Roland Burris implored reporters this morning to read the transcripts of the FBI tapes capturing his conversation with Robert Blagojevich about exchanging a campaign contribution for an appointment to the U.S. Senate just as reporters insisted to Burris that those very recordings don't make him out to be the innocent he claims he is.
If Burris had any judgement, he would just go away. Announce you won't run for re-election, Roland. Because you blew it when you accepted the appointment in the first place. The tapes show you knew it was wrong.
State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) even credited Burris on Good Day Chicago this morning with recognizing in his conversation with the governor's brother that what was going on "didn't pass the smell test."
"God knows, number one, I, I wanna help Rod,” Burris said. “Number two, I also wanna, you know hope I get a consideration to get that appointment. And however that goes, ah, it would dictate, ah, you know how the press treats it."
Burris knew the very conversation he was having was wrong, but he wanted the job so bad that he tried to finesse the situation.
He also appeared to have needed the job badly.
"Burris, who said his law practice was so 'terrible' that any money he’d give to the governor would come from personal funds, was pressed by Blagojevich to find other ways to boost his brother’s campaign account," Politico reports.
“Please keep me in mind and, you know, if you guys can just write checks that’d be fine, if we can’t find a way for you to tie in [to a fundraiser],” Blagojevich said.
“Okay, Okay, well we, we, I, I will personally do something, okay,” Burris said. “And it’ll be done before the 15th of December.”
If nothing else, Burris has shown he doesn't have the judgement to be a United States Senator. He's not alone among his colleagues in that regard, but he's the one whose now been caught considering using his lawyer, Tim Wright, as a go-between to conceal himself as the real check-writer.
Gawker notes that Wright says that "Burris discussed writing a $1,500 check but that his client never sent it to Blagojevich, a decision he claims had absolutely nothing to do with Blagojevich's Dec. 9 arrest."
Burris insists he wants reporters to read the transcripts. But it's about time for Burris to read the writing on the wall.
Read full transcript of Burris/Rob Blagojevich conversation from The Chicago Tribune.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.