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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Roland Burris Faces Democratic Leaders That Oppose His Appointment

Roland Burris asked for and will get a meeting with Senate Democratic leaders that have opposed his appointment by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic, who is in the midst of a scandal after multiple criminal charges were leveled at him.

The Swamp reports:

Former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris and Senate Democratic leaders determined to block his seating in the U.S. Senate plan to sit down Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol for a face-to-face meeting.

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Saturday that the meeting was arranged at the request of Burris, who spoke Friday with Durbin by telephone. A Durbin spokesman said only that the conversation was amicable.

Aides to Burris confirmed he requested the meeting and said he plans to try Tuesday to claim the Senate seat to which he was appointed.

After Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested last month on charges of trying to sell the appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, Democratic Senate leaders vowed not to seat Blagojevich's choice.

Fact is, the right to appoint someone to replace Barack Obama, is the sole right of the Governor and since that right was not stripped, legally Burris is the Illinois Junior Senator now, no matter how much posturing Harry Reid and Senate Democrats do.

Late Saturday, Reid issued a statement accusing Blagojevich of "leaking and distorting conversations," an apparent reference to a report Saturday that Reid and Blagojevich talked by phone six days before the governor was arrested Dec. 9.

Another very interesting little fact also:

Blagojevich spokesman Luis Guerrero confirmed the Dec. 3 call, but declined to say which candidates Reid backed or opposed. Burris' name was never mentioned, Guerrero said.

"The governor thinks there is a conflict of interest," Guerrero said. "It seems to the governor that Sen. Reid has a horse in the race and Roland Burris isn't one of them."

In his statement late Saturday, Reid denounced the governor's tactics.

"Gov. Blagojevich's efforts to try to tarnish others while the cloud of suspicion continues to grow over him are shameful, as are his efforts to further betray the public trust and sow seeds of division," he said.

The meeting promises to be interesting and Burris doesn't appear to be backing down.

More from The Politico.