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Senate Dems Ask Blagojevich To Resign

All 50 Senate Democrats last night released a letter to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich calling on him to resign and refrain from filling Barack Obama's open Senate seat. Blagojevich, of course, has been charged with corruption in connection with his efforts to appoint someone to the seat, among other allegations.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
"We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you or question your constitutional right to contest those charges," the senators write. "But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you to refrain from making an appointment to the Senate."

They say that if Blagojevich ignores their request and appoints someone to the Senate, "we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated."

The senators urge Blagojevich to step down so that the Illinois legislature is not forced to call a special election to fill the seat. (A special election, incidentally, that could throw a Democratic seat into the Republican column.)

"...a decision by you to resign or to step aside under Article V of the Illinois Constitution would be the most expeditious way for a new Senator to be chosen and seated in a manner that would earn the confidence of the people of Illinois and all Americans," they write. "We consider it imperative that a new senator be seated as soon as possible so that Illinois is fully represented in the Senate as the important work of the 111th Congress moves forward."

Full letter below.

December 10, 2008

Dear Governor Blagojevich:

We write to 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.

It is within the authority of the Illinois legislature to remove your power to make this appointment by providing for a special election. But a decision by you to resign or to step aside under Article V of the Illinois Constitution would be the most expeditious way for a new Senator to be chosen and seated in a manner that would earn the confidence of the people of Illinois and all Americans. We consider it imperative that a new senator be seated as soon as possible so that Illinois is fully represented in the Senate as the important work of the 111th Congress moves forward.

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.

We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you or question your constitutional right to contest those charges. But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you to refrain from making an appointment to the Senate.

Sincerely,

Sen. Reid
Sen. Durbin
Sen. Schumer
Sen. Murray
Sen. Akaka
Sen. Baucus
Sen. Bayh
Sen. Biden
Sen. Bingaman
Sen. Boxer
Sen. Brown
Sen. Byrd
Sen. Cantwell
Sen. Cardin
Sen. Carper
Sen. Casey
Sen. Clinton
Sen. Conrad
Sen. Dodd
Sen. Dorgan
Sen. Feingold
Sen. Feinstein
Sen. Harkin
Sen. Inouye
Sen. Johnson
Sen. Kennedy
Sen. Kerry
Sen. Klobuchar
Sen. Kohl
Sen. Landrieu
Sen. Lautenberg
Sen. Leahy
Sen. Levin
Sen. Lieberman
Sen. Lincoln
Sen. McCaskill
Sen. Menendez
Sen. Mikulski
Sen. Ben Nelson
Sen. Bill Nelson
Sen. Pryor
Sen. Reed
Sen. Rockefeller
Sen. Salazar
Sen. Sanders
Sen. Stabenow
Sen. Tester
Sen. Webb
Sen. Whitehouse
Sen. Wyden

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