15 February 2009

Update #3: Burris Must Go

The newly sworn-in Senator from Illinois, Roland Burris, is now in hot water himself. He is now being called to task (the word perjury is being bandied about) for his testimony before a House panel at which he denied inappropriate contacts with Blago's administration.

"I did not donate one single dollar nor did I raise any money or promise any favors for the governor," he said, adding that anyone who suggested otherwise was "playing partisan politics."

Anytime a politician says things like this (think, "I did not sleep with that woman..."), I become suspicious. Call it my cynical nature, which was honed by living near DC (when a certain mayor was brought low by a drug and prostitution ring), Chicago (when a certain governor was brought low by a complex funding scandal that included license plate for illegal truckers out of Florida), and South Florida (hanging chads anyone?).

Burris is denying that he committed perjury, but the Republicans in Illinois smell blood in the water:

Earlier Sunday Burris issued a statement.

"I wish to supplement my answer with other events that I have been able to recall, to make certain the record is complete. ... I recall that Governor Blagojevich's brother, Rob Blagojevich, called me three times to seek my assistance in fund-raising for Governor Blagojevich," he wrote.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from his testimony in January. Burris, who entered the Senate the same week he testified at the panel, said he filed the affidavit because he didn't have the opportunity to lay out all the facts during his live testimony, a claim Durkin rejected.

Durkin said the information was evidence withheld by Democrats. Cross said he only learned about the affidavit after reading about it in the news on Saturday, even though the Illinois Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Currie received the affidavit on Feb. 5.

"I think somebody in the Burris camp finally realized that these conversations were probably on tape," Cross said explaining why he thinks the information became public.

The Chicago Sun-Time broke this story today, and Illinois lawmakers are already talking about hearings and removal from office.

Here we go again!

Burris is insisting that his amended statement to the House panel is consistent with his original statement, and that he has done nothing wrong, and that he did not file the affidavit out of fear that his conversations with Blagojevich had been recorded.

Burris is apparently losing all trust and respect, even among his own party members, as he changes (or 'amends') his story repeatedly. The Chicago Tribune is now calling for his resignation, as are members of both parties in the Illinois Congress. One wonders if Illinois will ever get a government that even approaches honesty.

This has become a joke. Illinois is now the laughingstock of the nation. Sen. Burris must put his state and nation ahead of himself and resign. If he's incapable or unwilling to be that responsible, than the Senate should remove him - now!

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