David Kirkpatrick

January 7, 2009

Looks like Roland Burris …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:40 pm

… will likely take over Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Burris was Blago’s little parting middle finger to the Democratic establishment before going up river for quite a while.

He was asked to not fill the seat while reeling under allegations that have him caught dead-to-rights in the crosshairs of a federal investigation. This is something of a gift for the GOP. Time does change things, but for now Burris will be seen as damaged goods and tainted if only by the nature of his appointment, and the fact Blagojevich got himself into the deep water by virtue of attempting to sell that very appointment.

From the link:

Senate leaders began to clear the way for Roland Burris to take over President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat, saying they wanted the issue resolved quickly.

Burris met Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin, a day after his paperwork was rejected at the opening of the 111th Congress.

They called the meeting ”positive” and indicated that the Senate would be open to seating Burris once legal hurdles are resolved and Burris clears the air over his appointment.

Senate officials in both parties, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for Senate members, said there is a growing expectation on Capitol Hill that the saga will end with Burris being seated. 

Senate officials say Burris’ appointment still has to be certified by Illinois’ secretary of state.

Burris met for 45 minutes Wednesday morning with Reid and Durbin. Only days ago, both senators were arguing that Burris’ nomination was so tainted that he should not be seated and would be blocked.

December 30, 2008

Blagojevich is an idiot

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:33 pm

I’m guessing the next news we hear out of Illinois is a report of gunshots from the Governor’s mansion. Blagois clearly at that point. I don’t know why Burrris would even accept this poisoned seat.

From the link:

Defying U.S. Senate leaders and his own state’s lawmakers, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obamain the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder, praised the 71-year-old Burris’ integrity and asked that the corruption allegations not ”taint this good and honest man.”

”The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington D.C.,” Blagojevich said. ”As governor I am required to make this appointment.”

December 9, 2008

Blago post number two

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:08 pm

The first one is here. I just wanted to get some raw content from the official arrest release.

From the second link:

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov.

Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

And here’s a little laundry list from page two of the twelve page PDF:

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining:

 

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a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;

 

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placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

 

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promises of campaign funds – including cash up front; and

 

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a cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

 

Everyone is commenting it’s a slow news day so Blago’s really getting it, but man, it’s deserved.