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View Poll Results: Should Roland Burris be seated as US Senator?
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Thread: Roland Burris--should he be seated as Senator?
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:40 AM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Roland Burris--should he be seated as Senator?

Last week, Gov. Blagojevich, who has been indicted for a number of things, not the least of which was trying to sell the Senate seat that Obama is vacating, has appointed Roland Burris to the Senate seat to finish Obama's term. This has caused a great deal of controversy--the appointment surely is a tainted one, but while Burris has worked for the governor on his re-election campaign, the governor put a lot of people in very difficult political position. Why? Because there aren't a lot of legal grounds to deny him the seat at this point. Jesse White's refusal as sec'y of state to sign the paperwork of any Blagojevich appointee was dealt with last Friday when the court said Burris didn't need White's signature.

This is made even more difficult by the fact that Burris African-American, replacing the only African-American currently sitting in the Senate (Obama). Congressman Bobby Rush effectively turned it into a racial issue when the gov. announced he was appointing Burris, by saying the seat should remain filled by an African-American. I noticed with a rather jaded view that no other minorities were mentioned by Rush to fill the seat, as if race should have had anything to do with the appointment in the first place over qualifications for the seat. We've not made it to a society where race is not even a second thought. It's very much at the forefront of this appointment.

Blagojevich made a shrewd political move--he knew he's a political hot potato, but he also knew it would be hard to say no to someone of Burris' qualifications (and theoretically better ethics, but 'better' is relative when you're talking IL governors, apparently) and, let's face it, Burris' race.

This thread is going to touch on racial themes--it's part of the developing story. Please don't make racist comments, however--that's a big no-no here not only in Kavar's but also on the entire LF website.


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Old 01-11-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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Yes, Burris should be seated.

Until/unless some evidence comes to light which shows that some wrongdoing has taken place, Burris has done nothing wrong. Like it or not, Blagojevich is the governor of Illinois and the law currently states that the governor of Illinois is responsible for selecting a replacement for the currently open Senate seat.

If at some later time, evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Burris does come to light, then there are legal means of taking care of that as well.

The man should be seated. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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I don't get why he shouldn't be seated.

Sure, the Governor made a bone-headed move by attempting to sell Obama's seat (On a bugged phone no less), but does this fall under the fruit of the poisoned tree? I can think of two reasons not to seat Burris, and I only think that the first one has any validity.
  • Rod is corrupt, so thus Burris -his appointee- must be corrupt.
  • He's an African-American.

NOTE: I do not agree with the second item!

The first one is slightly valid. Since we "know" that the Governor is "corrupt" it stands to reason that his appointee must be, right?

Bad logic, but it does make a certain kind of sense.

So, to wind up a really all over the place post, yes he should be seated.


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Old 01-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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I think you're absolutely right that we should have suspicions. Blago has broken any trust that he may have established with the people of the state of Illinois.

However as you also correctly point out "the sins of the father" should not be passed on to Burris. I would also point out that Burris is innocent until proven guilty, however since he hasn't been charged with anything...

FWIW though, I think how Burris handles himself throughout this situation will tell us a lot about what kind of Senator he will be. Honestly, I haven't been following every move on this, but what little I have heard sounds as though Burris is throwing something of a tantrum over the ordeal. Anyone is welcome to correct this if what I've heard is wrong.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
This is made even more difficult by the fact that Burris African-American, replacing the only African-American currently sitting in the Senate (Obama). Congressman Bobby Rush effectively turned it into a racial issue when the gov. announced he was appointing Burris, by saying the seat should remain filled by an African-American. I noticed with a rather jaded view that no other minorities were mentioned by Rush to fill the seat, as if race should have had anything to do with the appointment in the first place over qualifications for the seat. We've not made it to a society where race is not even a second thought. It's very much at the forefront of this appointment.
Only to ignorant individuals who make it such an issue. I'd prefer to ignore the fact that he's of one race or another, and look at his political record, which is particularly impressive, and relatively free of accusations pertaining to government corruption before the more recent allegations tied to Blagojevich. Anyone who treats the matter of race with any importance is not only feeding the fire of racism in this country, they're setting a standard for racial descrimination in politics, something that should be erradicated, not perpetuated. His policies and actions are the only thing that would garner my attention and allow me to guage his appointment to governer of Illinois as justified or not, not the color of his skin. End of story.

As to whether or not Burris should be appointed to the seat, I believe he should be. He is not Blagojevich, regardless of the fact that the man appointed him to the position, and thusly is not guilty of anything. Like Achilles has said, unless I am given clear and concise proof the contrary, then that is my personal stance on the matter.



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Old 01-11-2009, 11:26 PM   #6
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Everyone that Rod appoints is going to be viewed with suspicion--he's tried to sell the seat already, and the way he's acting lately doesn't make me confidant at all. Burris was active in Blago's last run for governor, though he doesn't seem to have the same taint.
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His policies and actions are the only thing that would garner my attention and allow me to guage his appointment to governer of Illinois as justified or not, not the color of his skin. End of story.
I agree with you, and was actually offended by Rush's comments that Burris should be seated just because he's black. I don't think that's any more a qualification than a disqualification. However, that's not reality, on either side of the race issue, and knowing what Rush has been through in the Civil Rights movement, I can understand why he did what he did even if I don't agree with it. We've come a long way, but race issues are still significant.

Jesse White is taking a lot of heat from the black community in particular for not signing the document so that Burris can be seated (White is black, btw, for context). White refuses to sign off on any Blago appointee on principle, and that includes Burris. He doesn't believe that anyone appointed by Hot Rod can be viewed without suspicion. The IL supreme court said White's signature wasn't required, anyway, and tossed the issue back to the US Senate.

I don't see any legal reason to refuse Burris the seat, but I certainly wouldn't trust any of Rod's appointees--he tried to sell the seat to at least 5 different people according to the indictment. Even if Burris is seated, he's going to be viewed with suspicion. He could be the cleanest of politicians, and people will still wonder if he also bought the seat.


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Old 01-11-2009, 11:56 PM   #7
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The law is either the law or it is not. The law currently states two things: 1) that the governor of Illinois appoints someone to Obama's open Senate seat and 2) that everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty (which shouldn't even apply here because Burris hasn't been charged with anything).

Suspicious? Me too. Fine. Do we have any evidence of wrongdoing on his part? No. Then the law, being what it currently is, demands that he be seated. If we find something and remove him later for it, fine. If we decide to change the law the day after he is seated, that's fine too. In the mean time, I don't believe in making the rules up as we go along to promote the outcome that we want because we think someone might be guilty of "something".
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
The law is either the law or it is not. The law currently states two things: 1) that the governor of Illinois appoints someone to Obama's open Senate seat
Or there is a special election held to fill the seat. The IL legislature dropped the ball on that one.
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and 2) that everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty (which shouldn't even apply here because Burris hasn't been charged with anything).
I agree on that.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Suspicious? Me too. Fine. Do we have any evidence of wrongdoing on his part? No. Then the law, being what it currently is, demands that he be seated. If we find something and remove him later for it, fine. If we decide to change the law the day after he is seated, that's fine too. In the mean time, I don't believe in making the rules up as we go along to promote the outcome that we want because we think someone might be guilty of "something".
The Senate rules also require the signatures of the Governor and the Secretary of State both on the document that's presented to the Senate before seating the new guy. The Senate is using that as a reason and/or excuse for not seating him. I wouldn't be surprised if they're contacting Feds to find out if Burris shows up anywhere in the recorded conversations. The last thing the Senate wants to do is seat a guy who they'll have to kick out a few months later for corruption charges. This looks to me like a delay tactic more than anything else at this point.

It was no secret to Blagojevich that the Senate, IL legislature, and just about anyone else did not want him to have anything remotely related to appointing a replacement for Obama. This was an 'in your face' move by Rod, but that's no surprise--his inability to get along with IL legislators is legendary. Point Man noted tonight "I think this is Rod's version of the 'one-finger salute'. It's like he's saying 'you bleep with me, I'll bleep with you.' " All I could do was laugh at that.


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Old 01-12-2009, 05:16 AM   #9
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I don't really know enough to say much, but, I think every consideration into the political track record is a must. Associations should be taken into considerations. "You are who you associate with" --unknown. So far as his record, hey, if it's unblemished, fine.

Burris is black? That's news to me. This thread is the first I heard of that. I don't care if he's green or purple.

Worse came to worse, I'd honestly say that if a satisfactory decision could not be decided...I guess it could be turned over to the people if there is a significant portion of time left in the term. If not, eh. Whatever.

The people could vote someone else in when the time is up for the 'governor select'.
Let the people decide. That's my final answer, valid or not. Always the people first and foremost.

Since law is law, like it or not...I guess it'll just have to play out however it does.

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Old 01-12-2009, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Or there is a special election held to fill the seat. The IL legislature dropped the ball on that one.
Separate issue.

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The Senate rules also require the signatures of the Governor and the Secretary of State both on the document that's presented to the Senate before seating the new guy.
Correct, however I'm not arguing that the Senate should seat him without the signatures. I'm arguing (per your OP) that he should be seated. Trying to squeeze the tube of toothpaste into a semantics argument over where the hold-up is doesn't change that.

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I wouldn't be surprised if they're contacting Feds to find out if Burris shows up anywhere in the recorded conversations. The last thing the Senate wants to do is seat a guy who they'll have to kick out a few months later for corruption charges.
Agreed. However just as the police cannot hold you without charge, I don't believe it's right to Burris or the people of Illinois to sit on this without cause.

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This looks to me like a delay tactic more than anything else at this point.
Delay tactic made by whom for what cause?

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It was no secret to Blagojevich that the Senate, IL legislature, and just about anyone else did not want him to have anything remotely related to appointing a replacement for Obama. This was an 'in your face' move by Rod, but that's no surprise--his inability to get along with IL legislators is legendary. Point Man noted tonight "I think this is Rod's version of the 'one-finger salute'. It's like he's saying 'you bleep with me, I'll bleep with you.' " All I could do was laugh at that.
It's surely possible, however I don't know how much that changes anything within the context of your OP. The question was whether or not Burris should be seated. Discussion regarding the conduct of Blagojevich should be held in the Blagojevich thread, no?
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #11
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Separate issue.
Rod wouldn't have been able to appoint anyone if the legislature had said they were going to hold a special election, however, the point is moot, yes.
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Correct, however I'm not arguing that the Senate should seat him without the signatures. I'm arguing (per your OP) that he should be seated. Trying to squeeze the tube of toothpaste into a semantics argument over where the hold-up is doesn't change that.
I'm certainly not excited about an indicted and impeached governor appointing anyone to a Senate seat, but I don't think the Senate can do anything constitutional to refuse him, either, so I think after some more political maneuvering he will be seated.

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Agreed. However just as the police cannot hold you without charge, I don't believe it's right to Burris or the people of Illinois to sit on this without cause.
I think I'm with you on this one as well, though I'm holding my nose about accepting any kind of Blago appointment.

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Delay tactic made by whom for what cause?
For the reasons I stated right before that possibility. I think the Senate wants to make sure there isn't anything on the tapes implicating Burris was involved in the corruption before seating him--it's probably easier to refuse to seat him than to seat him and then remove him if something comes out in the very near future. I qualified the statement, however, because I don't know for sure. If the Senate really liked Burris, I don't think there would be a hold-up at this point, hence the musing on why there's a delay.

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It's surely possible, however I don't know how much that changes anything within the context of your OP. The question was whether or not Burris should be seated. Discussion regarding the conduct of Blagojevich should be held in the Blagojevich thread, no?
Why Blagojevich chose Burris, and the effect that might have on the decision to seat him, is something I think is integral to the discussion, though it could go in the other thread too, I suppose.


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Old 01-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #12
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the point is moot, yes.
Glad to hear we agree.

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I'm certainly not excited about an indicted and impeached governor appointing anyone to a Senate seat, but I don't think the Senate can do anything constitutional to refuse him, either, so I think after some more political maneuvering he will be seated.
He was not an impeached governor when he made the selection.

And accord to the news, Burris will be seated later this week.

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I think I'm with you on this one as well, though I'm holding my nose about accepting any kind of Blago appointment.
I'm certainly not advocating that we like it, only pointing out that the rules are the rules and it's complete BS if we try to change them in the middle of the game in order to punish one man for what another man did.

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For the reasons I stated right before that possibility. I think the Senate wants to make sure there isn't anything on the tapes implicating Burris was involved in the corruption before seating him--it's probably easier to refuse to seat him than to seat him and then remove him if something comes out in the very near future. I qualified the statement, however, because I don't know for sure. If the Senate really liked Burris, I don't think there would be a hold-up at this point, hence the musing on why there's a delay.
Hmmm, I guess I'm assuming that since the tapes had already been reviewed, that information would have been forthcoming immediately after the words "Roland Burris" escaped Blago's mouth.

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Why Blagojevich chose Burris, and the effect that might have on the decision to seat him, is something I think is integral to the discussion, though it could go in the other thread too, I suppose.
Fair enough.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #13
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He was not an impeached governor when he made the selection.
True that.

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And accord to the news, Burris will be seated later this week.
Ah, I had missed that--the broadcaster on the news station I generally listen to on Mondays after work was going off on annoying and useless tangents, so I decided Lacuna Coil was far better entertainment. However, it doesn't surprise me to hear that at all.
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I'm certainly not advocating that we like it, only pointing out that the rules are the rules and it's complete BS if we try to change them in the middle of the game in order to punish one man for what another man did.
I think it would have been patently unfair to do that as well, regardless of my need to go find a gas mask to eliminate the smell.
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Hmmm, I guess I'm assuming that since the tapes had already been reviewed, that information would have been forthcoming immediately after the words "Roland Burris" escaped Blago's mouth.
Not all of the details of the investigation have been publicly released--the impeachment committee in the IL House had to ask the prosecutor for some specifics on some of the charges last week before making their recommendation. Sifting through the mountains of evidence for anything regarding Burris would take a lot of time.


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