Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dear Illinois,

Don't you think it's time we presented a united front? Our president is having a rough go of it with all of his appointees "gracefully" bowing out of their nominations on account of not paying taxes and he has to try and help us through the W muck.

Blago has shown off his crazy in all of its technicolor wonderment -- bright as a baboon's ass -- to every media outlet who would have him, including The View.

Isn't it time for us to stick together now?

Look, we all know Burris came to his senate seat via questionable means, but I do not believe those questionable means included money. Burris was Blago's final "fuck you, Illinois" and I understand that maybe some of you power brokers resent that BUT think about it... Burris took that appointment without money. I don't care what Patrick Fitzgerald says.

We the people elected Burris a number of times -- and granted, none of those times were for senator but he has proved himself a competent administrator. Must we keep hanging our dirty laundry out for the rest of the country? What about our reputation? Do you even care about our reputation as a state? I mean, seriously, Texas and Louisiana have been calling us corrupt. Ouch!

Yes, we are corrupt; but could we maybe keep it in the family? Could you try pulling Burris aside for a little chat, perhaps? I can't see that he's done anything wrong that the rest of you don't engage in on a regular basis. I'm talking to you now, Daleys and Madigans.

Here is a little story for you. My Grandma told me some weeks back when Burris was trying to get the Senate seat that she was praying for him. Now, if my grandma prays for you -- her aim is true -- then you will probably succeed and if you don't, it wasn't meant to be or you didn't deserve it. I don't believe in religion at all or god much, but I will tell you -- my grandma's got a direct line to Whoever.

And we were one Senator shy of a pair. Illinois helped make a president, but we lacked our share of federal representation. Enough said.

And my grandma told me she was praying for Burris because years ago when he was Illinois Comptroller, he insured that my grandfather got his full pension from the Chicago Fire Department.

Now let me tell you about my grandpa. He did not believe in "pay to play", but he did believe in family. He told me once at a family funeral (when I was 19 and knocked up and scared to death) that money was not a sign of success because money was only money -- but a close-knit family signified a good life. In the end, all we have is each other.

My grandfather was offered a promotion to lieutenant once upon a time. My grandfather was a good firefighter. He was the first man to drive a snorkel in Chicago. There are a lot of people alive today because of his skills and bravery.

But my grandfather never got that promotion. He had seven kids and a wife at home but he was told that in order to be promoted he would have to pay a bribe. Pay-to-play.

My grandfather refused the bribed promotion. Even though that was the way things were done then. Even though he deserved it. Even though he had a wife and seven kids to answer to, my grandfather refused the bribe because it was wrong. And wrong is wrong.

A few years later, my grandpa carried a child out of a burning building. The child was on the second floor. The landing they were standing on collapsed. The child survived. My grandfather's neck was broken. He was permanently disabled

He served over 20 years on the fire department but he wasn't qualified for retirement when he was disabled on the job. When he reached retirement age, he would have received only a partial retirement because of the disability. My grandparents would have been financially compromised permanently.

Roland Burris got my grandfather his full pension. He looked out for the disabled firefighters. He isn't a squeaky-clean man, but he understands his duties to the people of Illinois.

And I ask, which among you Illinois politicians is squeaky clean?

Keep it in the family, keep it in the state. Please!

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