Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Roland Burris perjury allegations could have been avoided if Harry Reid had kept his word

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Originally published on on Mon, 02/16/2009 – 12:25pm

Attn: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): Want to know why it can be good to keep your word?

The latest Roland Burris saga (D-IL) — potential perjury charges — could have been avoided if the Democratic Senate leadership had stuck to its guns and not seated a senator until Rod Blagojevich was impeached.

Illinois would have been without a senator for approximately 23 days more than in the current reality, but a legitimate, untainted person could have been serving in that seat, picked by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

State Republicans have called for an investigation into possible perjury charges, and some have asked for his resignation. And it’s difficult to disagree with them.

Even if the situation were clean enough to eat off of, the Blagojevich taint would have remained.

Given that the subsequent forthcoming of Sen. Burris is likely linked to the fact that, as part of the federal investigation against Blagojevich, the feds may have conversations on tape that Burris did not mention when originally testifying before the Illinois House.

The backlash against Rod Blagojevich should have made it very easy for Reid to keep his promise not to seat anyone picked by Blagojevich. After all, if Reid had held to his guns, Illinois would have had a senator before Minnesota, and well before a vote on a stimulus package.

One of Reid’s responsibilities as the Democratic Party leader in the Senate is to work hard to keep Democratic seats remaining Democratic. Outside of his original stance, Reid has worked hard to do the complete opposite.

Illinois Republicans are not in a strong position to take any seat, but as recent state history teaches us, Peter Fitzgerald and Michael Flanagan were elected to Congress in seats held by troubled Democrats. So a transfer of power to the GOP is entirely possible.

Every Senate seat that belongs to Democrats is precious, and there is already pressure in 2010 to retain a number of seats that otherwise seemed safe (IL, NY, DE, CO). Sen. Reid should know this better than anyone, as his seat is one of those in danger in 2010.

By making the Illinois situation more difficult, Sen. Reid needs to take responsibility for his mistake, and learn that keeping your word gets you political benefits.


Written by democracysoup

February 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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