Thursday, February 19, 2009

Personal Aside: City Club Appearance Shows Burris a Liar Once Again. And Barbara Flynn Currie Takes the Cake.


Burris’ Crooked Incompetence.

I’ve been a leader of the City Club since 1974 and I’ve never, ever seen a supposed top public official wallow in uncertainty, evasion and intellectual dishonesty as Roland Burris did yesterday. And that’s really saying something because I’ve known political hacks in two states and Washington, D. C. and have never seen one so pathetically star-crossed in self-duplicity. Even the City Club audience…always heavily Democratic and loyal…noticeably sagged in non-enthusiasm by the ineptitude of the performance.

He was introduced by Alderman Edward Burke with improbably super-charged praise. Why Burke decided to introduce him and identify with him is problematic. Burke doesn’t have to worry about a thing in politics, but still the florid and pompous introduction…pomposity being a trademark for Burke… did nothing for the finance chairman of the city council.

Then Burris started by reading a statement—and reading it badly…a statement that was obviously written for him. It answered nothing and contained no fresh facts. It called upon the audience to stand with him, not “rush to judgment.” Rush to judgment? After three different contradictory versions of his association with Rod Blagojevich, Burris is about as believable as Drew Peterson. With all the serious glitches that have occurred…the assuming of the case by the Sangamon county prosecutor…the consideration of his case by the Senate Ethics committee…the sober reexamination of his case by Sen. Richard Durbin…all we got is this: “You know the real Roland. I’ve done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide.”

You could have fooled me. He said, astoundingly, that his changeable sworn testimony before the Illinois impeachment panel is as explainable as “one, two, three.” Really? He maintained the affidavits don’t contradict each other. He reminded me of the husband caught by his wife in flagrante delicto who says, “do you believe me or your own eyes?” Then at the City Club he responded to Jeff Berkowtiz’s question by saying—incredulously:

“No, I did not have conversations about my appointment—I’m talking about actually being appointed—with anyone other the governor’s attorney.”

There was the sound of escaping breath in the solidly Democratic group of rousing partisans as he said it. Of course he had conversations before his appointment: he hustled for himself countless times; he talked to Rob Blagojevich about his ambitions. He was hit by Blago’s brother for a $10,000 contribution. He tried to raise money for Blago but couldn’t because no one would touch him. Now he says his only conversation was with the governor’s attorney? And he expects us to believe that after the manifold corrections and restatements that have come out?

Fred Lebed, his former lobbying partner, with whom I sat attempted to make Roland look good but made him look worse. He said not just to me but to the media later that Burris talked to him for “maybe 30 seconds” about whether he should fund-raise for Blago. “I said `no way!’” said Lebed. You mean the former attorney general of the state, former comptroller actually asked his partner whether he should raise money for the governor at the same time Burris wanted the senatorial appointment heedless of the leprous ethical problems Blago was involved in?

As long as Burris draws breath, he will run for office…and make no mistake, he will do it in 2010 because that’s what is does in life. He will do it unless he is kicked out of the Senate (and maybe even then). The last Illinois senator to be ejected was Republican Billy Lorimer, the GOP boss of Chicago, in 191l, after a Democratic state lawmaker said he was paid a $1,000 bribe to vote for him (in those days, under the Constitution, state legislatures elected U.S. Senators). To be sure, Lorimer ran for other offices following the ejection but was never elected. Burris will do the same. The funny thing is that Durbin and the Democrats seem to be hailing the state treasurer, Alexi Giannoulias as the golden boy. But wasn’t it only a few years ago that Giannoulias as an officer of his family’s bank approved a loan to a mob figure…and the state Democratic chairman, Mike Madigan by name, refused to endorse him? And this is the guy the Dems want to run to replace Burris?

I’m struck by the seeming lack of black support for Burris. Oh, I don’t mean black talk radio which is blatantly chauvinistic i.e. the dumbest black is preferable to the brightest white. I mean the lack of support from African American leaders. I had thought that the groundswell that forced Harry Reid to accept him would repeat: evidently not so.

Currie’s Ingenious Duplicity.

Understandable as Roland Burris is…a pathetic little man with a W. Clement Stone mustache, puffed with unjustifiable pride—a psychological anomaly with mediocre abilities that never matched his ego…wearing elevator shoes to reach 5 feet six…the case of Barbara Flynn Currie is more fascinating. Here is an acknowledged brilliant woman, “summa cum laude,” with a master’s degree in political science who has been in the state House since 1974…the second ranking member of the Democratic House…as close to Mike Madigan as is possible to get without sleeping with him—a loyal top assistant. Superb administrative skills; astute; brilliant. And she receives an affidavit from Burris after his testimony to the House impeachment panel which she runs…and she pops it into a drawer and doesn’t read it? Evidently doesn’t share it with Madigan. And it has to come out through a leak to the “Sun-Times”?

And her oleaginous explanatory statement: “Any suggestion that I engaged in a deliberate cover-up, that I purposely delayed distribution of the information is totally false. Any suggestion that I should do a better job of reading my mail I a timely fashion is a suggestion I enthusiastically—and more than a little ruefully—embrace.”

Hahaha. As if we’re so dumb we can’t figure out the real reason she stuffed it in her drawer after showing it to Madigan. They wanted Burris to be able to vote on the stimulus package and didn’t want his troubles to impact of Obama’s haste to pass the stimulus package.

I’ll tell you: these Illinois machine Democrats are so intellectually crooked they can’t lay straight in bed.

1 comment:

  1. Tom, you one again "hit the nail on the head"..I'm more disappointed with Mrs. Currie than "the real Roland" Now they pushed the "Porkulus Bill" through.