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. KC

    Another corrupt official in Chicago/IL who would have thought

    December 9, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Iowa Mom

    Sounds like a really good idea.

    December 9, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Scott NYC Independent

    At this point a special election seem prudent to say the least.

    December 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. KM

    If politicians at that level commit federal corruption offenses related to their power and their job, the punishment should be life in prison.

    December 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Joe, Chicago IL

    Durbin is just as dirty as Blago...all these guys sit together in the same hottub of politics.

    December 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Walt, Belton,TX

    Honest politicians in Chicago? Illinois? That would be nice.

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Missy M

    It's the politician, not the system that is corrupt. Here's an idea – keep the system that allows the appointment in tact, but start electing truly honorable people to office. This governor should resign immediately and his successor should make the appointment.

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Chipster

    Great idea – uh, who's going to pay for it? Just curious. Maybe Illinois is in better financial position than the rest of the nation but you're talking about millions of dollars and, oh yeah, there's the fact that we're talking about one month to organize it, count the votes, and expect someone to step into the office by Jan. 20, 2009. I think there might even be a holiday in between.

    What a stupid, stupid idea.

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Greg

    Thank you sir, I am a Republican your statement brings honor to you your state and your party. We are in a time when we must ALL trust each other to succeed. I am so tired of the fighting between the parties. I do think your side has politicized failuers like this way too much. GOP lets work together some one has to take the high road let it be us. Give them the benefit of the doubt. We must move forward for our nation!

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Jay

    I guess All The Kings Men also reside in Illinois

    December 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. H


    December 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Greg

    I totally agree with Senator Durbin, a special election is the best way for the people of Illinois to elect a new senator. I am starting to wonder if we should consider a change to the job description for governor. One or two four year terms as governor and 6 to 10 years in jail.

    December 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Otto

    What was that Governer thinking? President Elect Obama went way beyond the norm to vet his appointees, even Senator Clinton.

    How on earth can this guy think he could get away with this criminal act? Perhaps he was hit by a Conrail locomotive and stupidity got the best of him. A very long prison term should set him straight and longer than eight years.

    December 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Rick

    He's right. Also, this shouldn't taint Obama – he had nothing to do with this.

    Nice to see that a Dem has finally come out against a corrupt Dem. Yes there are corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle. Maybe Durbin should talk to Nancy Pelosi about this.

    December 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. cd in chuck

    You folks don't understand, its an Illinois tradition - state house–big house

    December 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. KJL

    His request is sensible, but very expensive. If there is a way to override the governor's power it must be done, but not to the detriment of the state budget.

    December 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. ANGIE

    So much Power can put people over the edge!

    December 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    Rumor has it that Ram Emanuel turned in Govenor B.

    December 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Joe Finn


    December 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. matt

    Lets hope Blagojevich gets tried and convicted quickly so Durbin can have him pardoned and at home for Christmas!

    December 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    New election is probably the best way to solve the problem. I want to know who he tried to sell the seat to. What and idiot, only GOP has enough money to buy a senate seat. He's in the wrong party for this sort of thing to work.

    December 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. tcaudilllg

    It's not enough to condemn corruption after it has already been committed. These people must be vetted for their quirks BEFORE being nominated. That's the parties' responsibility.

    I am especially disappointed that the population segment which is specifically specialized toward the diagnosis of problems of human nature - THE PROGRESSIVES - has allowed such a transgression to appear on THEIR watch. It's an insult to the ideology!

    If you put a fox in charge of the henhouse, what do you expect? Foxes should never even be CONSIDERED for the position, no? Who is to blame the fox for killing the chickens, when the fox's nature is well known already? It is the hen owner's responsibility to recognize the that the fox is absolutely going to kill chickens if given the opportunity, and appoint a dog instead. (one that doesn't have a history of killing chickens, for that matter...)

    December 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. NY Republican

    An election for an elected official's vacant seat. What a novel idea!! Seriously, though is it legal? If so can NY state borrow this idea? Better yet can NY state borrow Senator Durbin?

    December 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. JJ12345

    Bartman for Senate!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. anonymous

    Good Call. It should be the people's choice, not the governor's. Now that we have our lead crook in jail, when are we tapping Daley's phone to find out where the money went from the sale of the skyways and traffic meters went.

    December 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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