Friday, February 20, 2009

Burris is in trouble!

Over the past weekend news broke that Sen. Roland Burris had refiled affidavits discussing any possible contacts he may have had with former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The questions are about who did Burris contact with respect to an appointment to the then vacated US Senate seat of President Barack Obama in addition to any questions of a "quid pro quo". It turns out that Burris at some point did attempt to fundraise for the Governor, although it might have been much earlier than his Dec. 9th arrest by federal authorities.

It also turns out that he's been in contact with the Governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich. It seems Blago's brother is knee deep in these schemes, and I think that's unfortunate.

Let's also not forget why this is news. Burris' appointment around New Year's by then IL Gov. Blagojevich was controversial. Especially since Blago was arrested for putting Obama's vacant Senate seat for sale in addition to a myriad of other charges. The fact that Blago would appoint a person to the US Senate knowing full well that it would be a problem is certainly a testament as to why he was removed from his position last month.

Since the past weekend we have hear a myriad of politicians, columnists, and editorials refer to Burris' appointment as another piece of the Blago legacy. Wait...what's a Blago legacy?

Anyway the fact that Blago appointed Burris to this seat knowing full well that no one wanted him to appoint anyone after he was accused of putting that seat up for sale. Then using some very hardball tactics that resulted in Burris getting seated and then over a month later there are questions about how Burris got this seat. This all counts as the Blagojevich legacy. Pay to play, hardball politics, dishonestly, and I'm sure there are other descriptive words to describe this story.

Anyway this video is an AP report about local ministers thinking about backing away from Burris. They are considering asking him to resign. You can read a write-up here.

Anyway check out Rich Miller's comment in his round-up of Burris stories...
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a different way of doing business for some African-American pastors who seem all too willing to loudly support seriously flawed political allies. They got played badly by Rod Blagojevich for years, and their support for him after his arrest was embarassing.
One can only hope. If this is what the most important of black leaders can do and use their following to support flawed characters, then should they even be involved in politics. Especially if they know full well that where they point their flock, they follow.

It almost makes one wonder where the race-baiting that resulted after Blago appointed Burris. Especially with the comments of Rep. Bobby Rush who on that day sought to draw parrallels between the US Senate leadership attempting to block Burris from taking his seat to any segregationist southern governor keeping a black student from attending classes at a southern state university.

You know this whole story was flawed. Rush really made this about race, it was important to him to have a black sit in the US Senate. Unfortunately the problem was with the person who was making that call, Rod Blagojevich. I heard the call to separate the appointer from the appointee except that's the problem we have now! And that also could mean that blacks won't have any senators in the US Senate, until the next one gets elected whenever that'll be.

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