January 5th, 2009
02:34 PM ET
12 years ago

Dems consider seating Burris if he promises not to run in 2010

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/05/art.getty.burris.smiling.jpg caption="Democrats may consider a compromise if Roland Burris agrees not to run for the Senate seat in 2010."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that one possible compromise idea being considered by some in the Senate Democratic leadership is allowing Roland Burris to be seated in the Senate as long as he agrees not to run in 2010.

A senior Democratic source familiar with Senate leadership deliberations tells CNN that a Democratic concern about seating Burris is that his association with Rod Blagoveich would make him so tainted that he would lose the Democratic seat if he ran in the next election. This idea would clear the field for other Democratic candidates the leadership considers more viable to run in 2010. The source would not be named because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Democratic sources cautioned that this is just one idea being discussed and that the Democratic leadership hasn’t formally settled on making this offer to Burris.

The source familiar with the deliberations said one key to this avenue of compromise, and a way around declarations that anyone Blagoveich appoints is tainted, would be to give the Burris appointment political legitimacy by having Illinois Lt Gov Pat Quinn publicly bless it.

When asked about the possibility of agreeing not to run in 2010, Burris told reporters in Chicago: “I can’t negotiate in the press.” (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Monday, Burris appeared to reject the idea.)

Update: The fact that Blagojevich "tainted" the pick is one reason Democrats are resisting the move, according to the Democratic source - another is, regardless of whether or not Burris is viewed as tainted, the 71-year-old former attorney general is not someone party leaders think can win statewide. They're hoping for younger, more appealing candidates they think have a better shot at keeping the seat.

Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Hammer

    As the man said let him have the seat for just two years, he is not going to do anything anyway and he is a good man.
    Just what the Dems want in the senate!

    January 5, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Virginia

    We knew the Senate leadership was crazy, but now it is confirmed! Can anything be crazier-they might as well have let Blago sell the seat like he tried to in the first place. Good grief, the damage this man could do in that length of time is unimaginable. Reid, get your head out of whereever it is you have it stuck!

    January 5, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Michael ATL GA

    Joyce –

    Yes he does get FULL pension for REST of his life, with all other benefits. These are avail to ANY senator that serves EVEN for a single day!!! Why do you think the man badly wants the job???

    January 5, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Hilde

    Isn't this the same thing that the Senate is complaining that happened in Illinois. deals being made.
    Why are they putting restrictions on Burris. They are taking away state rights. The Illinois constitution states that the Governor of the State wil fill a vacancy when ones becomes available until an election. Whether the Senate likes it or not, he still is the Governor of Illinois.

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. j

    What a joke.

    It is sad the way this 2 party system owns the people, and the process involved.

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Virginia

    Hey Martin, Obama is NOT president until 1/20-give us these last few days before the mess gets fully underway!

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's get this straight. He's too tainted to run in 2010, but not too tainted to have the job for 2 years? How does that work? Looks like the race card is working....again. OJ would be proud.

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. chris@stl

    He should not be seated. Period.

    January 5, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. rich

    First things first. The governor of Illionois has been accused of being a crook, but has not been convicted to date. Secondly, the same governor has up the ante by appointing Burris in the face of all those calling for his resignation. Thirdly, Burris appears clean but all his talk about his appoitment being "ordained by God" has got to go. Enough with the religious nuttery.

    Despite all this, I think they should seat the man till 2010 to enable the state of Illinois to fend for itself during these difficult times. I cant see how they can legally tell Burris that he can be seated as long as he does not run. This does not sound right to my ears and thinking. I think come 2010 the people of the state of Illionois should decide who is best to represent them. They don't need some parental political oversight telling them who is good or bad to represent them. Let the process unfold on it's own, and put the trust of this position in 2010 in the people's hands.

    January 5, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. richard rohde

    Why would he be prohibited from running? He seems like a good man, he is qualified, let him try if he wants. It is up to the electorate after all. If the politicos and unions would stop screwing around with the process, we could see what the people in the state really want. I may be an idiot, but it seems that is what this representative republic is all about. Not about validating the political machinations of corrupt politicians and unions.

    January 5, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Phillis

    I think Burris should accept any deal he's offered. He can always change his mind because the agreement will not be legally binding. Politics and politicians as usual. Look at your out going president (Busch). He made some bad decisions that has effected the entire country and probably will be remembered forever.

    January 5, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Anything to stop this from being a choice made by the people. The dems just don't want a election.

    January 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Willy Brown

    Oh Please sour puss Reid don't seat him! Democrats in Congress invented racism

    January 5, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. GA Independent

    No, no, no... Do it LEGALLY. It's time to lose the back door deals regardless of party. Do NOT taint the situation further by making this man suspect...

    Whether this guy is the perfect senator or not, the fact that he was appointed by Blago who is recorded saying he's going to sell the seat... Does anyone really think that Blago may turn out to be innocent? The Illinois legislature should grow some and address the issue directly – not stand back and make disagreeable noises and speeches.

    January 5, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Will-South Dakota

    Thats a farce requiring him to promise not to run for public office in 2010, he's a servant and citizen of Illinois, he has a right in America.

    January 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. JJ12345

    Only if he promises not to run, yes we should go with that because politicians never break their promises

    January 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Crime against the People of IL

    Now Harry Reid and the Democratic Senate are going to seat Burris if he promises NOT to run for reelection in 2010 in order that Reid and others "can choose" a candidate to run that is more appealing to them. Every registered voter in IL, including Barack Obama, ought to rise up in defiance. THIS IS A CLEAR VIOLATION OF IL STATE'S RIGHTS AND A BRAZEN ATTACK ON THE SOVEREIGNTY OF ILLIONOS. How dare Reid and other Dems say that get to decide who will represent IL in the US Senate. THIS ACT IS MORE EGREGIOUS THAN ANYTHING THE IL GOVERNOR HAS DONE

    January 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. obama-mama

    Everybody always trying to make a deal. That's what's wrong with the government. Burris should have turned down the position when offered by Blago and went about things the legal way. Let Burris earn the seat. Have a special election

    January 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. NY republican

    Hey folks maybe old "Blago" did the country a favor by proving that his party is just as bad as "the opposition". First they say "we won't seat him", that backfires so then they flip-flop but try to deny Mr. Burris's rights anyway. It doesn't get any better than this. Even Hollywood writers couldn't come up with a story this good!

    January 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. undecided

    sounds like the democratic leadership is playing a little black mail. why the secretary won't sign the paperwork is just as juvenile, just like the dnc.

    January 5, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Mark

    Promises can be broken...I will not use contributions and will run using public financing

    January 5, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. US Senate guilty of pay for play

    Helloooooooo people. What Harry Reid and other Dems have just proposed is a clear PAY FOR PLAY gambit, and should be condemned as illegal and disgusting

    January 5, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. NY republican

    Is there a difference between selling the seat for money and "selling" the seat for a promise?

    January 5, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Macalba

    I agree with "Change in America" and wouldn't change a word – he makes it absolutely clear: "I am African American I dont agree with Burris taken Obama senate seat but this is outcry to American andybody could run for 2010 senate seat if qualified this is racism I hope African American protest in Illinois this stupid."

    How can anyone argue with such an informed opinion?

    January 5, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Brian - Trinidad

    A simple thing like appointing a Senate replacement gets screwed up by the Democrats.And you really thing they have a clue about how to change America for the better?

    January 5, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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