* Gee, where have we heard this one before?
Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is planning a public relations offensive to counter growing concerns about whether he lied about the circumstances of his appointment to the Senate, and he has no intention of resigning, his advisers said Wednesday.
Rod Blagojevich appears to be on hiatus from his public relations offensive, so maybe his PR firm can get to work Twittering on Burris’ behalf and booking him on every goofy cable TV show in New York. Then again, I think I read somewhere that Drew Peterson’s girlfriend just moved back in so maybe they’re busy.
…Adding… How can you do a PR offensive if you don’t talk to the media?
But it’s unclear how much more the public will hear from Burris on the scandal. The Democrat said he’ll no longer speak with the media.
Maybe he just means the “Illinois media.” You have to parse every word with him and then suspend all reality.
* Fred Lebed probably reveals more than he intended…
Lebed, Burris’ former partner in their consulting firm, said today that Burris spoke once “for like 30 seconds” about fundraising for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who went on to appoint Burris to the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.
“I said ‘no way,’” Lebed said.
So, essentially, Fred had to make sure that former Attorney General Roland Burris understood his ethical duties? Sheesh. This gets worse by the minute.
* Meanwhile, it won’t come as a surprise to you that Burris lied again…
As calls for his resignation continue to roll in, U.S. Sen. Roland Burris grew emphatic in his defense today, telling a packed luncheon in Chicago to “stop the rush to judgment.”
“You know the real Roland,” Burris told a City Club of Chicago gathering. “I’ve done nothing wrong, and I have nothing to hide.”
Burris said the issue of his varying sworn testimony before an Illinois House impeachment panel is as explainable as “one, two, three.”
Burris insisted his affidavits didn’t contradict one another, saying he explained to “anyone who would listen” that he wanted the U.S. Senate appointment. [Emphasis added]
His affidavits didn’t contradict each other? Who’s he kidding? Himself?
* This is how Burris parses it…
“No, I did not have conversations about my appointment — I’m talking about actually being appointed — with anyone other than the governor’s attorney.”
It’s impossible to argue with someone who can’t accept basic facts. He said he was interested in the appointment. He made that statement to six people close to the governor. His original sworn affidavit claimed there was “not any contact” between himself or any representatives of the governor “regarding my appointment.”
Burris ought to be ashamed of himself for splitting hairs like this. It might stand up in court, but it certainly shouldn’t be presented to the court of public opinion.
* The Illinois House had a bit of an explosion today over Majority Leader Currie’s failure to inform the impeachment committee that Sen. Burris had submitted a new affidavit for over a week…
House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, tried to diffuse criticism she’s heard in recent days from her role as head of the House impeachment committee that took testimony from Burris in late January.
Currie read a statement where she explained why there was more than a week’s delay in turning over an affidavit Burris provided Feb. 4 updating his testimony to include that he did discuss fundraising with allies of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. […]
Currie said she believed the affidavit included only clarifying testimony and a miscommunication with staff caused a delay in having it sent to other committee members.
“Any suggestion that I engaged in a deliberate cover up, that I purposely delayed distribution of the information is totally false,” Currie said in a statement she read on the House floor Wednesday. “Any suggestion that I should do a better job of reading my mail in a timely fashion is a suggestion I enthusiastically - and more than a little ruefully - embrace.”
The Republicans, as expected, went on a full rampage after Currie’s speech.
* Congressman Phil Hare became the first member of Congress to go all the way…
“I believe it is in the best interest of all Illinoisans that Sen. Burris resigns. Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient,” Hare said in a statement. […]
“I’m troubled by [Burris’ evolving explanations] because he either has a tremendous lack of memory or he wasn’t being forthright with the committee,” Hare said, referring to the state House Impeachment Committee. “This was pay-to-play with the former governor … I’m done with this whole Blagojevich thing.”
Burris “has been a good public servant for the state for 30 years, but you’ve got to answer questions when you’re under oath,” Hare continued. “What Illinois deserves is a senator they can trust to do the right things, that if they’re asked a question, they answer honestly.”
“We’ve just been through a lot out here, and I thought we’d put this behind us. Anybody that this governor appointed would obviously have problems and would be under suspicion, and here we go again,” Hare added.
You said it, Phil.
State Rep. Lou Lang is another Democrat who has called on Burris to resign, by the way.
* But Bill Daley stops well short of calling for Sen. Roland Burris’ resignation…
DALEY: We’re being defined by terrible situation that Governor Blagojevich created and has left in his wake in spite of his impeachment.
Daley didn’t answer directly whether he thinks Burris should stay in office.
DALEY: I think he should do serious reflection on whether or not he can be effective for the people of Illinois…not for himself.
Yeah, that’ll happen.
…Adding… The Associated Press finds two people in a southern Illinois diner who say some nice things about Roland Burris and the headline reads: Burris getting support from Illinoisans.
I’m at a loss for words.