What kind of man are you, Roland Burris? To accept the Illinois Senate seat from a governor charged with corruption, whose foul mouth was actually taped recorded desecrating the people of Illinois?
You said you accepted Gov. Blagojevich’s nomination because you want to serve the people of this state. Burris, you are doing no service, sir. Instead, you are greatly contributing to this freak-show of a circus called Illinois politics.
Then, in a news conference today, you claim it is the media to blame for creating this circus. How convenient it is to blame the media, while turning a blind eye to the heinous culture of greed and selfishness that has become the bedrock of Illinois government. Because if you acknowledge the corruption, you become part of it. It is sad, really. Sad for you, because you have to live with that.
When I moved to this state, I was shocked, totally shocked at the outward air of entitlement elected officials bolster – while their results showed a thorough dysfunction. Nothing works. Taxes are inequitable. Schools are failing. Nothing gets passed. And, this governor has been under investigation since 2005!
I wrote a story last spring about the hiring practices of the state and whether they are following laws that give veterans a fair chance. It was like opening a can of worms. I knew I was over my head when I was refused hiring statistics. And for a graduate school assignment, I had bitten off more than I could chew. The state was circumventing veteran-preference laws, the Chicago Tribune reported. Pay-to-play was everywhere and it has never ended. Not at the city, county, or state.
My fiancé and I had dinner one night with another couple last spring while I was working on my story. When I mentioned all the issues I found were plaguing the state and talked about the Tribune report, they were immediately turned off. They didn’t want to talk about the unpleasantness of politics. I’ve never understood why citizens put their head in the sand when they wield such absolute power over theses officials. But I guess people like Burris and Blagojevich and countless others like it that way, don’t they? If people become too involved, too demanding, that means they might actually have to work for the people rather than for themselves.
Mr. Burris, you won’t be seated. Illinois Secretary of State will not certify your appointment and the Senate will reject your nomination. But it’s not because your peers are ethical saints. They have blood on their hands for keeping their mouths closed, for turning a blind eye, for supporting those they knew were entrenched in scandal. The reason you won’t be seated, Burris, is because the people now know. The media hasn’t created a circus in Illinois; it has opened the eyes of the citizens. Facing the truth is messy, but liberating. And, maybe, the silver lining in all this ugliness which has been aired is that the people won’t stand for corruption any longer. Maybe Burris, even though you’ve shot yourself in the political foot, you’ve helped turned the tide in Illinois by shining a light on the fact that you’re all acting like a bunch of schmucks.
Well, I can dream, right?