Gov. Pat Quinn says comments could create racial divide

Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday called “unfortunate” a suggestion by a group of African-American aldermen that black voters may withhold support for politicians critical of beleaguered U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, saying he feared the return of a racial divide in the Democratic Party.

Quinn’s reaction came a day after several Chicago aldermen defended Burris, saying he has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and issued a warning.

“I would just suggest to those people who seek to run in the wards of the city of Chicago where there are people of color living that they should tone it down because some of us are taking notes,” said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th). “Those people will run at their peril.”

Burris was appointed to the seat by Rod Blagojevich after the former governor’s December arrest on federal corruption charges for, among other things, allegedly trying to sell the appointment. Several lawmakers, including Quinn and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, have called on Burris to resign after more revelations about Burris’ attempts to raise money for Blagojevich while lobbying his inner circle.