In a news release reacting to the massive corruption indictment lodged against former Gov. Blagojevich, U.S. Sen. Roland Burris praises the ex-governor for his final act in office --appointing Burris. Burris calls the appointment of himself "exceptional" and says he has a: "reputation of integrity and superior public service to the U.S. Senate seat."
Weeks after accepting the position, Burris plunged into a national scandal after the Sun-Times revealed he had dealings with the governor's brother about fund-raising but failed to initially disclose the discussions in sworn testimony.
Here's his release:
Response To Reaction From Senator Roland Burris On Blagojevich Indictment
It is another sad day in our state's history that one more governor has been indicted by federal prosecutors. During the 2002 gubernatorial primary, Rod Blagojevich was a worthy opponent who ran on a platform of reform. Now, that indictment charges have been filed, the people of Illinois will have the final say on whether he squandered the incredible generousity the people of Illinois gave him--their trust.
To Blagojevich's credit, he decided as a final act it was important to appoint someone with an exceptional reputation of integrity and superior public service to the U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich gave Illinois the chance to accomplish three worthy goals -- save the taxpayer's an expensive special election, give the state a representative of proven experience, and show the rest of the world Illinois has good officials to take us beyond our tainted image. His last words were, "Please don't let the allegations against me taint this good and honest man," Blagojevich said at the time.
To the extent those goals have not been met, the Democratic leadership can blame its own tainted motivations. They have tried their best to discredit one of the few "clean" politicians Illinois has ever known, in order to do exactly what Blagojevich warned against. They saw one of his final official acts as an attempt to outwit them. So, instead of joining forces with Burris to work to get beyond this sad chapter, they decided to extend the "Blagojevich burlesque" for their own political motivations.