WASHINGTON--Bud Jackson is a political consultant who has worked campaigns for Roland Burris in the past. When Burris was appointed to the Senate, he was helping out a bit, pro bono, he told me. Now he is dumping on others who, he said, ill advised the junior senator from Illinois.
But Jackson, who makes a living in political communication, wants everyone to know he has nothing to do with the hole the senator has dug himself with his changing stories about his relations with people in ousted Gov. Blagojevich's orbit.
That's why very early this morning he sent out a memo making clear he was not advising Burris in this latest episode, which resulted in massive pressure on Burris to resign.
"His team's public relations efforts have been less than stellar," Jackson wrote. "Turns out that, because my business is political communication, I need to let folks know that I have not been involved in the decisions that have led to the public relations fiasco over the past week. In fact, I actively counseled his team to take very different actions, to no avail."
Concerning Senator Roland Burris
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Members of the Media:
As many of you may recall I actively helped my former client, Roland Burris, during his run-up to being successfully seated in the United States Senate.
Since that time, well ... his team's public relations efforts have been less than stellar. Turns out that, because my business is political communication, I need to let folks know that I have not been involved in the decisions that have led to the public relations fiasco over the past week. In fact, I actively counseled his team to take very different actions, to no avail.
I have not returned countless calls from my friends in the media, partly because my role no longer includes responding to media queries, now that the Senator has his own official staff. If you are a member of the media, please contact Jim O'Connor, the new communications director (being shot out of a cannon) for Senator Burris at his Washington, DC office (202) 224-2852.
I know based on my own private conversations and experience that Senator Roland Burris has been the victim of bad advice and, when set-up to fail, he certainly shall we say, has had less than adeqaute attempts to better and more clearly inform the public at a press conference, or two. It has ben painful to watch. Regardless, the senator has more than 30 years of public service and his integrity has never been questioned. I know that he has done nothing inappropriate despite the impression that has been left.
Despite what may or may not happen as a result of the mess that has been made, I stand behind my former client. To quote the movie Oh, Brother Where Art Thou Senator Burris is "in a tight spot." It's an unfortunate distraction for Illinois people who are most concerned about their jobs and their homes. It's not so bad if you're a Republican, a Democrat gunning for his seat, or if you're trying to sell newspapers -- they all benefit by painting everything in its worst possible context.
So to sum it all up: it's complicated.