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IL-Sen: Burris Backtracks, Ethics Committee Investigates

Sen. Roland Burris's (D-Ill.) political fate appeared to be in real jeopardy late today as he continued to acknowledge gaps in his testimony to a state House panel investigating former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate Democrats beginning a preliminary ethics inquiry into his conduct.

Burris today said he had tried to raise money for the embattled Blagojevich in the run-up to his appointment by the governor to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama -- the latest in a series of revelations that raised serious questions about whether he had been entirely truthful in his sworn testimony before an Illinois state House committee weighing whether to impeach Blagojevich for allegations that he sought to sell the Senate seat.

Originally Burris said he had contact with only one Blagojevich associate -- Lon Monk -- but over the weekend he acknowledged that he had had several conversations with the governor's brother, who inquired about the possibility of Burris raising money for Blagojevich.

The string of revelations has prompted Senate Democrats to scramble to stop the bleeding in a situation that has already caused the party -- both in the state and nationally -- considerable embarrassment.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (Nev.) office released a statement late this afternoon, offering tepid -- at best -- support for Burris. "Senator Reid supports Senator Burris's decision to cooperate with all appropriate officials who may review this matter, including state agencies and the Senate Ethics Committee," said Reid senior communications adviser Jim Manley.

The ethics committee confirmed tonight it has begun an investigation into Burris but declined to spell out which aspects of the case are being reviewed. Natalie Ravitz, communications director for California Sen. Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Ethics committee, said Tuesday night that "whenever allegations of improper conduct are brought to the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee, we open a preliminary inquiry."

While Democrats sought publicly to put a brave face on the allegations that Burris may have perjured himself, privately Democratic strategists fumed about the continuing damage Blagojevich and Burris were doing to the party.

One senior party operative who closely tracks Senate races called the Illinois situation "political insanity", adding: "The best thing Burris can do for himself right now is stop talking, figure out what else hasn't been disclosed, dump it all in one shot and then pray."

The next step for Burris politically remains unclear. He has been purposefully vague about whether or not he will seek a full term in 2010 but this incident is sure to convince neutral party observers that if Burris does decide to make a bid that a serious primary challenge is necessary and inevitable.

"The revelation gives everyone including the White House a free pass -- a reason not to be for Burris, a reason to run against a sitting Democrat," said one veteran Illinois Democrat. The source added that "because he has nothing to lose and an ego the size of a mausoleum" its almost certain that unless Burris' health fails him he will run for a full term.

But, it's equally certain that if Burris stays in the race, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will challenge him. Last week Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) praised Giannoulias as a candidate and the two are traveling outside the country together during this week's congressional recess.

Washington Post Staff Writers Paul Kane and Peter Slevin contributed to this story.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 17, 2009; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

To Tlinfla,

Your apparent (or maybe un-informed) acceptance of the guilty folks in the political arena and the private sector who used their power to illegally walk away with millions of dollars at our expense (the disenfranchised folks at Enron are a good example) indicates to me that you are possibly naive relative to this type of behavior. It is these people who have screwed us all and walked away with the folk’s money and their earned security and now live in luxury at our expense. I call this group of slime balls and their supporters (who may have also reaped illegitimate benefits in the process, i.e. many politicians – not all from Illinois); thieves and all should be singled out (in a legal fashion) and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Posted by: Justice43 | February 19, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

To Starchief,

Do you really think the search for more power and money is a new thing? My god, people in this world have been doing that as long as history has been around....

Wake up... This is not new to any part of the world, especially the US....

Posted by: tlinfla | February 18, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a side by side comparison between Dems and Reps showing their crimes and corruption.

I believe the dems would far outweigh republicans, by far.

And all those people voted to put them in office.... How terribly stupid! Just look at Nancy Pelosi... If that woman has more than one brain cell in her body, I'd be surprised!

Posted by: tlinfla | February 18, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I have come to believe that greed and a desire for power have led to the almost complete corruption of the political and business leaders of our country. If the spotlight becomes focused on their finances, almost all are found to have questionable dealings in their careers (eg Tom Daschle and Ted Stevens). This is true of Democrats and Republicans. The watchdogs over corruption are too often corrupt themselves.

Posted by: starchief5 | February 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Want to hear a real joke... The House ETHICS Committee! No matter how much lipstick you put on these pigs... they will never have any ethics!

Posted by: Rank1 | February 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims the porkulus bill will save or create 3 million jobs. Well, which is it? If you do the math, either way, you stupid Obamunists just stuck yourself and the rest of us with the bill. $263,000 per job.

Posted by: aroleflin | February 18, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Every Democrat elected governor of Illinois since 1960 has either gone to jail or been impeached. Applying the same rules that are applied to Reps this is an indictment of the ENTIRE Dem party.

Posted by: leapin | February 18, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that anyone believed him in the first place. They lie. It is part of the culture of Chicago-Acorn politics.
Remember that, so we want have to go through this sort of thing over and over. Always remember, they lie.

Posted by: 1uncle | February 18, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Burris scandal is but a window into the corrupt Obama machine that has taken over our country. We are only beginning to see the surface of what will be a deep putred mash of rotten flesh below.

Posted by: aroleflin | February 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Relative to Burris’s plot (evidently supported by our great ethical U.S. Senate Democrats and their great America Senate leader. Sic), this overall maneuvering fits in perfectly with Blagojevich's strategy. Blagojevich will likely walk, just like O. J. walked. Evidently Blagojevich is a student of O.J. It is also a likely given that Burris will also walk with Reid’s support.

For those of us who believe in justice, there are thousands of examples that justice no longer exits in America.

A few examples: Fat Cats walking away with millions and billions of our investment dollars and tax dollars because they have the power to write their own ticket. Killers and thieves being set free because of bigoted juries and politicians. Politicians (in both parties) being bought off and being made set for life at our huge expense. An in-effective government (both federal and state) that is asleep at the wheel relative to protecting the people. And the horrible list goes on. We are told that we live in a “democracy”, but it should be renamed a “thieveocracy”.


Posted by: Justice43 | February 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Poor Obama. Poor Democrats. Another pillar of Democracy starts to fall. Change!

Posted by: MRGB | February 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Hasn't anyone figured out that the so-called "Chicago machine" is now and always has been an alternate universe where political favor has a market price?

Blago, Burris and the lot don't think they've ever done anything unethical. Why? Because everyone does it!! It's not just a Republican or a Democrat "thing" --- it's everybody!

Posted by: jsc173 | February 18, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Burris is an idiot and apparently a liar. Let him step down. The people of Illinois deserve better! Burris step down, you look and sound more and more like a Rebpulican!

Posted by: alesterp | February 18, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

As a former Republican now Obama supporter liberal Democrat, I feel that Burris should resign. I like many others in the media, supported him to get the Senate seat. But the fact that he lied is shameful and he makes honest African American Democrats look bad. Burris should be man enough to resign considering he made a spectical of himself in Washington DC over him getting that dam seat.
Burris should step aside in good cause for the Democrats and let Gov Pat Quin make a new Senate appointment. By not resigning Burris makes African Americans, Democrats as well as the State of Illinois, look bad. Illnois is already dealing with our crooked Mayor Daley, crooked Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, and crooked Aldermans. Burris should have already known that he would be a target for the Republicans.
Dear Sen Burris PLEASE RESIGN for the State of Illinois.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

But, it's equally certain that if Burris stays in the race, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will challenge him. Last week Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) praised Giannoulias as a candidate and the two are traveling outside the country together during this week's congressional recess.


What's this? Are the taxpayers paying for state employees to go on political junkets along with the consumate leeches in the democrat controlled congress?
Maybe you political hacks ought to tell the taxpayers about all the international junkets the leeches are on this week.

Posted by: LarryG621 | February 18, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Burris should simply resign. He will never be an effective senator for Illinois and there will be an asterisk next to his name.

Most Illinoisans never felt comfortable with his “appointment” by a crook governor from the beginning. And now with his admission of “lying”, he should just exit the stage.

Posted by: JJames081 | February 18, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey, that's not fair! Its just his private life! He's on board for the agenda. He should answer that he doesnt have time to squabble about ancient history when he's spending all his time working to make the lives of The Children better. He's a Democrat; he's a victim, these crimes are a result of a history of discrimination, the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is out to get him.

Posted by: skep41 | February 18, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

We've come to recognize that any politician who reads from prepared text alone, with no followup questions, is guilty. (i.e. Jesse Jackson Jr.) Burris has obviously been given a heads-up he's on FBI tape, so now the IL Sen. attempts to come clean. Too little, too late. If Burris was a different race or GOP, or heaven forbid, a different race AND GOP, he'd be out on the street by now, presuming he had been sworn in at all.

Posted by: nickatdabeach | February 18, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Obviously this latest memory lapse by a Democratic leader is..... W's fault! Just as Dodd could not remember the sweetheart loan from Country wide, or Rangel to pay taxes on property, or Nancy's husband and defense contracts, etc, etc. The Comedy marches on! In the end nothing will happen, lips will flap and only earth warming air will emerge!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't see a problem here.
Every single appointee and EVERY new (I should also note: every OLD)DEMOCRAT has ethics problems that the media seem to ignore.
Democrat - Unethical - Socialist - Communist. I see no problem.
I think I will join the party, I won't have to pay any taxes until I am an appointee by the president.

Posted by: iamzbacku | February 18, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Some American citizens decided to vote into office, or re-elect to office, miscreants,incompetents and downright thieves. The rest of America now has to pay the price for that ignorance. Illinois politics appears as incompetent or corrupt as the politics of many other states. As such, they allowed a criminal to vote on a bill solicited by his Illinois associate. This bill, endorsed by his executive colleague, sold out the future of America's youth, opening the wider door to welfare, socialism and communist ideals. Some of us did not want to pay for this, but in this democracy, even the jackasses have a vote. We are going to pay for what we got for a long long time.

Posted by: Patriotic1 | February 18, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Why the fuss? Tax cheaters abound. No ethics inquiry against Charlie Rangel, is there, despite all the wrongdoing and corruption that the Post has previously exposed and documented thorougly. We Democrats would do well to REJECT any and all cheating, lying, corrupt behavior among our elected officials--else we shall be no better than the Republicans we have temporarily replaced. There is no acceptable level of lying, cheating, stealing, sexual misbehavior, exploitation of office, or corruption. Democrats need to stand for something better than this.

Posted by: jshaver001 | February 18, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse


lcary, you are ridiculous if you think George Bush is behind the impropriety of Blago. Bush certainly didn't force him to blackmail different groups into fundraising for him or trying to use his power for unjust causes like trying to fire people. Regardless of what political party a newspaper is associated with, it has a responsibility to report the truth. If Senator Burris chose to get involved in the Illinois scandal, that's his own poor judgment, and he will be punished or exonerated as it is seen fit. Shame on you for telling a reporter to forget a politician's wrongdoings, when those politicians are supposed to be doing what is in our best interest. Last time I checked, my best interest was not selling or taking part in the selling of a Senate seat.

Posted by: lchawk8 | February 18, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, am very disappointed with the WaPo. Don't you, Mr. Cillizza, realize that Roland is a Democrat? And that the WaPo is an official shill for the DNC?

The person you should be focusing on is Bush. He's behind this mess.

Posted by: lcary | February 18, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The Fighting Ill-Lie-Nie

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 18, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

You know who's really losing his political validity? Harry Reid, and all the Democrats who continue to soft-sell Burris just to keep a Democratic majority. We see you, folks. We really do. You're not fooling anybody.

Posted by: swatkins1 | February 18, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I wonder when the American electorate will finally realize that it is time, past time, to have a nationwide recall of every congressman and senator. Impeach the bums in the W.H. and re-populate the legislative and executive with honest individuals. People who have common sense, ethics, and the courage to follow the Constitution. People who want to get into offcie, do a good job, stop the power crap, and LEAVE. All these cheap politicans (Dem & Rep)s care about starring in their petty soap operas. I am tired of their childish games, and with this "stimulus" nonsense, the games are getting expensive.

Posted by: mibu | February 18, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

When Mr. Burris testified before the Illinois Impeachment Committee he swore to TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, which he obviously did not so, he perjured himself therefore he should resign or be removed from his Senate seat and have an election to fill the vacancy. Illinois has enough politics with ethics problems and they do not need to add Burris to the list.

Posted by: RLFortinNH | February 18, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Blago knew his party would throw him under the bus, so he decided to take the rest of them down with him. That's why he appointed Burris and had to be forced out of office. Now that his scandal's passed and he got impeached & removed, he's using Burris to drag his party down more. His lashing out at the state Dems as drunk and whatever showed him he no longer matters. Burris will for damm sure run for election or else he would've said he wasn't going to long ago, unless he finds out he cant possibly win the nomination, which hasn't happened yet. Lose or win, it's still a pretty powerful F*** YOU to his party. I'm a Democrat, but it's still some funny Kaiser Soze kind of crap. Most resign and disappear, he's pretty good at bringing them all down too. HAPPY VENGENCE(sp?) BLAGO.

Posted by: jsperez | February 18, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

My problem with Burriss and Blago is that it makes me seriously doubt whether our President could have navigated those political waters and remained honest. That whole state seems incredibly corrupt to me.

Posted by: Louweegie272 | February 17, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

UM HELLOOOOO... KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK ANYBODY HOME? WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT WILLIS?

2000---------------------------------2008

SPEAKING OF SINKING BOATS...MAY I SUGGEST YOU THROW DICK CHENEY A LIFE PRESERVER. HIS BOAT IS SINKING VERY VERY VERY FAST.
___________________________________________

When a Republican politician is found to be a scoundrel, it is news for weeks because it is a rarer event than when a Democrat is caught being unethical. Then it is hardly mentioned, and usually passed off as inconsequential, because almost all of them are crooked.

When the political boat is leaking, you plug the hole (get rid of bad politicians); you don't cut a bigger hole in the bottom (by electing more Democrats). That will make the boat sink faster

Posted by: opp88 | February 17, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN HAS FOUND A NEW MEAL TICKET.

THE SARAH "HOP SCOTCH MOM" PALIN AND FAMILY.

BRISTOL, LEVY AND NEWCOMER TRIP.

NO...THE KID IS NAME TRIP!

ACCORDING TO BRISTOL, LEVY NAMED THE KID TRIP.

YES...LEVY NAMED THE KID TRIP.

DON'T ASK ME WHY HE NAMED HIS KID TRIP...MAYBE HE THOUGHT IT WAS A TRIP.

SO........ HE CALLED HIM TRIP.

WHAT A WONDERFUL ALASKAN FAMILY.

WHEN WILL GRETA DROP THIS FAMILY LIKE IT'S HOT?

Posted by: opp88 | February 17, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

When a Republican politician is found to be a scoundrel, it is news for weeks because it is a rarer event than when a Democrat is caught being unethical. Then it is hardly mentioned, and usually passed off as inconsequential, because almost all of them are crooked.

When the political boat is leaking, you plug the hole (get rid of bad politicians); you don't cut a bigger hole in the bottom (by electing more Democrats). That will make the boat sink faster.

Posted by: wjg325 | February 17, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

What is most pathetic about Roland Burris is that he geninely believes Rod Blagojevich picked him up and seated him in the Illinois junior senator's chair in tribute to his "groundbreaking leadership skills", instead of as an obscene gesture toward the Democratic leadership in Washington. I don't think he has the faintest understanding that he is a laughingstock and ought to resign.

Posted by: Itzajob | February 17, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27,

Where's the CHANGE? That's all B. Hussein Obama ran on. WHERE'S THE CHANGE? Oh... I forgot to look, that's all that's left of my paycheck after the "Stimulus".

Posted by: spf_zero | February 17, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The stench of corruption hangs low over the Obama transition as Richardson and Clinton and Emmanuel and Geithner and Daschle and Holder and Blago and Rangel and Dodd are pulled into the vortex. Soon trillions of federal dollars will be splooged into the nimble old hands of these appointed kleptocrats.

Posted by: georgejones5 | February 17, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

The Republican blabbermouths re out in force tonight... is it a full moon? Burris is a crook, a slimy low life, a liar, and an embarrassment. So what? So is Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, Phil Gramm, and about half of all Republican and Democratic politician's.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 17, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Another of Obama's friends seems to have a problem withtelling the truth? The apple(s) don't fall too far from the tree, do they? I wonder if he'll get the same clean bill of health from the ethics comittee as the esteemed New York representatives (PICK ONE), ALGORE, the DIMOKRAT KROOKS from New Jersey, Mr. KKK hissonself, Dr.Byrd, Rosty et al.

Posted by: notaclintonfan | February 17, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I love how people are calling this a "Lapse in Judgement". Call it like it is. LYING. Not filling your taxes for eight of nine years while a DC councilman is a "Lapse in Judgement"... No... wait a minute, that's lying too. Telling my wife I already picked up the dry-cleaning when I was going to do it on the way home is a "Lapse in Judgement"

Posted by: spf_zero | February 17, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Mr. Burris needs to resign. What a terrible way to end an otherwise respectable political career. He should have known better and for that lapse in judgment he should step down.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | February 17, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

His definitely a weasel. But if weaselness was a disqualifier well, then, Mitch McConnell would be catching flies in a creek. He's a reptile fer sure. But yeah, Burris should go and the Democratic leadership that relented to let him in because they could not stand up to a pc racialist crowd should be flogged publicly.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 17, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

According to Burris behavior, it would be really nice, if he is replaced in 2010. It does not seem that Burris knows how to behave, or that he is still suitable for his current job. Anyhow, it would be nice if he finally shuts up before he is impeached. Supidity might be a blessing for a politician but not to such degree, I think.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 17, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

More change? Change we can believe in? The only change for the Dems is one of two things... The way we do things now and the way we used to do things. Now we're looking at a regurgitation of the Clinton doctrine. Obama '09 == Clinton 2.0. More lying, deceit, guile, and fraud. Makes me think wiretaps and GitMo are minor. At least with the Bush administration we knew the enemy was abroad. Now, it's within.

Posted by: spf_zero | February 17, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the party faithful to acknowledge what the rest of us already know.

The Destructocrat party is completely corrupt.

Obama can't fill his cabinet because the Democrat appointees are crooks and a Republican appointee refused to work with a corrupt Obama.

Now we have Burris lying on his job application.

So when you contemplate the wreckage that was once America just remember: it was brought to you by the Democrat party.

Posted by: krankyman | February 17, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Burris needs to bow out. He is now a wedge that, if he were to fight to remain, will only further damage himself, his party and the country.

Posted by: bfjackjernigan | February 17, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This is version #5 of the story.

Can you spell "toast?"

Posted by: fmjk | February 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

There once was senator named Burris
Who had a reputation quite scurrilous

He lied and he lied
With Blago by his side

So cancel his Doctor of Juris

"That's the Chicago way"

Posted by: robocopper | February 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

We all knew that Burris was a weasel and a weasel of the worst kind at that.

It's the kind that has an "inflated" ego.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 17, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Same Clowns -- different circus

Posted by: robocopper | February 17, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Methinks Burris is in over his head in Washington, and is looking for some excuse to be removed, because he is too proud to step down but too befuddled to function effectively in his new position.

Posted by: Xlnt | February 17, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Its individuals LIKE THIS ONE that gives POLITICS a BAD NAME. This Guy is a piece of work. We try to give him the benefit of the doubt and SEE WHAT HAPPENS. His behavior is the meaning of the "N" WORD. He has brought SHAME to the position and he should RESIGN...

Posted by: mcseacna | February 17, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

BURRIS, FINANCIAL CRISIS DIVERT MEDIA
FROM EROSION OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW...

****************************************************************

ATTENTION: ATTY. GEN. E. HOLDER / DHS SEC. J. NAPOLITANO / STAFF (please forward)

RE: BUSH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF COVERT RADIATION WEAPONS USE ON 'INNOCENT BUT TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS BY ONGOING 'EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK'

... coordinated secret multi-agency action "programs of personal destruction" manned by security/intel/revenue agents, local police nationwide, citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.

WHEN WILL DOJ/DHS/DOD BAN THESE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
AND OPEN A CIVIL RIGHTS PROBE? THE VICTIMS CANNOT WAIT.

***

IT IS DAY 29 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU *REALLY* KNOW WHAT YOUR SECURITY "MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER" IS UP TO?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (IF LINKS ARE CORRUPTED/DISABLED):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 17, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Could we please please kick this bum off the front page to kingdom come? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know he's been lying his head off and now trying to slip through this mess like an eel. It won't work. Why do they always do this? Politicians, financiers, sports figures, they lie lie lie until they're blue in the face but they ought to know they'll eventually have to pay the price for their misdeeds while putting us through so much muck, embarrassment and despair! These are the people in the congress trying to govern the country. Hopeless!

Posted by: pelohoki | February 17, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Creamit, leave it to you to set the "record" straight. Other than the fact that you choose to believe that Obama was able to swim in the soup of Chicago sludge, there's no "fact" that he did. His connection to next-door neighbor Rezko and the deal OB got on his house is public record. The millions of dollars OB funneled through Rezko and Valerie Jarred's Development Companies for the construction of public housing and the subsequent scandals over the poor construction, lack of maintenance and decay of said housing is also public record. OB directed Annenberg Challenge Funds to pet projects of William Ayers and the gangsters of ACORN is also a matter of record. That is called play for pay, or graft, or "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Whether dispersing patronage jobs in the 50's or government contracts in the 21st century, Chicago politics hasn't changed a bit. Your faith in OB is not borne out by either the facts, or the company (Daley, Blago, Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Emmanuel etc.) he keeps. You can fool some of the people, all of the time . . . hey, that's YOU!!

Posted by: NCMike | February 17, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the only things changing in the Obama era of politics are minds and stories.

Change we can believe in!

Posted by: conservativemaverick | February 17, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow,

A Washington Post Article that seems to be non partisan. CONGRATULATIONS. Please give the same diligence and honesty in regards to Obama and others of both parties. You never looked at Obama's background over 2 years like you have over Blago and Burris over 2 weeks and 2 months.

Posted by: DennisKL | February 17, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I was always suspicious of this guy and behold I was correct.

edbyronadams: Save it! Honest, hardworking minorities (or humans for that reason) really HATE being associated w/ scumbags like this who like to play the race card for personal gain. For the record Obama saw the minefield of IL and Chicago politics and steered clear of it early in the game.

Posted by: creamit20 | February 17, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Ethics Committees investigated Rep. William Jefferson and Rep. Charles Rangel, but nothing was ever done.

If you think the Democratic Majority in the US Senate will tolerate an expulsion of Burriss, you're crazy. Only an election expelled Jefferson, and only an election will expel Burriss.

Posted by: DaTourist | February 17, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Would Burriss be Obama's successor in the US Senate if President Obama had not personally intervened with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after Reid declared he would not seat Burriss or anyone else appointed by Blagojevich?

I think not!

If Burriss could manipulate Obama to put heat on Reid, think about how Chavez and Kim and Ahmadinejad will manipulate that poor, naive creature in the White House?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 17, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

There must be some mistake here.
Oh that's right, were talking about Chicago politicians. Nevermind.
This is the same lot that Obama chums with.
Isn't that just great.
A corrupt senator and a president that has no idea what he's doing.
Yikes


Posted by: fourier1 | February 17, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it true that President Obama intervened personally with Senate Majority Leader Reid to seat Burris, after Burris had declared he would not seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, and Senate Majority Leader Reid climbed down?

Who will refute that this happened?

Posted by: DaTourist | February 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

CitizenJane, the people of Illinois DID get the representative they deserved. Having lived in Illinois for the majority of my life and can assure you that there has been NO groundswell of indignation at the quality of elected for at least 50 years. Corruption is a given. Three of the last eight governors were sent to jail. Blago gives every indication that it will soon be four jailbird governors. And if you think state politics is corrupt, you ain't seen nothing like Chicago politics. That cynical pay for play has been going on for over a HUNDRED years. And from this decadent swamp of boondoggle and graft, came his "holiness" Barack Obama??? Here's another clue: the American people got what they deserved. Stupid is, as stupid does.

Posted by: NCMike | February 17, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

No, No, No..some of you Liberal defenders MISS the point. This whole problem could have been avoided IF the Illinois legislature, controlled by DEMOCRATS, had voted for a special election to fill this seat. But they wanted a DEMOCRAT. And they KNEW that with this mess, it might not have gone their way. They HOPED that Blago would go quietly in the night and the Lt. Governor, a DEMOCRAT, would appoint another DEMOCRAT, without the taint of Blago!

Posted by: Glubber | February 17, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Based on all of the events that are happening, I believe that Burris wont make it past Memorial Day.

Resignation or Expulsion

More skits for SNL.

Posted by: Digital_Voter | February 17, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

so did obama okay Burris being seated , in exchange for the spending vote?

Posted by: newagent99 | February 17, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

It's okay. He's a Democrat and black too.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 17, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse


This so called "exclusive" club is just another in a long line of corrupt congresses. One hundred and eleven, to be exact.


Posted by: mortified469 | February 17, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

TruthandJusticeinUS wrote: "Reid didn't get "rolled", it was about getting another democrat in the senate without the need for an election -- and if Blago gave them something passable they took it."

You obviously were not paying attention. This is not what happened. All Democratic Senators made clear from the beginning that they did not want, and would not accept, a Blago appointee. Problem was that Blago called their bluff, and in fact there was really no legal basis for refusing to seat him. Lay the blame where it lies - with Blago AND with BURRIS himself.

Posted by: marecek | February 17, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

TruthandJusticeinUS: If you still think Burris is "passable", then you got rolled too.

It's too soon to engage in revisionist history. I remember the last few months. Reid and the whole Dem leadership was opposed to Burris, but they were not able to block his confirmation. And it was the IL state government that refused to impeach Blago before he could appoint Burris, or call for a special election. A failure of leadership on both the the state and national levels. I'm a Democrat, btw, but sticking the voters of IL and the US Senate with this mess is simply inexcusable.

We can only hope that this sordid affair can be put to rest soon and that the people of IL get the representation they deserve, if not now, in 2010.

Posted by: citizenjane | February 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so what is the damaging revelation going to be for tomorrow? Our instincts were correct on this guy - the initial reaction is that a Blagojovich appointee should simply not be seated, and there was good reason for thinking that. He presented himself as some sort of innocent, star-struck, awe-shucks, historically important person in Illinois politics, and he turns out to be another sleazoid. What else could we have expected from (thankfully) now ex-governor Blago.

Posted by: marecek | February 17, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. . . What a cesspool is Illinois politics . . . it's hard to believe that anyone with ethics, honesty, and integrity would ever thrive and survive in such a corrupt environment . . . what do Roland Burris, Rod Blagojovich, Richard Daley, Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama and Tony Rezko have in common ? ? ?

Posted by: NCMike | February 17, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

This is what our national politics have come to -- large egos that don't have brains or ethics. Reid didn't get "rolled", it was about getting another democrat in the senate without the need for an election -- and if Blago gave them something passable they took it. You could all it the Chavez approach -- the ends justify the means. Only problem is that "mausoleum" sized egos couple with pea sized brains equal disaster for our Nation.

Posted by: TruthandJusticeinUS | February 17, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Another egocentric blowhard makes the Beltway pros look like apprentice idiots.

This lying lightweight needs to return to his home state so that he can go on trial after Blago get sentenced to the joint. Maybe the two of them will wind up as cellies.

Posted by: reporter1 | February 17, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The only thing more pathetic than the daily drip of Burris toxin is that Reid got rolled by this guy.

Posted by: citizenjane | February 17, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The biggest reason that the Blago/Burris situation is so outrageous is that it's an unwanted distraction for everybody during a time when the nation is in crisis.

The country really doesn't need this sideshow. A delegation of respected members of Congress, plus Rohm Emmanuel representint Obama, should sit him down and jawbone him into resigning for the good of the country.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | February 17, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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