Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UPDATED x2: Our untrustworthy junior Senator

Burris: I'm open to Senate ethics investigation - Tribune

So let's get to the truth of this matter. Put this behind us and then hopefully find someone else who's qualified to sit in the old seat of Barack Obama. Not to say Burris isn't qualified, but because of the circumstance of the appointment and even allegations that he's raised funds for the impeached Governor or that he wasn't forthcoming on who he talked to about the Senate seat he now occupies, I don't think he can possibly get re-elected next year. Still let's get the truth out!

Burris now acknowledges fundraising effort for Blagojevich - Clout St.
U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.

Burris' latest comments in Peoria Monday night were the first time he has publicly said he was actively trying to raise money for Blagojevich. Previously Burris has left the impression that he always balked at the issue of raising money for the governor because of his interest in the Senate appointment.

In comments to reporters after appearing at a Democratic dinner, the senator several times contradicted his latest under-oath affidavit that he quietly filed with the Illinois House impeachment panel earlier this month. That affidavit was itself an attempt to clean up his live, sworn testimony to the panel Jan. 8, when he omitted his contacts with several Blagojevich insiders.

You can read Burris' give-and-take with reporters here
A link to a Tribune alert in my e-mail. It's really turning into a mess. Previous links and stories below.

The Capitol Fax has a round up of stories regarding the perjury allegations against Senator Roland Burris.

Marathon Pundit believes Sen. Burris should just resign now.

State Rep. John Fritchey who's eyeing a promotion to a US Congressional seat with special elections coming up to replace current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sent out a press release urging special elections for all US Senate vacancies:
State Representative John Fritchey (D-Chicago), a candidate in the upcoming Special Primary Election for Illinois’ 5th Congressional District vacancy, announced that, if elected, he will work toward the passage of a constitutional amendment requiring special elections in the case of any vacancies in a United States Senate seat. Rep. Fritchey’s statement comes as controversy continues to swirl around the recent appointment of Sen. Roland Burris by impeached former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
“While those of us in Illinois have seen firsthand the concerns that can arise when the will of the voters is replaced by the actions of one person in filling a Senate seat,” stated Rep. Fritchey, “it is clear that we are not alone in this situation and that something must be done on a national level.”

The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for popular election of Senators, but allows for the Governor of a state to be empowered to fill any vacancy in a Senate seat. Fritchey is advocating for passage of H.J.R.21, which proposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require direct elections for all vacant Senate seats. The measure was introduced by Rep. David Drier (R- California) and is supported by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan). Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin). The bipartisan resolution would become effective upon passage and ratification of a constitutional amendment.

“Recent events in Illinois, New York, Delaware and New Hampshire have led to renewed concerns in each of those states about the manner in which Senate vacancies are permitted to be filled,” explained Rep. Fritchey. “It is essential that the appropriate safeguards be put in place to ensure that the holder of an office as important as that of a United States Senator is filled solely in accordance with the will of the voters.”
Read yesterday's post from the CapFax where Rich Miller attempts to describe Burris' real problem.

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