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Will the Roland Burris Appointment be Upheld?

Posted by on Jan 1, 2009 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is facing not only federal prosecution, but also impeachment, has named former Illinois State Comptroller and Attorney General Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s vacated US Senate seat.Roland Burris is, by all accounts, a well respected fixture in Illinois politics. A 71-year-old African American, Roland Burris has run previously for Illinois Governor, for which he was supported by none other than Barack Obama, and for the US Senate. Roland Burris seems to be willing to play the role of “seat warmer”, occupying the US Senate seat until an election can be held in 2010 to fill it on a more permanent basis.

In any other circumstance, the appointment of Roland Burris would have been considered a brilliant move. But, with Rod Blagojevich’s mounting legal problems, these are no ordinary circumstances. Because of the ‘pay for play’ scandal, no person whom Rod Blagojevich would appoint would not be tainted. The awful irony is that even though Roland Burris has lobbied for the Senate seat, there doesn’t seem to have been any evidence that he offered any form of gratuity to Rod Blagojevich for the honor.

The fact that Rod Blagojevich is appointing Roland Burris at all seems surreal. There is a question whether the Illinois Secretary of State will certify the selection, which he must do for it to be legal, or even if the US Senate will seat him. But the appointment of Roland Burris as US Senator appears to be part of a strategy by Rod Blagojevich to go on the offensive by doing something quite unexpected. Democrats will be hard pressed to oppose Roland Burris on his own merits. The fact that he is African American and an Obama ally makes opposing Roland Burris’ appointment especially dangerous for Democrats.