CHICAGO (FMLiveWire) - A defiant Governor Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday sold Barack Obama's Senate seat for $10 million.
He said the sale has no connection to the charges filed against him during his arrest in December.
"I need that $10 million bucks to give my imminent retirement a certain style," said Blagojevich.
Yet the seat sale promptly met considerable opposition.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who must certify the senate seat sale said Tuesday he will not do so. And Senate leaders reiterated that they would not accept any sale made by Blagojevich.
In a statement Tuesday, Senate Democrats maintained that Blagojevich should not make the seat sale "because doing so would be unfair to the people of Illinois."
"It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of selling the senate seat to someone who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety," the statement said.
Senate leaders said the issue is "about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat."
Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 after federal prosecutors allegedly recorded conversations in which he discussed selling the seat to someone Obama preferred in exchange for a position in the new president's Cabinet or naming someone favored by a union if he got a high-level union job.
The governor has faced a flood of calls for his resignation, and the Illinois House has begun impeachment proceedings. He has vowed to stay in office.
"Corruption in my office is nothing new," he told FMLiveWire. "I am merely maintaining a fine tradition and trying to earn some bread."
Blagojevich's own lawyer said that there would be no point in the governor selling the seat because leaders would reject his appointment.
State Lt. Gov. Qat Quint said Blagojevich's decision to sell the seat is an "insult to the people of Illinois."
"We believe in clean government, and Rod Blagojevich has unclean hands," Quint said. "In fact, he is pure filth."
Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Blagojevich is "a sick rabid dog in a corner who's just going to lash out."
Blagojevich might have thought he could gain some legal advantage by making the sale according to experts.
"He could think he's gaining leverage," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. "He's weaving these legal problems for Illinois, the Senate and the new administration. This is a total Christ-awful mess."
--Copyright Felix Minderbinder Live Wire