Another moment of glory for the Chicago political machine:
A transcript of a secretly recorded phone call between the brother of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and U.S. Sen. Roland Burris was released in federal court today, a call in which Burris, then seeking the Senate seat, was recorded offering the Blagojevich campaign a campaign check. …
Burris did not specifically mention offering Blagojevich a check in affidavits he filed in Springfield in connection with hearings on Blagojevich’s impeachment. On a “good will” tour around the state in February, Burris addressed a conversation he had with Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, during the fall timeframe.
“So some time shortly after Obama was elected, the brother called,” Burris said then. “And now in the meantime, I’d talked to some people about trying to see if we could put a fundraiser on. Nobody was — they said we aren’t giving money to the governor. And I said, ‘OK, you know, I can’t tell them what to do with their money.’
“So when the [governor's] brother called me back, I said, ‘Well, look Rob … I can’t raise any money from my friends. I said, maybe my partner and I, you can talk this over and see, could we go to some other people that we might be able to talk to that would help us out if we give — because we give a fundraiser in the law office, nobody going to show up. We’ll probably have a thousand dollars for you or something to that effect.’”
Don’t expect Burris to be expelled any time soon. The Democrats can strip him of committee assignments and the like, and kick him out of their caucus, but normally Senate members aren’t expelled until there’s been a conviction. Generally, they wait for the Senator in question to be voted out of office. And that’s probably rightfully so.
Burris probably won’t be cast out of the Senate. My guess is he simply won’t run for, or won’t win, re-election in 2010 when his seat is up again. Back in April, the Chicago Tribune reported that Burris had only raised $845 for his 2010 campaign.
One way or another, this guy is toast.