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Monday, February 16, 2009

Bungling Burris? [Part 2]

I'm trying to reduce this situation to its simplest terms, if possible. Quoting myself from my previous post:

To recap, Representative Durkin threw out six specific names, (1) John Harris, (2) Rob Blagojevich, (3) Doug Scofield, (4) Bob Greenleaf, (5) Lon Monk, and (6) John Wyma. Mr. Burris admitted to one, Lon Monk.
One would get the clear impression, and it appears the questioner did too, that Mr. Burris spoke to Monk but none of the others. Did Representative Durkin err in not asking about the other names again? The names were out there. How many times does the questioner have to repeat the names to get an answer?

After Mr. Burris discussed his meeting with Lon Monk, Representative Durkin turned his questioning to the context of conversations, which apparently caused Mr. Burris to stop talking about those people. [Correction: The questioning then turned to the subject of other people, specifically "any individuals who were also seeking the appointment of the United States Senate seat, otherwise people we've referred to as Senate candidates one through five?"]

One of two things could have or should have happened at that point:

  1. Representative Durkin could have said, "what about the others? Anyone else other than Lon Monk?" Or,
  2. Mr. Burris could have said, "wait, I have to tell you about the other people I talked to besides Lon Monk."

Neither of those things happened. And so Mr. Burris later filed his supplemental affidavit indicating that he did, in fact, talk to four more of the named people.

Representative Durkin is going to make a case that the names were out there and Mr. Burris should have kept talking about those people.

As he so forcefully tried to say in his press conference, Mr. Burris will respond that he didn't continue talking about the names because Representative Durkin stopped talking about those people and went down a different route with his questions.

Who is right? Are they both right? If the Sangamon County State's Attorney does consider this, to whom will he give more weight? Will that be good enough for the people of Illinois? Will it be good enough for the members of the United States Senate?

Personally, I don't like it. But, I don't think it's enough to kick Roland Burris out of the senate.

Obviously, nothing is as simple or clear-cut as it should be in this case. Read Monday's CapitolFax blog post for deeper analysis and answers: This may be the real Burris problem. (I just remembered Monday is a holiday so no comments on the Capitol Fax Blog.)

Update: There's a continuation of this at Part 3.

Posted by Marie at February 16, 2009 6:04 AM


Burris gave a very bad public impression from the very moment the former governor trotted him out for the cameras. He came across as grasping and all too ready to lay claim to the Senate seat no matter the taint that might have attached to the appointment.

It's a little bit much for this guy to ask anyone to believe that we was so confused by the questioning that he neglected to say all he knew. If he *is* that confused, he is simply unfit to hold office.

But it's not a matter of being confused. The point is, he knew the truth about all these things; he realized the consequences of saying all he knew; and he was extremely selective in what he said. The manner in which Burris has continually changed his story and tried to shift responsibility for his lack of candor on others shows not confusion but cold calculation. Even in the context of the Blagojevich mob, Burris is revolting.

Posted by: Dan at February 16, 2009 1:16 PM

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