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Blagojevich Ripples Begin Flowing

4657251In the wake of the criminal complaint alleging that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich sought to basically sell the senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama (which the governor has sole authority to fill), Senator Dick Durbin is calling for the state legislature to order a special election instead.

Urging the legislature to order the election, Durbin said that anyone selected by appointment under the current circumstances would carry a cloud. "No appointment by this governor, under these circumstances, could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said.

Meanwhile, even though U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said there were "no allegations" that President-elect Obama was aware of any efforts on the part of Blagojevich to personally benefit from a senate appointment, South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson, a candidate to become chairman of the National Republican Party, called on Obama's transition team to "immediately release all records of discussions about the appointment of Obama's successor that he and his transition team may have had with Governor Blagojevich or Governor Blagojevich's office."

"The American people expect and deserve nothing less," Dawson said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. "When politicians like Governor Rod Blagojevich exploit the power of elected office for personal gain, they demonstrate a disregard for standards of integrity and ethical conduct. Governor Blagojevich's actions are breathtaking in their callousness and arrogance."

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