Why Is the Governor’s Criminal Defense Lawyer Making Political Overtures?

Sam Adam was the one to approach Davis and Burris.

This is bizarre and opens up all sorts of questions about what exactly is going on in the Governor’s office.  Most I’ve heard from on this see it as setting up some sort of defense for a trial later. The possibility I keep coming back to is that in Blagojevich’s ‘mind’ he thinks the feds probably cannot track the lawyer’s calls and so they aren’t likely to become public.

As with most things, we don’t know what Rod is ‘thinking’ but he does give us a lot of fun guessing.

Due Process and Rights?

TPM reports an aide to an Illinois legislative Democrat says they won’t speed up impeachment:

“No,” the source said, when we asked if the impeachment proceedings might be fast-tracked. “They set out to do something in a measured and careful manner with an eye towards not creating or setting the wrong precedent, and not trampling upon rights and due process. And they’re going to continue to do that.”

This isn’t a court. It’s a legislature and precedent doesn’t carry the same weight.  There is no stare decis in relation to impeachment rulings.  There are no rights involved and due process is spelled out in the Illinois Constitution–majority in the House, 2/3 in the Senate.  That’s it.

Currie is arguing with Genson that the committee doesn’t have to follow different legal principles while the committee continues to act like it has to.  Someone needs to get a damn clue about what they think and bounce the asshole out of office.

You can’t say the standard for impeachment is set by individuals and then claim that due process and rights matter. They don’t.  It’s a political matter in a political venue.  This deference to precedent is silly. There is no requirement for such and no one in the future will be held to it.  Drop the pretense and do what the people of Illinois want you to do in this political case.

Blair Hull: The Real Black Man

Progress Illinois passes along Ta-Nehisi  Coates take on Rush’s giving the race card a bad name routine.

This is a sickening display–especially Bobby Rush’s invocation of God. Rush\Blago\Burris’s race argument  is rather incredible. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile as a political move. It strikes as a kind of suicide bomb. Blago is going down. Burris has nothing to lose. And Rush has never been on great terms for Obama. It’s very easy, as a young black person, to be really angry about this move. Trust me, the old generational anguish is stewing in the heart of a lot of young black Chicago folks this morning. More on that later.

My immediate reaction is that Rush is overplaying his hand. He’s basically arguing that a pol should fear the black backlash should they oppose Burris’s appointment. But there’s one problem with that logic–Barack Obama is on the other side of the table. Rush’s logic basically asks politicians to chose between the will of a corrupt governor, and the will of the first black president of the United States.  I don’t know, but it would seem that now would be a good time for Obama to flex some muscle and make it clear that folks support this move at their peril. I really, really, really hope the CBC doesn’t back this move. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.


It is amazing to hear Rush make this argument, given that if left to him, there would be no black Senators anyway. Rush backed the very-white Blair Hull against Obama in 2004. Are these people serious?

Blair was a convenient guy to latch on to for Rush since he hated Obama and was accused of secretly supporting Hynes by Steve Neal.  It’s no wonder Rush didn’t join Illinois NOW.

One Weeks Worth of Work

Earlier I mentioned that the AG’s Office screwed the pooch on the bond deal by taking a week to add language to some of the documents.  Both the Treasurer’s Office and Comptroller’s Office had their minor fixes ready within a day and could have moved forward and made the sale before the state’s credit rating was downgraded.  By having to wait the state has to pay about $20 million more in interest.  Below are the typical version and the modified version:



Modified for Rod’s arrest:


One week’s worth of work.  Amazing.

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joie de fuck you

Pretty much sums up the humorous part of all of this:

Good for You, Asshole!

I completely approve of Blagojevich’s decision to go ahead and name a new senator. Sure, he’s being an asshole, but there’s a certain “joie de fuck you” quality to the announcement that you just have to admire. This is a man who owns his asshole-ness. “Yeah, I have this stupid haircut, and you think I’m I’m going to jail, but here’s your motherfucking Senator, and if you don’t like it, bite me, suckers!” It’s the kind of attitude you see in, say, your more self-aware bass players, and at least from a distance it’s almost endearing.

Daily Dolt: Bobby Rush

What a jackass:

A day after making racially charged remarks warning critics of Roland Burris’s appointment to the U.S. Senate to “not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate” disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush said today that senators “don’t want to see themselves in the same position” as George Wallace, Bull Connor and others who promoted segregation in the Civil Rights era.

Appearing this morning on “The Early Show” on CBS, Rush also said those attacking Blagojevich, who faces criminal charges that include trying to sell the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama should take it easy.

“I think what needs … to happen now is that all these folks who are opposed to Gov. Blagojevich, they need to take a chill pill,” Rush said. “We’re still a nation of laws and I believe that Roland Burris and Gov. Blagojevich, they’re on solid constitutional grounds in terms of … him being selected. I think the U.S. Senate will have to accept him.”

Rush underscored the role of racial politics during Blagojevich’s controversial appointment yesterday of Burris, the state’s first African-American elected official and a former state attorney general, to the seat left vacant by Obama, who was the U.S. Senate’s lone black member.

“I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer,” Rush said Tuesday in promising to lobby congressional leaders, including U.S. Senate Democratic leaders who have vowed not to seat Burris or anyone appointed by the embattled two-term Democratic governor.

Despite Rush’s statements, Obama, the first African-American to be elected president, said he sides with U.S. Senate Democratic leaders in wanting the appointment of Burris or anyone else chosen by Blagojevich to be rejected.

Burris, appearing this morning on WGN-TV, defended Rush’s comments and denied the South Side congressman — whom Burris invited to yesterday’s U.S. Senate announcement–was playing racial politics.

Rush, Burris said, was just relating “facts and not playing the race card and not being emotional about it.”

As for Rush, in his interview this morning, he harkened to the days of segregation and the civil rights battles in Little Rock, Ark., and in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s in warning the U.S. Senate Democratic majority shouldn’t try to block Burris.

“You know, the recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where schoolchildren — where you have officials standing in the doorway of schoolchildren,” Rush said. “You know, I’m talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Ark. I’m talking about George Wallace, Bull Connor and I’m sure that the U.S. Senate don’t want to see themselves placed in the same position.”

It was pretty impossible to cut that down–Pearson’s writing was pretty much perfect making every paragraph important to the point.

I believe this analogy leads to one concluding Rod Blagojevich is Thurgood Marshall.  Bobby should be doing stand up comedy.

Fine Moments in Rolandville

The time in a debate when he kept referring to 9/11 as 7-11.

Chicago Daily Herald
January 11, 2002, Friday Cook/DuPage/Fox Valley/Lake/McHenry

Burris, who has lost two previous Democratic governor primaries, displayed his energetic charisma, referring to himself in the third person several times. But he also stumbled. While expressing his support for a third airport in Peotone, Burris referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as taking place on “7-11.

In 2002, when running for Governor, Burris was asked if he supported increased funding for the developmentally disabled and he called it a “no brainer”.

John Shibley call home.

and finally:

Chicago Sun-Times
March 6, 2002 Wednesday

LEGISLATIVE CHALLENGE OF THE NIGHT: “Education, in my program . . . starts at [age] zero . . . really starting in the ninth month of pregnancy, where the mother or the other parent or someone is reading to the child in the womb as the brain is still developing. Those brains will retain those sound waves . . . “

Roland Burris, answering a question about school quality

Two Clarifications for the National Press

One, Roland Burris II is part of a law firm that has made significant contributions to Blagojevich as well, but Burris the elder is no longer with the firm–he was of counsel previously for RB II’s firm.  Whether to include those contributions in Burris the elder’s total depends upon the dates. His current firm has given some as well–I’ll break that out in a bit.

Burris’s lobbying firm didn’t receive only $295,000 in state contracts, try $705,000 since 2003.

Can’t Make This Up

Teh Awesome:

Questions also surfaced in 2004 about Burris’s consulting firm, when it was awarded a $150,000 state contract to advise disadvantaged businesses on how to improve their operations and ultimately win state contracts. Burris said politics played no role in his firm obtaining the contract.

Donate lots of money would be the obvious answer.

A Major Outcry from the People of Illinois

Anyone got Burris in a cowboy hat?


You really do have to wonder what planet Roland Burris is living on right now.

In an appearance just now on MSNBC, Burris was asked about the possibility of the Senate refusing to seat him. “Well, I think you will see a major outcry from the people of Illinois,” Burris said, “based on the fact that the governor has appointed me.”

You read that correctly: Burris says the people will have a major outcry to a Blagojevich-appointed Senator not being seated.

Burris also said he would legally challenge any decision by the Senate not to seat him. He probably has a better shot there.

If by major you mean Bobby Rush, Roland Burris and hecklers at a press conference, yes.  Otherwise, no.