When Roland Burris was first appointed to his Senate seat, many wondered why he’d allow himself to get caught up in the spectacle orchestrated by disgraced con-man and ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. He wanted to be a senator, obviously, but how many other people would be willing to embrace the most toxic politician in the country to become one? There was just something off about this kindly old man. Of course, the more we got to know Burris, the more a circuslike atmosphere seemed to suit him. Nevertheless, Senate Democrats allowed Burris to take the Senate seat he was appointed to, but only on the condition that his testimony in front of the Illinois legislature convinced them that he was untainted by Blago. Burris made it out unscathed, and was admitted to the Senate. Hooray!
Unfortunately, Burris kind of lied. During said testimony, he claimed he’d only been in contact with one of Blago’s associates prior to being appointed. But over the weekend we all learned about an affidavit Burris recently filed, clarifying that he’d actually had contacts with five of them, and was even asked to raise money for the embattled governor at the same time he was pushing for a Senate appointment. And Burris admitted last night that he then tried to fulfill that request. So: Our gut instincts were right. The guy is truly shady! Now both Republicans and Democrats in the state, including the attorney general, are seeking an inquiry to see if he committed perjury. Whether he escapes those charges or not, it’s looking like Burris’s tenure in the Senate will be short-lived, as none of this bodes well for his 2010 reelection bid. But it won’t be for naught — he still gets to put “Senator” on his creepy mausoleum, even if he was a terrible one.
Burris inquiries urged [Chicago Tribune]