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. Ed A,

    A special election is the only way a new senator will be seated. The Senate controls their membership and will NOT accept a Blagojevich appointment.

    Sen. Durbin's has recently request for Bush to commute the sentence of Illinois ex-governor George Ryan. Mr. Ryan was convicted in a corruption scheme and is currently serving a 6.5 year sentence.

    Given the latest development in IL politics, I feel comfortable that Mr. Ryan will remain in jail. Do the crime, pay the time....period.

    You also, Rod Blagojevich......good riddence.

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

    Bitter much susie.....

    December 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Jason

    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.

    December 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. susan

    Illinoisans are entitled to a special election–even those of us living abroad.
    I hope Pat Fitxgerald throws the book at the Gov. He can join his Republican predecessor in jail.

    December 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Yeah seriously, hurry before the idiot appoints himself to the empty seat.

    December 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Ramon

    I like Sen. Durbin....but I gotta wonder why he isn't asking President Bush for a pardon for one corrupt governor, but does so for another. Politics in Illinois is too old-school and I for one am glad the Feds are all over this place.....look out Mayor Daley!

    December 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Turo Cedo

    I agree. As a citizen of Illinois, I would not have faith that the person appointed to replace President Obama would be done so in the interest of the state. A special election would give credibility to the position and free it of the undoubted suspicion it would otherwise garner. G-Rod should be impeached.

    December 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Sharon Kitchen

    No matter who is miss-using power or their position....they need to be outed.
    Hopefully, the Ill. legislature will do the right thing,quickly.

    December 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. john

    Funky headlines uh?

    "Durbin wants special election to replace Obama|"

    couldn't it be

    Durbin wants special election to replace Obama's senate seat?

    no no no you've got to stir the controversy. I understand.

    December 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. lonnette33

    Dirty Chicago Politics. Obama is a product of Chicago. I'm in a wait and see mode.

    December 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Mark

    Ummm no, I doubt there are 2 honest politicians in all of Chicago...give me a break

    December 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. lonnette33

    Thank you Senator Durbin.

    Now let's hope Jesse Jackson, Jr doesn't run and win. Nothing good can come from his election.

    December 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Dave

    BO smells like every other politician, except his odor is covered up by the media at all cost. Has anyone heard how Tony Rezo is doing these days?

    December 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Mark

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

    December 9, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. GuyInVA

    Jody Monroe, I agree with you. However, the people haven't had the power in government for a long time, and we don't seem inclined to take it back.

    December 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. LucyJane

    As an Illinoisan, I think it's a great idea, as that would be a more fair election. As of right now, everyone's going wild with the news. The truth is, no one really likes Blago that much, all over the state of Illinois. This whole last year, we have wanted him impeached, but could not catch him until now. I like Durbin and I voted for him. I agree with his idea of a special election. But I don't want George Ryan to be pardoned. He did some harsh crimes to Illinois, and gave out illegal licenses. Some of these illegal aliens could have caused wrecks, ect. If they want a license it should be done the LEGAL way. No one is above the law.

    December 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Carramia

    I cant believe people would think a senator could be appointed without corruption taking place in ALL 50 states

    December 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. norb

    Chicago has always been known to have crooked politician's. Goes back to the Al Capone days. Current mayor dad was pretty good at controlling the political agenda. Former mayor Ryan is in jail as we speak. Da bears. Da crook's.

    December 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Godluvr

    Please! No more articles! I'm sending my carrier pigeons out to tell any who hasn't heard the numerous annoucements!

    December 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Erik on Wall St.

    I think it's very dangerous to let a Governor pick a Senate replacement. Maybe it was OK 200 years ago, but this law should be changed, especially in light of what that dirt bag Blagojevich was doing and this non-sense about our NY replacement Gov potentially picking Caroline Kennedy – this is absurd – she's never filled a govt post in her life – why should she be made Governor??? The worst part about this illfated rule by our beloved founding fathers is that Blagojevich could have picked himself for the seat! This law has got to be changed to end all of the potential for corruption. Imagine that numb nut replacement Gov in NY picking himself! He wasn't even picked by the people of NY! Let's get real!

    December 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. CRAZY

    It makes you wonder how or why it can be so easy for elected officials to "gain" financially from their positions. Maybe im nuts, but it seems like we are at the point in history where its time to re-evaluate how we do business and how our elected officials are compensated...and how transparent the entire process is.

    He wanted to have his wife get appointed to board positions – as a kickback, so that she could make upwards of $150,000 for sitting on a not-for-profit board...are you kidding me????

    Maybe there needs to be new rules, obviously the old ones we are working under has produced quite a few corrupted people – from both parties.

    Im normally not in favor of witch hunts, but bringing some transparency to our elected officials seems to be the best thing to do right now.

    December 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. m.m

    such a great solution!

    December 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Robert

    Who is Durbin kidding? The state of Illinois is probably the most corrupt political state in America. Everyone knows the lore or the Daley machine in Chicago (of which Obama sprang forth from but that's for a different post).

    December 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. tom

    who's gonna pay for it durbin? tarp?

    December 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Joey

    Really, Jason? How do you decide the election then without a vote?

    December 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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