The Earmark Senator

Burris tries to buy popularity

Apparently ending his self-imposed media ban as he attempts to rebuild his image, Roland Burris says he is "right on course" despite his tumultuous tenure as the state's junior senator and his nearly empty campaign coffer.

He backed up his statement by submitting earmark requests totalling more than $8 million.

"Burris responded bluntly when a reform-minded colleague approached him on the Senate floor recently to join the drive to prohibit earmarks, or pet projects, in legislation," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

"Senator, I'm from Chicago. I'm from the state of Illinois. I support earmarks," Burris replied.

Of course. (The Republicans intend to cast their candidate as the reformer in the race.)

Consider that $8 million as an investment in his re-election bid - an investment of your money.

Money, in fact, is first and foremost in Burris's mind these days.

"Money, money, money makes you smile," he said as he posed for a photo with a group of Decatur high school kids.

If that's the case, Burris must be one giant frown: he has only raised $845 for his re-election campaign so far.

"You can't even run for Student Council on that kind of budget," Politics Daily writes.

"Burris has been so out-of-the-loop on the campaign side of things that he actually expressed surprise at having to file his first fundraising report last month, as well as his personal financial disclosure," The Hill reports in an interview it billed as an "exclusive."

"Those rules kind of came up on me in terms of having to file a quarterly report," Burris said. "Nobody told me that."

Like we said.

Finally, CBS News notes that Burris might be in short supply of money for a re-election bid but he's long in supply of another asset: name recognition.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us