Burris Begins

Gets Fred Thompson's office

Enough about Barack Obama’s first day in office. What about Rollin’ Roland Burris?

“Around noon Wednesday, Burris' sparsely furnished office was occupied by three staffers, at least two of whom were there on a temporary basis,” the BloomingtonPantagraphreports.

“The blue-carpeted suite was formerly occupied for a time by Fred Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee, who made a short-lived bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2008.

“Interviews for employees were underway and a receptionist was referring callers with problems to Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office . . . On Wednesday, no one from his office responded to repeated requests for an interview.”

Burris has been named to to the Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Veterans Affairs committees, Lynn Sweetreports, “getting assignments from the Democratic leaders that will give him credentials in areas where he is short on experience . . . This was done looking towards 2010, when Burris would have to run to keep the seat.”

(GOP Rep. Peter Roskam is the latest to indicate he has his eye on Burris’s seat, saying “I do think that Roland Burris is going to be political sorbet.”)

Meanwhile. Sneed reports “Burris, who resigned as a lobbyist Jan. 5 and closed his consulting firm Burris & Lebed Consulting LLC on Jan. 16, was listed as the highest-paid lobbyist in Cook County when he filed his compensation report with the Cook County Clerk's office in 2007, reporting an income of $204,000.”

Burris has also resigned his seat on the board of the Inland Real Estate Corporation.

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