* 10:24 am - Attention national media: In addition to the stories below about Roland Burris’ not-so-great past, the Daily Herald has dived into the vault and come up with a few other stories. I’ve reformatted the piece a bit, so go read the whole thing…
* Feb. 2, 1992: Burris borrowed $28,200 from his campaign fund - A spokesman for Burris said the Chicago Democrat used the money to increase his state pension benefits.
* Feb. 4, 1985: Burris firm linked to probe of school - Illinois Comptroller Roland W. Burris, who paid $442,508 in disputed state scholarship funds to a Chicago college, is affiliated with a law firm representing an official of the same college in a federal grand jury investigation.
* March 8 (probably 1985): Burris intervened in pal’s conviction - llinois Comptroller Roland Burris urged a federal judge last month to place a Chicago pharmacist, who contributed to Burris’ campaigns, on probation after the man was convicted of defrauding Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
* 10:01 am - Burris’ attorney, Tim Wright, is now speaking.
Wright says his client has “several options,” including going to court or continuing to negotiate with the Senate.
End. Again, not much there.
* The Tribune Company’s Swamp bloggy type thing is live-blogging Roland Burris’ arrival at the US Capitol…
Roland Burris entered the Secretary of the Senate’s office on the 3rd floor of the Capitol to present his credentials. The media was gathered around the corner - several abreast stretching down the hallway.
Terrance Gainer, the sergeant at arms who would be charged with blocking Burris at the Senate chambers door if necessary, escorted him into the office. The secretary’s office is one floor above the entrance to the Senate chambers.
Leaders have been negotiating what Burris will do today - and there was some word that Burris might accept his rejection in the secretary’s office. Guards initially had told they were to treat Burris as they would a senator, easing his path through the Capitol entrance, but were later told to take him through security as any visitor.
“We’ve been back and fourth four times,'’ a Democratic aide said of the choreography of the morning.
* CBS2 will be covering Burris’ press conference, which will begin soon. Click here to watch it live.
I’ll add more to this post in a bit, but I wanted to get it online as quickly as possible considering the breaking news value. Live updates will be at the top. Additional content from existing stories will be posted below.
* Meanwhile, chew on this Illinois Issues post…
During Roland Burris’ first full fiscal year as Illinois attorney general, more than half of the money his office awarded for outside legal work went to campaign contributors, according to a book published by Illinois Issues magazine and the Springfield State Journal-Register.
In FY 1992, Burris’ office issued roughly $4 million in outside legal contracts to individuals and law firms, according to the book, Illinois For Sale, which was published in 1997. More than $2.25 million of that amount went to contributors to Burris’ campaign or to the main Democratic fundraising committee.
* And read Brown’s column: Million reasons for Rush to help Blago…
During the last three years, two Englewood community organizations founded by Rep. Bobby Rush in his role as church pastor have received more than $2 million in state funding from Gov. Blagojevich’s administration.
I point it out because I’ve been thinking it might help explain why Rush is so gung-ho to help Blagojevich put Roland Burris in the U.S. Senate.
* And whatever you do, don’t miss this one…
Did Roland Burris’s business partner, Fred Lebed, have anything to do with Patti Blagojevich landing a full-time job as development director of the Chicago Christian Industrial League?
Lebed, who served on Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s transition team, also serves on CCIL’s Board of Directors.
The question was raised on Sunday night by political pundit Bruce Dumont on his XM Satellite radio show “Beyond the Beltway.” I was a guest, along with writer Salim Muwakkil and Judy Baar Topinka, the former state treasurer who ran against Blagojevich for governor.
* Congressman Aaron Schock makes a whole lot of sense today and breaks out of the usual DC Republican gamesmanship…
“You know, prior to this, I had a great deal of respect for Mr. Burris,” Mr. Schock said. “He served the state well.” But, he added, that the appointment not only called Mr. Blagojevich’s judgment into question, but that of Mr. Burris.
“I don’t think he should pursue it,” said the Illinois lawmaker, a former president of the Peoria Board of Education. “I’m disappointed that he is doing this.”
He added: “Most of my colleagues are not just fed up with Blagojevich, but also with Roland Burris.” This is “not the way you reinstill faith in the electorate,” he warned, adding that it helped explain why the state’s lawmakers are trying to expedite the impeachment process, with a vote in the Illinois House as soon as Jan. 15.
Good for him.
* Chicago Latinos at Odds on Burris’ Senate Bid
* Blagojevich And The Constitution: The Senate doesn’t have to seat Burris.
* Quinn calls on Burris to step down
* Leave race out of choosing senator
* Keep race out of it : This is not about race. Despite what U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush has said explicitly, and others have implied, the bid to keep Roland Burris from claiming Illinois’ vacant Senate seat is not about race. It is about denying power to a governor who has gone off the deep end. It is about ensuring a taint-free appointment for the citizens of Illinois.
* Mary Mitchell: Blinders not a good look for Burris : I believe Burris genuinely doesn’t get why anyone would think he is doing anything wrong. The fact that he doesn’t shows how badly Illinois needs change.
* Roeper: Roland Burris as Mr. Smith? Not a chance
* PJ-Star: Not too late for Burris to reconsider guv’s offer
* Kadner: Burris a man without honor
* Burris pick contrary to Obama message, some say: In the midst of all the political hoopla surrounding the Burris pick, his modern-day credentials had largely escaped scrutiny and raise the question of exactly why Blagojevich thinks Burris is best to carry on in Obama’s place. “It’s a great question. I don’t think anyone has taken the Burris appointment seriously enough to engage that question,” said David Morrison, assistant director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
* Senate showdown, subpoena
* Patrick Buchanan: Governor puts Dems in a pickle
* ‘I am a senator’
* Roland Burris Heads to Washington
* Zorn: Let Burris have the Senate seat and move on, already