Chicago Sun-Times
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Burris in the bunker. Cancels Thursday schedule. Durbin frosty Burris statement


WASHINGTON--Embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is cancelling his Thursday schedule, where he was to have met with Rockford area civic, elected and religious leaders as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent out a very frosty statement, saying Burris failed to disclose under oath the nature of his relationship with former Gov. Blagojevich.

Durbin is traveling in Athens on Wednesday; in the evening his office issued this statement: "When we met with Roland Burris in January, we made it clear that in order for him to be seated in the U.S. Senate he needed to meet two requirements - first, that he submit the proper paperwork certifying his appointment, and second, that he appear before the General Assembly's Impeachment Committee to testify openly, honestly and completely about the nature of his relationship with the former governor, his associates and the circumstances surrounding this appointment."

"We asked him to testify in the impeachment proceedings, not to embarrass Roland Burris, but to give him an opportunity to clear the air regarding this appointment from a tainted governor. Our hope was that he would use that opportunity to assure the people of Illinois and the other members of the United States Senate that he was not involved in any wrongdoing."

"Now the accuracy and completeness of his testimony and affidavits have been called into serious question. Every day there are more and more revelations about contacts with Blagojevich advisors, efforts at fundraising and omissions from his list of lobbying clients. This was not the full disclosure under oath that we asked for."

"These news reports and the public statements by Roland Burris himself are troubling and raise serious questions which need to be looked at very carefully," Durbin said.

"The State's Attorney in Sangamon County is reviewing the affidavit and other materials associated with Senator Burris' testimony to see if criminal charges are warranted and the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee has begun a preliminary investigation into this matter."

"This is the appropriate course of action and I await the outcome of those investigations. The people of Illinois deserve nothing less."

The schedule Burris put out last week had him meeting with mayors of Rockford and Freeport. Burris is also closing events Friday at military and veterans facilities in Great Lakes. Burris He is also dropping a lunch he was to have in North Chicago on Friday.

Below release from Burris....

February 18, 2009

Updated Illinois Listening Tour Schedule for Senator Roland W. Burris

CHICAGO, IL--U.S. Senator Roland W. Burris will postpone his Illinois Listening Tour tomorrow, Thursday, February 19th, in order to hold private meetings. The Senator will not travel to Rockford tomorrow as previously scheduled, but will resume his Illinois Listening Tour on Friday, February 20th.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs, and the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, Senator Burris will travel to North Chicago on Friday, February 20th to tour the North Chicago Medical Center, and to tour the Great Lakes Naval Training Center before having lunch with the recruits. Both events on Friday will be completely closed to the press.


Chicago, IL

No public events


North Chicago, IL

North Chicago, IL



Note: This event is closed to the press.

North Chicago, IL



Note: This event is closed to the press.



For anyone else, I'd say these are tea leaves that he's planning to do the honorable thing and resign. But it's Roland Burris, so, I rather expect he'll replace his prior engagements with media appearances to caterwaul about being treated unfairly and insinuate that it's because of his race.

Yet another tarnish on the record of yet another Illinois politician. It is sickening and I am ashamed to live in the state of Illinois.


As soon as Senator Ego (the Father of Roland Jr and Rolanda) has put his Senate seat on his mausoleum-resume, he can resign in honor and rest in peace.

This man was a lackluster politician who is so over his head that he's alrady 6 feet under.

What an embarassment.

Hopefully Burris is on his way out. That's how it should have been from the very beginning. Gov. Blagojevich had absolutely no legitimacy to appoint someone to the Senate once he got arrested for allegedly trying to sell the seat.

Having Blago's successor pick a replacement is how this should have worked out from the very beginning.

P.S. a "special election" such as the Tribune is demanding would be a complete disaster. Not only would such a pop election guarantee low turn-out but it would be dominated for that reason by media elite organizations like, oh I don't know, the Chicago Tribune.

They're just dying to get a Republican in there. They'd sell their souls to do it.

If they were at all honest, they'd be asking for this not now (i.e. instant rules) but post-2010. Just saying...

I have always admired Roland Burris and thought he was an outstanding politic leader. I had to be one of his biggest fan. It is a shame but probabaly true that his legacy will be ruined over this. He should have been up front or refused to take the appointment. He just doent look good right now.

Burris and the religious community again. Creeeepy. Actually it stinks to high heaven of tax-dodging corruption. Can't wait to watch my copy of Religulous. The truth shall set you free, but it will also play hell with a senate bid.

One of the saddest things that any of us can witness is someone who doesn't know when it's time to "go home"...that they've embarrassed themselves to inexcusable degree...and that there is nothing more to say. What he is getting now is a flurry of "tomatoes and rotten eggs"! Burris is a pathetic, desperate soul, who should take whatever dignity he can muster, and "bow-out"

Ms. Sweet...

One thing that I've been wondering about, since this "firestorm" concerning Burris has ignited, is how big of a financial "hole" has he dug for himself in DC...establishing a residence there, and accruing the costs of "transplanting" himself from Illinois to Washington, for his Senate "career"? Today, he's very nearly "one step ahead of the 'sheriff'", on many levels, and has only succeeded in outfoxing himself.

Roland is sounding more like Blago every day, except that he now won't talk to media - yet he'll be completely transparent.

Obama had best make the phone call to Burris to undo his earlier phone call to Reed/Durbin that got this poor guy squeezed into the Senate.

Blago wins another round, though the fight ends with him in jail or worse.

The moment he played the race card about his appointment i knew there is something sly about this smooth criminal.Blacks making up 12.8 % of American population should be thus represented in the senate though.but to claim that he is the black of all blacks so let him lie is not only dangerous but anti black interest advancement

Burris and Blago come from the same planet.
They share the beleif never to resign no matter how great the pressure and no matter how guilty.
They both distrust the press and the courts and think that "Bad press is no press at all" so they vow to fight til the end as long as the media coverage continues.
Tell contradicting versions of the same events to distract and confuse everyone.
They create enough havoc to embarass everybody, citing the biggest names until everyone wishes they would disappear.
They beleyve they can wormm their way out of anything.
They are the biggest weasels since Palin.

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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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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 18, 2009 6:38 PM.

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