MATTER BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT DOING WHAT IS BEST FOR THE PEOPLE OF ILLINOIS, BUT SADLY FOR YOURSELF.

    January 5, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Bell

    Even if he made that promise he would use the race card in 2010 to run again.

    January 5, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. TT in MD

    Where is the out-cry about this. Nothing like Reid and crew flip-flopping on this. Before it was, no matter what, whomever the governor puts in will NOT serve. Now it is, well, maybe he can serve out the rest of the term, and then when everyone forgets about it except for the Republican opponent in 2010, it will just be the Republicians being obstructionists...

    Jesse Jackson Jr. has served 12 years in the House, and this former state AG is more qualified?

    Where is the change that we were promised.

    January 5, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. No Incumbents 2010

    Obviously not who they wanted and they're not going to give the people a chance to re-elect him.

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Dan, Coral Springs, FL

    Let the residents of Illinois decide.....after all, it's their Senate seat.

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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