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. Barbara

    As an IL resident, I would normally agree with a special election. But if Durbin is touting it, something is going on. Durbin is the guy who is trying to get our previous governor, now incarcerated, out of jail because he has suffered enough after 2 years behind bars.....please. My guess is Durbin has one of his cronies all lined up for the job, with the blessing of the rest of the political machine.

    December 9, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Pete in Chicago

    Durbin has no room to talk. Just last week he wrote Bush asking him to pardon former corrupt Gov. Ryan because his wife is sick!! What is next, G-Rod shouldn't be prosecuted cause he has two little daughters!!! This is outrageous!! Nothing is going to change until these corrupt politicians are held accountable. I have no respect for Durbin anymore. He should resign.

    December 9, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Deb Minnesota

    The people from Illinois should have a special election for the replace of President elect Obama. Their voices should be heard & not done by anyone else with their opinion.

    December 9, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Georgia for Change

    Blagojevich is not Obama. Like George Bush, Blagojevich felt he was above the law and wanted to make some money at the same time.

    If anything, Blagojevich should just step down and allow the Lieutenant Gov. continue the post until the he's vindicated or found to be guilty. In this way, the Lt. Gov could make the Senate appointment without the cloud of corruption, and also save on the cost of a special election.

    December 9, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. President Obama/VA

    I sure hope Jesse Jackson Jr. replaces President Obama.

    December 9, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Donmar

    I don't want to wait until the next election in April.
    I would prefer that the Legislature get down to Springfield for a special session to draw up the articles of impeachment and have the Senate try him before the end of this year.
    I want the State of Illinois to have a Junior Senator in place this January. There are too many important issues that the US Congress needs to move on right now.
    Better to get Blago out of office and have the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn replace him. Quinn is a good decent man, he'll do the right thing.
    And besides...I don't want tons of political ads and mudslinging. Lets put Blago away and move on.

    December 9, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. sandee in Portland

    I don't see how they could possibly put together a special election in such a short time with just slightly more than month before the person elected would take office. Maybe having the state senate appoint a new US senator instead of their corrupt governor would make better sense.

    December 9, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. tishoogle

    Get off Obama's case! Your such HATER'S!!!

    December 9, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Adem, OH

    To replace obama's senate seat, not just to "replace obama"

    December 9, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Virginia

    Sounds like a pretty good idea, given that it is coming from Dick Durbin. And then maybe with the election the corruption won't go too far down the food chain, say only from the Prez-elect to the senator that is elected.

    December 9, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Jan Illinois

    That's what we all want. We also want everybody and anybody who is tied into this to be prosecuted, all the way to the top of the heap!! Anybody talked to Resco yet, I believe that they will be singing and slinging names that will surprise some and enlighten others.

    December 9, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Mark


    Chicago is the Capitol of shady politicians, it makes DC look like Pleasantville.

    December 9, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Musicpromo Glandale Ca

    Blagojevich Should do both.. Resigns and be impeached from office. GO TO JAIL CARD FOR YOU!

    December 9, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Common Corey

    Does all this mean the "Common Corey" could now afford to be a Senator?

    December 9, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. earle dardar

    It would be very interesting to research how many governor's spouses serve on Corporate Boards across the country, and what they earn. Maybe it would be a good idea to ensure all politicians spouses must have a salary cap on any job they take during their spouses time if office. Obviiously the Illinois Governor learned his alleged crimes from someone. With so many American Corporations asking for help from the government, can we really afford these figure head positions anymore? Hollywood couldn't write this stuff, it's such a shame.

    December 9, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Charlie

    Gosh folks, Dick Durbin does have a brain!

    December 9, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Jill

    Today is a very sad day indeed, it's sad for all Americans.
    I believe there is a cancer that has infected our country and it's caused by greed. Everywhere, whenever I talk about politics with people they are all cynical like me, "contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives" Webster "those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient "— F. D. Roosevelt
    Someone, please prove it to us.

    December 9, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Klaus


    Fox in Chicago is reporting that it was Obama's circle who tipped off the Feds when Blago tried to extort them. Sorry, your right-wing fantasies are totally wrong. Obama's people, specifically Rahm Emmanuel, are the heroes here.

    December 9, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Viet Vet

    Become a politician Fleece all the taxpayers you can. Hell, we'll give all their loot to the banks, auto industry and the we'll fleece them out of their homes, take their transportation and remove bankruptcy as a choice to get out from under our thumb. Time for a revolution?

    December 9, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Michael

    Let's trust in the system. Let the governor make his selection. The senate has the right to not seat someone. In fact, I expect that pressure will be brought upon the governor to resign rather quickly.

    December 9, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Ken Pittsburgh

    this is not of Obama doing This is the system oh by the way just look to our 49 state enogh said.

    December 9, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Marshall

    Some one in Chicago listening to the people?

    December 9, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Goddess

    Jason get a clue. Obama is not to blame for everything in the world.

    December 9, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Blue balloons

    This corruption scandal has put a taint on the Senate vacancy. The only fair thing to do is have special election. The people need to decide who is best for the position, as Blagojevich has forfeited his priviliges by his actions.

    December 9, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. DUH PEOPLE!!!

    HA, and is anyone surprised that the same system Obama comes from is corrupt and just finally got caught? The only shock here is that in this day and age people really think there is some messiah of change. That's called good marketing...scratch..that is called GREAT MARKETING. I think Obama will do a great job but, don't be fooled, they (politicians) are all corrupt. They just don't all get caught. Including Obama!! He probably bought his way into office to begin with. The governor did not think twice about his corrupt ways even under close scrutiny because he has been getting away with it for so long he got comfortable.

    December 9, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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