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Chicago, IL - Showdown: Disgraced Illinois Gov. Senate Pick Will Be Blocked By Police To Enter The Building

Published on: January 1, 2009 10:33 PM
By: CNN
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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, named Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, named Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Chicago, IL - The man tapped by Illinois’ embattled governor to fill an open U.S. Senate seat will be turned away if he arrives for Tuesday’s inauguration of new members, according to two Democratic aides.

Roland Burris, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, will not be allowed on the Senate floor, according to the aides—one who is familiar with Senate Democratic leaders’ plans, and the other an aide to the Senate Democratic leadership.

Democrats in the Senate have twice this week said they have the authority to refuse to accept anyone appointed by Blagojevich, who was arrested December 9, accused by federal authorities of corruption, including allegedly trying to sell Obama’s seat for personal gain.

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Blagojevich, who denies wrongdoing and has ignored calls to resign, named Burris—a Democrat and a former Illinois state comptroller and attorney general—to serve the last two years of Obama’s Senate term.

The first Democratic aide said if Burris tries to enter the Senate chamber on Tuesday, the Senate doorkeeper will stop him. If Burris were to persist, either trying to force his way onto the Senate floor or refusing to leave and causing a scene, U.S. Capitol police would stop him, the aide said.

“They [police] probably won’t arrest him,” but they would call the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms, the aide said.

Burris has indicated he intends to be at the Senate on Tuesday. When asked about what would happen if he shows up, Burris told the Chicago Tribune that he is “not going to create a scene in Washington.”

“We hope it’s negotiated out prior to my going to Washington,” he added, according to the Tribune.

Burris told CNN that he was “certainly going to make contacts with the leadership to let them know that the governor of Illinois has made a legal appointment, and that I am currently the junior senator for the state of Illinois.”

“And we’re hoping and praying that they will see the reason in appointing me as a very qualified, capable, able and ready-to-serve individual,” Burris said.

The Senate sergeant-at-arms, Terrance Gainer, served in the Illinois government at the same time as Burris. Gainer was the director of the Illinois State Police from 1991 to 1995—the same years Burris was the Illinois attorney general.

Senate Democratic leaders also have discussed what might happen if Blagojevich shows up on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the first aide said. This would be a “radioactive” situation, according to the aide, because Senate Democratic leaders could not deny Blagojevich entry, as sitting governors have floor privileges in the Senate.

Governors are allowed to walk around the Senate chamber or talk with senators while on the floor, though they cannot vote or formally address the Senate.

Blagojevich’s spokesman, Lucio Guerrero, said the governor is aware he is allowed access to the Senate floor, but “the idea of going on Tuesday was first raised by a reporter,” not Blagojevich.

The governor is not planning on going to Capitol Hill, Guerrero said.


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1

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

They will let him in or he will slap the guards face...................hey, it worked for Cynthia McKinney.

2

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:59 PM oy vey Says:

WE ARE SEEING A POSSIBILITTY OF A CIVIL WAR

3

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:59 PM Anonymous Says:

harry reid already said the day blago made the announcement that Burris will not be accepted by the senate.

4

 Jan 01, 2009 at 11:50 PM FUN Says:

Reply to #2  
oy vey Says:

WE ARE SEEING A POSSIBILITTY OF A CIVIL WAR

2. Pls Chill out and stop Hyperboling.... This a fun news story .... Everyone pls daven/ tzedaka/maisim tovim for EYisrael .... :>

5

 Jan 02, 2009 at 12:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

harry reid already said the day blago made the announcement that Burris will not be accepted by the senate.

WHat's to accept? He is already sworn in, isn't he?

6

 Jan 02, 2009 at 07:34 AM Anonymous Says:

That's some chutzpah of Blagojevich

7

 Jan 02, 2009 at 01:50 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

harry reid already said the day blago made the announcement that Burris will not be accepted by the senate.

It's not up to him. Burris is a senator, no matter what Reid says, and if the sergeant-at-arms uses force to keep him out, he's opening himself up to criminal and civil charges. Reid is spitting on the constitution, and violating his oath to uphold it. The majority has the right to decide on disputed elections, but there's no dispute here; the majority does NOT have the right to arbitrarily refuse to seat a senator just because they feel like it.

8

 Jan 02, 2009 at 12:54 AM Anonymous Says:

the Govener is a true "oiberchochom"

9

 Jan 02, 2009 at 09:03 AM Truth Says:

Reply to #7  
Milhouse Says:

It's not up to him. Burris is a senator, no matter what Reid says, and if the sergeant-at-arms uses force to keep him out, he's opening himself up to criminal and civil charges. Reid is spitting on the constitution, and violating his oath to uphold it. The majority has the right to decide on disputed elections, but there's no dispute here; the majority does NOT have the right to arbitrarily refuse to seat a senator just because they feel like it.

Reid: Burris won't be seated

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has issued a statement on the appointment of Roland Burris as the next senator from Illinois, saying he would not be seated next Congress. Here's the full statement:

“It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’ ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

“Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year — outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated Senators without delay.

“We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.”

10

 Jan 02, 2009 at 09:00 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

WHat's to accept? He is already sworn in, isn't he?

1) no he isnt

2) technically the senate still has a say

11

 Jan 02, 2009 at 11:48 AM Aha! Says:

Why not have Blago's guy declare himself a Republican, thus giving the Senate a 50-50 split and Cheney the tie breaker vote, effectively giving the R side the majority? In you face Harry Reid!!!

12

 Jan 02, 2009 at 12:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Milhouse Says:

It's not up to him. Burris is a senator, no matter what Reid says, and if the sergeant-at-arms uses force to keep him out, he's opening himself up to criminal and civil charges. Reid is spitting on the constitution, and violating his oath to uphold it. The majority has the right to decide on disputed elections, but there's no dispute here; the majority does NOT have the right to arbitrarily refuse to seat a senator just because they feel like it.

A sergeant-at-arms could use force to remove senators or anyone else for that matter from the capitol. It is the police who may end up with charges if they use force, and for that reason they will call on the sergeant-at-arms to deal with it.

13

 Jan 02, 2009 at 02:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Milhouse Says:

It's not up to him. Burris is a senator, no matter what Reid says, and if the sergeant-at-arms uses force to keep him out, he's opening himself up to criminal and civil charges. Reid is spitting on the constitution, and violating his oath to uphold it. The majority has the right to decide on disputed elections, but there's no dispute here; the majority does NOT have the right to arbitrarily refuse to seat a senator just because they feel like it.

actually it is. it seems the senators still have to accept the appointment

14

 Jan 02, 2009 at 01:05 PM deepthinker Says:

The Governor should send 10 big husky State troopers to accompany Burris, together with a Southers Confederate flag and a huge poster of Martin Luther King.

Go, Burris Go!!!

15

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