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EXPOSING THE MOST CORRUPT CRITTERS THAT HAUNT THE BELTWAY SWAMP

Last week The Messenger told you about all the fun adventures of Maxine Waters, House critter from the district that serves most of Los Angeles. This time we turn to another state infamous for crime and cornyism – Illinois, where we uncover the affable Roland Burris, successor to Barak Obama’s Senate seat.

Roland is 72 years old and, like most folks in DC, a career politician. He was first elected to a rather obscure position within the state of Illinois back in 1978. He served in this capacity until 1990 when he won election for Attorney General.

His stint as AG must not have gone very well, because he lost the job after one term and has since been unable to win an election for anything. After four unsuccessful campaigns, Roland gave up running for office and started a private firm that… wait for it… specialized in lobbying.

This worked out for Roland way better than begging citizens for actual votes. As a wealthy lobbyist he made friends with Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Upon Obama’s election to the White House, a free Senate seat became open in Illinois. Blagojevich saw it as a chance to cut a sweet deal. But federal investigators were on to the scam and began spying on Blagojevich’s phone conversations. As more of his friends backed out for fear of investigation, Blagojevich finally turned to Old Faithful, Roland Burris.

The move was seen as corrupt by everyone. Both the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post called for Burris to resign. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who was technically supposed to sign off on Roland’s appointment, refused the sign the paperwork in protest.

But our scrappy friend Roland wouldn’t give up. He had a Senate seat, darn it, and no one would take it away!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid publicly refused to seat Roland on the grounds that he hadn’t gotten proper signoff from Illinois. Still unable to take the hint that he wasn’t welcome, Roland took his case to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court sided with Roland and ordered that his appointment was legit.

Naw… that didn’t have anything to do with the court system being stacked with crony judges… we promise…

Congress has confirmed that Roland offered five different stories about his appointment, with at least three different versions being under oath. The FBI released audio evidence of Roland speaking with Blagojevich’s brother, offering to “personally” raise campaign funds and “do something” through the firm.

Good luck for Roland, though, as investigators admit he was just vague enough to fall short of rock-solid evidence. The FBI advised Congress not to press charges based on the tape because it would be easy for Roland’s attorneys to wiggle around the exact context of his promise to do favors.

There is still an ongoing ethics probe carried out by the Senate Ethics Committee, but don’t expect much to come of it. Barbara Boxer is the chair of that committee. 10 months have passed without anything serious being done. Roland sits in the Senate to this day, happily attending meetings on the Homeland Security Committee.

Citizens of Illinois: you’re welcome for the leadership.

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EXPOSING THE MOST CORRUPT CRITTERS THAT HAUNT THE BELTWAY SWAMP

When we discussed creation of this new segment, the first critter that came to mind was Maxine Waters. She is arguably the worst critter in the history of our great Congress – in fact, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ( a liberal watchdog) have named her one of 15 Most Corrupt Politicians three times in the past five years. That’s what her side has to say about her.

Maxine has had plenty of time to forge that legacy. A career politician, she left in college and went to work for the social program Head Start, which apparently qualified her to serve in the State Assembly in California in 1976. Maxine worked her way up the ladder and entered the House in 1991. Since then, she’s spent the last 18 years wasting money, encouraging violence, and randomly spouting Socialist agendas.

In 1992 when angry minorities took to the streets in Los Angeles over Rodney King, Maxine thought it wise to take their side and defend their criminal looting. She told the LA Times in 2007 that those riots were “understandable” and could be better be described as a “rebellion.”

This nonchalant attitude came to define her over the years. Maxine has no problem using her power to provide more cover for friends. At the height of bailout fever in 2008, she arranged a meeting between the Treasury and an unassuming little bank, conveniently forgetting to mention that her husband worked there and the bank had poured money into her politicial career.  When the Treasury found out and threatened investigation, Maxine’s BFFs at the bank called it racism. Oh, and by the way, Maxine kinda sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which might explain why the investigation is moving so slowly.

Did threats of investigation cause her to think twice about further corruption? Pshaw! Our plucky little critter moved on to her next venture, which was using federal earmarks to build a “teacher training center” in her district that would… wait for it… be named after her. When fellow Democrat David Obey refused to approve the earmark, Maxine got into a screaming match on the floor of the House and accused Obey of hitting her. Shockingly, this tactic did not succeed in getting her earmark.

Oh, and there’s also this whole other story about her punishing the LA Times for embarrassing her by trying to shut down a radio station the paper owns. The FCC rejected her request for now, but we have faith that our Maxine will plod ahead with her campaign when the issue comes back around.

All of this sounds like a lot, but believe it or not, it’s not the most shocking – or the most hilarious – story about Maxine. She gave conservatives the political equivalent of chocolate pudding in a hearing on the floor of the House in 2008, when she went off on a hapless oil executive and accidentally admitted to wanting a socialist state:

Yet amazingly, after all of these escapades, Maxine enjoys re-election with margins consistently around 70% of the vote.

Citizens of Los Angeles: you’re welcome for the leadership.

Photo Courtesy Dan Straley

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