Senate Leader tells Burris the Clown to step down



Hat Tip:

Sen. Dick Durbin urged Sen. Roland Burris on Tuesday to quit his job as the junior senator from Illinois, but the embattled senator has no plans of leaving the Senate.

In a private meeting that lasted nearly an hour, Durbin told Burris that the growing controversy over his appointment would make it difficult for him to continue serving in the Senate. Durbin also expressed disappointment that Burris did not reveal his extensive contacts and his fund raising efforts for the ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who appointed him to the seat on Dec. 30.

“I told him that under the circumstances, I would consider resigning if I were in his shoes,” Durbin said. “He said he would not resign. That is his conclusion. At this point, I suggested to him that he had to do everything in his power to bring all the facts out as completely as possible.”

Durbin warned Burris that he would lose a Democratic primary if he were to run in 2010, but Burris said he has not made a decision on whether to run next fall.

The meeting was a remarkable chapter in the controversy involving Blagojevich, the ousted former governor who was arrested last December for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich defied party leaders Dec. 30 by announcing that Burris was his choice to fill Obama’s seat, setting off a battle over whether the Senate should seat Burris. Under enormous pressure, Democratic Senate leaders seated Burris and swore him in on the condition he present valid paperwork and testify truthfully before state legislators in the Blagojevich impeachment case.

Some Senate Democrats are now privately regretting that they relented and seated Burris in the first place.

The most recent controversy started Feb. 14 when news broke that Burris had submitted an affidavit saying he’d spoken with several Blagojevich associates, including the governor’s brother, Rob, about his interest in the seat. That statement appeared to diverge from his Jan. 8 testimony to state legislators where he only discussed one contact with the former governor.

And last week, Burris dropped another bombshell saying he tried to raise money for the then-governor at the time of expressing his interest in the seat.

“The fact that he did not volunteer – volunteer the names like people like Rod Blagojevich’s brother was troubling to me,” Durbin said.

10 thoughts on “Senate Leader tells Burris the Clown to step down

  1. imhotep

    Burris wants to put “Senator” on that monument of his that lists his accomplishments. Later someone will have to add “…for a month before he was disgraced and kicked out” He’s clearly out of his league, and I appreciate Obama that much more for sailing thru the morass of Illinois politics relatively cleanly.

  2. zeitgeist9000

    I’m pretty close to joining the chorus asking for Burris’ resignation. But then, part of me says, “There’d be no blacks in the Senate. Let’s not fool ourselves that we’re living in a post-racial utopia where Burris’ race makes no difference to the perceived demographics of the Senate as a whole.” Then the other part of me says, “Shut up. We have a black president so it doesn’t matter!”

    Blago was more of a genius than I thought….

    From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

    “Burris Son Got Job from Blago”

    The son of embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) “is a federal tax deadbeat who landed a $75,000-a-year state job under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich five months ago,” the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

    “Blagojevich’s administration hired Roland W. Burris II as a senior counsel for the state’s housing authority Sept. 10 — about six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service slapped a $34,163 tax lien on Burris II and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure suit on his South Side house.”

  3. From DailyKos:

    Sebelius For HHS
    by DemFromCT
    Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 03:45:04 PM PST
    From the WaPo (and multiple sources):

    Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted President Obama’s nomination to become Health and Human Services Secretary this afternoon, according to administration officials. Sebelius will replace former senator Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew from consideration last month.

    “This evening, the President asked Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, and she accepted,” one administration official said. “The President will formally announce the nomination on Monday afternoon at the White House.”

    Several Democratic sources said, however, that it is less likely the moderate Democrat will be offered the job of director of a new White House Office of Health Reform, a post Daschle had negotiated for himself as a way to increase his influence in the new administration.

  4. Sebelius was formally introduced today for HHS. if nobody else thanks you, I will, SB. I believe your piece on Bredesen, as well as others in the blogosphere and elsewhere, is what sunk his chances. The voices were loud against him, and yours definitely helped.

    I was hoping you’d do a piece on Obama’s State of the Union.

    Please don’t do one on the Whitney and Bobby of this generation. There are other topics that deserve your attention than the woman beater and the woman who won’t leave him- Black Celebrity version.

  5. zeitgeist9000

    rikyrah: I second. SB may have single-handedly sunk Bredesen’s chances….

    In other news, Michael Steele got butt f*cked by Rush Limbaugh today.

    There were no survivors.

  6. I don’t care if Burris eats his own feces. He’s the only Black member of the US Senate and, if he steps down, there might not be another one for another ten years.

    In fact, if Burris steps down, whites will say, “We tried having a Black in the US Senate, but it didn’t work out.” (I know that’s absurd, but would the absurdity of it make any difference? No.)

    Based on President Obama’s appointments, I’m not even sure President Obama would make any effort to see a Black person hold the seat that Obama left, if Burris left the seat.

    Let’s put it this way: If Burris leaves the seat, there is at least a fifty percent chance that it will then to to a white person, leaving the US Senate all white. That, alone, is enough reason for Burris to stay, since he supports DC statehood and whomever replaces him might not do so.

    If in 2010 Burris’ state’s electorate sees the choice as between him and a Black candidate who is more serious, then that will be a victory.

    When Dick Durbin proposes a solution to the fact that there are 12.8% Blacks in the US and 1% Blacks in the US Senate, then I might care about Durbin. Right now Durbin’s only response to our lack of representation is to exacerbate it. So, I would call upon Burris to ignore Durbin and everyone else who wants Burris to resign. There are many worse senators in the US Senate than Burris. I’d rather see some of THEM resign and some Blacks be appointed and elected to replace them.

  7. What’s going on? It’s been a while. Things are going well my way. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to talk with you but I wanted to say that you kept me sane during law school with many profound talks in the library. I won’t forget those times and I am grateful.


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