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Are Armed Police Ready To Bar Rod Blagojevich Escorting Roland Burris To U.S. Senate Floor?

January 1, 2009

The political drama from Illinois is nothing short of spectacular.  If this were a book, a warning would be placed on the cover not to read late at night as the contents may keep reader up all night long.   (I am loving this story!!)

The latest article to titillate from the Chicago Tribune, (the famed paper is doing an outstanding job during the past month covering every angle of the story as is WGN Radio and TV) is the possibility that Governor Rod Blagojevich will escort his nominee for the U.S. Senate to Washington, even to the Senate floor.  There is also a report that armed guards may be there to block the entrance to the floor.  If Roland Burris ever wanted to be remembered in the history books, this just might do it.  (Will C-SPAN 2 get a record number of viewers?)

Whether this happens is of course contingent on the actions of the Illinois Secreatry of State Jessie White, the Illinois State Supreme Court, and the leaders in the Senate.  But given the chapters of this story that we already have watched unfold this past month I am not betting against anything from happening.

As U.S. Senate leadership developed an elaborate set of contingency plans Wednesday to keep Roland Burris from taking over President-elect Barack Obama‘s seat, the disputed appointee promised not to “create a scene” when the Senate convenes next week.Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the outcomes range from a denial of entry to a limbo where he can hire staff but not vote.Jesse White to certify Blagojevich‘s paperwork making the appointment.

If Burris shows up Tuesday to claim the seat given to him by disgraced

On Wednesday, Burris’ lawyers took the first legal action in what could be a prolonged court fight, seeking to force Illinois Secretary of State

Should Burris appear in Washington without that certification, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the Senate floor, said a Democratic official briefed on Senate leaders’ plans.

Leadership also is considering the possibility of Blagojevich appearing in person to escort Burris. Ironically, the scandal-plagued governor would be allowed onto the Senate floor, because sitting governors are allowed floor privileges, while Burris would not without certification. Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said the governor had not decided whether he will appear in Washington next week with Burris.

Democratic leaders hope to avoid any standoff, and in an interview with the Tribune on Wednesday, Burris said he hoped to claim the Senate seat without added drama.

“We’re not going to create a scene in Washington,” Burris said. “We hope it’s negotiated out prior to my going to Washington.”

Senate leaders have expressed no willingness to negotiate and have vowed to bar anyone appointed by Blagojevich because of his alleged attempt to sell Obama’s seat.

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