Parade-goers in leprechaun hats, green jackets and clover-spotted
socks clapped and greeted Quinn warmly as he approached. But for
Burris, they just pointed derisively and chuckled.
The annual parade is a must-do for many Illinois politicians. Quinn
worked the crowd by waving, grinning and shaking hands. Burris,
meanwhile, kept to a clump of Chicago aldermen led by
Mayor Richard Daley.
Wrapped in a green sash and carrying a walking stick, the senator
rarely acknowledged the crowd. As he passed by, conversations
sprouted on the sidelines as spectators pointed and nudged each
other, reminding people standing closest to them that Burris was
controversially appointed by ousted former
Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"There's our Sen. Burris,"
53-year-old Chicagoan Maureen Theodore said sarcastically.
Theodore, a financial exchange controller, said she was surprised at
"I thought he was in hiding," she said.
It was one of Burris' first appearances outside of the black
community since he's repeatedly changed his story about his contact
with Blagojevich's friends and aides in advance of being appointed.
He has rebuffed ongoing calls from several state and national
officials to resign.
Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office Jan. 29 for
mismanagement and a criminal complaint stemming from his Dec. 9
arrest on charges that he attempted to sell the Senate seat vacated
President Barack Obama.
"He's the senator -- I guess he should be here," said Collette
Gortowski, 23. But "a lot of people weren't that interested to see
Gortowski, a marketer at a
Chicago legal firm, said Burris didn't look at the crowd or wave.
"I don't know how beloved that guy is," said her boyfriend,
25-year-old Cole Pezley.
[to top of second column]
Burris' spokesman Jim O'Connor said he
didn't have a comment on the parade.
Quinn's appearance came one day after he said he would propose a
graduated income tax increase. But parade-goers still reacted
enthusiastically to Blagojevich's former lieutenant governor.
"People are really positive about him," said 38-year-old Anthony
Offredi. "He's distanced himself (from Blagojevich) in a positive
The crowd reacted to Burris poorly because his appointment is
"tainted," said Offredi, an engineer from Detroit who's lived in
Chicago for a year.
"If he's going to fix his image, he's going to have to show up at
things like this," he said. "But really the only way to fix his
image is to resign."
By RUPA SHENOY]
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