Rich Galen

Burris was appointed by the former Democratic Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich to fill the seat left vacant by the election of Barack Obama to be President. Blagojevich was wiretapped demanding money, or favors, or both in return for making the appointment.

He appointed Burris who was not immediately sworn in because the Illinois Secretary of State refused to certify Blagojevich's appointment. In the end Burris was admitted to the Senate because, it was held, he should not be punished because the guy who appointed him was a crook.

During impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich in the Illinois House, Burris testified he had no contact with Blagojevich nor with any of Blago's associates prior to his being appointed.

Last weekend, according to the AP:

"Burris released an affidavit saying he had spoken to several Blagojevich advisers, including Robert Blagojevich, the former governor's brother and finance chairman, who Burris said called three times last fall asking for fundraising help."

Then a couple of days ago, Burris "changed his story again when he admitted trying, unsuccessfully, to raise money for Blagojevich."

Now, that's an evolving position if ever I read one.

Here's where these two stories come together: Mr. Holder is the Attorney General of the United States. If Mr. Burris - who is also Black - has, in the measured words of Durbin, submitted affidavits and given testimony which may have been inaccurate and/or incomplete, isn't this something the Justice Department might want to take a look at?

The Justice Department's Criminal Division has a unit - the Public Integrity Section - which is specifically responsible for investigating this kind of behavior.

The question is: Is Eric Holder comfortable enough about race relations in America to open a case against the only Black member of the United States Senate?

It just goes to prove: Bad behavior is color blind.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at