I have been writing about this, since this story hit the fan. Since I am from Illinois, grew up in Chicago and now in the burbs, this whole tawdry affair has turned into a circus.
Jesse White, Secretary of State in Illinois refused to sign Roland Burris' certificate for appointment. This is the excuse Harry Reid is using to not seat Burris. The problem is, as reported, the certificate does not need to be signed for an appointment and once the information got out that Harry Reid phoned White not to sign it, anger crept in the African-American community.
It is not that this community is crazy about Burris, it is mostly split and would prefer someone else, the issue is how this has been handled and the law. Jesse White was on WVON-AM talk radio (Chicago) on Monday, Clifford Kelley's show and was plummeted about his participation in all of this and many threatened they would cast another vote for him. White is an old-school, machine type politician here in this state. This Secretary of State job is one he has been sitting on for many years, a cushy job, a machine type politics job. So, when you go on talk radio and can not answer questions like, "Is the signature required or not", you have problems. That is just what happened here. So, White goes on WGN-AM 720, talk radio, a station that is received throughout the State of Illinois this morning, and this comes from his mouth, "I've been made the fall guy":
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said this morning he has been made "the fall guy" by the U.S. Senate, which he said is using him as an excuse not to seat Roland Burris.
"They could have seated him without my signature; my signature is not required," he told WGN-AM 720's John Williams.
The Senate barrred Burris Tuesday, saying he lacked proper credentials in that his appointment was not signed by White.
But White said today that "my signature is mostly ceremonial, rather than a point of law."
"They played a little bit of a game with him [Burris] yesterday," he added.
Asked by Williams if he had been made "the fall guy," White responded: "You're absolutely correct."
Listen to the full interview, here.
Jesse White just cut Harry Reid to the knees. There is not a reason by law to not seat Roland Burris. Whether we like what happened or not, the law is on the side of Burris.
And of course, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) came out yesterday and said, "SEAT BURRIS". Burris has a meeting today with Harry Reid and the Senator Dick Durbin, senior senator of Illinois.
The likelihood that Burris, a Democrat, will eventually prevail and become the Senate's only black member after Obama's resignation from the seat, increased Tuesday evening when a key chairwoman got behind him, cracking what had been united public front by Senate Democrats against a Blagojevich appointee.
Burris was scheduled to meet with the Senate's top two Democrats — Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and assistant leader Dick Durbin of Illinois — on Wednesday, a day after his paperwork was rejected at the opening of the 111th Congress.
Senate officials in both parties, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for Senate members, said there is a growing expectation on Capitol Hill that the saga will end with Burris being seated.
Now can the media circus end and can Illinois Democrats get it together and get a solid candidate for 2010. This also relegates Blago to more of a local story, until any indictment comes down. This takes away the media circus and possible interruption on the Obama Inauguration. It means we can focus on what is really going on in this country which is the sour economy and loss of jobs.
At least, I hope so.
And the AP is reporting Roland Burris will be seated today. I guess the Democratic "Powers that Be" Leadership finally got the message after the media circus, yesterday. Politico denies this will happen, but in the Reid/Durbin presser, it is no doubt that Burris will be seated and SOON.