February 27th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Illinois governor renews call for special election to replace Burris

 Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, at a press briefing on the subject recently, says Sen. Roland Burris should step aside.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, at a press briefing on the subject recently, says Sen. Roland Burris should step aside.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called again Friday for a special election to replace Sen. Roland Burris, whose appointment to fill President Obama's former Senate seat has subjected the state to what Quinn called a "cloud of scandal."

"The only way to clear up the cloud is to have an election, a special election," Quinn told Chicago radio station WGN-AM. "I really feel that Roland Burris should step aside and resign and he would serve his state and himself very well."

He said there is "no good way" for Illinois to continue having Burris serve as senator.

Quinn issued a similar call a week ago and said resigning would be a "heroic act."

Quinn's strong words Friday came three days after fellow Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior U.S. senator from Illinois, said Burris should consider resigning over the controversy regarding his appointment by now-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"I told him under the circumstances I would consider resigning if I was in his shoes," Durbin said. Burris later told reporters he will not step down.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Had It

    Burris, the old fool, got to be a senator the ONLY way he ever could, and will take down the entire state rather than give up his latest etchings on his headstone. There's no fool like an OLD FOOL.

    February 27, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Tex

    Pip down, Patrick. You got YOUR job by Gov Blago stepping down.

    Maybe a special election is needed to replace you? Or perhaps you have someone "more qualified" who happened to give your campaign a boost??

    February 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Bill, Bloominton IL

    If he will not step down, try him for lying under oath and throw the man in prison.

    February 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Mike in Philly

    17th Amendment:

    "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct."

    So go tell your state legislature to take back the power from the governor. Otherwise, replacement appointment is entirely legal.

    February 27, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Jackie in Dallas

    Calling for a special election was the only legitimate action that Blagojevich should have done in his situation. As sorry as I am for Senator Burris, I believe that in the best interest of the people of Illinois, he ought to call himself the Senator Pro-tiem until that election is held, and then, if not elected himself, hand over the seat to a duly elected Senator. Nothing else is honorable or serves his constituents.

    February 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Some guy named Independent Vet was blabing on one of the boards with all caps. Nobody caught the error he made in one of his rants:

    "GO AHEAD WITH YOU BIG PLANS TO HELP ALL THE ILLEGALS. BY GIVING THEM OUR SOCIAL SECURITY , AN THEY NEVER PAID ONE DAM PENNY INTO IT. "

    The problem with his statement is that "illegals" can't draw from Social Security. Duh. However, they do pay into, along with their taxes, when they receive paychecks for working.

    In other words the Independent Vet, has stated something that is the opposite of the truth. He probably listens to talk radio.

    February 27, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Fan of Common Sense

    Wow! A democrat who actually believes in democracy and the will of the people. How novel.

    February 27, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Ellie

    THANK YOU Governor Quinn. It's time to get rid of these slime ball bums, both father and son need to go ASAP.

    WHAT is wrong with Mr. Burris? He KNEW he paid-to-play, when he negotiated a $75,000 salaried job for his non-tax paying son, the same son who is getting evicted from his home for non-payment, this is just IGNORANT!! If this was the average Bob Jones, he would be in jail right now.

    How in God's name does this good-for-nothing son EARN a $75,000 per year salary as Senior Counsel when he can't even pay his taxes or his mortgage?

    GET RID OF THESE BUM, or face more corruption in Illinois.

    February 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Carl Justus

    Why don't they just leave the man alone and let him get down to business and do his job.

    Everybody nowadays have an ax to grind if all do not dance their tune. When he is up for relection in 2010, he will be removed if the public does not want him in there.

    February 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Rick

    Burris will scream racism because he is Black, just wait an see..because he has already used racism and will use it again. We know the type of person who keeps race alive and it is him and people like Sharpton and I'm so tired of hearing about it.

    February 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Alfred E Neumann

    It's time for the people in Illinois to move on. Burris will be a senator only until the next election in two years.

    Perhaps the governor will pay the cost of a new election from his own pocket.

    What – they never had a corrupt politician in office before?

    February 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Mary J.

    I hope he stepps down so we can save that Senate seat. It seems as if the country is divided now betwen the Democrats and Republicans. Is this really the United States of America.

    February 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Truth Bomb Thrower

    There's a reason why our forefathers arranged for U.S. senators to be "appointed" by state legislatures. We need to return to this policy. It would lower the influence of deep-pocketed special interest and it would make appointment-by-bribery less likely.

    February 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. thomas

    In this economy, Governor, you have to expect a few squatters. Ask Obama to name him Secretary of Marginalized Politicians. Once he accepts the appointment and resigns his position, you can tell him that there is no such post.

    February 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Barbara, IL

    Mr. Burris, for the sake of our state, please resign! Chicago news this morning was reporting on further investigations regarding Roland Burris, Jr. who recieved a $75,000 a year state job before Burris, Sr. was nominated to fill the senate seat. He was fortunate enough to get this job when he owed back taxes and his house was about to go into forclosure. As Larry King said to Blago, "If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck..." Please end this sad chapter in our state's history so the honest, hardworking people of Illinois can finally be redeemed. You reflect poorly on all of us!

    February 27, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    If Mr Burris won't step down, a special will do the job. Blago was tainted, and thus his appointment too was tainted.

    Illinois deserves and should expect better than what they got. They must root out corruption wherever it is found, remove it and finally have clean politicians to do their business. Nothing less!

    Corrupt politicians must be prosecuted and jailed if convicted. For too long they have had corrupt politicians, but now it is time to clean it up.

    February 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Anthony from IL/IA

    I think that he should resign and not act like Blago did. It would be the best thing for everyone to do.

    February 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Howdy

    And now prominent black alderman are threatening the Governor and Senator Dick Durbin by saying "those people of color who reside in the surrounding communities of Chicago are listening" and saying they will take action to outst both of these men from office if they "don't back off Roland Burris". Racism alive and well in America!

    February 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Melissa

    Good. This should have been what occurred in the first place.

    February 27, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Blago asked for a special election to begin with. Give it up. Burris is the Senator and you have to wait until 2010.

    February 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Bill, LA

    Burris needs to give considerable attention to his options here. the way the Democrats operate he has two choices.
    1. Resign

    2. .............??

    When is the last time anyone spoke to Jimmy Hoffa? Walk away Mr Burris or watch your back....on second thought walk away and watch your back anyway because they don't like you, and they have friends

    February 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. R.Banks

    Yes, yes, please remove this utter moron from the senate; he is WAY out of his league. Try heading a church group first you putz.

    February 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. no corporate politics

    Obama is the only guy from Illinois that is not a part shady politics?

    And Reagan was the only one who didn't know about Iran Contra.
    And Bush was the only one who didn't know false intelligence.

    Judging by how many times I heard Obama say I wasn't there – I didn't know about......... during the campaign, forgive me if the kool-aide isn't having the desired effect.

    February 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. joyce

    He should have never accepted the appointment..Anyone who would have said yes, knowing what they knew about Blago at the time would not be doing any type of ustice to the seat, not to mention to the people of IL of whom they are to serve..How can anyone take that type of appointment seriously..It is a real shame, that they have once again brought not only a cloud over this Senate seat, but have brought shame to the state of IL..I also think this alll could have and should have been avoided if they had agreed to hold a special election and let the people decide when this whole fiasco started..If burris won't leave voluntarily , he should be voted out...

    February 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    I dunno about "heroic," but if Burris does resign and without a big fuss, he may come close to redeeming himself.

    February 27, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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