tsuris: NOUN: trouble; aggravation.
From The Washington Post:
With five days until the start of the 111th Congress, the corruption scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has complicated what was already shaping up to be a dramatic start in the Senate.
Senate Democrats are left to deal with the mess of the successions of President-elect Barack Obama, Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Interior Secretary-designate Ken Salazar.
But the most high-profile scenario involves what Democrats will do if Roland W. Burris, Blagojevich’s choice, makes good on his pledge to appear Tuesday on Capitol Hill to try to take the oath of office for Obama’s seat.
This defiance has left several possible outcomes:
· Burris arrives on Tuesday and is sworn in with the senators who were elected in November.
· Burris shows up, and his appointment is rejected because the Illinois secretary of state, Jesse White, has refused to sign the paperwork certifying the appointment.
· Burris shows up in Washington, and his appointment is referred to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which conducts an investigation of his selection by the governor to determine whether Burris should be seated.
· The matter ends up in Illinois and federal courts as Burris tries to force the Senate to seat him.
Another article from WaPo:
A day after an announcement that shook Illinois politics, African American politicians and activists remain divided about supporting embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s surprise choice to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.
Since Blagojevich (D) tapped Roland W. Burris, a former state attorney general and the first black politician to be elected statewide in Illinois, for the seat on Tuesday, Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) has repeatedly invoked the importance of replacing Obama with another African American.
“I understand Congressman Rush’s concern about having an African American senator, but there are concerns about the cloud that has gone on regarding the current governor,” said Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (R-N.Y.). “His qualifications are impeccable, his name has not been involved in scandal, but that has to be considered.”
Karen A. Yarbrough, an Illinois state representative who represents a district just outside of Chicago, said: “I don’t think this governor should be appointing.”
But Marc H. Morial, the head of the National Urban League, defended the selection of Burris and questioned setting the precedent of allowing the Senate to reject controversial appointments, calling “very, very limited” the power Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has suggested the Senate may attempt to exercise.
“He is by far the most qualified person that I know,” Constance A. Howard, an Illinois state representative whose district is in Chicago, said of Burris.
Yesterday, Burris filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court asking it to compel “the Secretary of State to countersign and affix the state seal to the Governor’s commission appointing Roland Burris to the United States Senate.”
Democratic leadership aides in the Senate said the controversy could be referred to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which would investigate the appointment. The move would also offer Democrats a way to stall the process while Illinois legislators consider whether to impeach the governor.
And Rush, who has a complicated relationship with Obama since the president-elect unsuccessfully challenged him in a primary contest for Rush’s House seat in 2000, continued to use sharp racial rhetoric in calling for the appointment.
Black activists and politicians largely distanced themselves from Rush’s tone.
“As much as I would like there to be a black in the Senate, we should not turn around and impose any kind of racial litmus test,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a former Democratic presidential candidate and longtime civil rights advocate who said he has not taken a position on the appointment.
And even among Burris’s backers, it is unclear whether a groundswell of support will develop that forces Senate Democrats to change their minds. Some officials, including Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), said they back Burris but do not plan to organize against the strong opposition to Blagojevich’s decision by contacting [Illinois Secretary of State Jesse] White, Senate Democrats or Obama.
Davis had been offered the seat first by Blagojevich but said he did not accept it because “the environment was too murky for me.” And both Sharpton and Davis said Obama’s pointed opposition to the appointment could make it difficult for other blacks to support Burris.