Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Drip, drip, drip goes the Roland Burris saga. After denying he raised funds for Rod Blagojevich, now he says he did. Or he tried. But not at a time which would contradict his testimony to the Illinois impeachment committee. If he remembers it right.
It's not clear how this will play out, but it's now obvious that Illinois officials and U.S. Senate leaders who initially insisted that anyone appointed by ousted Gov. Blagojevich should not serve in the Senate were correct. It's like the legal doctrine, "fruit from the forbidden tree." Once you go down a rotten road, you can't quite get your footing right.
But they didn't trust those instincts. They got greedy, believing they could wait until replacement Gov. Pat Quinn was in place. He'd have been certain to appoint a Democrat, but it was risky trusting the voters in a special election.
What will those voters do if Burris hangs on and runs for reelection in 2010? My guess is that it will be harder to oust him as an incumbent during the primary than during the general election. But I'm betting now we can look forward to further twists and turns before we reach that point.
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