Blogojevich-Burris Pay-to-Play: Chapter 2

If anyone still believed that Sen. Roland Burris, appointed in January to the Senate seat vacacted by now-President Barack Obama, was a rocket scientist, such misperception should be dispelled by the May 27th interview that Chris Matthews conducted with the senator on MSNBC’s “Hardball.”  The topic of the program was electronic surveillance tapes from November 2008 between former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s brother, Rob, and Roland Burris who at the time was seeking to have the then-governor appoint him to the Obama senate seat. 

While he successfully dodged allegations during his nomination process last winter that he was enmeshed in the “pay-to-play” scandal then enveloping Blagojevich, the recently released tapes of the Rob Blagojevich-Roland Burris conversations raise those allegations anew.  In fact, the most recent evidence indicates clearly that the then-senator wannabee engaged in discussions with the then-governor’s brother to raise money for the governor and to at least consider doing so in the name of another person so as to avoid attention being drawn to himself.  Although Sen. Burris now claims the taped conversations do not incriminate him because he subsequently did not raise money for or donate money to Blagojevich, the transcripts clearly establish a pay-to-play scenario.

Still, the most incomprehensible aspect of this latest chapter in the Blagojevich-Burris soap opera, is not the transcripts themselves, but the fact that Burris agreed to participate in a live phone interview with Chris Matthews on “Hardball” to discuss the surveillance tapes.  Matthews, widely respected as one of television’s toughest and most well-prepared questioners, peppered Burris with questions about the clear meaning of the tapes, as Burris lamely attempted to explain them away.  The fact that Burris agreed to participate in such a losing proposition as to try and best Matthews on live TV, raises a serious question about the senator’s capacity to remain in office.  That his staff let him make such a foolish move raises similar questions about the competency of his staff.

The Senate itself ought to take action against Burris, whose earlier statements in support of his nomination appear clearly at odds with his statements now; but in the past the Senate has shown little interest in so disciplining its members.  Perhaps the courts or the voters in Illinois will remove him, but this is not likely to happen, if at all, until he has had many more months to cast important votes in the Senate — decisions that require more depth of intellect than the sitting senator displayed in this latest episode.

15 comments Add your comment

The AMAZING GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 29th, 2009
7:07 am

Now now, Bob.

If there were an intelligence requirement for Congress, would Dixie have anyone in the House or Senate?

Have a conversation with Lynn Westmoreland some time. It’s like talking to a twelve-year-old on the short bus.


May 29th, 2009
8:33 am

If the Feds wiretapped the other 99 senators, there would be 99 other “pay-to-play” scandels.
Crooks all.


May 29th, 2009
9:46 am

Mr. Burris needs to be removed immediately.

Tom Martin

May 29th, 2009
9:47 am

Well, since we are working on the quota system (see next appointment to supreemes) and half of the American populace is above 100 IQ then the other half appears to be represented as well.


May 29th, 2009
9:56 am

Why waste time worrying about Burris? He has to run for election next year, and the voters of Illinois will take care of the problem then.


May 29th, 2009
11:39 am

If he goes to church on sunday, will that make it all ok ?


May 29th, 2009
1:28 pm

I agree with Nan, then perhaps they will put in a Hispanic Woman
just to be different ;>)

Edith McClusky

May 29th, 2009
1:31 pm

They’r all crook that the reason Barr is no longer there, one more want hurt. To bad you didn’t say any thing when Bush was there. But this is all about a black man being President of these U. S. This nation that got us into this mess has been very disrepectful of him, they have never before been this way because they all was white. You’re there which is good and the one’s just like Mr. Barr can leave no one is making you stay there, the White House will be a better place without.

Brad Steel

May 29th, 2009
2:29 pm

You’re dumber than Burris.


May 29th, 2009
2:40 pm

The Amazing….If everyone in Dixie is so ignorant then why stay? Delta is ready when you are and I’ll be happy to pay for your one way ticket!!

Stewie Griffin

May 29th, 2009
3:27 pm

Right on Bob! If only you would have gotten elected back in November?

Michael H. Smith

May 30th, 2009
9:03 am

When an OP-ED piece like this is written it becomes harder and harder to dismiss the “Fumbly Values” portion of the Libertarian Party plank. Very clearly America has long made one particular form prostitution legal, while giving the other form prostitution illegally a very bad name.


May 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

Brad Steel-
YOU have a stupid name. And your mom is dumb.


May 30th, 2009
4:53 pm


May 31st, 2009
3:11 pm

Burris flat out lied. He misled Congress and the American People. He is Tainted and a disgrace to the honor and integrity of the Congress of the United States. He should vacate the seat immediately. Nuff said on this.