January 3rd, 2009
10:13 AM ET
12 years ago

Friend says Burris is heading to DC next week

 Roland Burris, right, says Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of him is legal.

Roland Burris, right, says Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of him is legal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A clash over the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama will intensify next week on Capitol Hill when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill that seat arrives in Washington.

A longtime friend and confidant of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris said late Friday that Burris will be in Washington Monday night and hopes to be seated in the Senate the next day.

That puts him on a collision course with members of the Senate Democratic majority, who have vowed to prevent Burris from taking the seat. At issue: a federal prosecutor's charge that Blagojevich had hoped to barter the Senate seat for either money or influence.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Ana

    Good for him !

    As a Democrat I believe he should be seated. He was LEGALLY appointed and we should follow the rules.

    Illinois State Legislature could have prevented his appointment by requesting a Special Election and they didn't so now they have to live with the fruits of their actions.

    Mr. Burris is a good person and has made history in Illinois before, so we are going to back him all the way.

    January 3, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. ran

    We do not need another Senator, regardless of their party, who is more interested in power then working for the people. Also, I am tired of any US elected official going to DC to try and get all they can for their State that is what has gotten us in the mess we are in now. Do for the country first before any one state.

    January 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Independent In NY

    How can he expect any credibility at all? And to then go and play the race card....Despicable!

    January 3, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Denocrats controlling the Senate are WRONG

    Harry Reid is about to teach the rest of the country and the world the worst lesson imaginable, and one that will tarnish him and his colleagues forever. This country is run on the Rule of Law. The US Senate is one of the lawmaking bodies on this country, and one that is supposed to be the highest example of following the rule of law.

    The only person authorized, and indeed, required by law to fill the vacant IL Senate seat is Governor Blagojevich. Whatever future legal troubles the Governor may face, he is today the legally elected Governor and legally authorized to Appoint Mr Burris. The Governor has not been conviceted of any crime. Mr. Burris meets all the requirements to be seated and he has not committed any crimes. He is entitled to be seated, and he ought to be seated, Anything to the contrary is against the LAW.

    Now, if Mr Reid fails to seat him, then Mr Burris will take his case to the Supreme Court, And at the Supreme Court, it will be decided that Senator Reid and the Democratically controlled Senate have broken the law by failing to seat the duly appointed IL Senator. What a terrible example and a terrible way for President – elect Obama to begin his term - with his own Party in the Senate BREAKING THE LAW - AND WITH PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA SUPPORTING THIS ILLEGAL ACTION.

    This country's leaders, and this Democratic Senate cannot ignore the law. To do so will be criminal.

    January 3, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Ray Fisher

    This is a matter between the Democratic Party and their errant governor. The party should be directing these things via the governors office, if he is a rogue, then proceed with impeachment but doing nothing is not an option. The Dems as usual snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory by failing to maintain the dignity and integrity of their party members and offices. The Republicans are no different but the Dems finally won for a change!!! I suspect if this is not handled soon, Rahm Emanuel's seat will be the same and Illinois may be lost for years!!!

    January 3, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. virginia for obama

    Nice try Blago. . . You're using Burris (and he's letting you) so that the attention is off of you.

    Scrumbags!

    January 3, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Matt of Chicago

    Senator Reid should seat the legally and duly appointed IL Senator. To do otherwise is an illegal act according to IL state law and federal law. It would seem that the obnoxous and arrogant Reid and his cohorts in crime do not feel a need to follow the law -- This is a dangerous and troubling turn for our country, and one that will reverberate around the world. The world aready distrusts the United States – we are especially hated by the Muslim countries and the entire Mideast – in part becasue they believe we are unfair in our dealings with Muslim countries and do not follow the rule of INternational Law. What a message Obama and his party will be sending when the World comes to know that we cannot even follow our own rule of law. Shame on the Democrats in the Senate. Big shame on Senator reid. And a disappointing shame on President-elect Obama

    January 3, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Nestor, Austin, TX

    I'm no fan of the Dems, but this is a tough one to call. Sick the IRS on Burris and see if he made any major transfers, say to the Cayman Islands. If he comes out clean, seat him for the next two years, let him run for reelection and in 2010 a Republican will win that seat...unless Oprah decides to run against him. No one can beat Oprah. But there is going to be a lot of scrutiny over that seat, and maybe Illinois will make the right choice. Change in 2010!

    January 3, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Sherrol in Canada

    I truly hope sparks won't be flying! Joking aside, Burris' was a legal appointment and the Senate Dems may decide not to block him, but they have been mouthing off so much that they may have no other choice but ot block as they may need to 'save face'.

    I still say however, that Burris' blind ambition for higher office clouded his judgement in accepting this appointment and that is quite unfortunate. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a racial circus!!

    January 3, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Janey

    what is wrong with Burris, Democrats? apparently, you want only one AA in big Government! It's not as though everything the dems have done the past 2 years is above-board! I see nothing wrong with a qualified AA getting a seat which the Governor has LEGALLY appointed him to. And, just for the record, Blago is not the worst scandal in politics–many more over the years have been worse and kept on. For some reason, Blago has ticked the dems off and we do not know why!?

    January 3, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Dave, Illinois

    I can't wait to see this battle unfold. Blago picked the man that will tie the Washington Dems in knots the most. Those Chicago Dems are catching up with the New York Dems when it comes to corruption and distraction tactics. The chickens are coming home to roost!

    January 3, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. BB

    He was warned that any appointee that Blago made would not be accepted.

    I guess it still rings true -- "There's no fool like an old fool".

    January 3, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. WIlly Brown

    And he should be the next Senator from IL, unless the democrats in Congress show their true colors and deny him his rightful seat …

    January 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Rick

    He claims to have impeccable moral standards and integrity. If that was true, he wouldn't have accepted this appointment. Given the allegations against the IL Governor, the only way to seat him would be after an intensive investigation of his every action, word and whereabouts from the very beginning of when Blago was alleged to have discussions of selling the seat. This means accounting for every second of Burris' time from that point forward.

    January 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. USAF MSgt., Ret.

    Talk about between a rock and a hard place!!!!

    Senator Reid apparently never heard the phrase "Never say never".

    This could get nasty.

    January 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. johnrj08

    Burris needs to be sent home. Something very odd about this guy. He seems far too focused on the fact that he was first African-American to hold a number of positions in Illinois, and that alone qualifies him for this job. The fact that he wasn't smart enough to reject Blagojevich's appointment is proof enough that his judgment is suspect. The irony is that Obama campaigned on the idea of a colorless presidency where race was irrelevant. Burris, on the other hand, seems to think that race is the primary reason he should be seated just because there are no black senators. A little out of step.

    January 3, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. MK

    The good people of Illinois should have taken care of the Gov when they had a chance, now the rest of the nation will be drug thru this mess. What a mess this is....

    January 3, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Peter Pan

    This illegal appointment is unnaceptable and will not stand whether they play the race card or not. If they think they can bully themselves into the senate they better think again. Barack Obama won the presidency fair and square. Both Bogdonovich and Burris knew that this appointment would not be accepted and now for Burris to be playing the race card and think he is entitled to the seat with this arrogance, is unacceptable. Burris was one of the first to condemn this appoointment, but when he found out he was the nominee, he changed his tune. More crooks in a new administration.... forget it!!

    January 3, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Ken in NC

    It is strange and I do not know if anyone else has ever considered this but it appears our nation is being torn apart internally at a time when we need the most honest and able elected and or appointed lawmakers in our House of Representatives and Senate. We have a Senator appointed by a Governor under a cloud of controversy, a Senate election whose votes cannot be counted while the two running for that office fight each other over votes and in court, a Congress that is fighting within it's ranks over how much to put into a spending plan in an effort to stimulate the economy while jobs are being lost and people on the verge of starving and being put out of their homes and people that want the President Elect of the United States not to be sworn in because he is not an American citizen or because his oath of office includes the words "IN GOD WE TRUST". Well people we better start trusting in somebody because while we fight among ourselves the world is sitting back and watching us like vultures waiting for the last breath of life leaves our country.

    People all this bickering must stop or our nation will stop. I am so fed up with all the infighting that I am ready to move into a cave in the hills and hunt and fish for my food and survival. No one seems to be concerned about OUR survival. No one seems to remember that "TOGETHER WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE FALL".

    January 3, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Sye the Pychic

    I hope Blago doesnt fly his own plane,He may end up like his old friend Mike Connell,who ran out of gas for some unknown reason the day before he was to tesify.But then again hes not a republican,even though he voted for Reagon in 80.

    January 3, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. THE OLD TIMER

    THE GOVENOR DID THE RIGHT THING....HE FOLLOWED THE U. S. CONSTITUTION WITH HIS APPOINTMENT OF BURRIS...

    NOW WE WILL SEE JUST HOW MUCH OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS KNOW ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION. THEY WILL TRY TO BLOCK BURRIS FROM TAKING THE SEAT. AND YOU WILL HAVE SOME LOUD MOUTHS FILIBUSTERING TO KEEP HIM OUT OF OFFICE.

    WE WILL SEE HOW THE MEDIATORS THAT BACKED AND DID THE SLANTED REPORTING OF OBAMA, REPORT ON THIS NEWS ITEM. THEY WILL RUN THE OTHER WAY,,,,OBAMA WAS NOT VETTED FOR THIS JOB. HE SHOULD NOT BE THE PRESIDENT!!!!!!

    THOSE REPORTERS ARE --JOHN KING ,, BILL SCHNEIDER ,, AND ROLAND MARTIN...

    THEY LIKE TO REPORT ON THINGS THEY CAN HAVE SOME CONTROL IN AND NOT REPROT THE WHOLE FACTS.

    January 3, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Reality

    A duly appointed public official going to perform his job functions?

    ABSURD! The Democrats (that bother to show up) will have his head for this!

    Meanwhile Obama made the 'newsworthy' announcement that he intends to "provide tax breaks for the American workers." The same old broad-based, can't-possibly-offend-anyone, rhetoric without the SLIGHTEST HINT of HOW he intends to do this while DRASTICALLY INCREASING government spending at the same time. More empty promises, you would think someone would hand him the memo saying "ok, you have won now. Now you must actually start making decisions. Now you must actually create through policy."

    Clearly the glorified junior senator does not get it.

    I for one am looking forward to 4 years of complete inaction and reckless government spending without accountability. There are fortunes to be made in depressions – read your history books if you want to survive folks.

    January 3, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    To Democrats Controlling the Senate...

    There are worse issues that is going to RIP this country apart, the economy. I suggest you PRAY for the country and seek to provide solutions to problems. Let's change the processes, if not, dont bother trying to convict good men and women.

    January 3, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Carol M

    Dave, Illinois January 3rd, 2009 10:58 am ET

    I can't wait to see this battle unfold. Blago picked the man that will tie the Washington Dems in knots the most. Those Chicago Dems are catching up with the New York Dems when it comes to corruption and distraction tactics. The chickens are coming home to roost!

    YEAH, LETS GET THOSE DARN DEMOCRATS! NO MORE OF THE DEMOCRAT'S CORRUPTION AND DISTRACTION TACTICS. – I UNDERSTAND GEORGE AND DICK ARE GIVING COURSES IN MORAL GOVERNEMNT AT PROPOGANDA UNIVERSITY STARTING JAN 21.

    January 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Who was Mike Connell?

    Burris is a good man.

    January 3, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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