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Friday, February 20, 2009

Illinois' Corruption Dance Continues

Illinois' new Governor, Pat Quinn, became the latest in a long line of Illinois powerbrokers to ask that U.S. Senator Roland Burris resign.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says Sen. Roland Burris should resign his post for the good of the state. Quinn said Friday that his fellow Democrat, Burris, is an honorable man. But he says controversy surrounding Burris' appointment has cast a shadow over his service in the Senate.

"It was a gigantic mistake for him (Burris) to take the appointment in the first place," Quinn told a news conference.

Quinn joins the Comptroller, US Congresswoman Jan Schakowski as well as both newspapers, the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, among a host of politicians and media that are now demanding that Burris resign. Judging by the righteous indignation all these folks now exhibity, I almost forgot how all of them referred to Burris not but two months ago., almost. Let's remember, when Burris was first selected by Blago, most everyone in the state was very careful not to impugn Burris' character. In fact, no one had a problem with Burris' selection per se, or even the process by which Blago ultimately selected him. They all just had a problem with the fact that Blago selected anyone at all. Yet, it was universally understood that even though Burris accepted the nomination of an obviously corrupt Governor, he was himself a man of unquestioned integrity.

My, how times have changed? Now, it is Burris' integrity that is being questioned. What's really remarkable about Burris' behavior is that it might be even more brazen than Blago's. Burris knew full well that Blago was being taped. He knew full well that a full investigation was being conducted into what sorts of quid pro quos were agreed to in relation to this seat. He was even under oath. Yet, that didn't stop him from lying blatantly regardless.

Now, when one politician commits such a brazen act of corruption, we could chalk it up to their own character flaws. When two politicians commit such brazen acts of corruption in such proximity, we all must come to the realization that it is the environment that surrounds them that causes them to think they can get away with it.

So, now the political class in Illinois will each take their turns letting the public know that what Burris did was unacceptable. Expect most every politician to demand his resignation over the next week. In fact, soon after, Burris will realize that his gig is up and he will resign. Make no mistake, none of them have any serious intentions of confronting the systemic corruption that allows for such consistent acts of brazen corruption. In fact, most are themselves players in this corruption.

In fact, only John Kass, of the Tribune, asks another relevant question about the Burris scandal.

Burris' few lies to a state impeachment committee are nothing compared with the hundreds of millions devoured by corruption in the Daley administration. And Madigan still hasn't been held to account for his flunky, state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Madigan), holding onto the bombshell Burris affidavit—the one in which Burris revealed his earlier lies under oath—by slipping it into her desk drawer.

That the powers that be originally wanted to bury Burris' subsequent addendum to his original affidavit is something that you are likely not hear just about anyone except Kass address. That's because John Kass is part of an exclusive club here in Illinois. He is a genuine anti corruption individual. The rest of them only tell the rest of us what they think we want to hear, or usually, what it becomes obvious they all need to say. (in this case that what Burris did is unacceptable and he needs to resign) Most have no intention of doing nothing more than going through the motions when it comes to corruption.

So, the corruption dance will continue. The Illinois media and political class will again be shocked, shocked I say, that there is corruption in our state. They will all demand that Burris resign and then everyone, short of Kass, will go back to business as usual...until the next scandal that demands comment occurs that is.

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