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Illinois governor ignores Obama's call to resign

(UPI file photo, Bill Greenblatt)


Chicago – Gov. Rod Blagojevich clung defiantly to power Wednesday, ignoring a call from President-elect Barack Obama to step down, and a warning that Senate Democrats will not let him appoint a new U.S. senator.

One day after Blagojevich's arrest, other politicians are seeking to avoid the taint of scandal-by-association.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said in Washington that he was "Senate Candidate 5" in the government's criminal complaint, a man Blagojevich was secretly recorded as saying might be willing to pay money to gain appointment to Obama's vacant Senate seat.

But Jackson said he had been assured by prosecutors he was not a target of the investigation.

Other Democrats edged away from calls for a special election to fill Obama's seat. They hope Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will soon become governor and fill the vacancy on his own.