Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich Soap Opera Continues. Action Request For Sane Immigration Policy. House Approves Auto Aid, 237-170 | However, Uphill Senate Battle Awaits

Blagojevich Soap Opera Continues.  Action Request For Sane Immigration Policy. House Approves Auto Aid, 237-170 | However, Uphill Senate Battle Awaits.



They Are Going To Have Pry or “Buy” this guy out of office!


CHICAGO – His career in shreds, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich clung defiantly to power Wednesday, ignoring a call to step down from President-elect Barack Obama and a warning that Senate Democrats will not let him appoint a new senator from the state.


"Everyone is calling for his head," said Barbara Flynn Currie, a leader in the Illinois Senate and, like the governor, a Democrat.


One day after Blagojevich's arrest, fellow Illinois politicians sought to avoid the taint of scandal-by-association.


Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said at a news conference in Washington that he was Senate Candidate 5 in the government's criminal complaint — a man Blagojevich was secretly recorded as saying might be willing to pay money to gain appointment to Obama's vacant Senate seat. Jackson said he had been assured by prosecutors he was not a target of the investigation, and he emphatically said he had not engaged "whatsoever in any wrongdoing."


Other Democrats in Washington edged away from calls for a special election to fill Obama's place in the Senate, hoping that Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would soon become governor and fill the vacancy on his own. That would assure the party of holding the seat, and on a far faster timetable than any balloting would allow.


Ensconced in his downtown office, Blagojevich gave no sign he was contemplating resigning, and dispatched his spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, to say it was "business as usual" in his 16th-floor suite, situated a few blocks from Obama's transition headquarters.


"At the end of the day, the top priority for our office is to serve the people, and we have not lost sight of that, nor will we lose sight of that," Quinn said.


One day earlier, federal prosecutors released a thick document that included excerpts of wiretapped conversations in which the governor allegedly schemed to enrich himself by offering to sell Obama's Senate seat for campaign cash or a lucrative job inside or outside government.


Blagojevich, whose 52nd birthday was Wednesday, is charged with conspiracy and solicitation to commit bribery, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and 10 years, respectively.


More than 24 hours after the arrest, Obama joined other prominent Democrats from his state in calling for Blagojevich's resignation.


"The president-elect agrees with Lt. Gov. Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said in response to questions from The Associated Press.


Asked whether Obama supports a special election, Gibbs said Obama believes the Illinois General Assembly should consider how to fill the Senate seat and "put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the people of Illinois."


Top Senate Democrats were more pointed in a letter circulated among the rank and file for signatures.


Blagojevich's resignation, followed by an appointment made by a new governor, 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," wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the party's second-ranking leader, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois.


They added that if Blagojevich chose to "ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority ... to determine whether such a person should be seated."


The Constitution gives the Senate authority to refuse to allow a member to be sworn in.


Top Illinois lawmakers have said they are preparing to call the Legislature into session as early as next week to set a special election to choose Obama's successor. Many officials said Blagojevich should be impeached if he refuses to leave.


Still, it was unclear what incentive the governor had to give up his office.


His attorney said Tuesday that he is innocent, and a resignation might make him appear guilty. The office also gives him a certain amount of clout, which can help him raise money for his defense. And he may need the salary — federal prosecutors say their wiretaps also caught Blagojevich complaining about his financial problems.


"He appears to listen to no one, and his conduct becomes more outrageous as time goes on," said Steve Brown, spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.


Brown also said that no matter when lawmakers act, Blagojevich could sit on the legislation and still pick a senator. "Despite our best efforts, the governor could play hide the ball. That is an inescapable reality," Brown said. "I'm hoping that's not the case."


The anger toward Blagojevich came amid more fallout over the scandal and new details about the case.


One of his top deputies, Bob Greenlee, resigned without announcing why. Greenlee, 33, was promoted to be a top aide to Blagojevich in June, earning $149,000 a year. Two deputy governors are listed in the criminal complaint, one as a potential Senate candidate to replace Obama and another as a Blagojevich lieutenant who was deeply involved in an alleged scheme to strong-arm the Chicago Tribune into firing some of its editorial writers critical of Blagojevich.


Neither deputy governor was identified by name in the complaint.


Associated Press Writer Liz Sidoti contributed to this report.

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Who might run if there is a special election for Barack Obama's ...
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It would make more sense just to impeach Rod Blagojevich, something the General Assembly also seems eager to do. But there is a motivation to change the ...
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One of his colleagues is already drawing up articles of impeachment. The House Republican leader is greenlighting impeachment, but the House speaker, ...
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As for impeachment, keep in mind Blagojevich served in Congress during Republicans' efforts toimpeach President Clinton that were widely viewed as a ...
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QUESTION: Can they impeach him without a conviction? KIRK: Absolutely, because an impeachment is a decision by the Illinois house, and it’s not up to a ...
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Dear Friend,


Change is in the air.


Our president-elect rode its wave to the White House.  In January, we'll welcome a new Congress and a new president who seems to share our values and priorities.


President-elect Obama has expressed a commitment to bring a new energy and spirit that imbues bipartisan collaboration; encourages ideas and policy solutions; addresses the needs of vulnerable members of our society while also helping working and middle-class families improve their economic standing.  He has also promised an administration that will listen and promote transparency and the involvement of civic society.


This is our chance to change the tone of the immigration debate from fear to humanity.  But it will take a lot of work.  We're ready for it — and we think you are, too.


We invite you to take a few minutes to write to President-elect Obama about the need for humane immigration policy.


Urge him, in your own words, to


  • End raids.  These acts have separated wives from husbands and parents from children, leaving the people most in need of protection vulnerable.


  • Suspend e-verify.  This program "screens" workers, but it's significantly flawed and has led to racial profiling, abuse, and labor rights violations of all workers.



  • Lay down 287(g).  Police in financially strapped cities and towns use this program to stop drivers and ask them about their immigration status, increasing the level of fear and damaging the financial well-being of many families.


  • Demilitarize the border.  Ask our new president to end the expansion of fence, barriers, and the presence of 10,000-plus border patrol agents.


Invite President-elect Obama to lead a bipartisan process for humane immigration policy and affirm the value of all family unions.  Encourage him to support the quality of life for border dwellers by increasing job opportunities; investing in schools, roads, and other infrastructure; and working for a clean, healthy environment that benefits everyone.


December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of International Human Rights Day, and December 18 marks Migrants Rights Day.  Across the country, our offices will mark these important days.  Find an AFSC-sponsored event near you.


By working together, we can bring about the change we need in immigration policy and the future vitality and viability of immigrant, non-immigrant, and refugee communities.


Thank you for joining AFSC in this call for justice and human rights.




House approves auto aid, 237-170 | However, uphill Senate battle awaits


Download the bill (PDF)


House roll call on auto rescue bill



The 237-170 roll call by which the House approved a $14-billion rescue package for the nation’s auto industry.


A “yes” vote is a vote to pass the bill.

Voting yes were 205 Democrats and 32 Republicans.

Voting no were 20 Democrats and 150 Republicans.

X denotes those not voting.

“Present” denotes those who voted they were present at the time of the vote but didn’t vote yes or no on the issue.

There is 1 vacancy in the 435-member House.



Democrats — Cramer, Y; Davis, N.

Republicans — Aderholt, N; Bachus, N; Bonner, N; Everett, X; Rogers, N.



Republicans — Young, Y.



Democrats — Giffords, N; Grijalva, Y; Mitchell, N; Pastor, Y.

Republicans — Flake, N; Franks, N; Renzi, X; Shadegg, N.



Democrats — Berry, Y; Ross, Y; Snyder, X.

Republicans — Boozman, N.



Democrats — Baca, Y; Becerra, Y; Berman, Y; Capps, Y; Cardoza, N; Costa, X; Davis, Y; Eshoo, Y; Farr, Y; Filner, N; Harman, Y;Honda, Y; Lee, Y; Lofgren, Zoe, Y; Matsui, Y; McNerney, Y; Miller, George, Y; Napolitano, Y; Pelosi, Y; Richardson, Y; Roybal-Allard, Y; Sanchez, Linda T., Y; Sanchez, Loretta, Y; Schiff, Y; Sherman, Y; Solis, Y; Speier, Y; Stark, N; Tauscher, Y; Thompson, Y; Waters, Y; Watson, X; Waxman, Y; Woolsey, Y.


Republicans — Bilbray, N; Bono Mack, N; Calvert, N; Campbell, Present; Doolittle, X; Dreier, N; Gallegly, N; Herger, N; Hunter, Y; Issa, N; Lewis, N; Lungren, Daniel E., N; McCarthy, N; McKeon, N; Miller, Gary, X; Nunes, N; Radanovich, N; Rohrabacher, X; Royce, N.



Democrats — DeGette, Y; Perlmutter, Y; Salazar, Y; Udall, Y.

Republicans — Lamborn, N; Musgrave, N; Tancredo, X.



Democrats — Courtney, Y; DeLauro, Y; Larson, Y; Murphy, Y.

Republicans — Shays, N.



Republicans — Castle, Y.



Democrats — Boyd, N; Brown, Corrine, Y; Castor, Y; Hastings, X; Klein, Y; Mahoney, Y; Meek, Y; Wasserman Schultz, Y; Wexler, Y.


Republicans — Bilirakis, N; Brown-Waite, Ginny, N; Buchanan, N; Crenshaw, N; Diaz-Balart, L., N; Diaz-Balart, M., N; Feeney, N; Keller, X; Mack, N; Mica, N; Miller, N; Putnam, N; Ros-Lehtinen, N; Stearns, N; Weldon, X; Young, N.



Democrats — Barrow, Y; Bishop, Y; Johnson, Y; Lewis, Y; Marshall, N; Scott, Y.

Republicans — Broun, N; Deal, N; Gingrey, N; Kingston, N; Linder, N; Price, N; Westmoreland, N.



Democrats — Abercrombie, Y; Hirono, Y.



Republicans — Sali, N; Simpson, N.



Democrats — Bean, Y; Costello, Y; Davis, Y; Emanuel, X; Foster, Y; Gutierrez, X; Hare, Y; Jackson, Y; Lipinski, Y; Rush, Y; Schakowsky, Y.


Republicans — Biggert, N; Johnson, N; Kirk, N; LaHood, Y; Manzullo, Y; Roskam, N; Shimkus, N; Weller, N.



Democrats — Carson, Y; Donnelly, Y; Ellsworth, Y; Hill, Y; Visclosky, Y.

Republicans — Burton, N; Buyer, Y; Pence, N; Souder, Y.



Democrats — Boswell, Y; Braley, Y; Loebsack, Y.

Republicans — King, N; Latham, N.



Democrats — Boyda, Y; Moore, Y.

Republicans — Moran, N; Tiahrt, N.



Democrats — Chandler, Y; Yarmuth, Y.

Republicans — Davis, N; Lewis, Y; Rogers, N; Whitfield, N.



Democrats — Cazayoux, Y; Jefferson, Y; Melancon, Y.

Republicans — Alexander, N; Boustany, N; McCrery, Y; Scalise, N.



Democrats — Allen, Y; Michaud, Y.



Democrats — Cummings, Y; Edwards, Y; Hoyer, Y; Ruppersberger, Y; Sarbanes, Y; VanHollen, Y.

Republicans — Bartlett, N; Gilchrest, X.



Democrats — Capuano, Y; Delahunt, X; Frank, Y; Lynch, Y; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Neal, Y; Olver, Y; Tierney, Y; Tsongas, Y.



Democrats — Conyers, Y; Dingell, Y; Kildee, Y; Kilpatrick, Y; Levin, Y; Stupak, Y.

Republicans — Camp, Y; Ehlers, Y; Hoekstra, Y; Knollenberg, Y; McCotter, Y; Miller, Y; Rogers, Y; Upton, Y; Walberg, X.



Democrats — Ellison, X; McCollum, Y; Oberstar, Y; Peterson, N; Walz, N.

Republicans — Bachmann, N; Kline, N; Ramstad, Y.



Democrats — Childers, N; Taylor, Y; Thompson, Y.

Republicans — Pickering, N.



Democrats — Carnahan, Y; Clay, Y; Cleaver, Y; Skelton, Y.

Republicans — Akin, N; Blunt, N; Emerson, Y; Graves, N; Hulshof, N.



Republicans — Rehberg, N.



Republicans — Fortenberry, N; Smith, N; Terry, N.



Democrats — Berkley, Y.

Republicans — Heller, N; Porter, Y.



Democrats — Hodes, Y; Shea-Porter, Y.



Democrats — Andrews, Y; Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Rothman, Y; Sires, Y.

Republicans — Ferguson, N; Frelinghuysen, Y; Garrett, N; LoBiondo, N; Saxton, N; Smith, Y.



Democrats — Udall, Y.

Republicans — Pearce, N; Wilson, N.



Democrats — Ackerman, Y; Arcuri, Y; Bishop, Y; Clarke, Y; Crowley, Y; Engel, Y; Gillibrand, Y; Hall, Y; Higgins, Y; Hinchey, Y; Israel, Y; Lowey, Y; Maloney, Y; McCarthy, Y; McNulty, Y; Meeks, Y; Nadler, Y; Rangel, Y; Serrano, Y; Slaughter, Y; Towns, Y; Velazquez, Y; Weiner, Y.


Republicans — Fossella, N; King, Y; Kuhl, X; McHugh, Y; Reynolds, N; Walsh, Y.



Democrats — Butterfield, N; Etheridge, Y; McIntyre, N; Miller, Y; Price, Y; Shuler, N; Watt, Y.

Republicans — Coble, N; Foxx, N; Hayes, N; Jones, N; McHenry, N; Myrick, N.



Democrats — Pomeroy, Y.



Democrats — Fudge, Y; Kaptur, Y; Kucinich, Y; Ryan, Y; Space, Y; Sutton, Y; Wilson, Y.


Republicans — Boehner, N; Chabot, N; Hobson, N; Jordan, N; LaTourette, Y; Latta, N; Pryce, X; Regula, Y; Schmidt, N; Tiberi, N; Turner, N.



Democrats — Boren, Y.

Republicans — Cole, N; Fallin, N; Lucas, N; Sullivan, N.



Democrats — Blumenauer, Y; DeFazio, Y; Hooley, X; Wu, Y.

Republicans — Walden, N.



Democrats — Altmire, Y; Brady, Y; Carney, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, Y; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Murtha, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.


Republicans — Dent, N; English, Y; Gerlach, N; Murphy, Tim, Y; Peterson, X; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, N.



Democrats — Kennedy, Y; Langevin, Y.



Democrats — Clyburn, Y; Spratt, Y.

Republicans — Barrett, N; Brown, N; Inglis, N; Wilson, N.



Democrats — Herseth Sandlin, N.



Democrats — Cohen, Y; Cooper, N; Davis, Lincoln, Y; Gordon, X; Tanner, Y.

Republicans — Blackburn, N; Davis, David, N; Duncan, N; Wamp, N.



Democrats — Cuellar, Y; Doggett, Y; Edwards, Y; Gonzalez, Y; Green, Al, Y; Green, Gene, Y; Hinojosa, Y; Jackson-Lee, Y; Johnson, E. B., X; Lampson, Y; Ortiz, Y; Reyes, Y; Rodriguez, N.


Republicans — Barton, Y; Brady, N; Burgess, N; Carter, N; Conaway, N; Culberson, N; Gohmert, N; Granger, N; Hall, N; Hensarling, N; Johnson, Sam, N; Marchant, N; McCaul, N; Neugebauer, N; Paul, N; Poe, N; Sessions, N; Smith, N; Thornberry, N.



Democrats — Matheson, N.

Republicans — Bishop, N; Cannon, N.



Democrats — Welch, Y.



Democrats — Boucher, Y; Moran, Y; Scott, Y.

Republicans — Cantor, N; Drake, N; Forbes, N; Goode, N; Goodlatte, N; Wittman, N; Wolf, N.



Democrats — Baird, Y; Dicks, Y; Inslee, Y; Larsen, Y; McDermott, Y; Smith, Y.

Republicans — Hastings, N; McMorris Rodgers, N; Reichert, N.



Democrats — Mollohan, Y; Rahall, N.

Republicans — Capito, Y.



Democrats — Baldwin, Y; Kagen, N; Kind, Y; Moore, Y; Obey, Y.

Republicans — Petri, N; Ryan, Y; Sensenbrenner, X.



Republicans — Cubin, X.

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