| home | Burris
Roland W. Burris
Democrat, Illinois (2009-present)
Update, July 10, 2009: Burris announced that he wouldn't seek a full senate term in 2010. Blago's choice for Obama's old seat will retire, relieving Democrats a major headache.
In record time, Senator Roland Burris got into trouble. Disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich (about to be kicked out of office), named Burris to fill the seat left vacant by Barack Obama. The Senate Democratic leaders at first said "no way," but finally relented, and on January 15, 2009, Burris was sworn into office.
Did he accept money from Blago? Did he promise to raise money on the governor's behalf? Apparently Burris has told conflicting stories--five different versions, according to the Washington Post, who, like several other newspapers called on Burris to resign.
There's an Illinois House ethics commission looking into whether he lied in his sworn statement in conjunction with the Blagojevich impeachment. The U. S. Senate ethics committee is also looking into Burris's statements. The Chicago Tribune has called for him to resign, and some of his staunchest supporters back in Chicago are backing away.
But Burris refuses to resign, and will tough it out in the upcoming Senatorial primary.
Source: Monica Davey, "Governor is Held in Inquiry into Filling Obama's Seat," New York Times, December 9, 2008. Peter Slevin, "Clouds Gather Over Roland Burris," Washington Post, February 19, 2009, A1.