Thursday, April 9, 2009

Will Burris run?

Just one problem, legal costs:
U.S. Sen. Roland Burris said Wednesday his legal expenses related to investigations of his contacts with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich have reached $500,000.

Burris made the comment after touring the corn-to-ethanol research operation at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He met later in the day with steelworkers in Granite City.

Burris, whose appointment to the Senate seat by Blagojevich has been the subject of investigation, said the visits were part of a "learning and listening tour."

The Senate Ethics Committee and the Sangamon County state's attorney are investigating the testimony Burris gave in January to an Illinois House panel about his contacts with Blagojevich.
Burris said Wednesday he couldn't go into specifics about the investigations.

"Rest assured," he said. "I stand by my reputation."
Burris is seeking Senate approval to establish a legal defense fund that would allow him to solicit contributions to offset his lawyer bills.

"My legal bills have reached half a million dollars at this point," Burris said.

The Centralia native said he still hasn't decided whether he'll seek election to the office.

"I've not made any decision. I'm trying to get my Senate legs under me," Burris told reporters.

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