Commentary: Burris should step down

This editorial appeared in The Belleville News-Democrat.

Roland Burris is reminding us all of exactly why we dislike and distrust politicians so much.

He said prior to his appointment to the U.S. Senate that he had no contacts – well, maybe one – with Gov. Rod Blagojevich or his representatives about the seat. His answer was crucial because Blagojevich had just been charged with trying to sell the seat.

Now Burris says in an amended affidavit that there were six contacts, including three with Blagojevich's brother Robert that sound pretty shady. Burris said Robert Blagojevich asked for a campaign contribution at the same time he told Burris his name was under consideration for the seat. Hint, hint.

Amazingly, Burris didn't think that was important to mention to the rest of us. He probably wouldn't be mentioning it now except that the FBI apparently taped at least one of those conversations.

Now Burris has the gall to claim his statements are all consistent. He wasn't hiding anything; people just didn't ask him the right questions. And his original affidavit that claimed there were no contacts whatsoever? It's correct because of the way he parsed his words.

Guess we shouldn't be surprised that a guy who has so much personal ambition – and so little pride that he accepted an appointment from a tainted Blagojevich – would twist the truth to get what he wanted.

Burris should do the honorable thing and resign. He can still add senator to his list of accomplishments on that tombstone in Chicago he had built as a monument to himself. That's really the only reason he wanted this job, isn't it? It certainly wasn't to serve the people.

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