U.S. Sen. Roland Burris plans to continue his "listening tour" of Illinois today amid a fresh media firestorm over his appointment by ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Burris embarked yesterday on a previously announced five-day tour. His schedule is filled with meetings with mayors and community leaders, including stops today in Peoria, Bloomington and Normal.
But along with shaking hands and trading jokes with fellow elected officials, Burris is having to answer for the new disclosures about his contacts with Blagojevich's brother prior to his Senate appointment.
The 71-year-old freshman senator insisted yesterday that he voluntarily sent state lawmakers an affidavit outlining those contacts and that he wasn't prompted by federal agents investigating the former governor.
Many democratic officials are calling for a deeper investigation of burris' comments, but many republicans are going further, saying they want an investigation for possible perjury.
"I have nothing to say to Mr. Burris. I am so angry over this entire situation. We were played like buffoons." says State Rep. Jim Sacia.
"I think in fact if all this turns out to be true, then probably the best position he can take is maybe to resign." says State Rep. Charles Jefferson.
Both Sacia and State Senator Syverson say Burris lied about his contacts with the governor's brother to ensure his appointment to the senate seat.
Senator Burris says he is open to a senate ethics investigation, into how he got the senate seat from ex-governor Blagojevich