The Infinite Gall of Roland Burris
Just how many political lives does Roland Burris have?
The Democratic senator from Illinois — appointed to the upper chamber in January amid a wave of controversy over then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.), who tapped Burris for the post — has distanced himself from his disgraced appointer skillfully enough to have kept his seat this long despite early opposition from Democratic leaders. Blagojevich, of course, was arrested in December on charges of attempting to sell the Senate seat being vacated by President Obama — a situation that left Democrats fearing the thought of a tainted Blagojevich appointment roaming the halls of the upper chamber.
No matter. During the announcement of his appointment in December, Burris told reporters that he had “no relationship with that situation.” A few days later, he said in an affidavit that he had no conversations with Blagojevich’s camp about the Senate seat prior to his appointment. Yesterday, as Kathleen mentioned, Burris told the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s adjusting well and feels “right on course.”
Case closed? Not quite.
The Senate Ethics Committee is still investigating the circumstances surrounding his appointment, and yesterday (long after the Sun-Times piece ran) a federal judge in Chicago released secretly recorded FBI tapes revealing that Burris, well, lied about his contacts with Blagoevich’s folks. Indeed, the tapes indicate that Burris had offered the Illinois governor a check.
During the Nov. 13 conversation, Burris told the governor’s brother, Rob Blagojevich, that he was willing to join a fundraising event and would send a personal check.
“I will personally do something. And it’ll be done before the 15th of December,” Burris said. He added, “And tell Rod to keep me in mind for that seat, would ya?”
Just how many lives does Burris have? We might soon find out.