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Author Topic: Blagojevich Won: BURRIS SWORN IN TODAY - UPDATES  (Read 396 times)
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2009, 11:52:41 am »

                Obama opposes Blagojevich Appointment of Roland Burris to Illinois Senate Seat

Chicago SunTimes
Jan. 7, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama has opposed the appointment of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris by Rod Blagojevich to his vacant Senate seat.

Disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested December 9, 2008 by FBI agents and charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as solicitation of bribery for attempting to sell the vacant seat. Under local law, the Governor appoints replacement Senators.

Obama said in a statement that he agrees with the decision by Democratic leaders not to approve the appointment:

“Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago they

cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat.”

The choice of Roland Burris is regarded as urprising, with pundits suggesting that the appointment creates a difficult position. Burris was the first African-American elected to major statewide office in Illinois, serving as comptroller and running for governor three times, the last time losing to Blagojevich, and would in normal circumstances be regarded as a strong choice.

Rod Blagojevich appealed to the media and Senate to give Burris a fair shot: “Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint a good and honest man.”
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 11:53:54 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2009, 02:00:21 pm »


".........Go ahead Civics Prof, give us the Constitutional reference that gives Reid the power to block?
(hint: Article 1, Section 5.) not in there…

Aside from that, show us Illinois law that gives the Secretary of State the right to simply refuse to sign the appointment.

All his spokesman has said is:

“His feeling is we studied the constitution of Illinois, we looked at the statutes, and there was nothing there that said he had to sign the paperwork,” said David Druker, White’s press secretary.”

“We don’t believe he has the authority to hold up the appointment or veto it, to put it that way,” Druker added. “How the U.S. Senate views the action, that would be for the U.S. Senate to determine.”

So,..his feeling…that’s how the law is going to be in Illinois..not on paper, feeling.
Truth is…he has no authority to simply not sign it out of his “feeling”.


The Secretary of State shall maintain the official records of the acts of the General Assembly and such official records of the Executive Branch as provided by law. Such official records shall be available for inspection by the
public. He shall keep the Great Seal of the State of Illinois and perform other duties that may be prescribed by law.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)

Hmmm…doesn’t seem to indicate he has the individual authority to simply ignore certifications based on…feeling.

It does not say he has the right to veto the Governor’s actions… such power exists. He needs to be arrested or impeached for contempt or dereliction of duty.

And, NYTimes stated:

Senior Democratic officials said if Mr. Burris won the secretary of state’s signature and made a persuasive case before the state impeachment committee that nothing untoward happened, his appointment might move forward.

At the state level this may be something that the locals can figure out, but the Federal level…Reid has no such authority under Section 5 to make Burris give a “persuasive case before the state’s impeachment committee”.

Neither is this in the Illinois constitution.

The only thing Reid can verify that Burris was sent by the state (pending) and he is at least 30 years old at time of oath, obviously he is.
That is all that the Constitution allows Reid to do.

This is supposed to be a government of laws not men.
And these men are playing little games with our Constitution and Congress.

I think Blogojevich is a crock, but he hasn’t been tried so…innocent until proven guilty is the law.

These Democrat assholes need to get over their ridiculous bulls**t and realize they are setting a very bad precedent by allowing their “feeling” to make determinations instead of following the law.

If the law gives you a provision out, fine, so be it. But it doesn’t, so these two a$$holes need to get on with biz and let Burris get the seat.

Reid needs to be removed from Senate power.

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 Comment by truthtelling007 | 2009-01-07 10:10:14

Chicago Tribune reports:

                                      “White says he’s taking unfair blame in Burris saga

Associated Press
7:27 AM CST, January 7, 2009

CHICAGO - Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says he’s being unfairly blamed by members of the U.S. Senate for not seating Roland Burris.

Burris was barred from taking President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat Tuesday because officials refused to accept a certification of his appointment signed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Senate officials say one of the reasons is the certification also needs White’s signature. White says he won’t sign any appointment made by Blagojevich, who’s facing federal corruption charges.

But White says Burris could have been seated without his signature, which he calls “mostly ceremonial.”

Comment by Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy | 2009-01-07 09:51:52

From what I understand, Jesse White has signed EVERY OTHER PIECE of legislation Blago presented to him. The ONLY one he didn’t sign is Burris’ appointment. How is it that he thinks he can pick and choose? If he claims it is because Blago is under investigation, he shouldn’t have signed ANY of the other papers presented to him.

The Senate, Harry Reid especially, and PEBO, have way overstepped their bounds in this case. They do NOT get to decide all on their own who gets to be a US Senator. But what the hell - let’s just ditch this whole democracy thing - it’s just getting in their way.

I might add, the same people who (rightly) criticized Bush for his signing statements are now going to accept Obama basically doing the same thing with a LEGAL move by a state governor?? Who is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY? So much for being a Constitutional Scholar

Comment by KmX | 2009-01-07 11:09:36

How is Roland Burris tainted by accepting a position from Blago? Is Barack Obama tainted by the conviction of Rezko? Barack Obama did the samething that Senator Stevens of Alaska did. He got cheap land from Rezko in exchange Rezko got kick backs for his slum apartment rentals. But yet Stevens is indicted for failing to document he got his house renovations for free and the Press gives Obama a free pass?

Roland Burris has done nothing wrong. I don’t even support Burris politics but the man has the constitution rights to be seated. Harry Reid would not have been satisfied with any appointment Blago made other than who Harry Reid wanted there.

Sadly, The 111th Congress will be known as the Congress that got the largest majority in over 50 years from the first elected Black President and simultaneously refused to seat the only legally appointed Black Senator from the State of Illinois. Those are the facts. Either we have a constituion or we don’t. Either Blago is the Governor or he isn’t. Are we to assume all the laws Blago signs are tainted?

Harry Reid is on thin ground and I will enjoy watching him squirm. Where was Harry Reid outraged when indicted Larry Craig remain in the senate? Or William Jefferson? Or Rangel? RoLand Burris will be seated, it’s just a matter of when.

Blago outsmarted the Leader of the Illinois Senate. All the Ill Senate had to do is change the laws and have a special election or take away Blago power of appointments.

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 Comment by Arabella Trefoil | 2009-01-07 11:20:50

Heh. Blago has his index finger on the closet door. There’s a huge dinosaur femur ready to topple out of the closet, along with many other skeleton bones. All Blago has to do is take his hand off the door to blow his nose and the skeletons will be all over the place.

All in a day’s work for a Chicago pol.

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 Comment by oowawa | 2009-01-07 11:31:37

Sadly, The 111th Congress will be known as the Congress that got the largest majority in over 50 years from the first elected Black President and simultaneously refused to seat the only legally appointed Black Senator from the State of Illinois.

Looks to me like “Black President” trumps every other consideration regarding race. If O is in agreement, it cannot be racist. However, if O disagrees, the MSM will immediately sniff for “racism.” One man will be the new standard for what is, and what isn’t, to be considered racist. As long as O agrees with Congress, the Congress cannot be racist.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 02:17:33 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2009, 03:06:37 pm »

                                     Reid Spokesman: Burris-Seating Story Is Wrong

By Eric Kleefeld
- January 7, 2009

We just asked Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley for comment on whether the story about Roland Burris being accepted as a Senator from Illinois was true.

"It is wrong," Manley replied via e-mail.
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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2009, 08:37:05 pm »

                                               Senate Democrats retreat on Burris

Yahoo News
Jan. 7, 2008

Senate Democrats beat a hasty retreat Wednesday from their rejection of Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama's successor, yielding to pressure from senators irked that the standoff was draining attention and putting them in a bad light. Burris said with a smile he expected to join them "very shortly."

Though there was no agreement yet to swear Burris in, he posed for photos at the Capitol with Senate leaders, then joined them for a 45-minute meeting followed by supportive words that bordered on gushing. The events came one day after Burris had left the Capitol in the pouring rain in a scripted rejection.

Obama had spoken to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday on the need to find a quick solution to defuse the dispute, according to Democratic officials. Reid was told by Obama that if Burris had the legal standing to be seated — despite controversy surrounding his appointment by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — it should be done "sooner rather than later," said an Obama transition aide, speaking on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

The dispute had taken on racial overtones after comments by some Burris supporters. The former Illinois attorney general would be the Senate's only black member following Obama's departure.

"My whole interest in this experience is to be prepared" to lead Illinois, Burris, 71, said after meeting with Reid and assistant Democratic leader Dick Durbin, himself an Illinois senator. "Very shortly I will have the opportunity to do that."

Neither Reid nor Durbin disputed that, though they had declared with certainty a week ago that Democrats would not seat a senator appointed by a governor now accused of trying to sell the seat. Obama said then, "I agree with their decision."

The Democratic leaders brought Burris in from the rain and into Reid's spacious personal office just off the Senate floor for a meeting that had been set up last week. They invited news photographers in to capture the three — Burris in the middle — laughing and chatting.

Reid and Durbin then retreated from their won't-be-seated rhetoric and cast the dispute as a procedural delay caused by concerns about why Blagojevich made the appointment.

"First of all, understand we don't have a problem with him as an individual," Reid said of Burris, calling him an "extremely nice" and "forthright" man. "At this stage, the process is working out," he said.

Added Durbin: "I've known him for such a long time. We are friends and on a first-name basis."

The embraces reflected a growing expectation among Senate officials in both parties that the former state attorney general eventually would be seated.

As Reid and Durbin described it, the process depends on two developments: Burris securing the right signoff on his appointment papers, plus a sworn declaration that he didn't offer anything to Blagojevich in exchange for the seat.

"There was certainly no pay-to-play involved, because I don't have no money," Burris told reporters after his Senate meeting, previewing his sworn answer to that question.

It's a key issue in resolving the dispute.
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2009, 08:41:07 pm »

Blagojevich is accused of trying to get something for himself in return for the appointment, an allegation he denies. By appointing Burris, he defied Senate Democrats who warned that a taint of corruption would strip credibility from anyone he named to fill the vacancy.

Secretary of State Jesse White also said he would not certify the appointment with his signature, giving Senate Democrats another point of objection.

The entire Democratic caucus then declared they would not seat Burris or anyone appointed by Blagojevich. They also said they would not seat Burris without White's signature, which Democrats said has been required by the Senate since the 19th century.

The scene Wednesday was a reversal from the day before.

Burris showed up at the Capitol Tuesday to be sworn in with the rest of the 111th Congress but was turned away by Senate officials who said his certification lacked the required signature from White as well as the official seal of the state of Illinois.

Senate Democrats refused to let Burris talk to reporters inside the Capitol but cleared the way for him to hold a news conference just outside. What followed was a bizarre, soggy procession in pouring rain as Burris, his advisers and dozens of news crews crossed Constitution Avenue to the news conference site.

The spectacle, broadcast live and repeated throughout the day, did not sit well with Democrats eager to project unity and to begin work on an economic rescue package.

Several behind-the-scenes phone calls and public statements later, displeased Democrats had conveyed a clear message to Durbin and Reid: Make this problem go away.

And a public crack appeared in the Democrats' wall of opposition when Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California said that Blagojevich, however sullied, had the constitutional authority to make the appointment regardless of any Senate rules.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday arguing that blocking Burris was unconstitutional.

Further pressuring Senate Democrats were the 41 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who voted unanimously Wednesday that Burris should be seated.

"This is a situation where we have a senator who has now missed out on his first day," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. "It's only fair that he be sworn in immediately. This is a no-brainer."

Senate Democrats weren't quite ready to do that. But it appeared that all concerned were anxious to step back from the brink of a political and racial confrontation.

The get-to-know-you meeting with Reid on Wednesday was the first of several steps toward seating Burris, Democrats said. Second, the Illinois Supreme Court would have to force White to sign Burris' certification to comply with Senate rules. Third, Burris would have to give a sworn statement to the state's impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, which he promised Reid and Durbin he would do.

Finally, the Senate would almost certainly vote on whether to seat Burris, Reid said.

The process still could take several weeks, Senate officials predicted.

Not everyone was encouraged by the situation.

White, the Illinois secretary of state, compared Reid's actions to "strapping me in a wheelchair and pushing (me) down four flights of stairs."

"I have skid marks," White told The Chicago Tribune.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2009, 09:00:00 pm »

                          Senate dithering over Burris seat could cost Democrats and Obama

Mcclatchy Newspapers
Jan. 7, 2009

— The opening days of the 111th Congress have become the Roland Burris Congress .

Or, for that matter, the Roland Burris circus.

The economy may be reeling and Gaza may be in flames, but since lawmakers returned on Tuesday, the talk in the halls and much of the media attention has been focused on whether the veteran Illinois official appointed by a governor who's under federal criminal investigation would be able to take the vacate seat of President-elect Barack Obama .

So far, he hasn't been seated, but in the meantime, the key players have looked confused.

"Senate Democrats have created a distraction of sorts at a time when distractions are very, very damaging to the new president's agenda," said Paul Light , a government professor and presidential transition expert at New York University

Obama said last month that while Burris was "a good man," he agreed with Senate Democrats "that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision."

Wednesday, though, he softened his tone.

"If he gets seated, then I'm going to work with Roland Burris, just like I work with all the other senators," Obama said at a news conference, "to make sure that the people of Illinois and the people of the country are served."

Shortly afterward, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D- Nev. , who with his colleagues wrote a letter calling Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's action "truly regrettable" and Sunday dubbed the appointment "tainted," also struck a gentler tone.

Reid and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin , D- Ill. , met with Burris privately for 45 minutes and emerged in a conciliatory mood.

"He obviously is a very engaging, extremely nice man. He presents himself very well," Reid said.

The handling of the Burris affair, coupled with some grumbling over Obama's choice of Leon Panetta to head the CIA , has given the Senate an early bruise, days before Obama is sworn in as the 44th president. Several political experts said that if the situation isn't resolved swiftly and cleanly, Burris' situation could come back to haunt Senate Democrats as they try to pass Obama's agenda.

"It's stuff they don't need right now because they have a very, very big agenda with issues that are crucial to the country," said Gary Jacobson , a professor of political science at University of California, San Diego . "To manage small fires like this is not helpful."

Several Democratic senators spoke Wednesday of wanting to get this episode behind them and move on with other business.

"Of course, there's a lot more we'd like to be working on, but it's important to make sure we have a senator seated who is properly seated and represents a state and can be a viable member of the Senate ," said Durbin, who briefed colleagues on Burris' status during the Democrats' weekly luncheon.

Sen. Ben Nelson , D- Neb. , said he wanted to move on.

"I see this as a temporary situation that will soon be resolved hopefully — one way or the other," he said. "And so the news will focus more on the whole idea of a stimulus, how much, and what matter we will be stimulating the economy."
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2009, 09:06:07 pm »

NYU's Light suggested that Senate Democrats should've seated Burris, treating him as a "caretaker," and hope that Blagojevich is impeached and that his successor calls for a special election.

If Burris' situation isn't resolved quickly, Senate Democrats may find themselves paying a price when significant and contentious issues come to the floor for votes. Another seat in Minnesota is empty because Democrat Al Franken , who was declared the winner in a recount over Republican Norm Coleman , is awaiting the results of Coleman's legal challenge.

"It would be stark irony if Reid brings a stimulus package to the floor and loses because of the absence of one or two senators," Light said. "There's got to be a lot of balancing of risk going on by Sen. Reid."

Chances are the issue will continue to crowd out other matters, however. Burris is to testify Thursday afternoon before an Illinois legislative committee considering Blagojevich's impeachment, and is expected to discuss whether he made any deal with the governor to get Obama's seat.

Burris said Wednesday that there was no quid pro quo. Saying that under oath would remove one big obstacle to his seating. Senate leaders, meanwhile, want Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to certify the appointment.

Finally, the Senate eventually may vote on whether to seat Burris.

Reid and other Senate leaders carefully staged a news conference Wednesday to discuss the 2009 Senate agenda. They stood in front of big posters proclaiming how they would be "Renewing the American Dream," and methodically described their ideas.

When it came time for media questions, four of the first five were about Burris.
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2009, 09:08:40 pm »



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« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2009, 11:02:54 pm »

                                           Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way

John Kass
The Chicago Tribune
January 8, 2009

So the Chicago Way hauled off and slapped the U.S. Senate in the face—one of those backhands with the knuckles to unsuspecting lips—and guess who blinked?

It wasn't Chicago.

It was the Senate.

                           Get used to it, America. And it won't be the last time either.


Illinois impeachment panel bristles at report of Rod Blagojevich's hiring practices Roland "Tombstone" Burris, the amiable Illinois Democratic political hack who is being called eminently qualified by the national Democrats—perhaps because he's from Illinois and he hasn't been indicted—has almost reached his goal of being addressed as "Yes, sir, Senator."

Now Tombstone has President-elect Barack Obama behind him, muscling Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in a phone call earlier in the week. So much for transcending the old politics.

Only a week ago, Obama, Reid and other Democratic leaders were adamant that they'd block any Senate appointment made by tainted Illinois Gov. Rod "Dead Meat" Blagojevich, who has been charged with trying to sell Obama's seat to the highest bidder.

Their statements back then were stern and inflexible, invoking the honor of the Senate and how they'd never let an allegedly corrupt governor put his greasy paws on their august dignity. Those statements weren't bland. They were so tough they had hair on them. More hair than Blagojevich, even.

But today's news is that Obama, often treated by the national media as the gentle Mr. Tumnus of American politics, got privately hardball with Reid over the Tombstone issue.

According a story in the Tribune by Rick Pearson and Mike Dorning, Obama didn't want the Chicago Way on parade in Washington, less than two weeks before his inauguration, when he formally becomes the agent of the change we can believe in.

Obama is perfectly within his rights to try to wriggle out of an embarrassing political situation, and what could be more embarrassing for him than to have Illinois political corruption constantly on the news in Washington?

People might start asking questions, wondering how Obama could come out of a city run by the wrought-iron fists of the Daley machine but smell like the neck of a baby after a bath.

I'm still wondering.
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« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2009, 11:04:15 pm »

Yet Obama was tricky, not mentioning his phone call to Reid when talking to reporters Wednesday. He said Tombstone was the Senate's business, not his business.

"This is a Senate matter. But I know Roland Burris, obviously; he's from my home state. I think he's a fine public servant," Obama said, pulling a 180 on his earlier no-Burris position. "If he gets seated, then I'm going to work with Roland Burris, just like I work with all the other senators."

At least Obama had the good grace not to wag his index finger at reporters and bite his lower lip before announcing, "I did not have phone contact with that senator, Harry Reid, never, ever."

That's because he wasn't asked about Reid.

Obama almost wasn't asked anything about Burris on Wednesday. One reporter barely tossed it up at the end, after others asked him about the war in the Gaza Strip (Obama still can't comment about Gaza because he's not yet president) and the economy (though he's not president, you can't stop the guy from commenting on that one).

What Obama forgot to mention is that he ordered the Tombstone issue settled because it became his problem. So he told Reid to cave.

In political terms, Reid rolled up his sleeves, put on his favorite "Kiss the Chef" apron, got his fingers dusty with flour and baked himself a big humble pie. He scarfed it down in front of reporters Wednesday, without a fork, all but licking his fingers, that pie was so sweet and tasty. Mmm-mmm.

"For me, who had never met the man, it was very enlightening," oozed Reid, heaping praise on Burris after meeting him for the first time. "He is very engaging, an extremely nice man and he presents himself very well."

Reid was joined by another oozer, perhaps the most accomplished public oozer in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois.

"I've known Roland Burris for 36 years in Illinois politics. We have always been friends," said Durbin, who a few days ago was calling the Burris appointment "an act of political defiance" that "will lead nowhere."

Then they agreed that Tombstone would probably get to join their club, and they also agreed that race had nothing to do with it, even though they are Democrats and Blagojevich played the race card as adroitly as Al Sharpton eating soul food with Caroline Kennedy in Harlem.

Sure, they're white guys and Burris is African-American, but race had nothing to do with it. It was just procedure and technicalities, they said.

"People ask a lot of times why we have to do various things procedurally here in the Senate," Reid told reporters. "It's because we're the Senate: That's how we operate."

Correction. That's how you used to operate. You're from Nevada, but Obama comes from Chicago.

It's sure got to be difficult to eat a big hunk of humble pie when your lips are stinging, but here's some advice, Senators.

Have another slice. There's plenty more.
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2009, 07:26:12 am »

                                       Illinois House on verge of impeaching Blagojevich

Christopher Wills,
Associated Press Writer
 Jan. 9, 2009
AP –

Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces almost certain impeachment by the Illinois House, a historic step that would trigger a trial to determine whether the Democratic governor should be tossed out of office.

A simple majority vote will be enough to impeach. With Blagojevich defenders almost impossible to find, the outcome appears set.

The governor seemed to acknowledge the inevitable when he issued a statement Thursday night that looked past the House vote and predicted a different outcome in the subsequent Senate trial. His statement criticized the hearings leading up to the House vote as unfair and biased.

A House committee has been studying the possibility of impeachment since shortly after the governor's arrest on federal corruption charges. On Thursday, the 21-member panel unanimously recommended impeachment, saying Blagojevich has abused his power and mismanaged the state.

"He's mortally wounded politically and cannot lead our state. His political life is over," said Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat.

Wasting no time, House Speaker Michael Madigan scheduled a vote for the following morning.

"The people of the state want us to move forward with all due speed, providing that there will be a protection of constitutional rights," Madigan said.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who would take over if Blagojevich is ousted, said it's time for the governor to "face reality" and give up his office.

"That's what President Nixon did back in 1974 during another ordeal that our country faced. In this case, our state has been put under an ordeal for a month. It is time to put an end to it," Quinn said.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges that include allegations he schemed to profit from his power to name President-elect Barack Obama's replacement in the Senate. The criminal complaint included an FBI agent's sworn affidavit describing wiretaps that caught Blagojevich allegedly talking about what he could get for the seat, how to pressure people into making campaign contributions and more.

While the governor maintains his innocence, the committee's report notes he did not appear before the panel to explain himself. "The committee is entitled to balance his complete silence against sworn testimony from a federal agent," it says.

The report recounts the federal charges but includes other allegations as well — that Blagojevich expanded a health care program without proper authority, that he circumvented hiring laws to give jobs to political allies, that he spent millions of dollars on foreign flu vaccine that he knew wasn't needed and couldn't be brought into the country.

"The citizens of this state must have confidence that their governor will faithfully serve the people and put their interests before his own," the committee's report said. "It is with profound regret that the committee finds that our current governor has not done so."

Blagojevich was allowed to have lawyers present at the hearing. They could question witnesses to clarify points but not conduct full cross-examinations. The defense wanted to subpoena members of Obama's transition team, but that wasn't allowed because of worries it would interfere with the federal investigation of Blagojevich.

Thursday's statement from the governor's press office said the committee's rules denied Blagojevich due process. "When the case moves to the Senate, an actual judge will preside over the hearings, and the governor believes the outcome will be much different," the statement said.

The statement called the committee's vote "a foregone conclusion," noting that a draft version of the report was released Thursday morning — before the committee's final witness had appeared.

That witness was Roland Burris, the man Blagojevich appointed to the Senate seat just three weeks after his arrest.

Burris, the former Illinois attorney general, denied making any sort of deal with Blagojevich in exchange for the Senate appointment. He refused to take a position on whether Blagojevich should resign or whether he should be impeached.

U.S. Senate leaders had wanted Burris, under oath, to deny any improprieties before they would agree to seat him. They're also waiting for the resolution of a dispute over whether Secretary of State Jesse White must sign off on Burris' appointment before it takes effect.

The committee finished its work as chances grew dimmer that lawmakers will get transcripts of some of the secret recordings of private Blagojevich conversations that led to his arrest. Court hearings on the release of the transcripts could run into early February, U.S. District Chief Judge James F. Holderman said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Blagojevich's defense attorneys in Chicago urged Holderman to remove U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and all of his assistants from the case, charging in a motion that Fitzgerald violated rules about pretrial publicity at a Dec. 9 news conference announcing the charges.

Federal prosecutors immediately responded that the maneuver was "meritless."

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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2009, 03:11:37 pm »

                                  Illinois Court says Burris doesn't need 2nd signature

Yahoo News
Jan. 9, 2009

– The Illinois Supreme Court says Secretary of State Jesse White doesn't need to sign Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate to make it valid.

The ruling says no Illinois official has to do anything further to validate the appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Burris was refused President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat this week in part because Senate Democratic leaders said his paperwork was incomplete without White's signature.

The state Supreme Court says nothing in state law requires White to sign the appointment.

White has said he wouldn't certify any Blagojevich appointment in the wake of the governor's federal corruption arrest unless the court forced him to.

Blagojevich was impeached Friday.
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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2009, 03:18:32 pm »

                                                      Blagojevich to fight impeachment 

Rod Blagojevich says he believes he has done nothing wrong

BBC News
Jan. 9, 2009

Scandal-hit Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has vowed to fight an attempt by state lawmakers to force him out of office.

The Illinois House of Representatives earlier voted to impeach Mr Blagojevich over charges that he tried to "sell" Barack Obama's senate seat.

"I'm confident at the end of the day I will be properly exonerated," Mr Blagojevich told reporters.

Mr Blagojevich was arrested last month and charged with soliciting bribes.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 03:20:10 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2009, 03:22:36 pm »

'Freak show'

The Illinois House voted 114-1 to impeach Mr Blagojevich, although only 60 votes were needed for the motion to pass.

"It's our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that's become Illinois government," said Jack D Franks, a Democratic representative.

Illinois's State Senate will now try Mr Blagojevich. If found guilty, the governor will be forced out of office.

The move to impeach Mr Blagojevich follows an investigation by a 21-member committee of the Illinois House, which looked at testimony from FBI agents who wiretapped phone calls to and from the governor's office about who should fill President-elect Obama's Senate seat.

It is alleged the conversations show that Mr Blagojevich, a second-term Democrat, was trying to use the seat to get himself or his wife a job.

The panel said the evidence showed Mr Blagojevich was not fit to be governor, and voted unanimously to proceed to an impeachment vote.
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« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2009, 03:26:35 pm »


                                              Blagojevich says his impeachment no surprise


Christopher Wills,
Associated Press Writer
Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.

– Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the Illinois House's decision to impeach him was no surprise because he's been engaged in a struggle with lawmakers since his re-election in 2006. The governor spoke to reporters Friday in Chicago hours after members of the House voted 114-1 to impeach him.

Blagojevich says his efforts to improve health care and cut property taxes for Illinois residents are related to his impeachment because members of the House resisted those moves.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 and accused of scheming to sell off Illinois' vacant Senate seat. The 52-year-old Democrat says he's "not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing."

Friday's impeachment vote sets up a trial in the Senate that could lead to the governor's removal.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 03:39:59 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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