An unsigned CNN.com article on Friday noted that the Senate Ethics Committee had reproved Senator Roland Burris “for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate,” but did not directly mention the Illinois senator’s affiliation with the Democratic Party. The article did mention that Burris was “the only African-American U.S. senator.”
The first two paragraphs from the CNN Political Ticker story excerpted the letter that the Senate committee sent to the successor to President Obama: “The Senate Ethics Committee issued a letter Friday admonishing embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris ‘for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate’ in connection with his controversial appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. ‘While the committee did not find that the evidence before it supported any actionable violations of law, senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct,’ the letter stated.”
After mentioning his status as “the only African-American U.S. senator” and how he is “serving the remaining two years of President Barack Obama’s Senate term,” the unnamed author continued that Burris “has never been embraced by his party’s leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.”
The Democratic Party wasn’t even directly mentioned in the context of Burris, but in an explanation of how party leaders advised impeached former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to not make an appointment to the Senate seat which Obama vacated:
He was appointed to the seat last December by Blagojevich, who was later impeached, removed from office and arrested on federal corruption charges alleging that he tried to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder.
Democratic leaders urged Blagojevich, who has maintained his innocence, not to make an appointment. He disregarded those wishes by naming Burris, a former state attorney general and state comptroller, to the seat.
Burris, for his part, was suspected of perjury in connection with his testimony on Blagojevich's alleged “pay for play” scheme to fill the Senate seat. But in June, the state’s attorney in Sangamon County, Illinois, said he would not charge Burris.
The state’s attorney, John Schmidt, said Burris gave incomplete but truthful answers to questions about his conversations with Blagojevich's representatives.
In July, Burris said he would not run for a full six-year term in 2010.
It certainly seems like CNN.com beat around to bush in an attempt to obscure the party affiliation of Senator Burris.
[H/t: Story tip from NB reader Daniel Johnson]