Chicago - Aug. 19, 2017
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Beachwood Politics
Our monthly archive.
Who We Are
Chicago by the numbers.
Sausage Links
Wiki Daley
Wiki Rahm
Illinois Channel
CAN TV
Ralph Martire
Doonesbury
Government Attic
Division Street
Indie Political Report
The Obameter
ProPublica
The Intercept
SCOTUS Blog
American Dream Betrayed

Mystery Burris Theater

In which I insert myself into the just-released conversation between Roland Burris and Robert Blagojevich.

-

ROLAND BURRIS: (Clears throat.) Burris speaking.

ROB BLAGOJEVICH: Hello Roland, this is Rob Blagojevich again. How are you?

STEVE RHODES: Um, guys, I'm on the line too . . .

BURRIS: I'm doing fine, I'm doing fine. What's . . . (chuckles) what's going on? I was just discussing you yesterday.

BLAGOJEVICH: (Chuckles.) Oh, were you. Now this is the governor's brother, not . . .

BURRIS: Alright.

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . not the governor.

RHODES: Boy do I feel like an ass.

BURRIS: I, I know you're calling telling me that you're gonna make me king of the world . . .

RHODES: He's going to get you onto American Idol?

BLAGOJEVICH: (laughs)

BURRIS: . . . and therefore I can go off to, you know, wherever and do all these great things.

RHODES: Is this Roland Burris the former state attorney general? Or am I on the wrong call?

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, let me tell ya, one thing I am not is a bullshitter.

RHODES: No, that would be your brother.

BURRIS: (chuckles)

BLAGOJEVICH: So I will just shoot straight with you.

BURRIS: (Chuckles.) Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: And manage expectations. Now I may be, I may be a little bit different than other family members, but I'm not a bullshitter.

RHODES: I think that's been established.

BURRIS: Okay Rob. 'Cause I've been, I've been trying to figure out what the heck, you know, I can do.

RHODES: To get that Senate seat.

BURRIS: Go ahead.

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, I'm just following up.

BURRIS: Yeah.

RHODES: No, you go first. No, you go first!

BLAGOJEVICH: We've had a number of conversations about, you know, anything you might be able to do; you and Fred might be able to do here before the end of the year for Rod. Again, we're trying to get as much as we can in his war chest, ah, so that when he has to, you know disclose in January . . .

RHODES: When the new ethics law Rod stalled goes into effect. Sure. Go ahead.

BURRIS: Sure.

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . what he's done and if he, you know looks formidable . . . whoever might be out there.

BURRIS: Yeah. Right, right and, and now how do, answer me this question because I'm very much interested in, in trying to replace Obama, okay. Now I . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: So you, let me just tell you Roland . . .

BURRIS: Yeah.

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . you and 1 million other people.

RHODES: (Chuckles. Facetiously.)

BURRIS: That's right, that's right so . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Of every race, color, creed and faith, it's amazing.

RHODES: I can't believe so many people would be interested in getting an appointment to a United States Senate seat without having to actually campaign for it!

BURRIS: So let, it is and so if I put on a fundraiser now . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

RHODES: Getting warmer, Roland . . .

BURRIS: . . . and, I, you know I, I think it would have something . . . this is what I've been talking to Fred about it, it has so many negative connotations that Burris is trying to buy an appointment . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . from the governor . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . for the Senate seat. I mean and I'm a high-profile person.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yep.

BURRIS: You know and, and so, I'm now, 'cause I've been just holding off calling you.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: I'm trying to figure out how in the hell and since you called me I will be honest with you.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: And I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in the consideration for the appointment.

RHODES: Awkward!

BLAGOJEVICH: I hear ya. No, I hear ya.

BURRIS: And, and if I do that I guarantee you that, that will get out and people said, oh, Burris is doing a fundraiser and, and then Rod and I both gonna catch hell,

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: And if I do get appointed that means I bought it.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mmmm.

BURRIS: If I don't get appointed then my people who I'm trying to raise money from are gonna look at me, yeah, what, what's that all about Roland.

RHODES: Meaning they would be giving money to Blagojevich with the assumption that they were helping you buy the seat?

BURRIS: I mean, so, Rob, I'm in a, I'm in a, a dilemma right now wanting to help the governor.

RHODES: But not wanting to get caught.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: I mean I, you know I, I have been with him on all of the, all the issues and I'm now trying to figure out what the hell the best thing to do.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: I know I could give him a check.

RHODES: Maybe post-date it.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: Myself.

RHODES: Roland Burris.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: And, and my law partner we were gonna try to do something at the law firm. I might be able to do this in the name of Tim Wright.

RHODES: Which is illegal.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: Okay, 'cause Tim is not looking for an appointment, okay.

RHODES: Just so you don't give him the seat when you get a check with his name on it. That's really from me. Okay?

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: So if I can talk to my law partner who's been, you know, in New York trying to drum up business . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Oh, good for you.

BURRIS: (Chuckles.)

BLAGOJEVICH: Good for you.

BURRIS: 'Cause you know he's trying to get a part of that, ah, federal bailout stuff.

RHODES: He smells the meat a-cookin'?

BLAGOJEVICH: Oh, yeah, yeah.

BURRIS: Okay, 'cause you know we're, you know he's, we've got a financial law firm here so they're trying to get involved in that. So he'll be back in in a couple days.

RHODES: So you could funnel federal bailout money to Rod Blagojevich's re-election campaign! Perfect!

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: I think he'll be back in on Monday.

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: But, ah, but Fred and I, look I said I gotta call you. I have, I have not.

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: 'Cause I didn't know how to deal with this situation.

RHODES: How would a United States senator deal with it?

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, ah, you know I'll stand by. I mean if you wanna write a check and have Fred write a check or have someone else write checks, that'd be great. I mean . . .

RHODES: Illegal third-party donations don't bother us!

BURRIS: Mm hm.

BLAGOJEVICH: We're just trying to do some clean up here. We've got a number of events we've got like . . .

BURRIS: Okay, how, yeah . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . 18 events set up between now and the end of the year.

RHODES: Is that 18 with or without the arrest?

BURRIS: Okay. Maybe I can join in on one of those events too. What, what, do you have any going with the people that I know?

RHODES: That way I can pretend this has nothing to do with the senate seat.

BLAGOJEVICH: You know right now we have no - you know to be honest with ya I, ah, we have no law firms.

BURRIS: Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: We've got a lot of ethnic groups. A lot of, ah, contract, not a lot of contractors, but, ah . . .

BURRIS: Is, is there, ah, I mean I, if you can figure somebody who I might be able to work because no, ah, what's his name Connolly, Wilhelm and Connolly, what's this guy's name, ah, ah . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Kevin Conlon?

BURRIS: Kev .., yeah, Kevin Conlon.

BLAGOJEVICH: He did one already.

BURRIS: Yeah, right 'cause, ah, and once Fred found out he had done one, we thought maybe we could hook on with him, but he had done his.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah, he did.

BURRIS: (Chuckles.) And, and so, we couldn't hook up with him.

RHODES: (Chuckles.)

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: And, and that's what I am wrestling with.

BLAGOJEVICH: I understand your concerns, ah, Roland.

BURRIS: And, and God knows number one, I, I wanna help Rod. Number two, I also wanna, you know hope I get a consideration to get that appointment.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: And, and however that goes, ah, it would dictate, ah, you know how the press treats it.

BLAGOJEVICH: Understand.

BURRIS: 'Cause man I, I will be, you know we both would be profiled . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . and we don't need that.

RHODES: Maybe you could lie on your affidavit to the state House impeachment panel, bring in Bobby Rush to play the race card, and then hire Delmarie Cobb to get you to shut up . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: Yeah.

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, hey, I appreciate your candor.

RHODES: No problem.

BURRIS: Yes.

BLAGOJEVICH: I, I can't help you with your dilemma other than want to encourage you to . . .

RHODES: Break the law.

BURRIS: Sure, sure.

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . to do what you think is fair from your standpoint . . .

BURRIS: Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: . . . and Fred's standpoint and ya know, I'll work with you. And if I can think of a place where we can tie you guys in.

RHODES: And no one will be the wiser.

BURRIS: Oh, yeah, please consider that and give me a call back to . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: . . . to let me know.

RHODES: So we're agreed, then?

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: 'Cause I'm working on it. I mean I'm just . . .

RHODES: Scared?

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . I'm just trying to figure out what the best way to do where it won't create any, any conflict for either one of us.

RHODES: Maybe you should consult a lawyer.

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay Roland. How's your business by the way?

BURRIS: It's terrible.

BLAGOJEVICH: Is it? Shit, I'm sorry to hear that.

BURRIS: I mean, you know Fred and I we might lose Burris and Lebed because we've been trying to get contracts. We don't have any clients renewing for 09.

BLAGOJEVICH: No kidding.

RHODES: You must not do very good work.

BURRIS: We have no clients renewing for 09. Fred is dying on the vine because, I, you know, a lot of our clients have run out.

RHODES: Without paying? Or they're all in jail now?

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: And, and so we're thinking about, you know going our separate ways.

RHODES: Well, maybe you'll get some of that bailout money.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mmmm.

BURRIS: And I'm going back into the law practice . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . rather than the consulting business . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS : . . . because we don't have any clients.

RHODES: Is that a hint? Because that's pretty much been established.

BURRIS: And anything I give would be out of my personal funds.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: . . . because there ain't nothing coming in from the business.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mmm. Got that.

RHODES: Message received, Roland.

BLAGOJEVICH: it is a tough time for everybody I mean . . .

BURRIS: It, it, it's bad.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: I mean I, I didn't spring that on you.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: But you, but you asked.

BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.

BURRIS: I mean that, that's, Rob, that's just where it is.

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: Um, at the end of the year if we don't get a major client in, Burris and Lebed will, you know, Fred will go his separate way and I will try to go into the law firm . . .

RHODES: WE GET IT!

BLAGOJEVICH: Mm hm.

BURRIS: . . . and continue to make some money.

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, do you have prospects for that?

BURRIS: Yeah, I'm, I'm of counsel to a law firm.

BLAGOJEVICH: Please keep me in mind and you know if you guys can just write checks that'd be tine, if we can't find a way for you to tie in.

BURRIS: Okay, okay, well we, we, I, I will personally do something, Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay. Alright Roland.

BURRIS: And it'll be done before the 15th of December.

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: Alright. (Chuckles.)

BLAGOJEVICH: Alright.

RHODES: Will you guys just say goodbye and hang up?! This is like a 15-year-old asking a girl out on a date . . .

BURRIS: Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: Hey, you're a good friend. I'll pass on your message.

RHODES: The one about you wanting to pay-to-play but not wanting to get caught and how you don't really have any money but you could always get someone else to write the check or tie yourself into someone else's fundraiser.

BURRIS: Please do and . . .

BLAGOJEVICH: Okay.

BURRIS: . . . tell Rod to keep me in mind for that seat, would ya? (Chuckles.)

BLAGOJEVICH: I'll let him know.

BURRIS: Okay.

BLAGOJEVICH: Bye Roland.

BURRIS: Alright. Bye-bye.

BLAGOJEVICH: Bye.

RHODES: Bye.



Permalink

Posted on May 27, 2009


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Can Anyone Stop Sinclair?
POLITICS - Hundreds Turn Selves In For Toppling Statue.
SPORTS - Bears Psychosis Grips City.

BOOKS - How Subversive Artists Made Thrifting Cool.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Cloudy Gate.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!