Thursday, February 5, 2009

Burris hard to get into touch with...

I'm not sure that this is going to bode very well for our Sen. Burris:
Illinois residents anxious to share their thoughts with newly-appointed Sen. Roland Burris are finding it's not an easy task.

Wayne Lovern, of Chatham, said he called Burris’ office in Washington five times on Tuesday and got nothing but busy signals.

To make matters worse, Burris' Web page doesn't offer an e-mail address, only an extended curriculum vitae on the 74-year-old pol.

Lovern said he ended up e-mailing Sen. Dick Durbin's office and asking them to get the message -- his opinion of the economic stimulus bill pending in the Senate -- to the junior senator.
FTR, I'm not sure if they're referring to the Chatham neighborhood or the downstate city of Chatham, IL.

His staff is on the case however, if nothing else:
The newspaper got busy signals, an answering device that took a message that wasn’t returned and an answering device that said it couldn’t take a message because the mailbox was full. On Wednesday morning, a live person answered the phone and provided an e-mail address,

Someone from Burris’ office subsequently left a voice mail but did not provide a callback number. When a reporter tried calling Burris’ office number, it was either busy or was answered by the answering device with a full mailbox.

By contrast, it took just one call for a reporter to reach a live person at the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, who was sworn in Jan. 27, two weeks after Burris.

“We need to be ramped up, and we will be ramped up,” said Fred Lebed, an unofficial aide and adviser to Burris who has worked with the senator since the 1970s. “It’s just been that the volume of calls and e-mails coming into the office has been phenomenal. We’re not at the staff level we should be.

“I can assure you,” Lebed said. “We recognize the problem.”

Thompson called about 90 minutes later.

“There is no excuse, and I’m not going to try to make excuses,” said Thompson, who promised that he would call Lovern and Franklin as well. “People should be able to reach us.”
Is there anyone in the ward who's attempted to reach their neighbor Sen. Burris at all. Let's us know. Post a comment or send an email thesixthward (AT) 1chicago (DOT) net.
These stories are via the CapFax morning shorts.

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