Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected Tuesday to name former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, CNN affiliates the Chicago Tribune and WLS-TV reported, citing sources familiar with the decision.I suspect the gold that Blagojevich hopes to get out this appointment is an acquittal on charges of trying to sell the seat.
Burris' appointment would fill President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich is to announce his choice at a news conference at 3 p.m. ET.
Burris, 71, is African-American. According to the newspaper, he expressed interest in the Senate seat shortly after the November 4 election.
Jim Geraghty says:
...I think Blagojevich's impeachment lawyer and defense attorney probably had some input in this pick.
First thought: Is Blago testing Harry Reid's pledge that he would never seat anyone named by the tainted governor? Does Reid have the guts to reject the seating of an African-American who, at first glance, appears untainted by this particular scandal?
UPDATE: Jim Warren of the Chicago Tribune says he's "dumbfounded." He describes Burris as "a political machine hack, with no great achievements beyond being the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois... a very, very uninspired selection." He later adds that he thinks that Harry Reid is going to have a very tough time with his pledge to not seat anyone Blagojevich named.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Awesome - he's a Blagojevich donor who has worked as a lobbyist in Springfield for Blagojevich allies...
Here is the Chicago Tribune story on the expected appointment. The Chicago Sun-Times indicates the Illinois Secretary of State intends to block the appointment by not certifying it.
Senate Democrats have said they will not seat the Blagojevich appointment.
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