Resign Sen. Burris

Why? Chicago Tribune:

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governorís brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.

. . . In comments to reporters after appearing at a Democratic dinner, the senator several times contradicted his latest under-oath affidavit that he quietly filed with the Illinois House impeachment panel earlier this month. That affidavit was itself an attempt to clean up his live, sworn testimony to the panel Jan. 8, when he omitted his contacts with several Blagojevich insiders.

(Emphasis supplied.) Speaking for me only

< California Into the Abyss | NBC: 10,000 Troops "Remissioned" From Iraq To Afghanistan >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Agree. He's a liar. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:01:47 PM EST

    So um, is Blago (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    still "innocent"?

    In terms of the criminal justice system (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:07:28 PM EST
    Of course.

    In terms of the criminal justice system (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    is this pay to play - wrongdoing on Burris' part to raise money while campaigning for the seat (esp. as he was I believe solicited to do so)?  Or is this typical political b.s.?

    Unless there is (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:29:56 PM EST
    clearly delineated quid pro quo, its going to be very, very hard to establish any sort of criminal culpability on Burris's part- think about Ambassadorships and basically every president ever (at this point its a running joke, its a very good thing that Ambassadors do virtually nothing in the way of actually diplomacy- thats the purview of career Foriegn Service types)- they go to major contributors, we know they go to major contributors, but no one ever really gets charged because there is no concrete record.

    I don't think so (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    From what we know so far, the contact between Blagojevich's brother and Burris was a routine fundraising call, part of a process in which the brother was presumably asking everyone who had raised money for the governor in the past whether they could come up with any more.  Assuming that's true, and there's no evidence to the contrary right now, there's nothing illegal about that even though Burris was hoping for a favor from the governor at the time.  Probably most of the governor's fundraisers are hoping for some kind of favor much of the time.

    Here's an illustrative example.  Let's say my name is Denise Rich, and my ex-husband is hoping for a pardon from the President, hypothetically.  If the President or one of his agents calls me up and tells me that if I want that pardon, I need to donate a million bucks to the presidential library fund, that's an illegal quid pro quo.

    If instead, they call me up and say, "Hey, I noticed your ex-husband has a pardon application pending.  By the way, do you think you might have a million dollars for the presidential library fund this year?" we're already starting to get a little more vague.  That's probably still enough to establish an illegal quid pro quo, but the jury needs to draw an inference.  The cuter we are about it, and the more distance we keep between the pending pardon application and the fundraising conversation, the harder it is to prove anything.

    And finally, if I just happen to donate a million bucks to the presidential library fund - even if my fervent hope is that I'm going to get a favor in exchange for that donation - then there's no quid pro quo, as long as no one has led me to believe that I'll be getting something in return.  In fact, people who are hoping for favors from politicians make unsolicited contributions all the time; if I lived in John Murtha's district and I was hoping for a million-dollar defense contract, of course I'd donate to his reelection fund.  That's entirely customary, a bit sleazy I suppose, but it's not illegal.


    Exacly (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    using strict scrutiny, or inferrance would besides being overly stringent- would basically crimialize almost all major political donations- if applied retroactively we could imprison every major political figure in America- Obama, both Clintons, every elected Bush, basically everyone outside of Russ Feingold- and even he'd probably go down due to dairy contributions and farm subsidies- as long as there is no explicit quid pro quo then its legal- this is one of the reasons so many people are laughing about Blago- the guy was so arrogant he went and violated what is a simple principle: "don't spell out pay for play" I mean if a moron like Dubya can figure that out you'd think anyone could.

    Well (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:13:58 PM EST
    Fitz can help you on that point.

    Again I repeat (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    It sure would have been a good idea for the Democrats to investigate that situation themselves before agreeing to seat Sen. Burris.

    Even if this stuff hadn't come out during the investigation, at least now they'd be in a position to say hey, you concealed this stuff from us during the investigation, we're going to do something about it.  Instead all they can do is sit around and hope someone else cleans up the mess for them.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:08:43 PM EST
    But the Blago taint was simply unavoidable. That was my whole point.

    No Blago appointee could be untainted.


    That was Harry Reid's point too until (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:30:04 PM EST
    it wasn't.

    I think that Reid et al should have kept their mouths shut from the begining - except to say that they'd carefully scrutinize any candidate sent to the Senate by Blago.  It could not have been worse than what they've got on their hands now.  At this point, they all look like they're willing to go back on their principles and on top of that they've seated a guy who has been exposed to be everything they raged against in the first place.  Shaking head.

    How is it that Burris thought he would not be busted?  It isn't like the Blagojeviches being wiretapped wasn't well known by the time he emerged to take the seat.  Man.  Dumb and dumber.


    Correct (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:31:03 PM EST
    I think this calls into question the (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:02:29 PM EST
    value of Fitzgerald's announcement which led to the current situation.
    I feel very uncomfortable with the idea of a prosecutor meddling in the process of making political appointments, except by indicting people, of course.
    The argument was made that Fitzgerald did what he set out to do, which was to prevent Blago from making a corrupt appointment. That didn't work out so well, did it?

    I know I had to be convinced (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:26:34 PM EST
    But I came around to see that there was no way to prove Burris wasn't tainted. Since it is a political appointment and not a court of law, that was good enough for me.

    It's the guy getting into the car with (none / 0) (#57)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:30:06 PM EST
    the hoooker scenario. You see that going down at 12 midnight, and you don't need a court of law to make a deduction.
    Burris was proven corrupt precisely because he took the appointment.

    What an effing disaster this has been (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:09:31 PM EST
    It is OBVIOUS that Reid should have stuck to his guns.

    I forget, why did everyone (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:12:14 PM EST
    side against Reid again?  Because they hate Lieberman?

    Everyone? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:13:19 PM EST
    Come again?

    Sorry, not everyone (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:15:26 PM EST
    but a pretty big chunk of the blogs were hating on Reid (for various reasons, esp. Jane Hamsher) and hoping Burris would be seated.  BarbinMD and yourself notably excluded, as well as more than a handful of respected legal scholars.

    Sorry for the hyperbole - I guess I'm just caught up in how ridiculous this situation has been.


    Reid caved due to public (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    spectacle of an African American, arriving at the Captiol in the rain, surrounded by his supporters, apparently unable to take the seat to which he was appointed in the Senate.  

    But no, not everyone caved.  BTD remained steadfast.


    No way (none / 0) (#15)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:24:23 PM EST
    The KING dog African American came out against him.  

    Once Blago wouldn't leave office and the whole process was taking forever, having him seated was a good thing.  Can you imagine what other concessions the stimulus would have needed if we had to get another Republican senator.  

    Now the new governor can appoint someone without the taint before the health care battle starts (hopefully we will have franken by then).


    Your timeline is off (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:26:07 PM EST
    Blago was removed from office long before the stimulus bill came up.

    Quinn could have appointed Danny Davis in plenty of time to have his vote on the stimulus.


    In addition (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:52:02 PM EST
    and more importantly, without Burris in the Senate, the votes required to pass the bill would have been 59, not 60.

    Having Burris in the Senate helped not at all.


    The rule changed in 72 (none / 0) (#42)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:19:44 PM EST
    The rule says that the senate needs 60 votes of those that are "duly chosen and sworn in"- not 2/3rds of those present.  

    Precisely (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    3/5 of 98 would require 59.

    Since Burris was the 99th Senator, he pushed the 3/5 number to 60.

    His seating did not help at all.


    Harry Reid would have needed (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:31:20 PM EST
    The KING dog African American

    to stand by his side at every moment before he would have had the courage to stick to his guns on not seating Burris. We are talking about the most cautious politician I know of. I'm sure he figured he'd rather take his chances on this situation we are having now.


    At the time, I was concerned that a fed prosecutor (none / 0) (#44)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    could affect the ability of any sitting official to govern, by holding such a news conference.

    Then, when the Senate Dems tried to cover their asses preemptively, to try to be above suspicion  by saying they would not seat anyone appointed by the duly elected governor of a state, they were setting a precedent. Such a precedent could be used by our ruthless opponents to mess up almost any senate replacement.

    Dems could use it as well, but they don't do ruthless all that well when it's obvious.  Dems are supposed to have principles. It's part of the brand image.

    IL did not have a law in place mandating a special election for a senator's replacement in the circumstances Obama presented. IL and the Dems knew since Nov. 4, 2008 that Obama was have to be replaced. The IL legislature decided to not pass such legislation. Ergo, the right to make the apppointment belonged to the gov by right of his office and was fully consitutional in his state. Indeed, did he not have a duty to do so?

    Yes, a mighty mess. But, again, the Dems could have accepted the apppointment, pointing out that, as always, any future disclosures of wrongdoing could be grounds for reevaluating the status of the appointee/new senator.

    When good laws and precedent are right there to be used, why wing it with what the Seante Dems did?


    But let's remember (none / 0) (#48)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:27:47 PM EST
    lots of public officials get accused of wrongdoing.  Not every such accusation immediately leads to a bipartisan impeachment effort.  And not every accusation of wrongdoing involves a specific allegation of trying to sell the very Senate seat in question.

    In any event, the reason why I recommended an investigation was precisely to avoid the question of what overarching principle should apply.  Investigate the facts and let this case rise or fall based upon the individual facts.  The only precedent would be that future instances will be resolved on a case-by-case basis.


    That's not gonna happen (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:36:23 PM EST
    once in the saddle.  But if someone doesn't say something we are all complicit.

    "Someone" did.. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:59:02 PM EST
    Yeah, and I made sure to comment in his (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 06:51:18 PM EST
    saying so so that I'm not complicit :)

    So how is this different (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:26:15 PM EST
    from "you'd better support me or I'll run a primary challenger against you"....or "you don't want to be the one who prevents the first African American president from winning, now do you?"

    Of course, (presumably) no money was involved in the situations I mentioned, but both Blago's situation and the one I mentioned are morally, ethically bankrupt pay to play.

    Pols are pols, right? They make deals to gain power.

    It's the lying in testimony that's the (none / 0) (#52)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:41:31 PM EST
    difference, I think.

    Wait (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 04:18:13 PM EST
    running primary opponents is just what happens- I mean Liberman had a primary opponent due to his positions- was that corrupt to you as well?

    Blagojevich has yet to be convicted (1.00 / 1) (#62)
    by joze46 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 06:50:14 PM EST
    and Burris is guilty according to Chris Mathews anchor Judge and Jury at MSNBC along with prosecutor Lynn Sweet.

    Blagojevich being investigated for five years really tends to develop the notion of partisan politics, or one has a mind that is nothing more than a box of rocks to believe cable news and the horned rimmed glass beagle Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun -Times.

    Lynn Sweet reminds me of the cartoon character that pulls the football away from Charlie Brown all the time. I agree with Steve M, About Rollin Burris and fund raising, he put it very well that this stuff is a lot of routine stuff made out to be illegal.    

    Heck Rod B literally has been investigated since he was installed as Governor. For me one should be able to establish a case within months other wise it all looks politically timed and motivated. And this is big time, Patrick Fitzgerald is nothing neutral, from my view much of the Ryan's conviction was totally lacking. Here, Ryan is the fall guy for a huge bunch of regulars that should have gone to jail too. But no that did not happen.

    Many May argue with my point, but if anything Patrick Fitzgerald is the one who should be investigated he used the lame "Perjury" reason to put Scooter Libby away. Libby sitting on huge devastating knowledge of the guilt of Bush and Cheney in lies about the war in Iraq is surfacing more and more.

    Now grandstanding an arrest of the Blagojevich Governor of Illinois.

    Leaning on "Lame Perjury Stuff" or how often does either happen? Usually officials in public positions like this are given a huge curtsey to surrender to the court. My instinct from the sensationalism even from MSNBC Chris Mathews presenting biased treachery modified to propagandize and prosecute in the media. Far from fair reporting.

    If anything Fitzgerald should be investigated for Misfeasance, and cable Journalist also for treachery and public confusion;

    "Misfeasance is "the doing of a proper act in a wrongful or injurious manner; the improper performance of an act which might have been lawfully done." With that taken care of, now we can get to the particulars.

    Becuase of the corruption it was necessary to sensationalize in Cecil B. Demille style all the graphic flashing lights in cable prapaganda for one Govenor where we all know lives. Yet this same FBI has a problem finding twenty million Mexican aliens runing loose in America. Sheesh. And they have the nerve to say Illinois is the most corrupt. Their State of mind is corrupt.  

    It was unnecessary to arrest Blagojevich that way but it was great political theater to induce further corruption especially with media prosecution. Now Fitzgerald has no recourse but to carry out this "Complaint" to turn this into a public indictment, and conviction.

    If not Blagojevich has all the right to sue Fitzgerald for huge damages. Here, come the Judge...and Jury...maybe some journalist to appear, anybody Sweet out there?    

    Yup, time to go (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    Stop the bleeding now. He had his shot.

    Not going to happen. (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:11:16 PM EST

    Probably not (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:30:04 PM EST
    Obama will probably not allow it. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Saul on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:27:50 PM EST
    I don't think he wants this open up again. Especially something concerning his home state. Also  It would resemble the Sec Of Commerce fiasco.  Plus if he allowed Burris to be investigated and removed then how does he answer the Sec Of Treasury Geithner  who was allowed to get through for the same reasons that Daschell could not.  Just a can of worms.

    IMO Geithner  should have resigned after the Daschell incident.  Obama's statement after Daschell quit,  that their could not be two set of rules on paying taxes one for ordinary citizens and those in power did not make any sense since he did not ask Geithner to resign.

    Plus would it make sense to go after this guy and then not investigate Bush and the past administration like senator Leahy wants to who were far worst than Burris IMO.

    Do not follow your thought process on this one (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    I think BURRIS may not (check that) WILL NOT do it.

    But I feel confident that Obama would love to see the man go away.


    Can't have a double standard to use Obama words (none / 0) (#30)
    by Saul on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:36:43 PM EST
    If Burris goes then you got to let Geitner go to.  You can't cherry pick who should stay or go.

    How are the two related? (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:41:01 PM EST
    Please explain this to me, the two have nothing in common- Geitner had a tax issue (one that unlike Daschle's occurs quite often, though frankly Daschle's was also overblown) Burris is beginning to gain the appearance of corruption.

    Additionally, Geitner was subject to and recipient of a full Senate confirmation- Burris simply did get subjected to a similar level of scrutiny.


    Right, but backwards (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:22:20 PM EST
    You are absolutely right that the two are unrelated--the only thing Burris has that links him to Geithner and Daschle is that they are all "scandals." That's enough for the media to talk about them all together, but doesn't make them related in any way.

    But you have Daschle and Geithner backwards.

    Daschle's mistake was the common one--he had to re-evaluate whether services provided through his business were used for non-business stuff and therefore taxable.  It was just an embarassingly large sum of money and highlighted his being a lobbyist.  The tax problem was overblown, but the millions of dollars in payments since leaving the senate didn't smell good to anyone.

    Geithner had no excuse.  He knew he should have paid the taxes (both at the time they were due and in the runup to his confirmation), and paid them before the hearings.  The fact that he was still confirmed is a testament to how much folks in Washington (the administration, the press, and both parties in the senate) consider him competent for the job.  It is rare that someone so easily describable as "tainted" would not be left to flap in the wind by any or all of those folks.

    I predicted that Geithner would be out and Burris would be in (i.e. of course he was tainted, but I was sure nobody would try to stop him).  I am at 50% accuracy, and I have no prediction on Burris now--total wildcard.


    None of them should have been confirmed (none / 0) (#58)
    by Saul on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:47:24 PM EST
    That's how they are related.  

    Obama was probably  the main guy responsible for getting Burris in.  He put the pressure on Reid.

    Put this scandal to rest he told Reid, I am about to be inaugurated and this looks bad for me especially when it related to my prior senate seat and my home state.

    Yeah Obama if he had his druthers at that time wished he would not have been the choice but he has to take responsibility for  sweeping this under the rug and getting Burris seated,  for the sake of his image.


    and so the taint will linger. (none / 0) (#19)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:28:39 PM EST
    apparently, you can't read. that's very important, before making a fool of yourself in public.

    I forget, why did everyone
    side against Reid again?

    i challenge you to review the threads and posts, relevant to this issue, on this site, and find very many supportive of seating burris.

    go ahead, i have 30 seconds to kill.

    be aware, supportive isn't the same as resigned.

    burris won't resign, because his inflated ego, and sense of entitlement, will keep him from doing the right thing.

    that said, i suggest the investigation of potential impeachment be started. surely, perjury is an impeachable offense? if it was for a BJ, it must be for something actually important.

    Expulsion you mean (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:29:47 PM EST
    I'm totally for that (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:31:41 PM EST
    Problem is that it would be a spectacle. And as everything in the U.S. Senate, it would take forever.

    And (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:37:22 PM EST
    would only hurt the Democrats.  The Republicans don't have to do anything this session - the Dems are shooting themselves in the foot in both the legislative and executive branches.  The R's can sit back and relax if this keeps up.

    yes, (none / 0) (#67)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:59:35 PM EST
    expulsion i mean.

    I challenge you to understand snark. (none / 0) (#28)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:34:17 PM EST
    Which was the point of that comment.  I read the threads as they happened here.  I did not support Burris being seated.  But a large portion of the blogosphere was all for it, and went after Reid for a variety of reasons.  Some who were really upset that Lieberman remained in the Dem Caucus brought that to bear when criticizing Reid for blocking Burris.  I did not really understand that.  But that is what I saw.  

    The problem is (none / 0) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:03:07 PM EST
    the stupid 60 vote stuff- if we played under the pre-Newt rules most Dems would have held up Burris but with the last decade and a half's, "must get 60 to pass even relatively mundane measures" reality we start having to accept things we never would have in the past (if Franken had been seated when elected I think Burris would have been shot down).

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:07:39 PM EST
    Burris did not help us - he pushed the number needed to 60. If he was not in the Senate, the number needed would have been 59.

    How? (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:16:48 PM EST
    We still have an open seat in Minnesota and the number is still 60. Can you please explain?

    3/5 of Senators sitting and sworn. (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:19:39 PM EST
    3/5 of SEATED Senators (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:21:16 PM EST
    98 X 0.6 = 58.8. "At least 3/5" makes this 59.

    99 x 0.6 = 59.4. Since the language states "at least 3/5," 59.4 = 60 Senators.


    Perversely, what that means (none / 0) (#49)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    is that if one Republicans resigns, dies, etc., there is some incentive for a Democrat to resign.

    Negatory (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:35:34 PM EST
    An extra Democratic vote may or may not confer a benefit, under this math, but it never hurts.

    Duh (none / 0) (#51)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:36:59 PM EST
    You can send me to the math dunce corner (as usual).

    so what you're saying is... (none / 0) (#53)
    by CST on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:12:29 PM EST
    after franken is seated, it doesn't make sense to push for a senator from d.c.

    except for that pesky "taxation without representation" thing...


    DC would get two Senators (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:14:09 PM EST
    if it were admitted as a state. They would both be Democrats.

    right (none / 0) (#55)
    by CST on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:16:30 PM EST
    I was thinking more along the lines of a compromise...

    but yea, good point, that would be an unprecedented mess.  Full Statehood it is.


    And (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:29:47 PM EST
    besides any constitutional argument barring DC becoming a state, DC representation is being discussed right now in Congress (this regards the House,not the Senate, but maybe in another 50 years, they will get full representation):

    Good news for long-suffering Washington residents: Before the Senate recessed for the Presidents Day holiday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) scheduled a cloture vote on a bill by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) to give D.C. voting rights in the House of Representatives.

    The bill, also sponsored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), would give Utah another seat in the House as well, bringing the number of House members to 437.

    This comes as Washington picked up an unexpected friend in the House. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would exempt D.C. residents from paying federal income taxes unless they get a voting member in the House.

    Gohmert says it's "only fair" for D.C. residents not to pay federal taxes, because residents of U.S. possessions and territories without full voting representatives don't pay them, either.

    But Gohmert isn't a total Washington lover. He also has sponsored a bill to "retrocede" D.C. to Maryland, meaning everything except federal property in the District would become part of the Free State.



    And this would mean (none / 0) (#61)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 05:55:23 PM EST
    But Gohmert isn't a total Washington lover. He also has sponsored a bill to "retrocede" D.C. to Maryland, meaning everything except federal property in the District would become part of the Free State.

    That Democrats would lose 3 electoral votes in Presidential elections.


    last time i checked, (none / 0) (#68)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 11:02:27 PM EST
    Good news for long-suffering Washington residents:

    no one was being forced to live in DC, there are multiple bridges conveying traffic both in and out of it. there was a legitimate reason for denying DC statehood originally. that valid reason still exists today. if you don't like it, either move out, or don't move in.


    You have a small imagination... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 11:41:54 PM EST
    if you don't like it, either move out, or don't move in.

    Of course there are also valid reasons to give people there representation.  We are talking about half a million people.  And there are other options besides your like it or lump it formulation.  We can change the rules.

    This part is just beyond pathetic:

    no one was being forced to live in DC, there are multiple bridges conveying traffic both in and out of it.

    Most of the people in DC consider it their home.  It is not unreasonable to let them have a say in the decisions by the federal government that affect their lives, and still get to live in the place they call home.

    I was a DC resident for 9 years.  If giving another Member of Congress to Utah is the blackmail that lets DC get some representation, then I say it is worth the cost.  But I gave up thinking that the Republicans would allow it or that the Democrats actually cared about it a long time ago.  Nice to see more noise being made about it, but I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.


    My guess is (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 05:16:09 PM EST
    This will be out of the news by the end of the week, if not sooner.

    Nobody cares.

    I defended this guy's right to be in congress... (none / 0) (#70)
    by mexboy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 02:02:17 AM EST
    But now that I learn this information, He needs to go!

    If he wasn't a crook like the others I'd still be on his side, but, impeachment sounds good right about now.