“Of course Sen. Reid spoke to the governor of Illinois -- just as he spoke to the governors of New York and Colorado when senators from those states accepted jobs in the new administration,’’ Manley said. “It is part of his job as majority leader to share his thoughts about candidates who have the qualities needed to succeed in the Senate.”
Reid declined to reveal the specific names discussed, saying he didn’t want to embarrass anyone.
Though Menendez did talk with Blagojevich about the appointment, he “did not suggest any names and he did not discourage the appointment of anyone,’’ said Matt Miller, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee which Menendez chairs.
Senate Democrats are telling reporters they will physically block Roland Burris, Illinois' first statewide elected African-American official, if he attempts to take the Senate seat to which he was appointed last week by the governor. Instead, Democrats plan to refer his appointment to a committee to investigate until the clock runs out on Blagojevich. Democrats expect the Illinois General Assembly to wrap up its impeachment in the House and Senate trial by early February, officially removing the governor from office. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, upon succeeeding Blagojevich as governor, would likely appoint Lisa Madigan to the seat to remove her as a potential contender for the 2010 gubernatorial race.