• Roland Burris Turns Capitol Hill Circus into Circus

    The first day of the 111th day of Congress is upon us, with a whole new crop of senators and congresspeople about to be sworn in for their first day on the job.

    A new congress — an event that only comes once every two years — is quite a day for America, highlighting just how grandiose and stately a democracy can truly be

    Roland Burris was denied entry to the Senate chambers on Tuesday as he tried to claim the seat once held by President-elect Barack Obama. Burris said the secretary of the Senate rejected his credentials, and therefore he would not be allowed access to the floor…

    "Our credentials were rejected by the secretary of the Senate. We were not allowed to be placed in the record books. We were not allowed to proceed to the floor for purposes of taking oath, all of which we think was improperly done and it is against the law of this land," [Burris' attorney] said.

    Hmmmm… What's this all about?

    The problem for Mr. Burris, of course, is that he was named to the seat by the embattled Illinois governor, Rod R. Blagojevich. [Secretary of the Senate Nancy] Erickson had already said that the appointment letter forwarded by the governor's office did not comply with Rule II of the Senate’s standing rules, which requires signatures of both the governor and the secretary of state.

    The Illinois secretary of state, Jesse White, has refused to sign, saying the appointment is invalid because of the federal corruption investigation surrounding the governor and what prosecutors describe as his efforts to sell the Senate seat, vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

    Ah, American democracy. You're soaking in it.

    Tags: Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, Roland Burris, Senate


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