Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Burris chief of staff quits


WASHINGTON--Embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) took another blow on Friday--his chief of staff, Darrell Thompson quit.

Thompson was detailed to the Burris operation from the staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) in order to give Burris top notch experienced Senate help to get his office up and running. Thompson was a top staffer in President Obama's 2004 Illinois Senate campaign.

As Burris resists calls for him to step down, Thompson pulled the plug on is short tenure.

"Three weeks ago I was temporarily detailed to serve as Chief of Staff to Senator Roland W. Burris. Though my tenure was relatively brief, I enjoyed and valued my time with Senator Burris, his entire staff and his other advisors," Thompson said in a statement.

"As of today, my role as Interim Chief of Staff to Senator Burris will end. I will resume, in full, my duties as Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."


Can't you just picture Burris barricading himself in his Senate office? Capitol Hill security speaking through bullhorns...the entire Senate on "lockdown" efforts are made to flush this character from the premises? I can. And, a straitjacket will be needed for him, afterward, as he emerges, raving and in tears, to be carted-off for "observation"...

This reminds me of Henry Kissinger's reminiscences of President Richard Nixon, drunk and of rambling speech, threatening to deploy troops to surround the White House to prevent his extrication, as "Watergate" began to collapse his Presidency...

After Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin were unable to deny Burris the Senate seat legally, Reid resorted to the surreptitious act of planting one of his staff members in Buriss' Senate Office. This was a bad move on Burris' part and Reid effectively had access to everything Burris did or said. At the appropriate time, Reid pulled the string and the planted snake bit Burris by resigning. This is calculated to make Burris look bad. Reid is a "nacash".

There is no news in the above. Darrell Thompson had finished his work; he was “on loan” from another assignment, and he was called back to that.

Senator Roland Burris should just keep on keeping on as the junior Senator from Illinois, which he is. He will do fine.

We have enough critical problems in this country to worry about, and that includes the many fine citizens in the State of Illinois. They, and the rest of the country don't need to take the time to watch the theatrics of new current Governor Pat Quinn, and writers of the Chicago Tribune, as they both see an opportunity to "pile on", and beat up again on the former Governor Blagojevich.

My message to both new Governor Quinn and Tribune writers: Find something to do; but right now ---- you are talking to yourselves.

Our economy is "tanking", people are losing their jobs, thousands upon thousands are being laid off, families are losing their homes, stimulus money by the billions are going out to companies who then turn around and give some of that to key executives in bonuses -- while thousands upon thousands have no health insurance, and now newly appointed (by about two months) Governor Quinn of Illinois and some Chicago Tribune writers want us to listen to their rants because Senator Burris forgot to mention he was asked to conduct a fund raiser for former Governor Blagojevich, and was unsuccessful ---- and we the rest of the country should be concerned about that.

And as I understand it, this was before any talk of a possible Senatorial appointment. I think Governor Quinn and the Tribune writers have been reading too many political novels, because they probably have nothing else to do.

Continuing, all the rest of country that I know of, is either looking for a job, or glad we have one to go to tomorrow.

It's over everybody. Let's all go back to work.

Attention: All great Illinois residents

The offices of Senator Roland W. Burris are open for constituent services.

Contacts are as follows:

523 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2854

Chicago Senate Office
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 886-3506

Springfield Senate Office
607 East Adams, Suite 1520
Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 492-5089

Additionally, you can go to, punch in Senator Roland Burris at the upper right, and you will see an excellent biographical background.

Thank you.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 20, 2009 3:30 PM.

White House suggests time running out for Burris was the previous entry in this blog.

Burris talks to Feds on Saturday. Sun-Times-NBC/5 exclusive is the next entry in this blog.

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