Politics Digest

Friday, July 10, 2009


Burris Won't Seek Full Term in Senate

Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) will not seek a full term in 2010, a Democratic strategist informed of the decision said Thursday.

Burris was appointed to the Senate in December to fill out the remainder of President Obama's term. But his appointment by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D) prompted controversy even before he was seated.

Federal officials accused Blagojevich of trying to sell the appointment in exchange for personal financial assistance. Senators in Washington responded to Burris's appointment by vowing to block him from being sworn in, although they later relented to avoid a potentially damaging confrontation.

Burris was unable to put the Blagojevich connection behind him, as new revelations about his relationship with the disgraced former governor kept coming out.

The senator had declined to make any commitment about his future plans, but his nonexistent fundraising during the first three months of the year led savvy strategists to conclude that he would not run.

Burris's retirement would save the White House and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee a potential headache because they almost certainly would not have supported Burris in the primary.

-- Chris Cillizza


Crist Raises $4 Million For Senate Campaign

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) collected more than $4 million in his first quarter of active fundraising for his 2010 Senate campaign, an eye-popping total that will put a great deal of pressure on his primary opponent, former state House speaker Marco Rubio.

Crist, who is running for the seat being vacated by fellow Republican Mel Martinez, announced early Thursday that he had raised $4.3 million in the 50 days between his formal entry into the race on May 12 and the end of the quarter on June 30.

In a release touting the numbers, he proclaimed himself "humbled" by the amount his donors have given. "I take their support seriously and continue to work every day to honor the trust and confidence they have placed in me," Crist added.

Rubio raised $340,000 during the same time frame. His advisers said the primary battle will be about ideology, not money.

"Charlie Crist will need to spend every last cent trying to convince voters that his support for wasteful stimulus spending, cap-and-trade schemes, tax increases and liberal judges are acceptable Republican practices," said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos.

-- Chris Cillizza

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