January 8th, 2009
06:31 AM ET
14 years ago

Illinois GOP wants closer look at Burris, Blagojevich ties


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/07/burris.blagojevich.gop/art.roland.burris.gi.jpg caption="Roland Burris told reporters in Washington on Wednesday his appointment has nothing to do with money."]
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CNN) - Did Roland Burris secure his appointment to Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat through some kind of pay to-play politics of the very sort that have tainted the man who appointed him, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich?

Republicans in the Illinois state legislature are asking that question, and they want Burris, the former Illinois attorney general, to answer in person at a hearing scheduled for Thursday on Blagojevich's impeachment.

And the question is reverberating back to Washington, where Democratic leaders have been blocking Burris from taking the Senate seat, saying the appointment is tainted by Blagojevich, who was arrested last month and accused of trying to sell the seat for money and influence.

Blagojevich, however, has not been indicted and remains governor. He and Burris say the appointment is legal.

In a written affidavit given to the impeachment panel, Burris said he had one limited conversation with the governor about the Senate seat before he was appointed. And that conversation, he said, was initiated by a Blagojevich attorney.

But records show the two men have long ties to each other - including lucrative state contracts, political contributions and even a job for the governor's wife. Those records are raising thorny questions from state officials, particularly Republicans.

Full story

Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Dixie

    Mr. Burris has many accomplishments, but I feel this last minute appointment by Gov Goofy has a strong smell.

    January 8, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Sandy

    While I think Burris' selection was legal, I still think he's an old man with delusions of grandeur and he's looking like a clown. Just the fact that he's built that crypt makes him look a little crazy.

    January 8, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Michael

    This is fine. Any selection that Blagojevich was going to make should be scrutinized. The GOP has had ample time to review Burris, however. The process has been delayed long enough. It's time to seat Burris. If serious matters are subsequently discovered through Fitzgerald's investigation, then the Senate can take the findings up with Burris at that time.

    January 8, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Michael

    We're seating a senator. We're not elevating a man to Pope.

    January 8, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Phoenix

    Good. I believe Burris is dirty. Please ask away.

    January 8, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Rose in AZ

    I believe that a full investigation should go forward to ensure that Burris and the Gov. have no ties that will discredit him after he is seated. Lets find out now, not after.

    January 8, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Larry in Houston TX

    Here's the Facts : Where do you thnk "Al Capone" was from ?
    Where do you think they made movies of "Bonnie & Clyde"
    Most people that s under a certain age, would not know who these
    people are, unless they read up on their history, or watched some old movies.....

    So, this all being said.....What state has the Most corruption, whether it be in politics or whatever.......In other words, IF you know the right people, and you have enough MONEY, you could possibly be the Mayor of practically any town in ILLinois.....or if you know the right people, you don't have to have a H.S. education to get a very good, high paying Job, wherever it's at, in the state of ILLinois....That's just the way it is, people.....

    January 8, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. M Jonah

    The matter of the fact is IT IS UNETHICAL IF NOT ILLEGAL FOR Blagojevich TO BE ACTING AS A GOVENOR SINCE HIS VERY AUTHORITY FOR HIS POSITION IS UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. I am surprised nobody has brought this legal and sound judgement up as the actual TENET OR FIRM PRINCIPLE why the appointment of Burris by Blagojevich is ILLEGITIMATE and UNAUTHORIZED.

    Burris should simply step aside. His wife should gather the courage to advice him to do so and also encourage and support him to do so. She is her closest friend and people are supposed to listen to their friends especially when the friends are giving them the sound advice.


    January 8, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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