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Abandon ship

The Washington Post is calling for the resignation of Illinois Senator Roland Burris-

WHEN THEN-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested in December for, among other things, allegedly trying to auction off the U.S. Senate seat left open by Barack Obama's election to the presidency, we feared that whomever Mr. Blagojevich eventually chose would be tainted by the association. Enter Roland W. Burris, a former Illinois state attorney general who swore up and down that there had been no quid pro quo involved in his selection. "There was certainly no pay-to-play involved," Mr. Burris assured last month, "because I don't have no money." And then this Associated Press bulletin hit yesterday afternoon: "Burris acknowledges trying to raise campaign funds for Blagojevich as he vied for Senate seat."

This blockbuster disclosure came after Mr. Burris released an affidavit over the weekend that he filed with the Illinois House impeachment committee this month that revealed he was asked by Mr. Blagojevich's brother to raise campaign money for the governor. In testimony before the committee in January, when asked about conversations with associates of the governor, Mr. Burris had acknowledged only one conversation with a former chief of staff for Mr. Blagojevich in which Mr. Burris expressed interest in the open Senate seat.

Mr. Burris's story has more twists than the Chicago El, and none of them good. Caught in a swirl of accusations of perjury and calls for his resignation from state Democrats and Republicans alike, Mr. Burris said yesterday, "I welcome the opportunity to go before any and all investigative bodies, including those referred by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Senate ethics committee to answer any questions they have." When that opportunity arises, why should anyone believe him?

Ouch! I wouldn't believe him but some say I'm too much of a cynic.

The Chicago Tribune is also calling for Burris to resign.

The Washington Post while liberal tends to be thoughtfully so. I think it is significant they are calling for Burris to resign. Will he? I bet $5 he won't, so don't get your hopes up. Even if Burris did, the Republican party in Illinois is in disarray. As I noted a while back, the best a conservative could hope for out of this mess, is maybe Tammy Duckworth becoming Senator. There being hope for her to be a Blue Dog Democrat.

Hat tip- Dr. Taylor at Poliblog


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Comments (14)

"There was certainly no ... (Below threshold)

"There was certainly no pay-to-play involved," Mr. Burris assured last month, "because I don't have no money."

What a shrewd politician. He found a way of saying he has money to spend on bribes by speaking like an uneducated moron.

This is amazing. I live her... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

This is amazing. I live here.
1) keep Burris in, with the sad state of our party in IL we could get a great shot in the arm by winning a major election!
2) Let's not loose sight of the fact the Burris is the 60th vote on Barry's pork plan. Rahm Emanuel again??
3) Could you imagine if in 2001 there were wire taps, frog marches, jail time and hearings in TEXAS?? With this many Texan politicians?
msnbc would be broadcasting from Austin and pointing fingers daily.

Re: Tammy Duckworth - no, t... (Below threshold)

Re: Tammy Duckworth - no, there isn't.

But re: Roland Burris - here's what to watch out for - watch for the Democrats in Springfield to call him back before the impeachment committee, and hand him a Get Out Of Jail Free Card.

To be specific, there is a provision in the state's perjury statute that could allow Burris to skate free of his lies.

The statute reads, "Where the contradictory statements are made in the same continuous trial, an admission by the offender in that same continuous trial of the falsity of a contradictory statement shall bar prosecution -- under any provisions of this code."

In English, it means if Burris lied under oath before the committee, and is then allowed to present a conflicting statement before the same committee, all he has to do is admit the previous lie was a lie, and he's immune from criminal prosecution.

Republicans in the state legislature have already made this provision public, so when the Democrats call Burris back, there will be no doubt as to their complicity in the criminal conspiracy.

I'm hearing this is a weak ... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

I'm hearing this is a weak perjury case. Unethical, yes. Illegal, not so sure. Let's run him through the mud then have him run in '10.

Yes, it's a weak case. You... (Below threshold)

Yes, it's a weak case. You've got Burris on videotape in the first instance, and then contradicting himself in a sworn affadavit in the second instance.

Scooter Libby was convicted on less. Funny how little concern there was about a weak case then.

Can Blago run for the Senat... (Below threshold)

Can Blago run for the Senate?

Illinois democrats never wa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Illinois democrats never wanted Burris appointed senator because they don't think he can win reelection in 2010. Now is their chance to dump Burris and have the new governor appoint a stronger candidate. Having a special election is a republican pipe dream. Democrates are not about to give republicans such an opening when democrats are having ethics problems. Now all they have to do is find an Illinois democrat who has not been tainted by Blagojevich and who has a chance of holding the seat in 2010.

Mac Lorry: "Now all they... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry: "Now all they have to do is find an Illinois democrat who has not been tainted by Blagojevich..."

- and who DOESN'T have a closet filled with skeletons that would make a Medical College drool with envy!

- and who isn't a CROOK!!

OK, OK, in Illinois they don't CARE about the skeletons or the crookedness...in fact it is ASSUMED!

Mac L the state cannot remo... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Mac L the state cannot remove a senator. He aint goin' nowheres if he doesnt want to.

The senate could expel Burr... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:

The senate could expel Burris. Hey Nancy and Harry, where is your "most ethical congress ever"?

But Burris is getting along... (Below threshold)

But Burris is getting along so well with all the other crooks in the Senate.

Mac L the state ca... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac L the state cannot remove a senator. He aint goin' nowheres if he doesnt want to.

Technically you're correct, but there's growing evidence upon which the state can charge Burris with a felony. Such a charge would likely cause the senate to expel Burris, and either way, he would face criminal changes. Of course, Burris can make a deal to resign in exchange for the state dropping the investigation and immunity from charges stemming from his testimony. Burris can still put U.S. Senator on his monument, which looks a lot better then Convicted Felon.

I still say leave him right... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

I still say leave him right there as a reminder of this whole circus.

Here's a good choice in '10 to fill that seat:


The State of Illinois can c... (Below threshold)

The State of Illinois can charge him with perjury, but until he is convicted, Reid and the others in the Senate would have no grounds to expell Burris. After all, he has a right to due process, and the Dems in Congress have yet to act against any member of their party when said member is charged with a criminal act, or has ethical problems.

Reid first blocked Burris because the Illinois Secretary of State refused to put the State Seal on Burris' 'tainted' appointment, but he had to back off as a court said that there was no legal basis that required the State Seal. Then Reid welcomed Burris with open arms, even though the appontment was 'tainted'. According to Illinois Dems, they had no problems with Burris and would accept him as a replacement, if his name was brought up as the choice of Blago's replacement.

Burris would have to be charged, tried and convicted before the Reid or now Gov Quinn could do anything. That means weeks, months and maybe years of hearings, depositions, continuances, etc. Burris has nothing to lose by toughing it out, and would continue to earn his Congressional pay, benefits and pension during this time. During this time, Burris would still be the junior Senator and Reid would need to keep Burris happy so as to depend on his vote.

Also, perjury is not considered a crime of any note according to Democrats, and a number of RINOs.






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