As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Smart! Not Like Everybody Says! Like Dumb, I'm Smart!

I am sad I missed Roland Burris' press conference:

Roland Burris is on TV giving a speech defending himself against allegations he lied about his role in being solicited and then trying to help raise money for Rod Blagojevich to help get the senate seat. And it's basically identical to a series of speeches Blago himself gave when he was swirling around the bowl: How dare you give me any crap for lying about that fundraising stuff when, my god, I just helped pass the Stimulus Bill, SCHIP and the Lily Ledbetter bill.

A-Rod's presser was less excruciating. Where do they get these guys in Illinois?

It was obvious from the moment anyone accepted an offer from Rod Blagojevich to be appointed that they had only a passing familiarity with ethics and standards. And now it looks like the dam is going to burst. The Senate Ethics Committee is opening a probe into Burris' possible perjury, and Illinois Rep. Phil Hare is calling for resignation:

“Senator Burris’ story has now evolved several times since he testified before the Illinois House Impeachment Committee in December. The only logical conclusion is that he is not being entirely straight with the people of Illinois.

“A cloud of corruption has hung over our state and its leaders for too long. The impeachment and removal of former Governor Blagojevich was a step in the right direction. But just as it looked like a new era in Illinois politics was possible, we suffer yet another setback. It is like a recurring nightmare.

“Given this latest revelation, I believe it is in the best interest of all Illinoisans that Senator Burris resigns. Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient.”

Citizens also deserve to have a full say in who is their representative in Washington. If Burris doesn't survive and removes himself from the Senate, there ought to be a special election. The new Governor can ask the legislature to approve one. This only highlights how broken the appointment process is for vacancies. It's not the exception, it's the rule.

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