Burris Did Not Reveal Contacts with Blagojevich

The Sun-Times reports today that Roland Burris was not very forthcoming when he told the State House what contacts he had had with Rod Blagojevich’s camp.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s brother solicited U.S. Sen. Roland Burris for up to $10,000 in campaign cash before Blagojevich named Burris to the coveted post — something Burris initially failed to disclose under oath before an Illinois House impeachment panel, records and interviews show.

Burris acknowledges being hit up for the money in a new affidavit he has sent to the head of the House committee that recommended Blagojevich be removed from office.

[snip]

The affidavit is dated Feb. 5 — three weeks after Burris was sworn in to replace President Obama in the Senate.

Burris — who did not give money to the Blagojevich campaign fund in response to the previously undisclosed solicitation — provided a copy of the sworn statement to the Chicago Sun-Times Friday in response to questions about his contacts with the Blagojevich camp about fund-raising.

Burris acknowledged having three conversations with Robert Blagojevich, who headed the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund — and one of those was likely recorded by the FBI.

[snip]

In his new affidavit, Burris confirms he also spoke of his interest in the Senate appointment with Blagojevich insiders John Harris, Doug Scofield and John Wyma.

The discussions with Robert Blagojevich about money came after Burris spoke with those people. 

So best as I can reconstruct, here are the contacts Burris had with Blago’s folks:

July or September: Discussions with Lon Monk about picking up lobbying business to the Governor

Unknown: Conversations with John Harris, Doug Scofield, and John Wyma about seat

October: Conversation with Robert Blagojevich tying money to seat

November: Conversation with Robert Blagojevich tying money to seat

December 26: Conversation with Sam Adam Jr., Blago’s maybe Defense Attorney, about appointment

December 28: Conversation with Adam, then Blago, accepting seat

January 5: Roland signs affidavit that does not address contacts with Blago’s people, beyond the appointment discussions on December 26 and 28

January 8: In State Legislative hearing, Burris admits to contacts with Lon Monk, but does not mention contacts with four other Blago representatives

January 15: Burris sworn in as Senator

February 5: Burris writes a new affidavit, revealing additional conversations

One of the key details is the genesis of the new affidavit. Burris says he sent it after realizing he wasn’t forthcoming to the hearing.

Burris acknowledges being hit up for the money in a new affidavit he has sent to the head of the House committee that recommended Blagojevich be removed from office.

[snip]

Burris said he sent the new statement to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) after he read the transcript of his testimony before the impeachment committee she headed and realized it was incomplete. "There were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony," Burris said. "I voluntarily submitted an affidavit so everything was transparent."

Uh, right, Burris. But you didn’t review the transcript until after you had been sworn into the Senate?

I’m wondering, too, whether in the interim Burris didn’t have a visit with Patrick Fitzgerald’s folks about what got caught on the FBI’s tapes?

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54 replies
      • emptywheel says:

        Burris had that odor. Both the conversation with Lon Monk (remember, Monk is trying hard to avoid indictment–unless he’s secretly already cooperating with Fitz) and with Sam Adam (which I’ve argued was an attempt to set up a purportedly exonerating conversation) stunk to high hell.

        It gets more interesting now, of course, in that Blago has a conversation proving he get anything from Burris on December 28 when he offered the position, but that came on top of at least 8 conversations with Blago’s people that could be considered damning.

        Note, too, how Fitz’s apparent retention plays into this. The biggest thing Burris could have done would be to recommend someone besides Fitz for USA. I don’t think anyone would have taken him seriously, particularly not over Durbin’s recommendation. But that’s a done deal now, supposedly.

          • bmaz says:

            Heh, I think Obama regretted his “support” of Burris to start with. He was forced by the circumstances into it. That is the beauty of the whole Blago ratfuck, despite the odor, there really was no legal basis not to seat Burris. If the new affidavit exhibits perjury, the Senate should boot him. In fact, I am surprised the same people always suspecting that Obama the omniscient genius playing eleven dimension thought chess is running some grand “master political plan” haven’t chimed in alleging that.

  1. Peterr says:

    I’m wondering, too, whether in the interim Burris didn’t have a visit with Patrick Fitzgerald’s folks about what got caught on the FBI’s tapes?

    Even more interesting would be if Fitz and his people *haven’t* met with Burris, leaving him to wonder about what may have been caught on tape.

    Methinks Burris is hearing footsteps as he twists slowly, slowly in the wind.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, if he really didn’t accept money, he may be fine.

      But there seems to be some dispute about that (see the article).

      Which gets very interesting, bc Burris’ lobbying partner was a board member for the charity that used to employ Blago’s wife. Burris wasn’t really forthcoming about any of his activities either.

      • Peterr says:

        Yep.

        That’s why I’m wondering if he’s trying — badly — to guess what is on those tapes. “Maybe if I cop to this much I’ll be fine . . .”

        • emptywheel says:

          Well, and he could well be using the same strategy as–frankly–Obama used.

          Jarrett appears to have SENT Tom Balanoff to talk to Blago, and Balanoff came back saying, “He wants HHS.” But Jarrett dismissed that as a bribe in the statement by saying, “He can’t be serious.” It seems a lot different when you know she sent Balanoff, which she didn’t reveal in the Obama statement.

          Likewise Rahm. He told us ONLY the conversations he had about the Senate seat, not the ones about his own seat (except in that the first conversation was about both), and he didn’t reveal conversaitons he had with–say–Wyma.

  2. tanbark says:

    Marcie; it doesn’t matter. It was “legal”.

    In fact, if Burris was running a child porn ring, and DIDN’T get caught, then that just means that not only is he a great statesman; he’s clever, too. Just what we need in the Senate. :o)

    It’s shameful that people are still persecuting him. :o)

  3. tanbark says:

    All snark aside, I think it would be hilarious if (as some people on here are not unreasonably wondering) Fitz, on his tapes, has Burris by the shorthair. :o)

  4. BoxTurtle says:

    Ot: First I must thank bmaz for the prior post on Sheriff Joe. I learned a lot from it, I’m glad I wasn’t paying attention up till now, as it would only have made me more cynical towards the operations of our justice system. I think you should submit that to the local papers as a guest editorial.

    That said, I’m becoming more cynical toward senate appointments in general. I get the feeling that Blago’s quid pro quo is not that far from the norm, the only difference is he got taped. What deals do you think were made for Hillary’s seat? How about Biden’s? Blago was right, those seats are valuable.

    I bet campaign cash exchanged hands. I bet there were agreements of mutual support, and converstations where it was agreed that certain legislation would be supported. The main difference is that Blago was trying to get it into his own pocket, rather than his reelection committee.

    Now we find that Burris was hit up for money. Bet if this hadn’t hit the media, he’d have quietly contributed.

    Boxturtle (I’m using the word ‘bet’ too often. Need to go to the riverboat and get it out of my system)

  5. tanbark says:

    “There really was no legal basis not to seat Burris…”

    They had a perfect right to use procedural moves to put him on hold, while it played out.

    But let’s ask you this, Bmaz: was, their ANY thing that Burris could have done or said, which wasn’t illegal, that would have made it OK with you to keep Burris on hold until the situation with Blago was resolved?

    I mean, if Burris had been holding pressers explaining how the Holocaust was nothing but a total shuck, would you have supported his being seated?

    Just askin…:o)

    • bmaz says:

      But let’s ask you this, Bmaz: was, their ANY thing that Burris could have done or said, which wasn’t illegal, that would have made it OK with you to keep Burris on hold until the situation with Blago was resolved?

      Sure, but there had to be something of sufficient gravity that was credibly supported and corroborated. There was not. There is a rule of law for a reason; it needs to be followed, even when it is difficult to rationalize with your personal desires. I don’t like Burris any better than you do; I just wasn’t willing to set one of the worst and most pernicious precedents imaginable in terms of Senatorial selection in order to act on my personal thoughts, you were. Democracy and the rule of law demands that the process is more important than the individual of isolated event; you did not, and still do not, understand that. I do.

      Oh, and the emotional barking about the Holocaust is the last refuge of a scoundrel argument here.

  6. tanbark says:

    [email protected]:

    “Burris will have an odor about him now.”

    Burris had an odor about him when, in a matter of a few days, he changed his opinion of Blago’s fitness to discharge the duties of his office, 180 degrees, as soon as Blago decided to appoint Burris.

  7. SaltinWound says:

    Off topic, but this makes me crazy:

    “The president is very sympathetic to those who want to find out what happened,” Craig said in a statement yesterday. “But he is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency. So, for that reason, he is urging both sides of this to settle.”

    Weakening the institution of the presidency is exactly the right thing to do, if by weakening he means rolling back the previous administrations exaggerated claims.

  8. tanbark says:

    It is no such thing. You insisted, and still insist, that irreparable damage would be done to our legislative system if Burris were not seated, and seated quickly.

    It was nonsense. If the Senate, which is to say, the dems, would have put Burris into Rules Committee limbo while:

    A: Blago was removed from office, and:

    B: Fitz then moved on him, no harm would have been done.

    Reid, etc’, didn’t cave because they were contemplating doing something illegal when they were considering putting Burris’s appointment on hold while this played out: they caved because the repubs and some dems were playing the race card, and because of the same lame argument you make, that as long as Blago had not been removed from office, any considerations of Blago’s behavior or his fitness to make this appointment, as well as Burris’s demonstrated status as a political prostitute, were of no consequence. It’s the worst kind of legalistic gibberish.

    BTW, the fact that Burris stood up in front of God and the world and said, in effect:

    “My opinion of Rod Blagojevich’s fitness to govern is 100% for sale.” and that you don’t consider that to be sufficiently grave and corroborated, to keep him out of the U.S. Senate, is a degree of legal nicety that I won’t ascribe to. It’s too bad that you do.

    As far as being a scoundrel goes, I think that fits you and your: “He’s not guilty of anything! Let’s seat him!” spiel, a lot better than it fits me.

    Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office. He has not been convicted of anything. Was he unfairly hounded from office?

    • bmaz says:

      Well, keep in mind that the stimulus package would not have passed without that vote. So there is that. But, again, it is the precedent that simply was a non-starter. Not making bad precedent, and not just bad, but horrid, is the whole point. You seem to somehow or another think it is all about Burris. It is not.

  9. Loo Hoo. says:

    Well, I suppose Burris was the 60th vote, so there’s a positive…

    But

    “There were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony,”

    Not given the opportunity? Fer god’s sake.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, I didn’t say I approved of that. I still maintain that with the fact set at the time, he needed to be seated. Now if the Senate wants to try to oust him for cause, so be it. I just didn’t want the precedent set of the hoity toity boys in the Senate club being able to arbitrarily and capriciously refuse to seat someone thus violating the state prerogative.

    • midwestdoc says:

      Actually, if there were 98 sworn senators, the supermajority requirement would only be 59. IL+ Franken matters, either one by itself doesn’t.

  10. kspena says:

    OT-very, very ot. I’ve been reading about Afganistan in light of rounds Tom Ricks is making, Holbrooke over there, Obama waiting to decide…and came across Hamish Macdonald’s very informative on the ground reporting for Al Jazeera. http://english.aljazeera.net/f…..20542.html

    One of the things he did was drive the new supply route Kabul/Tajikistan saying it is going to be very difficult. I went to google earth and followed the road north through the Salang Pass, looking to linked great pictures along the way. OMG, OMG what a trip…

    Macdonald, “They are in desperate need of safe passage for their military supplies because the route they use currently, which passes up the Jalalabad highway from Pakistan, has become far too dangerous as a result of frequent Taliban attacks.

    “The northern end of the country is the next best option, but you only need to look at the distance on the map and take a drive across the treacherous Salang Mountain pass to see that this isn’t exactly going to be easy.

    “The mountains are covered in snow year round and the two-lane highway is frequently closed during winter because of heavy snowfall; we spent a good few hours in either direction waiting to get through.

    “The trucks laden with heavy cargo can barely make it up the hill, let alone do so in icy conditions.”

  11. Loo Hoo. says:

    It’ll be fun to see what the Fitzer comes up with. Everyone knew that something had to be shady with a Blago appointment, but since nothing was neon, he had to be seated.

  12. RAMA says:

    In the run-up to the Burris appointment, I was telling anyone who’d listen, and lots who didn’t, that just because nobody had caught Burris yet didn’t mean he wasn’t lying about his ties to Blago. It was pretty clear to those of us who’ve watched him since he left state government and became a perennial candidate that he was ready, willing, and able to allow his ambition to high office to sprint well ahead of his honesty. He’s just one more dishonest Illinois political hack in a long line.

    • bonkers says:

      Why so sure? No one thought Thugojevich would be re-elected either. It’s Illinois.

      As was completed predicted by many, including those involved like the current Gov, Thugo was impeached quickly and Senator Jan Schakowsky would’ve already been in office to be the 60th Stimulus vote. It’s wasn’t “eleven dimension thought chess” to see this. It was simple political gamemanship.

      Live and learn, I guess.

      • dakine01 says:

        Given the number of Democrats in Illinois who professed interest in that seat (Reps Davis and Jackson as well as AG Madigan), do you have some special insight into Pat Quinn that makes you so certain that Schakowsky would have been appointed to the seat?

        Or is it all wishful thinking?

  13. freepatriot says:

    bye bye, burris

    now you’re just a shameful footnote

    hope ya like yer place in history, under “LIARS & PETTY CRIMINALS who never had an effect on history”

  14. freepatriot says:

    wow

    an HONEST REPUGLITARD

    it’s off topic, but FUCKING DOUBLE WOW:

    Michael Steele was being reamed out by glenn beck, and steele accidentally revealed the truth, and destroyed every fucking repuglitard argument on the books

    Steele’s response: “You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point.”

    unfookinbelievable

    finally

    a repuglitard I can agree with

  15. hctomorrow says:

    I remember, back when this Burris thing was just getting going, how many posts on FDL, as well as other liberal blogs, were about the bad ‘optics’ of keeping Burris out. At the time it seemed insane to me to worry about that, since the ‘optics’ (god I hate that term) of letting Burris in would be far worse, when he was inevitably caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Yet another corrupt Dem in Congress, that’s how the MSM (and Fox News in particular) is going to play this. For weeks on end, guaranteed.

    Plus we have the Blago/Burris circus sideshow to continue to enjoy. They’re both media freaks who love attention… I mean, who goes on The View to try and defend themselves in an impeachment proceeding, honestly? That was just bizarro world behavior.

    As for bmaz’s comments, I agree that by the time we got to Burris pulling his little stunt, going to the senate to call Reid’s bluff, it was already late to stop him getting in. It should never, ever have been allowed to go that far. Reid should have pushed a special election, the Illinois Dems should have moved overnight to block Blago from appointing anyone through any legal means, or just actually gotten off their duffs and canned him before it was too late. Failing all that, Obama et al could have made it perfectly clear to Burris that if he took this job, in 2010 the entire Dem apparatus would be against him, and Obama would personally campaign for a suitable primary challenger to oust him. Burris is above all else a conniving schemer, as this latest revelation shows. I think that would have made him reconsider.

    Now we get to watch yet another prominent Chicago Dem go on trial for corruption, whether in an actual court, or just in the court of public opinion. I’m so very thrilled.

    • bmaz says:

      And see, that is indeed the problem. Reid personally, and with a letter signed by the entire caucus, saw to it that there was no special election, and he pounded that early and often. Secondly, the only real attempt by the “Illinois Dems” was the half assed stupid attempt by Lisa Madigan the AG, that was a dead nuts silly loser the second it was conceived. Everybody, from every angle, played politics instead of what was necessary and proper if you wanted to prevent the shenanigans. that left an opening that Blago took advantage of to poke a stick in the collective eye of all involved, including us. But it was done within the boundaries to where, at that point, it would have been only far worse to not seat freaking Burris. Given what happened, and how it played out, you had to seat the idiot. That is an incredibly regrettable fact, but a fact nevertheless.

      • hctomorrow says:

        Yeah, Reid and the Illinois people really let us down, to be sure.

        On the other hand, a system that allows a Governor under investigation, in the process of being impeached for corruption, to appoint a powerful state lobbyist with financial ties to his wife (who as we all know was caught on tape neck-deep in the corruption as well, nice family there) isn’t much of a system to defend. If this is the best we can do then I think it’s essential that we ditch the appointment process for the Senate entirely and move to special elections nationwide. Who knows, maybe the political climate for passing a quick amendment to that effect will be favorable when they have to throw Burris out (or the Capitol Police have to haul him out in cuffs).

      • prostratedragon says:

        Secondly, the only real attempt by the “Illinois Dems” was the half asses stupid attempt by Lisa Madigan the AG, that was a dead nuts silly loser the second it was conceived.

        As I saw it at the time, this silly move is what kept the IL legislature from going ahead with the impeachment bill that they were going to introduce right after the arrest. Presumably, it was a favor to Assembly Speaker Mike Madigan, L. Madigan’s father, meant to give her a boost toward getting the seat either now or in 2010.

        Of course, when her request of the court failed and the legislature then dithered, that left the door open for Blago …

        • bmaz says:

          Yep. Between that and Reid, Durbin, and even Obama, dithering around it totally left the door open for Blago to stick it to them. Hey, what a shock, he did stick it to them. I wish Blago had not have done that, I wish that he had the decency of character and spirit to have resigned from office or that he had agreed to appoint whoever a special panel recommended, or whatever. But that was not what happened, and thanks to the self serving political dithering by everybody involved, Blago was left uncovered in a position to make a lawful, even if dubious, appointment. It was a regrettable clusterfuck all the way around.

  16. libbyliberal says:

    Bill Clinton philosophy… if the tree falls in the forest (or the little blue dress) but nobody sees it fall (at least right away) … it didn’t happen. The non-ethics of opportunism. Hungry Burris…. wanted his shot. Sigh. And it seems to be the gamesmanship in today’s society. Blago is seen as grossly indiscreet more than unethical.

  17. gtomkins says:

    The judge of elections to the Senate

    Those of us who thought that, in view of the known bribery plot by the IL governor reference this Senate seat, that the Senate would be remiss to fail to exercise its duty to be the finbal judge of elections to its membership, and assure itself that anyone Blago named had definitely not participated in this plot, before they seated such a candidate. Perhaps Reid spoke inartfully when he said that the Senate would not seat any Blago appointee, but I think a reasonable case could have been made at that time that in practice, no one this governor named would be sufficiently able to escape a reasonable doubt that he had bribed his way to the seat that he should be allowed to take the seat. That judgment has held up. The candidate they accepted after the most cursory and complaisant review conceivable of his possible participation, has been shown to have perjured himself about the non-existence of campaign contributions as a factor in his appointment.

    I just wish that the Senate had accepted its responsibility to sit in judgment of the validity of ths election to its membership, as required by the Constitution. Instead they lurched from one extreme position to the next, all based on atmospherics and PR, with no thought given to just doing their simple duty — which would have played better in the long run anyway than this fiasco.

    • bmaz says:

      what an amazing bunch of affirmative bull. In the first place, no no less than the Illinois supreme Court, not once, but effectively twice, upheld Blago’s competence, domain and authority to exercise the full unfettered powers of the office of governor, Including making the Burris appointment; so your entire premise if fallacious and legally absurd from the start. therefore, not only has “that judgment” NOT held up, it was never supported in the first place. Secondly, your conclusory allegation of point blanked perjury is not currently supported by any established standard or set of facts. Thirdly, your bit about wishing that the “Senate had accepted its responsibility to sit in judgment of the validity of ths election to its membership, as required by the Constitution” completely falsely states the Constitution and applicable law in every regard. Try reading the straightforward language of the 17th Amendment, the Constitution and applicable statutes of the State of Illinois please. Then try again.

  18. tanbark says:

    Major kudos to Marcy, for keeping up with this. As far as I know, she’s the only blogger that’s doing it.

    Burris has changed his story about his contacts with Blago, Inc., twice now. Plus, there’s still his rather acute reversal on Blago’s fitness to appoint him. And the only reason he came forward with the latest revision is that he figured out that Fitz had him on tape doing it.

    Everyone KNEW what he was, going into this. He’d already demonstrated that. And we also know, past any reasonable doubt, that Blago, the man who was appointing Burris, was going to be removed from office.

    The notion that if Reid and Co. had buried him in the Rules Committee for a month, while the shit came down on Blago, it would have been a threat to rule of law, is something that just doesn’t wash.

    I can hardly wait to see what else Fitz has for us.

    I make it about 50-50 that Emanuel is on those tapes, doing a little barter-lite with Blago/Harris. If that’s the case, I doubt it will be indictable, but let’s see if “legality” will protect HIM.

    • bmaz says:

      If the Senate or the Illinois House wants to go after Burris now, have at it and more power to them. Perjury may be proved up, but it is not clear cut. There is a case to be argued though, depending on how the facts are proved up.

      Your stqatement that

      The notion that if Reid and Co. had buried him in the Rules Committee for a month, while the shit came down on Blago, it would have been a threat to rule of law, is something that just doesn’t wash

      .

      is flat out hooey. Your statement that

      Plus, there’s still his rather acute reversal on Blago’s fitness to appoint him.

      is a patently false statement and unsupportable misrepresentation.

      • hctomorrow says:

        I’m sorry, but he’s not wrong on the flip-flop. Burris was at a press conference on December 13th, 2008, where he was actively campaigning to be named to Obama’s seat. He also spoke out about Madigan’s attempt to have Blago declared unfit at this same event:

        “I certainly applaud her actions,” Burris said. “Illinois is too important to have a chief executive that is incapacitated and the state will have problems functioning.”

        Link

        I like the brazen chicanery of this little show he did. He simultaneously campaigned to be named to the Senate seat and publicly supported the removal of the man whose nomination he would later, happily, accept.

        Talk about wanting (and getting!) it both ways.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh and look, here is another person that is shocked, shocked that politicians are hypocritical and pander to get into office. By your standard, Obama shouldn’t be in office because of his pandering disingenuous flip flop on the FISA Amendments Act, right? You are arguing that, right? Because by your personal high standards you would have to in order to be as consistent as what you demand out of politicians. I await your argument against our current President.

          What about Dick Durbin? He has flip flopped and vacillated so broadly over the last few months that his trail resembles the path of a flagellate. I await your argument that he should not have been seated by the current Senate body. When you are done with your arguments on those two, please present on Harry Reid. Please be prompt with your homework.

          • hctomorrow says:

            Huh. Did I mention Obama, anywhere?

            No?

            Wow. Nice cheap ad hominem attack. You’re quite the serious individual, aren’t you?

            I don’t take homework from you. You’re not in a position of authority over me, in any way, I hate to break it to you.

            I was referring to a man, Burris, who was willing to support removing Blago until Blago offered him a gig, even as he was campaigning to get said gig. A lobbyist before the state of Illinois, with direct business ties to Blago’s wife, who as it turns out lied repeatedly to the Illinois people and government in order to shield Blago until he could get into the Senate.

            This isn’t about my ‘personal high standards’, this is about venal behavior more worthy of organized crime than our government, where silence and loyalty are valued above all else, and the public trust is thrown right out the window.

            For the record, I detest Obama’s flip-flop on the FISA issue, and believe his backtracking on civil liberties issues will forever mar his presidency.

            That being said, Obama flip-flopped out in public, and the public had the opportunity to vote on his behavior. He won anyway.

            Burris covered up bribery solicitation and hid the truth until he could get himself into office, and is only coming forward now out of fear of FBI wiretaps.

            How are those equivalent?

  19. tanbark says:

    BTW, as noted on Kos, the Illinois House REPUBLICANS now are saying that they want to take a look at Burris for perjury charges.

    I don’t know how this will play with Burris’s…compeers (as the cowbirds in Walt Kelly’s old strip, “Pogo Possum” used to be referred to) in the Senate, but it might turn out to be positively scrumptious for them, as they have it both ways. Whining about the thwarting of law, and racism, to get Burris IN, and now, there’s the possibility that there could be perjury charges filed against him in the Illinois legislature, so that the Senate repubs can point to him, and insist that the democrats take it in the shorts to get him OUT.

    I said he was a ticking time bomb. I’ve seen nothing to change my mind.

  20. tanbark says:

    I don’t know what planet you’re living on, but weeks before he was seated, Burris supported Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, when she called for Blago to be removed, and then, a matter of days later, AFTER Blagojevich had appointed him, he changed his tune.

    YOU, as you support Burris’s seating, can pronounce that kind of political whoring as “not illegal”, but if you put the bar any lower for the character of a Senate nominee, an arthritic cockroach could get over it.

    Which is why THIS is happening:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..66974.html

    The idea that the man’s character, or lack of it, has no bearing on whether or not he should be seated, and that the Senate has no right to pass judgement on whom it seats, is just nonsense.

    As more shit comes down on Blago, and, it looks like, Burris along with him, you’re going to be one busy poster.

    • newtonusr says:

      We followed the law when we allowed Bush, known war criminal, liar, wire-tapper, liar, idiot and liar, to be sworn in a second time. His character is on us.
      Follow the law at all times is also on us.

  21. tanbark says:

    Newton; George Bush was elected to the office. In the first one, it took the Supreme Court, with two of his father’s appointee’s, to put him in the white house, but there was an election. In fact, two.

    Burris was appointed, and he was appointed by a governor who (Bmaz ignores) was removed from office by the Illinois Senate on a 59-0 vote, a few weeks after he was appointed.

    Whatever we think of Bush, there was no politician who’s been arrested for trying to sell the office of the presidency, who appointed him to it.

    There is also that little clause in the constitution about the Senate having the final say as to whom serves there. There may be contradictory statutes which cloud the issue but the best that can be said is that it might be for the Supreme Court to decide the issue. And I’m still waiting for Bmaz, or you, or anyone else to tell me what would have been illegal in putting Burris’ appointment into the Rules Committee while all this played out.

    So. Let me ask the people who supported Burris’ seating this question:

    Do you think that it would have been tougher or easier to get him in, after the legislature voted unanimously to remove Blago?

    I mean, we all knew what was almost certain to happen, which is why the people shrieking “Do it NOW!”, including, of course, the republicans, didn’t want to wait for any more information about Burris’s dealings with Robert Blago, most notably, Burris’s refusing to talk about those specific contacts about contributing to Blago’s re-election commmittee, to come out.

    As democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says:

    “…to say that he wasn’t given the opportunity to explain himself, is a load of B.S.”

    What’s so bizarre about this is that the people who were so eager to seat Burris to protect the honor and integrity of the legislative process, are insisting that Burris’s character, or his demonstrable lack of it, has no bearing on whether or not he should have been seated. Since he wasn’t convicted of anything, nor indicted, that’s enough; let him in.

    There were plenty of reasons (as we’re now seeing) for the democrats to do the right thing, and put Burris on hold, while the information about Blago and his dealings came out. Now that his dealings involved his brother hustling Burris for campaign help, the screws are tightening.
    Burris, in his sworn testimony of Jan. 8th, said he had only spoken with Monk. Now he’s saying that he “likely” spoke to former Blagojevich advisers Doug Schofield and John Wyma about the seat, last June. He also asked about the possibility of being appointed, when he talked with Blago’s chief of staff, John Harris, who was arrested with Blago.

    There is going to be some fine hair-splitting about whether or not Burris perjured himself in his testimony to the Illinois legislature, and he can put the best face on it, but I don’t think Fitz will doctor the tapes to help him look better. Which, of course, is why he decided that he’d better try to get out in front of the situation and fess up about the other conversations with Blago’s people.

    I don’t think this is over. Burris says that he told Robert Blagojevich that he wouldn’t raise money for Blago’s campaign…

    Let’s see what Fitz says. :o)

    • newtonusr says:

      The law, no matter how Byzantine, is the law. We should not go down the road 43 did. Never.
      Follow the law, and change it if it needs changing. But always follow the law.

  22. bmaz says:

    Burris was appointed, and he was appointed by a governor who (Bmaz ignores) was removed from office by the Illinois Senate on a 59-0 vote, a few weeks after he was appointed.

    What you ignore is that the unanimous vote was AFTER the appointment, and in fact after Burris had been lawfully seated. You now use this after the fact occurrence to justify your disingenuous argument. For one last time and so that no reader is misinformed by this misleading bunk you put forth, the Illinois Supreme Court had the matter squarely before it. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled as a matter of law that Blagojevich was competent to exercise the duties of his office at the time, and he did so. At that point, you now argue that the Senate should just ignore the proper exercise of authority in designating its Senator by the State of Illinois. Furthermore, you argue that they should do so effectively on their whim, not based on any firm established facts or knowledge of a ground for exclusion, but on their whim, because it is the mob mentality of the moment. This is the precedent you then wish to leave for the Senate to use and abuse for time immemorial going forward. This is so short sightedly ridiculous that it is simply stunning.

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