Blagojevich Appoints Pro-Abortion Roland Burris Obama’s Senate Seat

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Blagojevich Appoints Pro-Abortion Roland Burris Obama’s Senate Seat

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 30
, 2008

Springfield, IL ( — Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to name pro-abortion former state attorney general Roland Burris to fill the remainder of Barack Obama’s term in the Senate. However, the Senate may reject Burris’ appointment because of accusations that Blagojevich engaged in a pay-to-play scandal.

Blagojevich has been under fire for weeks that he attempted to obtain significant campaign donations, a job or a seat on a board of directors in exchange for appointing someone Obama favored to his seat.

Top Obama aides, including his selection as White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, are coming under fire for reportedly talking to Blagojevich about the appointment.

Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a pro-abortion Democrat, has written to Blagojevich telling him the Senate will reject his appointment, the Illinois governor appears ready to defy Reid.

Burris was the first African-American to serve in a statewide office in Illinois when he became comptroller in 1983. He served in that position to 1991 and as attorney general from 1991 to 1995.

During his tenure as the state’s top attorney, he came under criticism from pro-life advocates for determining that the state’s anti-stalking law is gender-neutral and declaring that it could be used to prosecute pro-life advocates who offer information to women outside an abortion center.

Burris was also accused of twisting the law to prosecute pro-life sidewalk counselors to curry favor with abortion advocates prior to a bid for governor.

"It has to be done. They’re violating the law," Burris claimed at the time. "So I’m doing it because I want to be governor? No, I’m doing it because it’s my job, and I will continue to do my job."

Burris did eventually run in 1998 and lost the Democratic primary to pro-life Rep. Glen Poshard.

Burris also ran for governor in 2002 against Blagojevich during the current governor’s bid for his first time, and enjoyed the backing of Obama during the Democratic primary.

Earlier this month, Burris said that, if appointed, he would only serve the two years remaining on Obama’s Senate seat and not seek re-election to the post in 2010.

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