Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kudos to Senator Burris -- And to Rod Blagojevich

I'm not a supporter of Governor Rod Blagojevich. In fact, his politics are about as far away from mine as I can imagine for a fellow American.

But I have to give the guy credit when due. In the instance of the selection of Roland Burris as Senator to replace Barack Obama, Blagojevich, having been publicly tarred with arrest by Federal authorities, continued on in the performance of his duties. And he made a very good choice in Roland Burris.

I'm not a supporter of Burris, either. It's just that of the pool of established Chicago Democrats who are well-known in Illinois politics, Burris is the best available.

Burris showed his ability by going to Washington and telling Harry Reid that he would sue to claim his rightful seat in the Senate. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said to seat Burris not because of any great statesmanlike respect for the rule of law but because she saw no way around his eventually being seated. Illinois law says the Governor appoints replacement Senators, whether the Secretary of State wants to certify them or not. So Burris is a Senator, whether Reid likes it or not. And the State Legislature can't unseat a Senator to have a special election.

At this point Reid's only option is to impeach Burris or let him serve his term. Burris can promise not to run in 2010, but he's not legally bound by that.

So well done, Governor and Senator.

By the way, I would have liked a special election in this one instance, but how often will these circumstances recur? The current law worked well enough.

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Anonymous said...

So, Blago got impeached by the Illinois House. Will your Senate "try him" or is that required for them to impeach also?

Inquiring minds are curious - and you are the Illinois expert! ~JimmyCricket

Loren Heal said...

It works the same as for US President. House impeaches, Senate tries him. He's in full bluster mode now, talking about the evidence against him being too weak -- as if that's going to matter one bit. He's on trial for being a bad governor, and for the bad publicity he's brought on Obama and the machine which birthed them both. He's guilty on both those counts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Loren. Maybe the "machine that birthed them both" will fold-in on itself allowing a good spring cleaning.

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