The Last Days Of Burris' Bunker
The pressure is really hitting Roland Burris now. Gov. Pat Quinn speaks:
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Friday called on his “good friend” Roland Burris (D-Ill.) to step down from the Senate and said the Illinois legislature should immediately take up a bill to require special elections to fill Senate vacancies.
Quinn declined to criticize the appointed senator, saying he would go down as a “great Illinois citizen,” but he said Burris has a “cloud over his head.”
He said Burris, whom he has known for 37 years, never should have accepted the appointment from embattled former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and that Senate business is too important right now to have a senator with so many questions to answer. He said Burris would be doing the state a service by stepping down.
Good for Quinn for calling on the legislature for a special election. Some would say that the Democrats would be unnecessarily threatening a blue seat, but I see no evidence of that with a not-Roland-Burris candidate. Burris was even leading in polls before this latest stuff broke, which means that generic Dem is favored over the leading Republican candidates, even with the ethical fallout from the Blagojevich situation.
Quinn is doing the right thing here. It's very hard for an executive to willingly give up their own power. Kudos. Now the Congress should finish the job by passing Russ Feingold's Constitutional amendment making this the law of the land.