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. Kim J

    How does Durbin plan to pay for this special election? Why doesn't the legislature convene instead and begin impeachment proceedings.

    December 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Chicago Girl

    Dick Dubin's opinion doesn't matter since he made the idiotic recommendation of commuting former Gov. Ryan's sentence. On the other hand, anyone appointed by Blago will be tainted. So a special election may be necessary.

    December 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. gerry

    I have a serious problem with Dick Durbin. He continually makes so much sense he's boring.

    I mean this keeps up, what will the MSM do????

    December 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Tedly

    Umm... It was the voters who chose so badly the last two times! Could Illinois be making the case for voter qualification testing??

    December 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Beverly

    Susie, you're still BITTER, uh?

    December 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Lisa V

    “Maybe history will repeat itself and a good republican will be elected?” Was not the Governor’s Republican predecessor put in jail? Currently, these are only allegations, right? I do not know much about Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, but I would imagine he is innocent until proven guilty. As long as he is not guilty of anything, then the law should stand: He should be able to pick the replacement.

    December 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. MW

    Or just get Blago impeached or resigned very quickly. Pat Quinn (an honest guy) could then make a 2-year appointment of somebody clean, like Jan Schakowsky.

    December 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Mark

    This is nothing new in politics the republicans have been doing it forever too. It's just the way it is in our government, thats what lobbyists do for a living. The only way to get rid of this problem in government is make it so no one over 35 – 40 yrs old can run for any office so they don't have time to be bought and paid for and get rid of the lobbyists and don't let people add anything to a bill and we will see the government go smoother and better for the people. The democrats should take a look at the republican's play book, did they think the republicans would let Obama get into office quietly? The dems have no backbone or they would have impeached Bush and Cheney, if things were reversed the republicans would have tore the dems apart and they will go after everything Obama does, thats our government at its best... thats just the way it is....

    December 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Quentin

    'Majority are honest?"
    That's just not good enough.

    December 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Here we go...

    I think a special election should be the protocol for filling all seats when someone enters another position during their term. I think special elections should replace the Governor appointment procedure in general.

    Also, to the person with the good and bad, all people possess both characteristics, it is not specific to party (or race or anything else related to a category) for that matter so please grow up quickly and read a book occasionally. Do you know that the average American reads 2 books or less a year? Pathetic. Many responses on here support that finding I see...

    December 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Zack

    Special elections should always be held to replace officials that have, for whatever reason, resigned.

    And honestly, how does this have anything to do with Obama, or even the Democratic Party? Listen to yourselves. Just because Larry Craig is a closet homosexual and Mark Foley fondles young boys doesn't mean John McCain and all other Republicans are gay pedophiles. Stop being so pathetically childish and try thinking reasonably for a moment.

    December 9, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Angie

    A special election is a good idea. . . but an idea coming from this sitting Senator who wants to bust our previously incarcerated Governor (Ryan) out of the clink!

    As a Chicago Democrat, I think we all owe former Senator Peter Fitzgerald a big holiday kiss for giving us Patrick Fitzgerald. I'm wondering who is next? Daley? Maybe Durbin himself?

    December 9, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Sebastian

    The right wing nut jobs that hate Obama will be attempting to link him to this in 5 ... 4.... 3..... 2..... 1 ......

    December 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. change in America

    I hope Jesse Jackson Jr get the position Chicago is a corrupted city inclose the mayor of chicago

    December 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. former IL resident

    Typical Chicago politics...

    What is former Governor Ryan's excuse for the corruption that caused innocent people to die on the roads? Aw shucks, farm coutnry politics.

    A special election sounds good, let's hope the people are better at picking senators then they are at picking governors.

    December 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. EW

    Durbin is just grandstanding. He is worried that Blago will bring him down too.

    Get a good look, everyone! This is the type of politics you voted into the White House.

    December 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Kristen ILLINOIS

    To all the people from different states talking like they know everything and are so much better then us from Illinois need to shut up. If you think you state is perfect do some research not all your elected officials are perfect they just don't get caught. There are many officials from Illinois who do a great job and don't deserve to be lumped into a category just cause they are from Illinois. So keep your mouth shut and don't judge our state.

    December 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Phil from Phoenix

    First a Chicago Mayor. Next the IL Gov. Hmmm, I wonder; is this what comes out of IL politics. For Obama's sake and our nations, I hope not!

    December 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. mike

    Special election makes sense. Let the people decide.

    December 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Dianne

    Senator Dick Durbin is correct with calling for a special election for the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. In addition, the Governor should be impeached.

    In the meantime, everyone involved should come forth and cooperate with the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to end this corrupt behaviour in politics.

    Corruption in politics cannot be tolerated on both sides of the political spectrum and we've seen it lately far too many times in both the Democrat & Republican parties.

    December 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. barbara hundley

    I just want to say that the guy was crazy and should go straight to prison it should be up to the people who takes that seat and i hope americ realizes we aalso must do are part in making sure each person we vote in we hold them accountable for their axtions as voives for the people. we are the people we must take back our responsiblity and make sure we put people with charaxter. who are good people in what ever situation they are in.AMERICA can be the america we knowq it should be/ ,WE must live every day expecting nothing but goos to come because we are good people. god bless those solders every where. ,y we find away out differently then the way we got in/ let us obtain real knowledge.let us learn the difference in doing right, so one cant be wrong, or go wrong.AMERICA we must not tolerate those in our need seeks for greedQQWE MUST DO ARE BEST TO MAKE CHANGE SO THERE IS A WAY FOR EVERYONE NOT JUST FOR SOME.

    December 9, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Brad IL.

    two down and two to go . Now go after Daley and Obama and we will finally have a respectable gov. Change laws that strip them from any pensions and state or federal money of any kind. Also let them feel the wrath of the Justice Dept.

    December 9, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Evan

    Let's see...Rezko, Ryan, Blagojevich...Illinois Politicians...Politics you can believe in! But don't worry Obama didn't know them that well he just saw them in the neighborhood. Democrats or Republicans have something in common all want power and don't care how they get it.

    December 9, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Bdiddy from Chicago

    There should be a vote but there should be a limit on campaign contributions and the State should pay for the election.

    Too much money in politics it's killing the faith in the electoral process.

    It's taking millions of dollars to run even local campaigns and we're sliding down a slippery slope if it continues.

    December 9, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |


    December 9, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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