Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blago Nominates A Senator

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevitch gave a press conference and struck back at his attackers in a unique and effective way nominating a political ally for Obama's vacant senate seat that his fellow Democrats are going to find almost impossible to disavow.

The appointee in question is Roland Burris, former Illinois Attorney General, who has raised money for Blagojevitch and donated his own money to the governor...and who just happens to be black.

Burris gave more than $20,000 to Blagojevich's campaign fund on his own and through his consulting and law firms, Burris' consulting company received about $290,000 in state contracts with the Illinois Department of Transportation a few years ago, and a number of the clients Burris' firm lobbied for also got state business.

What a coincidence!

To underline how the race card is being played , Blago enlisted another political ally, Congressman Bobby Rush to go postal at the press conference, daring white Democratic senators to block a black man from joining the US Senate.
He told the assembled reporters "not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer" repeatedly said that Burris would be the only black in the US Senate and then said that no senator would want "to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the US Senate".

He is very likely right.

Rush, by the way is a former Black Panther who defeated Barack Obama in the 2000 Democratic primary when Obama, then state senator challenged him for his seat in the US House of Representatives.

Blagojevich finished off by telling Burris "you're the senator". And as he left the room, Blagojevich echoed Rush, saying: "Feel free to castigate the appointer but don't lynch the appointee."

Now the Senate Democrats have said that they won't seat a senator appointed by Blagojevitch, but there are some um....technical difficulties.

Blago can legitimately argue that according to the Illinois State Constitution, he was legally mandated to pick a replacement for Obama. And while Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who has to formally approve the appointment says he won't do it,he's constitutionally mandated to do so and Burris could successfully file suit to get him to do so.

Once Burris is on his way to Washington, we could actually be treated to the spectacle of a black senatorial appointee being removed physically from the Senate chambers.

The Senate also has the option of delaying seating pending an investigation of the propriety of his appointment by the Senate Rules Committee. Those almost always have a sixty day limit, which would bring us to March 20th. If Blagojevitch has been impeached by then ( and that's no certain by any means) the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois would have to find legal grounds to rescind Burris' appointment and appoint someone in his stead...which means Burris could dispute it in court, which could take months.

My guess is that Burris will end up being seated, because of the race card and the desire of senate Democrats to put the mess behind them.

After all, what's one more crooked politician from Chicago?

No comments: