Digital News Report- In a press conference today Illinois Governor Blagojevich announced that Roland Burris would take Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat. Burris has a political consulting firm called Burris & Lebed Consulting, LLC. He also once served as the Illinois Attorney General from 1991 to 1995. From 1979 to 1991 he served as the Illinois State Comptroller.
The choice comes after a scandal involving the Governor allegedly trying to sell the senate seat along with other questionable actions. Blagojevich faces impeachment and has been called to step down by numerous people including President-elect Barack Obama.
When asked about the scandal, Burris responded by saying “no comment,” but went on to say that in America you are, “innocent until proven guilty.” At this time, Burris has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Blagojevich reluctantly answered questions during the press conference and insisted that the “law required” him to choose the Senate replacement. He insisted that it was his right to make the choice and that Burris was the right man for the job. Blogojevich also said, “don’t lynch [Burris].”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded to the announcement by saying that the Senate will not seat Burris. He cited Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution, which states “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.” Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has also stated that he will refuse to certify Burris.