Roland Burris, newly appointed Chicago senator and Barack Obama’s senate successor, is in hot water again. This time the accusation is that he was less than truthful with the Illinois House committee when he asserted that his senate seat (which was approved by ousted governor Rod Blagojevich right before he was impeached) wasn’t paid for and that he hadn’t contacted any of Rod’s key staffers.
The Associated Press reports that despite his testimony to the contrary, Roland recently admitted to having spoken to Rod’s brother, Robert Blagojevich, who called him three times asking for fundraising money. Roland also stated that he unsuccessfully tried to raise money for Rod.
Various members of Congress, including fellow Illinois senator Dick Durban and the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have spoken out about his ordeal. Some, like Dick, merely expressed concern over Roland’s honesty while others like Illinois House member Phil Hare are calling for his resignation from the Senate. "Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient," said Phil.
This scandal comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding the Senate Democrats’ rejection of Roland’s nomination to Congress in the first place. S2S reported that Roland’s nomination was accepted on January 12, after the original nod was rejected.
We spoke to Roland last month when he walked the red carpet for the 2nd Annual BET Honors ceremony. "I knew that I had right on my side and just a matter of working through it," Roland told S2S. "You don’t get upset, you don’t get angry, you just work through the process. And that’s what we were able to do. Convince everyone that my appointment was legal and that I had nothing to do with the circumstances of the appointor and therefore get about the business of serving the people of Illinois and the people of this great country."
– Whitney Teal
Watch the video of Roland speaking about his prior Senate controversy.