December 9th, 2008
01:31 PM ET
14 years ago

Durbin wants special election to replace Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Durbin is calling for a new election to replace Obama."](CNN) - Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday he wants a special election called to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

At a press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill, Durbin said he wants the Illinois legislature to act quickly to pass a law setting a special election in light of news Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been charged with seeking financial gain over the appointment.

Currently Blagojevich has the sole authority to select Obama's successor, and is still able to do so unless he resigns or is impeached from office.

"No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said.

In the press conference with reporters, Durbin also defended his state, saying the vast majority of politicians in Illinois are honest.

"I believe that the overwhelming majority of politicians in Illinois and outside are honest, hard-working people in both political parties," he said. "There will always be exceptions in both political parties who – when given the opportunity to use power – misuse it."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (328 Responses)
  1. Bdiddy from Chicago

    There should be a vote but there should be a limit on campaign contributions and the State should pay for the election.

    Too much money in politics is killing the faith in the electoral process.

    It's taking millions of dollars to run even local campaigns and we're sliding down a slippery slope if it continues.

    December 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Robert

    Why won't you be able to trust the person he appoints? This is going to be a very careful pick at this point to make sure there is no hint of corruption therefore let the appointment go and save the tax payer $$$$ for something important. Even if elected it doesn't mean someone will be more honest them the person appointed!

    December 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Spuddy In New Orleans, LA

    What's amazing to me is how so many people want to infer that President Elect Obama would some how be involved in this. He has nothing to gain. He has moved on to broader pastures, nor would he be stupid enough to involve himself in anything so unethical. If there was any way to tie the President Elect to anything illegal or suspicious, the people out to disparage him would not be reduced to saying he was not a Natural Born Citizen, just because his father was Kenyan. that is beyond the pale and so far reaching. Believe me, they would LOVE to get something bad on the man. Allow him to get sworn in and do the job he was elected to do. If he fails then you will have all of the pride in knowing you were right, until then....get a life!!! Because someone does something wrong in your state, does not make the whole state corrupt. If that's the case then I have a problem with ALL 50 states and everyone in them.

    December 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Ms. B in California

    man, we have really seen how corrupt our government really is.

    December 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Matt in Oregon

    Durbin is a great guy. Just give him both seats.

    December 9, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Craig in Washington

    A special election is the only reasonable way to do it without it being tainted or suspected of being tainted. There wil be some cost involved, but the governor's trial will cost a chunk as well. Or, remove the gov, install the Lt. Gov. and let him make the appointment.

    December 9, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. richard

    I left Chicago 32 years ago because I wanted to get away from the in your face political corruption of the democrats. My father worked for the city and owed his job to the Daley machine. He bragged about how in 1960 they stole the election for JFK. The corruption in Illinois is blatant and now we have a Daley machine party hack going to the White House in January. Pray for poor country, we are heading down the same path as the Romans before their fall.

    December 9, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. eddy

    I dare Durbin to name 1 honest politician.There is no politician that is not in office first nd foremost for his own political gains.It is one corruption after another in this country of yours.

    December 9, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. PL

    At this point, this is the only way. Do it now and get it over with.

    December 9, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's have some real jounalistic digging here. Obama can't possibly be out of the loop when his Senate seat is up for sale.

    December 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    Yes! Let's replace Obama with Hillary!

    December 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. gener

    Durbin just worte asking that former crooked governor Ryan be given early release. Now he is all over this special election. Why senator were you for the early release of the former crooked governor 24 hours ago?

    December 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. allmymarbles

    Obviously you can't have the governor appoint the replacement. It would ruin the reputation of whomever he chose. You could put all of the names in a hat and have him pull one out., I guess.

    December 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. chuck


    December 9, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. gary adams

    He did'nt care whether to give the seat to another african american because currently there are no afrircan americans in the senate do to obama now pres elect and mel martinez is stepping down also so there will no hispanics either. It's all about power. I really thought jesse jackson jr. would be chosen.

    I hope he runs in the special election

    Money is the rule of everything

    December 9, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. NJVote08

    Jason December 9th, 2008 2:06 pm ET

    Why should the republicans, independents, green party etc…have to pay for a special election as a result of the liberal obama circle of corruption that brough down this mess?

    No taxdollars to pay for a new corrupt senator.
    Why do people like you blame everything on Obama? Don't you know that God gave everyone a free will and that they are just exercising it. I don't condone what the Governor did, but YOU PEOPLE need to stop blaming the President Elect! He has been blamed for the economy, the war in Iraq, global warming... whatever is tossed about, it's his fault. Let us stop being a nation divided and work together to make life more enjoyable for everyone.

    December 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Bill

    So this guy, who has been under scrutiny for corruption for several years, and whose predecessor went to prison on corruption charges, decided that the very moment when the whole country was closely watching him for Obama's replacement pick he would exploit the opportunity as a third-rate financial shake down. One really does not need to be smart to be governor of Illinois.

    December 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Erick in Alabama for Obama

    Jason, why are you making this a bigger issue and making it have to do with Obama? IT doesn't! So stop! I agree a special election should be held soon.

    December 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. CanIcallyouJoe

    Republicans were overjoyed until they read the content of the article and realized they weren't talking about a second (or third) chance to steal the presidency this time.

    Mark B'ham, Al @ 2:20:
    "One cannot trust the Illinois Govenors Office now, so they need a special election and maybe history will repeat itself and a good republican will be elected. The democrats in Illinois are just like the democrats in their favorite Windy City. Not Trust Worthy!"

    Yes, because Karl Rove tried to get the Illinois Governor brought up on criminal char- wait.... Oh right, that was in your state, wasn't it?

    Hmm, who's untrustworthy?

    Come back and leave a comment when the South hits 1960. We're still waiting up here.

    December 9, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Proud to be American

    yeah I think the people should do the picking

    December 9, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. SD Demo

    I would give the decision to Obama, along with two draft picks for 2010.

    December 9, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    Yes! Yes! Yes! We need special elections to put term-limits on all our politicians. This will cleanup most of the corruptions. It's very sad to see good men, fall.

    December 9, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. ted

    president elect Obama should have a say in
    who takes over his senate seat .

    December 9, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. GA for Obama

    Jason- UNLESS YOU ARE BLIND, you Rush Limbaughites can CLEARLY see Obama's not a LIBERAL but he's CENTER-RIGHT. Btw, this has NOTHING to do with Obama. Obama's NOT connected to anyone in Illinois.

    December 9, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. sunshine

    palin was found guilty, i see she is still in the governors house. double standards here.

    December 9, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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