Updated 12:08 a.m. Chicago time
WASHINGTON---I've learned that Gov. Blagojevich will name former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President elect Barack Obama in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon. The embattled Blagojevich is fighting impeachment charges in the Illinois House for, among other reasons, trying to auction off the Senate seat held by President elect Barack Obama. Blagojevich called a press conference for 2 p.m. Chicago time at the Thompson State of Illinois Center.
However, Burris will face resistance from the Senate Democrats who control the chamber in seating him, I've just been told by Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.).
Reid had said when the Blagojevich scandal broke earlier this month he would ask the Senate not to seat any Blagojevich appointee, in order to make sure the seat is free of taint. All the Senate Democrats concurred. Manley said Reid's position has not changed.
Officials in Washington familiar with the situation call the Burris appointment "regrettable" and told me under the circumstances Burris "cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and will not be seated by the Democratic caucus."
Burris was the first African American to win statewide office in Illinois when he was elected comptroller, serving from 1983 to 1991. He served as Illinois Attorney General from 1991 to 1995. Burris previously ran and lost bids for the U.S. senate and governor.
If tapped as planned, Burris would be the sole African American in the U.S. Senate and the fourth African American to ever serve in the Senate. Illinois has produced three of the four African Americans in the Senate: Carol Moseley Braun, President elect Obama and now Roland Burris.