The U.S. Attorney released the transcript of a taped conversation between Roland Burris and Rod Blagojevich's brother Rob, that took place while Burris was seeking appointment to the U.S. Senate. Douglas Belkin of the Wall Street Journal reports:
In the conversation, Mr. Burris tells Mr. Blagojevich's brother he wants to donate money but fears the appearance of impropriety.Well, yes, the appearance of impropriety is a tricky thing. One has to carefully weigh the options:
"I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in the consideration for the appointment," Mr. Burris says. Later, he added: "If I do get appointed that means I bought it."
"I know I could give him a check," Burris said. "Myself."Oh, sure, God knows Rod needed the help, what with that darn federal investigation and all. Poor guy. But heaven forbid, the press might profile report that the people's (sometimes) elected representatives used their money to violate the public trust. And that might cause those citizens to wonder - where exactly do we fall on your list of priorities, Mr. Burris? Clearly, it's not number one. And it isn't number two . . .
[. . .]
"And, and God knows number one, I, I wanna help Rod," Burris says later in the call. "Number two, I also wanna, you know, hope I get a consideration to get that appointment."
Burris was recorded saying the timing would be crucial to how the fundraising would be perceived.
"And however that goes, ah, it would dictate, ah, you know how the press treats it," he said.
"Understand," Rob Blagojevich answered.
"'Cause man, I, I will be, you know we both would be profiled," Burris continued. "And we don't need that."