Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Senate

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 02:02.

I can't resist weighing in on the Illinois Senate appointment, the "go slow" Illinois legislature and events that can lead to the loss of a Senate Democrat seat. The common refrain is that Governor Blagojevich has lawfully appointed an individual who should be allowed to take the Senate seat. But if the Governor had been recorded and was awaiting prosecution for some other horrendous violation, we wouldn't be doubting the Senate's ability, desire and power to deny the seat.

What if Blagojevich's comments were some other repugnant, vile statement that violates the law and our sense of lawful national government?  What if the Governor had been recorded saying he would never, ever consider appointing a black or Hispanic man or woman?  Discrimination and a "financial shake down" are both repugnant to the nation, violating the law and Constitutional core principals of fairness. Wouldn't we agree that the Senate can hold up and say that an appointment based on discrimination is a tainted appointment and we won't be complicit and seat a person who comes through a discriminatory process? I certainly hope so! 

The US Senate needs to hold up, accept some caretaker appointment if necessary and not let 13 million Illinois residents go unrepresented.   Also, the Legislature needs to proceed with their impeachment trial, leading to an appointment by Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. If he wants to re-nominate Roland Burris, that would be a fine appointment.  At least the process would be a clean and open one. (Fair disclosure: I worked for Illinois Senator Dick Durbin when he was on the House Budget Committee in the late '80s and early '90s, a proud spot on my work record).   

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