How far do we go down state are they saying that they the appearance that just the dens or all of them are dirty and that we should even ? All the laws they pass because it dupes the Reasonable People of the state of Illinois?

June 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Dem leaders let Chicago down by standing with Rep. Smith
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June 10, 2014 3:46PM
Representative Derrick Smith leaves Dirksen Federal Building after being pronounced guilty June 10 2014. | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times
Representative Derrick Smith leaves the Dirksen Federal Building after being pronounced guilty on June 10, 2014. | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2014 2:32AM

They start small.

But they rarely stay that way.

A federal jury on Tuesday found state Rep. Derrick Smith guilty of taking a $7,000 bribe to steer a state grant to a day care center.

Seven thousand dollars isn’t much in the world of multimillion-dollar state contracts. Some say the feds wasted their time going after such a small fish.

But what if Smith, like many a politician before him, was just getting started?

Few public officials in Illinois — consider our last two governors — start out their corrupt careers with a bang.

The feds were right to go after this one-term Chicago Democrat early in his career, even if you feel sorry for the hapless guy. Smith’s lawyer claims he was entrapped, alleging the entire scheme was “the government’s plan,” not Smith’s. A government mole may have nudged Smith along, but no one forced Smith to take a bribe. It was his greedy interest that drove this crime.

Even if this turned out to be his only crime in his public career, Smith got what he deserves: a conviction and a defeat in his run for re-election. The public deserves better.

Or do they?

The public elected Smith in 2012, even after his indictment. Smith had every right to run and was, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty. But the evidence against him was damning; he had been caught on tape taking a bribe. His colleagues in the Illinois House had taken the extreme step of expelling him from office before the general election. He was the first lawmaker tossed out of the House in more than a century.

Despite that, Smith cruised to victory in the 10th Illinois House race in 2012.

His district is solidly Democratic, a place where voters toe the party line, many blissfully unaware of the name behind the party label.

But the party bosses knew better. They failed the public by appointing Smith in the first place, let alone supported his re-election. They had their reasons, of course, but none of them noble.

The West Side Democrat was appointed in 2011 to fill a vacancy, despite being unfit for the job. The Sun-Times editorial board interviewed him before the March 2012 primary and was profoundly unimpressed. In a phone interview, his questions on state affairs were halting and shallow. There was a major pause before each answer, suggesting someone was right there, coaching him. His written answers weren’t much better.

Smith got the job for one reason: He was Secretary of State Jesse White’s guy. After Smith’s indictment (but after his March 2012 primary win), White and other Democrats began pressuring Smith to resign and supported an alternate candidate in the November 2012 general election.

Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan remained neutral in that race but, amazingly, supported Smith for re-election this past March.

“We support incumbents,” Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown said in February, adding, “I believe you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Isn’t that right?”

But that doesn’t translate into undying support, especially when more worthy candidates are running. Fortunately, voters finally wised up and rejected Smith in March.

Tuesday’s conviction has the same effect: booting him from office.

Prosecutors — and voters — did all of us a favor by stopping a corrupt public official before too much damage was done.

If only we could get the state’s Democratic leaders to do the same.

 

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You are currently reading How far do we go down state are they saying that they the appearance that just the dens or all of them are dirty and that we should even ? All the laws they pass because it dupes the Reasonable People of the state of Illinois? at Will County Pro-se.

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