Durbin Calls on Governor to Resign

Posted December 10, 2008 at 1:18pm

Updated: 5:24 p.m. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has joined the chorus of Illinois politicians urging scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to resign. Durbin on Wednesday sent a letter to Blagojevich, who was arrested a day earlier and accused by federal authorities of an array of crimes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), meanwhile, is rallying his troops to force the Illinois governor to step down before appointing a new Senator. In a letter to Blagojevich currently being circulated to the entire Democratic Conference, Reid and his fellow Democrats said they “insist that you step down as Governor of Illinois and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat. In light of your arrest yesterday on alleged federal corruption charges related to that Senate seat, any appointment by you would raise serious questions.” The letter also warns that the Senate will use its power under the Constitution to review any selection he does make, a not so veiled threat to block him from making the appointment. “Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.” According to Democratic aides, Reid expects his entire Conference to sign onto the letter.