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Letter to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Mikulski, Senate Democrats Call for Resignation of Illinois Governor Blagojevich

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today joined her Democratic colleagues in calling for the resignation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

"Today I join President-elect Obama and my Senate colleagues in calling for the immediate resignation of Governor Blagojevich. He must step down to ensure the next United States Senator from Illinois is selected in a way that inspires trust and restores integrity to the process," Senator Mikulski said.

The full text of the letter, sent by all 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus to Governor Blagojevich today, is below:

Dear Governor Blagojevich:

We write to insist that you step down as Governor of Illinois and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat. In light of your arrest yesterday on alleged federal corruption charges related to that Senate seat, any appointment by you would raise serious questions.

It is within the authority of the Illinois legislature to remove your power to make this appointment by providing for a special election. But a decision by you to resign or to step aside under Article V of the Illinois Constitution 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. We consider it imperative that a new senator be seated as soon as possible so that Illinois is fully represented in the Senate as the important work of the 111th Congress moves forward.

Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.

We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you or question your constitutional right to contest those charges. But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you refrain from making an appointment to the Senate.

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