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. nclaw441

    Not much mention of the political affiliation of the Gov. of Illinois, I notice. I do see one poster remarked about the party of someone not part of this story...

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

    I agree that the people of Illinois should vote for Obama's replacement.

    December 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Cristine C.

    Hi "Jason at 2:06". Think about actually researching things before making blanket statements such as yours. You see, Blagojevich's predesessor was a Republican and those same parties and the Democrats paid for his trial and everything else that went along with it. And no doofus, the govenor is not part of Obama's circle of anything. You are now in a slim minority that clings to these sort of insane rantings.

    December 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. rules is rules

    The Audacity of Hoax

    December 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Laylah B

    Good idea, BUT, in these economic times, how much will another election cost taxpayers, how much money will be thrown by donors to finance an election (money that can go to struggling non-profits.

    Here are some novel concepts–let the state legislature vote for someone to fill this two-year interim seat, or have the lieutenant governor make the appointment, or let the Senator vacating the seat appoint his successor.

    December 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Franky

    You know guys, I noticed Jeff talked about that we had 3 Gov over the last 30 years or so who were in fact corrupted and convicted but except this one, well so far. Now all we need is an Independent Gov who can continue the tradition.

    First it was the GOP WAY back in the day, the Dems are having thier time and according to my calculations, we should have an Independent Gov anytime soon, LOL!

    Is like history repeating itself...

    December 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. obama-mama

    Jason – Calm down. It's going to be ok. Everything isn't Obama's fault.

    An election is a splendid idea. These political clowns make too much money to continue this greed. That's what it all boils down to greed and power. Hope Gov. Greed gets what he deserves.

    December 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. jd

    The are no honest politicians in Illinois

    December 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Glenn in California

    I lived in IL for 6 years. First Ryan, now Blagojevich. The state seems to be carrying on the traditions of Al Capone.

    December 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    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!

    December 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Ayers, Wright, and the list goes on

    Maybe Obama would suggest the seat going to one of the above guys. They are all "friends" of Obama.

    December 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Killjoy

    I agree it is better than Rod appointing someone, but a special election created and run by the same machine we have had to tolerate for years? What kind of choice is that? Let me guess: a Madigan gets elected and we are (again) expected to ignore the man behind the curtain.

    December 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Biff

    "Durbin also defended his state, saying the vast majority of politicians in Illinois are honest."

    Isn't there something wrong with this statement? I'd like to know more about the minority of politicians in illinois who are dishonest.

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

    And you, Senator Durbin, pressing for a legally convicted felon – former Illinois Gov. George Ryan – to be released after serving 1 year in prison for corruption which led directly to the deaths of 9 people, 6 of whom were small children who burned to death.
    So tell me about the CURRENT scandal.

    December 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. scott

    Honest politicans in Illinois? That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. We need Fitgerald to be the US Attoorney here in Southern Illinois to clean out the "rats nest" they call St Clair County polotics next.

    December 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Christina

    As a citizen of Illinois, I will gladly have my tax dollars go towards another election. It's the right thing to do. It's our Senator, so why shouldn't we have a say?
    Plus, I kind of miss the political season and this would just make it more interesting.

    December 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. SJC

    To Jason,

    You said:
    "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?"

    I see you're privy to information that the US attorney doesn't have, namely that Obama brought this all down. You must be a legal genius! And I also see that the mandatory "liberal" is in your post; a requirement that all knee-jerk conservatives must meet when posting here.

    December 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Justin Sievert

    While a special election is seems logical, I don't believe that it is Constitutional. The IL Constitution says that if the Gov can't fulfill his duties due to resignation, conviction on impeachment, etc., then the Lt. Gov must do it. And it will save us tax dollars

    December 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Marshall Hagy

    Very pragmatic move, the only trouble is that with the holidays, it will be difficult to accomplish. However, there is little choice in the matter.

    December 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. BP

    Yes, Jason, the "liberal Obama circle" is responsible for this. Give me a break. You'll take anything you can get, won't you? Some politicians are charged with corruption–unfortunately, it seems to be a lasting event in American politics–but that doesn't mean an entire group is responsible. Don't ever blame Obama, or liberals as a whole, for one crooked man's deeds.

    December 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Shea

    Uhm...Mark from Bham,

    Crooked politicians come from all political affiliations. And from my understanding the prior Governor of Illinois was a republican...and he's currently in Federal prison. Please...correct me if I am in error.

    December 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Liane

    Senator Durbin – where is the money going to come from to hold this special election? The State of Illinois is already broke. We can't fund our schools properly, we can't fund any state run programs, we're closing state parks. Haven't the taxpayers in Illinois suffered enough?

    December 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Gracie

    Oh, STOP flapping your gums Sen. Durbin.

    You are not part of the "solution" you're becoming part of the PROBLEM.
    The Governor will GET HIS DUE for his despicable and criminal action!!

    December 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. BB

    Another power-hungry Governor causing problems for the people of this country. Shame !!

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

    A Special Election please.

    December 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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