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. Laura

    It's about time he was arrested! Now our state legislators need to do 2 things:

    1. Yes, a special election for Obama's replacement (who maybe will actually vote, unlike Obama did during his very short tenure)
    2. Impeach Blagojevich

    Thank God for Fitzgerald. He should run for office. I think anyone who has worked as a prosecutor should run for, and be elected to, office.

    December 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. M

    A special election is the ONLY credible way to proceed, especially when you consider the corruption that has plagued this state in recent years.

    December 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Spirit of America

    Why is this vitally important Senate seat open at all? Autoworkers need that vote to allow the auto industry to survive. What right does Obama have to resign this office before taking the presidency? That corrupt IL governor needs to fill this US Senate today. Just do it.

    December 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Tina

    Of course, Obama is part of them. Money from oversea and from the Chicago mobs contributing to him and can buy the election!

    December 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Jeff

    What's the difference? They all buy their seats anyway.

    December 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Marge

    HONEST.....tell me Durbin what did obama do to get elected to the state senate. He somehow got someone to find a ancient 150 year old law to disqualify his opponent. And how about when he was being beat in the polls by Jeri Ryan's husband....somehow out of nowhere, the sealed divorce papers came to light, causing Ryan to resign. And the law company that was working in the mayors office and had access to the papers was the one michelle obama worked for at one time...gee gee wonder if that was concidence.....When you say political mud...think of Illinois and all the politicans thereof.

    December 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Jared from Delaware

    history will repeat itself and a good republican will be elected

    ^If history repeats itself, that Republican would be guilty of fraud and racketeering.

    Before Blagojevich, a GOP Governor had the seat. That GOP Governor – I believe Perry was his surname – is in prison right now, serving six years for fruad and embezzlement.

    So, don't even try it, Mark.....

    December 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Laura, Boston

    Obama's got oodles of money and this would be an opportunity to ensure that his seat is not being filled by anybody's chose (EXCEPT THE PEOPLE). Use some of the money his campaign had leftover to take the burden off the State government.

    That way people who are honest hardworking taxpayers wouldn't have to cough up extra money for a special election!

    December 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. bsmith171

    well like a broken clock DURBIN is right this time.

    December 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Soccer Nana

    Mark, B'ham., Al., the democrats in Illinois are no more corrupt than the former republican Illinois governor who is now serving time for his thievery. Unfortunately, there are good and bad people in all walks of life; be happy they are getting caught faster thanks to modern technology.

    In light of these circumstances, a special election would benefit the integrity the senate seat in Illinois.

    December 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. RR

    The 17th Amendment calls for elections to fill open senate seats anyway, so having a senator appointed to fill the rest of a term is illegal.

    December 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Debby, NJ

    Power to the People ... Let them decide.

    December 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. tim

    Rezko still not sentenced? Rezko and Obama joined at the hip.
    Governor goes down–another of Rezko buddies. Obama faces similar
    problems. Rezko convicted but not sentenced for months. IN the game
    of politics I would guess that Obama has now been positioned to play ball for the powers that be.

    December 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Independent Fred

    I'm convince that some of you just type without using brain power.

    Try as you might to link the two, Obama had nothing to do with slim shady Rod Blagojevich. I live in Illinois trust me this guy has been under investigation for years. He's a corrupt bum just like Gerorge Ryan the Gov before him who *Gasp* happens to be a Republican.

    There are shady individuals in both parties that's why many of us have turned Independent now.

    December 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Taff, UK

    This guy had the audacity to try and sell Obama's former seat? Thats a new low for sure. He would have done better just going to congress and asking for a bailout than to be this stupid. Bush should just order that the crook should be taken in front of a firing squad. One for the road for the texas Cowboy before Obama comes in and gets rid of torture and all that stuff.

    December 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Steph

    Everyone will get to vote for the new senator so the republicans, independents and green party will have their voices heard. Something that won't happen if the governor (or anyone else) appoints Obama's replacement. And, in no way does that say anything about President-elect Obama. Blagovich appears to be looking out for only one person – Himself!

    December 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. coldwar vet ~ cal

    I never liked the idea of governors replacing the vacant seat of state senators with someone of their own choosing. Granted, if a governor is of my party I often benefit from the choice. That being said, the only democratic way to fill a vacant seat is with a special election. I don't understand citizens complaining about the extra cost. Special elections are rarely needed, and it is the only way to ensure the position is decided by the will of the people. I agree with Sen. Durbin.

    December 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Jim

    Special election, selling to the highest bidder, in this country it amounts to the same thing.

    December 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. John

    we must have a special election in illinois

    December 9, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. mg

    Durbin couldn't resist the chance to jump in front of the camera. Typical. What a hack. Obama has distanced himself from Blagojevich for a very long time. They do not have a good relationship so you all can stop trying to lump them together.

    December 9, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Obamaallthewaytodc

    yeah this is interesting.

    somebody doesnt want somebody in... i bet.

    December 9, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Antonio, Urbana, IL

    The only way that we could have a fair appointment is by a special election. And no, the Republicans, Green Party as well as Dems should not have to pay for special election, but this would be the best route. And all the non-dems will have their "fair" shot at appointing someone other than a Democrat...

    And now the rest of the world gets a look at the corrupt Illinois politics. I am a political science student at the University of Illinois and the entire department is going crazy over this!

    December 9, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. TommyF

    Corruption in Chicago. What's next, cheese in Wisconsin?

    Why didn't the candidates (ie. candidate A, B, etc. referred to in the charges) raise a red flag? Wasn't Rep. Jackson one of the candidates in the running for the seat? The politicians who are playing along are just as guilty.

    December 9, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. bigshoulder USA

    Why should the taxpayers pay for an election? I think G Rod should still pick the successor. Regardless of how the next person is picked we must remember this is politics and there will always be problems with the selection. The Governor has done a great job in my opinion, especially dealing with Mr, Madigan and those other politicians. He just would not bow down to those politicians who scolds him daily.

    December 9, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Discusted

    "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!"

    You seem to not know or you've forgoten, our last Govenor, a Repubican named Ryan, is sitting in a federal prison right now for doing the same thing. Durbin just asked President Bush to commute his sentance. It's the whole political culture in this state.

    December 9, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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