Resign, Roland

Taint is too much

His protestations notwithstanding, Roland Burris's appointment to the United States Senate was always the fruit of a poisonous tree. Now we have learned that his ascension to filling Barack Obama's old chair is even more tainted than any of us thought.

For even if everything Burris says is true - even if, beyond all reasonable interpretations, he really thought he was being honest with the state House impeachment panel - the very fact that he was allegedly asked to contribute $10,000 to Rod Blagojevich at a time when he was seeking the Senate seat amidst the myriad of pay-to-play charges already aired against the former governor tainted a process that had already been corrupted beyond repair.

Like U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Secretary of State Jesse White before him, Burris should have refused Blagojevich's offer. Moreover, he should have reported his conversations with gubernatorial brother Rob Blagojevich to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Instead, Burris was playing the game by spreading the word among Blagojevich insiders that he wanted - and was willing to take - the post of Illinois' next junior senator.

He could have been a hero. He could have acted courageously, instead of selfishly and foolishly. And who knows, maybe he'd be in line for the appointment after all - this time with Pat Quinn doing the appointing. Indeed, Davis and White enhanced their standing with their wise choices.

Even if Burris has done nothing wrong - which is giving him a benefit of the doubt not at all earned throughout his spotty career and more recent spottier actions - the people of Illinois have lost faith in the process. If Burris is a true statesman, a true man of dignity and honor as he claims, he will resign his seat for the sake of restoring honor to the United States Senate and the State of Illinois. Let Governor Quinn make the appointment. Be part of our fresh start. You could even re-apply for the job, Roland. And if you're the best man, Quinn may give you the job. But your actions throughout this debacle make it pretty clear that you are far from the best man for the job. Too bad. But it's our seat, not yours. You just hijacked it for awhile and now we want it back.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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