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. Rob

    If this happened (which I doubt- why would Democrats be dumb enough not to want Pat Quinn to make the appointment), it would be hilarious if a Republican won the seat. I would love that.

    December 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Steve

    The only problem with letting the people decide the next senator is that these are the same idiots who elected Governor Rod.

    December 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. lmc in Seattle

    In our judicial system, one is innocent until proven guilty. However, in order to avoid any taint of corruption, it seems it would be best if Illinois had a special election for senator. I'm not from Illinois though!

    December 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Clinton Basher

    I think I speak for all Illinoisans when i say:
    Bring Back Governor Jim Edgar!

    December 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Dude

    Jason wrote "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?"

    Jason, there is no way to sugarcoat this... blaming Blago's actions on the liberal obama circle of corruption is one of the stupidest posts I have read.

    December 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. chris

    lets hope this topples down all of the scumbags in Illinois, Dems and Reps alike! I am sure Roddy will be rolling over on everyone.

    December 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    And let the chorus of anti-Obamaists out there start the ranting of how they're so convinced that Barack Obama is directly or indirectly involved with this ramification. The bottom line is this: There are crooked politicians across all political parties, no one party is immune. Get the FACTS first before rendering an opinion/a claim/or what you will. If Gov. Blagojevich is indeed in the wrong, then the system will run its course and he'll get his comeupance. But, of course, imaginations will run wild and rampant.

    December 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Belle


    That would get rid of this entire mess. If Senators, and Congress could ONLY serve 2 limits, like POTUS, then they would not make a life of politics and fleecing us taxpayers.

    December 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Shane

    This goes for any party, You are in the public spotlight, don't you know that you will get caught? This is a sad day for democrats and the state of Ill. I hope if found guilty (most likely will cause of wire tap) that the judge will give him the hardest punishment possible. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS ARE ROLLING IN THEIR GRAVES. SHAME ON THAT GOVERNOR AND ANY OTHER POLITICAL OFFICIALS THAT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR OFFICE

    December 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Chicago - My Kind of Town

    Ahhh – Blagojevich follows in the foot steps of former Illinois Democrat Govenors Otto Kerner and Dan Walker. Just another Democratic- Thug- Chicago- Politician. It gives me such HOPE!

    December 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. proudliberal

    politicians are corrupt. period.

    December 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Chris

    Although a special election would be the best and most ethical solution, it is probably not feasible at this point. There would have to be primaries and a general election, and the seat would end up vacant in the interim.. Also, the political free-for-all would be horrible (I really don't want to have to see Palin stumping for another GOP candidate right now). The best thing right now is for Blagojevich to resign immediately and for his successor to appoint a temporary replacement (the best choice would be one of the current sitting representatives). The follow up election could next fall instead of 2010.

    December 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Rich

    So Tony Rezco is once again involved, all the threads will be followed to the inevitable conclusion!!! Chicago politics as usual and the cracks will soon appear in the fake facade of Obama

    December 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Bill, ca

    Now republicans have something to cream about.

    You nuts should look back of all those republican crooks from the past 8 years and be ashamed of,

    What has Obama got to do with this? Absolutely nothing.

    If a senator vialoted the law he should pay for it, regardless if democrat oder republican.

    Blagigevich should resign and the next in line democrat should fill his seat und appoint Obamas successor. Just as simple as that.

    December 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. rob

    I wonder how far Fitz will dig to get to the bottom of all the corruption in Ill. We remember how he left no stone unturned to get Scooter Libby because he forgot what exactly he said to whom and when in the Plame investigation that went nowhere because there was no law broken.

    I'll be waiting.

    December 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. John

    Hey Mark from Birmingham

    If history repeats itself and you get a Republican Governor you might as well send him/her straight to prison which is where the last Republican Governor of Illinios currently resides.

    December 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Gary of Illinois

    Mark of Alabama should worry about corruption in his own state. The overwhelming majority of Illinois elected officials are honest and hardworking government servants.

    December 9, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Jason

    Yesterday Blagojevich calls for a boycott of BAC in Illinois, today his career is finished?
    What about the corruption in the distribution of Trillions of our dollars to corporations with little or no oversight and accountability?
    I hope the same signing statements and articles of the patriot act that were used to build a case against Blagojevich will be used to convict the current administration.
    The sale of a Senate seat, even if true, pales in comparison to the looting of the US treasury and the torture and detainment of its citizens without due process (Habeus Corpus).
    Don't be fooled, this is pure politics, the republicans can't get elected but they can discredit a person with the power to appoint a senator and call for a"special" election instead.

    December 9, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. xcusme

    For heavens sake.. put the names in a hat and pick. Oh and send the Gov. to jail

    December 9, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. California Gold

    And the fine people of the State of Illinois will get to pay for the million $ or more price tag for that special election. Maybe take that cost out of the Governor's hefty retirement and slush fund.

    December 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Toni

    Jason if you have nothing helpful to contribute then please do not. Are you even from Illinois? Probably not.

    December 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. randy

    i think it is a good idea.

    December 9, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. bjorn

    Jason, how do you blame Obama for this? Do you also still believe he was not a legal candidate, he is muslim and terrorist, and will take all your fireams away? Sour grapes or paranoria must be the base of your logic.........not evidence.

    December 9, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Tedly

    It was Obama's office; let him pick his successor!

    December 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Bryan

    I wonder who he will roll on to cut a deal....he dosent look like a "take one for the team" kinda guy.

    The Obama-Rezco deal stunk from the get go

    December 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14