Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Trailblazer" is Toast...

I had a bad feeling about this dude.

I had a bad feeling from the start.

But now, my bad feelings about the guy may not matter. Sooner or later, Senator Roland Burris is toast.

It wasn't just the fact that he took an appointment by the most ethically challenged Governor in recent memory. It wasn't just the fact that he turned out to be far, far, far down the list, or that others had reservations about taking the appointment from Blagojevich and wisely said "hell no".

And it sure as hell wasn't about his grave, either.

When Harry Reid said, that the Senate would not seat him, I cheered. There quickly appeared an article in Slate.com that backed him up, saying that the Powell Case, the precedent most frequently mentioned in relation of the Burris case did not necessarily apply to the Burris case. Oh man, I loved that. I was so happy.

But then, it was just about the only article out there saying the Senate was right to not seat him. All the others, on the other hand, said the opposite.

Even my dead old Dad was against me. (Yeah, I'm talkin' about you, old man.)

In the end, he was seated. In the end, the math was too good. The Senate had to cave, and wanted to put this business behind it.

But as the cheese stood alone, I warned my Dad, I warned a lot of my friends…this guy was bad news.

And in this case, the Tombstone had a lot to do with it.

One of the conditions Harry Reid had put on Burris getting his seat was his testimony before the Impeachment Proceedings in the Illionois Senate. In a nutshell, "If you sufficiently bury Blagojevich…if you prove to the Senate you are your own man, we'll get this over with and let you in."

Thus, Roland Burris went before the Illinois Senate.

And thus, Roland Burris may have perjured himself.

During his January 8th Impeachment Testimony, Burris was asked this question:

QUESTION: Did you talk to any members of the governor‘s staff or anyone closely related to the governor including family members or any lobbyists connected with him, including, let me throw out some names, John Harris, Rob Blagojevich, Doug Scofield, Bob Greenleaf, Lon Monk, John Wyma? Did you talk to anyone who is associated with the governor about your desire to seek the appointment prior to the governor‘s arrest?

BURRIS: I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed. Yes.

As Keith said last night, this was on its nose truthful, but at the same time a little vague, so he was pressed again.

QUESTION: The point is, I was trying to ask did you speak to anyone on the governor‘s staff prior to the governor‘s arrest or any of those individuals or anybody who was closely related to the governor?

BURRIS: I recall having a meeting with Lon Monk about my partner and I trying to get continued business and I did bring it up, it must have been in September, maybe it was in July of ‘08 that, you know, if you are close to the governor let him know that I am certainly interested in the seat.

So, Burris admits to talking to Lon Monk, one of Blagojevich's hacksabout wanting the Senate Seat in September or July of 2008, nice and specific.

The problem was he forgot to mention that he had talked to Rob Blagojevich about the Senate Seat as well. That would be Rob Blagojevich, Governor Rod's Brother, and apparently Chief of Staff (unindicted). The other Chief of Staff, John Harris was indicted and arrested along with the human hair helmet.

On February 4th, Senator Burris filed an affidavit amending his testimony before the Illinois Senate, where he goes from zero conversations with Rob (not Rod) Blagojevich to three conversations with Rob (not Rod) Blagojevich.

Oh, and Rob (not Rod) Blagojevich may have asked him for a contribution in advance of his getting the Senate seat.

Let me illustrate some of the problems this presents.

One, this affidavit is filed a month after Senator Burris's original testimony before the Illinois Senate, and a week after Governor Blagojevich is impeached. The timing couldn't be worse because it makes it look like Burris wanted the seat so bad that he kept his mouth shut (given the pressure put on him by Harry Reid) during the ImpeachmentTestimony, and once his seat was secure, in his mind, he "legally" covered his ass by filing the affidavit. This is what I think actually happened.

Two, another problem is that he has admitted that he sought to raise funds for Governor Blagojevich before he got the appointment. That has the effect of making it look like q quid pro quo situation for a Governor who's about to go to jail for asking for one too many quid pro quos.

Three, then there's the matter of Rod (not Rob) Blagojevich was asking him for a contribution before hand. Same instance, in reverse. Uhhh, isn't this the behavior that landed his brother in the hoosegow in the first place??

And given the gravity of the situation, how exactly does Senator Burris not remember this [BLEEP] when he's asked that question on January 8th? This is where Burris's Legal jeopardy lies.

And is it a coincidence that this all happened on January 8th, Elvis's birthday? You know the Governor is a devoted fan.

Again, everything is timing. Burris could well be innocent of the charges (I doubt it, but hell, you never know), but the people of Illinois and the Senate Ethics Committee have every right to start asking what did the Senator know and when did he know it.

It doesn't help when Burris gives answers like this went pressed:

No. The inconsistencies are coming from you all. The inconsistencies are coming from the press. There are no inconsistencies in my first voluntary affidavit, my testimony before the impeachment committee and no inconsistencies in the second affidavit that I submitted. None whatsoever. Those are factual. That‘s the truth and God knows we shouldn‘t even be here.

This is the answer of a defensive [BLEEP], with no answers. When you have the Law, pound the law. When you have nothing, pound the table.

Look, alledged Senator Burris, like it or not, there are inconsistencies. They may be explainable, but it's going to take a whole lot more than your word at this point.

This is a supposedly safe Senate seat for 2010. Burris shouldn't be running, but everyone in Illinois is acting like he is. The sooner this gets put down, the better for Democrats.

At the same time, a wise Politician, one holding on to some manner of dignity might spare us all this nonsense and resign right now.

But is there anyone from Illinois Government that has shown that kind of dignity recently?

UPDATE: 5:44pm Pacific: According to HuffPo, Toast is also a definition of when, shall it be now or 2010? (Hint: They say 2010.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The story that keeps on givin'