Senator considering run for Chicago mayor
November 23rd, 2010
12:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Senator considering run for Chicago mayor

Washington (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Roland Burris is considering running for mayor of Chicago, potentially joining a crowded field of candidates that includes an ex-senator, current congressman and President Obama's former chief of staff.

Burris is leaving Capitol Hill at the end of the year after being appointed to fill the remaining two years of then-President elect Obama's Senate term.
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Filed under: Chicago mayoral race • Illinois • Roland Burris
November 20th, 2009
06:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate Ethics Committee admonishes Burris

Senate Ethics Committee clears Burris of legal wrongdoing.
Senate Ethics Committee clears Burris of legal wrongdoing.

Washington (CNN) –The Senate Ethics Committee issued a letter Friday admonishing embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris "for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate" in connection with his controversial appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"While the committee did not find that the evidence before it supported
any actionable violations of law, senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct," the letter stated.

Burris, currently the only African-American U.S. senator, is serving the remaining two years of President Barack Obama's Senate term, but he has never been embraced by his party's leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.

He was appointed to the seat last December by Blagojevich, who was later impeached, removed from office and arrested on federal corruption charges alleging that he tried to sell Obama's seat to the highest bidder.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
July 10th, 2009
03:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Burris not running for a full Senate term

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Sen. Roland Burris, D-Illinois, announced Friday that he will not run for a full six-year term next year.

"Being a United States senator today requires not only a significant time commitment to performing the job, but almost equal commitment to raising funds to run competitively for the office," he told a crowd of people at the Chicago South Loop Hotel.

"In making this decision I was called to choose between spending my time raising funds or spending my time raising issues for my state," he said.

"I believe that the business of the people of the state of Illinois should always come first."

As Burris emerged to speak, the crowd had greeted him with cheers, urging him to run.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
July 9th, 2009
07:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Embattled senator will not run in 2010

Illinois Democrat Sen. Roland Burris is expected to announce Friday that he will not run in 2010.
Illinois Democrat Sen. Roland Burris is expected to announce Friday that he will not run in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Roland Burris, D-Illinois, is expected to announce Friday that he will not run for a full six year term next year, a well-placed Democratic source tells CNN.

Burris is currently serving the remaining two years of President Obama’s Senate term, but he has never been embraced by Democratic leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.

A Burris spokeswoman would not comment on the senator’s future political plans, but his office did release an advisory Thursday stating that he would make a “major announcement” during a speech Friday afternoon in Chicago. A spokesman for Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, said that Burris had spoken to Durbin but would only say “we will let him speak for himself” on Friday.

Burris was appointed to the seat in late December by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who had been arrested on federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder. Democratic Party leaders urged Blagojevich not to make an appointment, but he disregarded those wishes by naming Burris, a former state attorney general and state comptroller, to the seat.

Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in January and Democrats grudgingly recognized Burris as the junior senator from Illinois. But he still faced an investigation and scrutiny at the same time he was trying to learn the ropes on Capitol Hill.
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Filed under: Roland Burris • Senate
June 19th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Burris will not face perjury charges for Blagojevich testimony

(CNN) – Sen. Roland Burris will not face state perjury charges in connection with his sworn testimony about an alleged "pay-for-play" scheme to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, a state prosecutor said Friday.

Burris, appointed to the Senate seat just days before Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in January, gave incomplete but truthful answers to questions about his conversations with Blagojevich's representatives, said John Schmidt, the state's attorney in Sangamon County.

Schmidt began looking at perjury charges in February amid disclosures that Burris spoke with Blagojevich's brother about possibly raising money for the governor.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
May 27th, 2009
05:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Durbin won't support Burris in 2010

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday that he will not support fellow Illinois Sen. Roland Burris for re-election in 2010.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday that he will not support fellow Illinois Sen. Roland Burris for re-election in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Dick Durbin repeated Wednesday that he would not support his colleague from Illinois, Sen. Roland Burris, for re-election in 2010.

Durbin said he told Burris that he was "disappointed" to read a federal wiretap transcript, released on Tuesday, which showed that the junior senator had offered former Gov. Rod Blagojevich campaign cash while trying to win a Senate appointment.

"We stuck our neck out for him and said if you do this thing, you'll do it in a proper, professional way, then we can stand behind you being sworn into the Senate," Durbin said, according to NBCChicago.com. "And I just don't think his testimony was complete and accurate."

Durbin has in the past called for Burris' resignation.


Filed under: Dick Durbin • Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
May 27th, 2009
12:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Burris insists secret recordings show no corruption

Roland Burris says that secretly recorded conversations between himself and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagovich's brother show no corruption.
Roland Burris says that secretly recorded conversations between himself and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagovich's brother show no corruption.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris insisted Wednesday that recordings of secretly taped conversations between himself and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother show no evidence of corruption in his U.S. Senate appointment.

Burris also reiterated his assertion that he did not commit perjury in previous testimony regarding his involvement in an alleged "pay-for-play" scheme to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Burris's denials came one day after a federal judge approved sending to the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee recordings of the conversations, which took place before Burris was appointed.

The recordings, which show Burris offering to cut a check to then-Gov. Blagojevich's campaign, were requested by the Ethics Committee as part of an investigation into Burris' appointment and seating.

"I was truthful when I testified that at no time did I take any part in pay-to-play while lobbying for the Senate seat," Burris told a group of reporters in Chicago.

"Did I want to be appointed to the Senate seat? Yes I did. ... Did I try to buy the seat? Never."

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Filed under: Roland Burris
March 19th, 2009
12:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Burris asks for fund to pay legal fees

Sen. Roland Burris is facing pressure to resign.
Sen. Roland Burris is facing pressure to resign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. Roland Burris is asking the Senate Select Committee on Ethics for permission to open a fund to help pay for legal expenses incurred in the weeks after his controversial appointment to the Senate, an aide close to the senator confirmed Thursday.

The Illinois senator reportedly owes around $400,000 in legal fees.

According to the filing, the purpose of the fund is "to pay for expenses incurred by the Senator in connection with his appointment to the US Senate on December 30th, 2008. Due to the controversy surrounding his appointment by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senator Burris incurred legal expenses to support his eventual swearing in on January 15th, 2009 in both Illinois and Washington, DC."

"In addition, even after he was seated, Senator Burris has continued to require representation amid accusations of perjury and other alleged improprieties relating back to his appointment to the senate seat."

Burris has faced pressure to resign after new revelations about contact between his camp and the office of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich - who was impeached over charges he tried to sell the state's open Senate seat - prior to his appointment.


Filed under: Roland Burris
March 2nd, 2009
02:44 PM ET
6 years ago

Burris' 2010 Web site

Sen. Burris has a Web site to help with his 2010 re-election bid -- should he decide to undertake one.
Sen. Burris has a Web site to help with his 2010 re-election bid - should he decide to undertake one.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Even as he faces calls to resign from fellow Democrats, Illinois Sen. Roland Burris has been covering all of the bases for 2010 – just in case.

A spokesperson for Burris said Monday that the Web site supportburris.com was launched soon after the Democrat was seated in the Senate. The site allows supporters to submit donations to support Burris for re-election in 2010, even though the senator hasn’t made any definitive plans about the race just yet, according to the spokesperson.

The site appears to be in its very skeletal stages. In addition to soliciting donations, the site allows visitors to sign-up for e-mails, to sign up to volunteer for the senator’s campaign, and to share the site with a friend.

It also contains a biography of Burris and some information about his immediate family. Other pages on the site “Accomplishments,” “Endorsements,” “Issues,” “Legislation,” and several pages intended to be dedicated to press coverage of Burris and publication of photos and videos by his campaign – are all empty at this time.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Patrick Quinn have both recently said they believed Burris should resign his Senate seat. Their comments followed his revelation that Burris had engaged in unsuccessful efforts to raise money for Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois who was removed from office after being impeached, while the governor was considering him as a possible Senate replacement for President Barack Obama.


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 27th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Illinois governor renews call for special election to replace Burris

 Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, at a press briefing on the subject recently, says Sen. Roland Burris should step aside.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, at a press briefing on the subject recently, says Sen. Roland Burris should step aside.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called again Friday for a special election to replace Sen. Roland Burris, whose appointment to fill President Obama's former Senate seat has subjected the state to what Quinn called a "cloud of scandal."

"The only way to clear up the cloud is to have an election, a special election," Quinn told Chicago radio station WGN-AM. "I really feel that Roland Burris should step aside and resign and he would serve his state and himself very well."

He said there is "no good way" for Illinois to continue having Burris serve as senator.

Quinn issued a similar call a week ago and said resigning would be a "heroic act."

Quinn's strong words Friday came three days after fellow Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior U.S. senator from Illinois, said Burris should consider resigning over the controversy regarding his appointment by now-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"I told him under the circumstances I would consider resigning if I was in his shoes," Durbin said. Burris later told reporters he will not step down.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
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