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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We have an appointee

At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to complete President Elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate term. Blagojevich said, “please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man.”

I remember Roland Burris well from his time as Illinois Comptroller and later Attorney General. He seemed like a fine enough public servant and politician to me. But make no mistake, no matter who Blagojevich would try to appoint, that person will in fact be tainted by the allegations of our governor trying to sell that very seat.

Burris should have turned down the appointment as did U.S. Representative Danny Davis, to whom Blagojevich offered the same seat to before calling Burris. In turning down the offer, Davis said, “I knew how much time one would need to spend defending the decision. I didn’t want to spend so much of my time dealing with that.”

Burris on the other hand, instead of defending his decision to accept, may very well just ignore that aspect of this process. Case in point: At today's press conference, which really was a three ring circus, after Blagojevich yielded the podium, Burris, while standing right next to Blagojevich, said he has no "relationship" with Blagojevich's "situation." When asked about his own $14,000 in campaign contributions to Blagojevich, and the role that played in the appointment, Burris feigned ignorance. Not good, Mr. Burris, not good.

A few questions later, Blagojevich resumed the podium and said, "I've enjoyed the limelight I've received over the last couple weeks." Unreal. He reiterated his duty to the people of the State of Illinois, returned the podium to Burris, who deflected a couple questions without answering. Burris then went all gaga over the appearance of U.S. Representative Bobby Rush.

And then Rush took the podium for the rest of the time daring anyone to play the race card while he himself played the race card. (Sidenote: I hate that I'm even saying words like "race card." I never talk like that as it disgusts me when I hear other people say it. But that's what it sounded like to me today.) Upon exiting, Blagojevich mangled Rush's words, "feel free to castigate the appointor, but don't lynch the appointor. I'm not guilty of any wrongdoing." Here's the video of the whole thing.

In other news Blagojevich's chief legal counsel resigned his state job today. Just to clarify, this is the person who the attorney to the office of the governor, not the governor's criminal defense lawyer.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has again stated that he will not certify a Blagojevich appointment. And, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid again stated he will not affirm the appointment. As yet, we don't know if either of these actions have any legal standing.

All the coverage can be found here.

Posted by Marie at December 30, 2008 9:20 PM

Comments

"that person will in fact be tainted by the allegations of our governor trying to sell that very seat"

He's absolutely tainted. Either Blagojevich hates Burris or Burris has no sense whatsoever. Looks like that situation is going to drag on well into 2009. Illinois could have gotten a jump on seniority over other incoming fershman senators on the day after the November elections by swearing in a candidate that should have been selected and vetted beforehand. Aside from the criminal aspects of this lousy, lousy situation, the opportunities that were squandered are unforgivable. Such a waste.

Posted by: crab25241 Author Profile Page at December 31, 2008 3:40 PM

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