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*** UPDATES: White: “Very disappointed” - Swiss: Smith should resign - Brady: MJM should denounce Smith *** This just in… State Rep. Derrick Smith arrested on federal bribery charge

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

* 1:16 pm - From the US Attorney’s office…

Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith (10th District) was arrested today on a federal bribery charge after an undercover investigation for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe to write an official letter of support for a daycare center that he believed was seeking a state grant. Since December 2011, Smith and an individual identified as CS-1, who works on Smith’s political campaigns and who, unbeknownst to Smith, was cooperating with the FBI, had numerous conversations about helping a fictional daycare owner obtain a purported state grant in exchange for a political contribution, according to a criminal complaint unsealed after Smith’s arrest. On March 2, Smith provided CS-1 with an official letter of support for the daycare owner to obtain a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the state’s Capital Development Board. In return, during a recorded meeting this past Saturday, CS-1 gave Smith $7,000 cash, purportedly from the fictional daycare owner, the complaint alleges.

Smith, 48, of Chicago, was charged with one count of accepting a bribe, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Smith will appear at 3 p.m. today before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in U.S. District Court. Smith was appointed state representative for the 10th District, which covers portions of Chicago’s near west and near northwest sides, in March 2011, and is a candidate for the General Assembly seat in next week’s primary election.

According to the complaint, the FBI began receiving information concerning Smith from CS-1 in December 2011. CS-1, who has known Smith for approximately six years, primarily distributes literature for Smith’s campaign and worked on Smith’s unsuccessful 2010 campaign for Cook County Commissioner. CS-1 told agents that almost immediately following Smith’s appointment as a state representative, Smith agreed to present CS-1 as a contractor so that CS-1 could apply for and receive a state grant, which would be used to pay CS-1 for his/her campaign work. In turn, Smith would take a “fee” for approving the grant, but CS-1 declined the offer.

CS-1 further told agents that since his appointment Smith has talked about his need for assistance in campaign fund-raising, and told CS-1 last fall that he wanted donations in the range of $5,000 to $7,000. CS-1 said Smith stated that he was willing to accommodate donors’ requests so long as they were reasonable.

Acting in coordination with law enforcement, CS-1 met with Smith in December 2011 and told Smith that CS-1 knew a woman who was the owner and a silent partner in a local daycare center, who might be willing to contribute to Smith’s campaign. CS-1 told Smith that the daycare needed repairs and the owner might be looking for a state grant. According to CS-1, Smith said he would help the daycare owner with obtaining a state grant in return for a $5,000 political contribution. Later, Smith told CS-1 that if the daycare owner was “legitimate,” she could come up with a $7,000 contribution.

The complaint affidavit states that the daycare owner was, in fact, fictional, and the daycare center, while a real business, was not applying for a state grant, nor was it seeking to bribe Smith. The Capital Development Board administers an Early Childhood Construction Grant program, which provides funds to assist early childhood centers with the renovation and expansion of their facilities.


The complaint alleges that during multiple consensually recorded in-person meetings and telephone calls since Jan. 24, 2012, Smith agreed to write a letter of support for the purported grant application in exchange for a $7,000 bribe. On Jan. 26, Smith and CS-1 toured the daycare facility and Smith was given information about its purported expansion plans.

Throughout February, Smith and CS-1 had multiple conversations in which CS-1 told Smith that the daycare was applying for an Early Childhood Construction Grant, and confirming that Smith would provide a letter of support in exchange for the daycare owner’s payment of $7,000. On Feb. 28, Smith directed CS-1 to have the daycare owner draft a letter for Smith to sign, adding that his office would fix it with the correct language. Later that day, law enforcement sent a draft letter of support to Smith’s office via email. On Feb. 29, a campaign worker in Smith’s office requested additional information to include in the letter, and after receiving a second draft from law enforcement, replied that it would be ready the next day. On March 2, CS-1 retrieved the letter, which was written on Smith’s official letterhead and was addressed to the Illinois Capital Development Board.. The letter stated in part:

“As a State Representative for the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, I support [Daycare Owner’s purported organization] in their application for a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board.”


Between March 2 and March 8, Smith and CS-1 discussed how Smith wanted to receive the $7,000 from the daycare owner, and Smith rejected payment by cashier’s check because he didn’t want any trace of the money. Ultimately, Smith allegedly told CS-1 that he wanted the $7,000 in cash, and agreed to give CS-1 $2,000 for arranging the deal.

Just before 3 p.m. on Saturday (March 10), CS-1 met with Smith in Smith’s vehicle and CS-1 counted out the $7,000 – all in $100 bills – for Smith during their recorded meeting. The next day, Smith called CS-1 and told CS-1 to meet him in his car in an alley behind CS-1’s residence, and according to CS-1, Smith gave CS-1 $1,000 in cash, consisting of $20 and $50 bills, which CS-1 gave to agents. In a subsequent phone call on Sunday, Smith said he would pay CS-1 the remaining $1,000 later by check.

The bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Deis.

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. [Emphasis added.]

Rep. Smith is scheduled to appear at 3 pm before Judge Nan Nolan in Courtroom 1858 of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Smith is running against Tom Swiss in the Democratic primary. Swiss is the white Republican pol who is operating as a sort of stealth Democrat in the race. Smith is Secretary of State Jesse White’s candidate and worked for White’s office before he was appointed to the House last year.

* The criminal complaint is here.

* 2:40 pm - Tom Swiss says Rep. Smith should resign

Swiss, has attracted attention for his billboards that feature an African-American construction worker instead of Swiss

“It’s a sad day in Illinois,” Swiss said. “I would call for Derrick Smith to both resign and not continue the race any further. This demonstrates a significant character flaw. I would call on [Speaker of the House] Mike Madigan to withdraw any support of him. He has weighed in with $50,000 or $60,000; staff members and mailings.”

* 2:50 pm - From a press release…

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Calls on Madigan to denounce Representative Derek Smith Demands that Smith resign, remove name from ballot

Following the arrest of State Representative Derek Smith on federal bribery charges, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady called on Madigan to denounce Smith’s candidacy and cease all political and financial support.

“Another blemish on Illinois today,” said Brady. “And yet business as usual for Mike Madigan & Co. In light of Mr. Smith’s arrest today, he should immediately step down as State Representative and put an end to his campaign. If he does not, the Chicago Board of Elections office should refuse to count any ballots cast him.”

Chairman Brady went on to say the bribery charges against Smith reflect poorly on Democratic leadership and that Madigan must take firm and swift action. Madigan as already contributed over $63,000 to Smith’s campaign, according to the Illinois Board of Elections.

“Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Smith has taken 9 times as much money from Speaker Madigan than he is alleged to have received in bribes,” said Brady. “I urge Speaker Madigan to immediately end any and all financial contributions to Mr. Smith, and also to join me in asking for his resignation as State Representative and remove his name from the ballot,” said Brady.

Brady added: “Where is Lisa Madigan?”

* 4:00 pm - Rep. Smith waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was released on his own recognizance. No new dates have been set.

* 4:38 pm - From Secretary of State Jesse White…

“I am very disappointed with the conduct alleged in the charges. I am confident this case will be handled fairly and justly by the judicial system.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


104 Comments
  1. - Stones - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Interesting that the investigation lasted only 3 months. Sounds like Rep. Smith might eventially share a cell with our former Governor(s).


  2. - South of I-80 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    Well at least this didn’t happen the day that Blago leaves for Colorado!


  3. - Somewhat Interesting - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    Tom Swiss may have just struck gold.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    He hasn’t even been in office a year. He’s obviously a quick study.


  5. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Wow. A $7,000 bribe for a support letter? to a daycare? That’s sad.


  6. - Agricola - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    ==Tom Swiss may have just struck gold.==

    All he needs to do is smile and say nothing for a week…


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Wonder if Swiss will declare his neutrality on this news…


  8. - RichardtheLionHearted - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Really, you can’t charge for that stuff? Shocking.


  9. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    1) What a two-bit grifter.

    2) Wonder who will win the primary? And who the actual nominee will be in November?


  10. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Any chance Tom Swiss puts up a billboard about this?


  11. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    This is Illinois, Smith might still win the primary.


  12. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    It’s so much easier if you are an attorney who can charge for legal work.

    Yet another example of the corruption tax in
    illinois


  13. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    I wonder how Madigan and the Dems will deal with Swiss in their caucus.


  14. - Publius - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    I agree with OneMan, I won’t be surprised if Smith wins the primary.


  15. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    My prediction is that Smith will still get elected, if the choice is between him and a republican carpetbagger. Who gets to replace Smith if he’s found guilty?


  16. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Wonder if the center would have gone over the 100 student count…

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4439&GAID=11&SessionID=84&LegID=63779


  17. - Easy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    I read in a mailing put out by the speaker that when lawmakers make a mess of things we need strong leaders to step in.

    So i can only assume the speaker will ask Smith to immediately resign, remove himself from the ballot and direct the clerks to not count any of the votes cast for smith. because that’s what a strong leader would do to clean up the mess.


  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    ===I won’t be surprised if Smith wins the primary. ===

    Not to be overly crass, but on the West Side if the choice is between a black Democrat and a white Republican, the black Democrat will win every time.


  19. - Cal Skinner - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    And, if Smith wins, the same folks (assuming no change in committeemen) will be able to appoint his successor.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    Calling it now - Smith wins the primary …That district will vote for Smith before they will vote for Swiss, plus the Dems are going to want to appoint, can’t appoint with a Swiss win.

    One week out and Patrick Fitzgerald drops this now?


  21. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    Almost makes you wonder if Swiss had any inkling of this before he decided to ‘carbetbag’.


  22. - Easy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    I’m not sure it’s quite the slam dunk everyone thinks, Madigan has already pumped over $60k into the race, before his candidate got arrested.


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    “So i can only assume the speaker will ask Smith to immediately resign, remove himself from the ballot and direct the clerks to not count any of the votes cast for smith. because that’s what a strong leader would do to clean up the mess.”
    ZING! Nice one, Easy!


  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    “Not to be overly crass, but on the West Side if the choice is between a black Democrat and a white Republican, the black Democrat will win every time.”
    This doesn’t go far enough, Rich– Substitute “criminal” for “Democrat” and its more accurate.


  25. - AlphaBettor - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    He’ll win the primary, resign, and Jesse White will pick another winner. The Democrats will probably work for him with just that plan in mind.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===Almost makes you wonder if Swiss had any inkling of this before he decided to ‘carbetbag’. ===

    You know Swiss’ background with the CCGOP and the ChicagoGOP? …I would be surprised if Swiss didn’t say, “You mean the guy I am running against?”


  27. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    You know you’re from Illinois when you’re shock and appalled that a public official was arrested for accepting a bribe of ONLY $7,000.

    Even if Swiss did win, Madigan would once again do his Chris Hansen impression like he did with SLC.


  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    Interesting that he sponsored a bill about notifying people who had contact with prisoners with STDs (maybe he saw this bribery problem headed his way and wants to stay healthy on the inside). It’s on third reading, but only short debate. Doesn’t look like he’ll have time for a standard debate.


  29. - Vinron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    Appoint CS-1 to the job. He or she apparently has ethics and an interest in politics.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    Anonymous -

    That is a state bill, these are federal charges … just sayin’


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    This guy sounds too stupid to have invented it on his own. I wonder which mentor he learned it from . . . .


  32. - phocion - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Jesse White sure backs some interesting types…


  33. - Hank - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    Sam Adams is going to be mighty busy these next months!


  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    “Appoint CS-1 to the job. He or she apparently has ethics and an interest in politics.”

    An interest in politics might be a qualification for appointment, but that would be fully negated when paired with ethics.


  35. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Here is a tip to all you elected officials out there: If a child care center is offering you a bribe, it is probably a set up.


  36. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Yeah, it’s going to take more than an indictment to put Swiss over the top.

    Smith will keep serving until they convict him too. He’ll save his per diems for use at the commissary and buy cans of tuna. Isn’t that what Fawell said, tuna is currency in the federal pen?

    This sure looks like some low-hanging fruit. Maybe these people will wise up. Business as usual ends in an orange jumpsuit.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    It’s not an Illinois Primary unless one candidate on the ballot is indicted I guess …


  38. - Shore - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    a great new anecdote for the new political season-”missouri maybe the state where dead people get elected (carnahan, mel), but Illinois is the state where indicted people get elected!” (even after 2 governors go to jail)!


  39. - Responsa - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    Late breaking developments such as this are but another reason early voting is always risky. Of course, as others here have pointed out it probably won’t make much difference in the final outcome of this race (which will end up with another “appointment” from above). Still, regardless of one’s district or political persuasion this kind of stuff in the news just increases and feeds the cynicism and disgust normal people and taxpayers feel about politics and politicians in general.


  40. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Also, there is the Fifth Senate primary race, with its own allegations of impropriety. A lot here to process. Jesse White’s judgment about people certainly seems questionable — so much that I wonder how much it helps to have him on your side.


  41. - Lincoln Parker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    I am in Derrick Smith’s district and was going to early vote today. Glad I saw this first. I think I’ll be leaving that race blank.


  42. - train111 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    Tom Swiss now chanelling his inner Mel Reynolds:

    “Did I win the lotto?”

    train111


  43. - The Captain - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    If you’ve got “they set me up!” in your drinking game you’re in for a long week.


  44. - Jim - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    sounds like more business as usual to me.
    the point that it’s a federal charge involving a state contract is without merit. any suggestion that that undermines the case against Smith is utterly without foundation. makes no difference.


  45. - train111 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    In addition to the $60K the Democratic Majority Pac has dumped into Smith’s race, Democratic Majority and Cullerton’s Senate victory have plowed another $175K into propping up Senator Anazette Collins whom Derrick Smith was appointed to replace. She is highly controversial with her own baggage being toted around–I wonder if this arrest helps cloud her future as well?

    train111


  46. - Dooley Dudright - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    ZVITT!!

    “What was that sound?”

    “Fitzgerald’s bug zapper. Just got another one.”


  47. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    train111 - I don’t know much about Sen. Collins but in the Sun-Times her response about the scholarships made me laugh “I can’t help it if they moved out of my district”


  48. - train111 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    Siriusly–Keep in mind the same people who appointed Smith also appointed Collins to the Senate when Hendon resigned–and are the same people who will appoint Smith’s succsessor should he win next Tuesday’s primary. Things that make you go hmmmm!!

    train111


  49. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    Who’s next?


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:46 pm:

    The $100 bills are so cliche’ …

    Maybe try like 4 $20s, then 5 $50s, a $100 bill, then maybe a $10, the 6 $5 dollar bills, then repeat that order … just to mix it up.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    “A second un-named defendant will not be charged, due in part of the defendant wanting the bribe to be paid by either the Italian Lira or Greek Drachma…”


  52. - mark walker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    Unbelievably stupid, in so many ways.

    This sound like it started almost as soon as he took office. No childcare center currently depending on state funds, has 7K cash to throw around. You cannot be “set up” if you take the money. He didn’t really need the campaign funds. Did he want cash so that it could disappear?

    If he’s guilty, it’s a prime example of a subculture of corruption, defining a way of doing business, with no expectation of getting caught. How else to explain it?

    Which genius Committeemen appointed this guy?


  53. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    So Chairman Brady is getting his undies in a bunch and asking the Board of Elections to disallow any votes cast for Smith? Wouldn’t it be nice for Brady to wait until there is a conviction before he sentences him?

    And why is Brady so insistent that Swiss have no opponent in the Democratic Primary? Oh, right. Nevermind.


  54. - mark walker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:04 pm:

    So Brady now wants the state not to count legally cast ballots?

    Man Overboard!


  55. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    He’s still better than Tom Swiss.


  56. - too obvious - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    So Pat Brady the supposed lawyer wants to forget the law and innocent until proven guilty.

    Funny how he never said a peep about Bill Cellini, or George Ryan or Kjellander


  57. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:24 pm:

    So, its a slam dunk for D and madigan drops 60k in the primary? And the guy says he needs 7k?

    Not sure what makes less sense….


  58. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    @ just sayin- Don’t know about either candidate, but that is pretty funny….just sayin’.


  59. - Burning Eyes - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Actually I found the info at Rep. Smith’s legal clinic very helpful…http://repderricksmith.com/2012/542/


  60. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    “Where is Lisa Madigan?” Nice one.

    While he’s at it, why not ask “Where is Sheila Simon?” Clearly the Lt. Governor should have known this was going on! How dare she participate in such a cover up!

    Brady - stop drinking at lunch please.


  61. - David Lawson - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    I used to live in what is now that district, but now I’ve got the benefit of an unindicted and unnapposed Representative.

    Sad to say, this won’t affect his impending primary victory. Party and color trump ethics everyday.


  62. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    Arrested is not convicted, though this is sounding like a slam dunk. The Republicans should get so lucky that this would result in Smith not winning the primary.


  63. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    And I don’t mean that in a slanderous way. I actually had a drink with him at a lunch once.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    Please remember - Pat Brady was not present the day they taught Law at the University of Wisconsin’s Law School


  65. - Just Me - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    I mean, the guy couldn’t even say that the bribes were “legal” campaign contributions like Blagojevich/Ryan did. This was an all out cash bribe. Unbelieveable!


  66. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    State Rep. Smith was just helping us fight back against DHS office mergers. This is shocking. He told us that our merger was not a done deal. Now we aren’t sure what to believe.


  67. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    ===Brady added: “Where is Lisa Madigan?”===

    Same Place she HAS been … when you ran Steven Kim against her … when you lose to her at a 70-30 clip …

    I am trying to look at this again … this is a Federal charge, right? (snark)


  68. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    -”Which genius Committeemen appointed this guy?”

    27th Ward Committeeman, Secretary of State Jesse White


  69. - Jim Duggan - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    Lisa Madigan’s own website claims she fights corruption. Question is apt.


  70. - amalia - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    must map the indictments for several years. not for any political links, but to see if there is literally something in the water. is his district near any of the old 31st Ward (land of Keane)? cause that ward had multiple Ald. go to a restricted residence. just sad.


  71. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===Question is apt. ===

    If the person approached Lisa Madigan and she did nothing, then it’s apt. But the person approached the feds with this info. So, it’s not apt.


  72. - anonymice - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==In a subsequent phone call on Sunday, Smith said he would pay CS-1 the remaining $1,000 later by check.==

    I wonder if he’ll think to stop payment on the check he mailed that evening?


  73. - Ace Matson - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    State bribery is not a federal crime. What is the actual charge? Attempted extortion affecting interstate commerce? Bribe in a program with federal funds?


  74. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    I’m tired of the old line on here about Lisa not pursuing these corruption cases. Her budget is smaller than it was years ago, and she’s getting pushed to shrink it even more. If the feds have the resources to pursue this, isn’t she being fiscally responsible by letting them and focusing her resources on state issues? I’m guessing many of the same people complain about her would be against raising taxes to support state government.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    COMMITTEE FOR “PAT BRADY FOR IL ATTY GENERAL” SPEAKS

    Chicago, IL - A large group of concerned Illinois citizens are asking that Pat Brady, ILGOP’S Chairman resign from his party spot and be the torchbearer against Lisa Madigan in 2014. This call to arms for Brady is in response to his vast knowledge of the law, and Lisa disregard to doing her job.

    “Patrick Brady knows what the Attorney General should be doing, especially in Federal cases, so we asked ourselves …’selves, who should take on Lisa Madigan and her shirking of Federal law ways … and one name came up … the University of Wisconsin Law School graduate, Patrick Brady’ so we are asking, nay, demanding Patrick Brady to hear the call.”

    The Committee feels that Mr. Brady has not given the Attorney General race in the past the ole UW try, and by asking this knowledgeable litigator, all-knowing attorney of the statutes, to take this battle to Lisa herself, and not just have someone else take on the Democratic Attorney General.

    “We are looking forward to Patrick Brady’s announcement. We are sure Patrick Brady will bring Federal Justice to the State of Illinois, Federal Laws notwithstanding!”

    The Committee asks, “Where are you Patrick Brady?”

    ###


  76. - phocion - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    It’s silly to bark up the AG tree on this one.

    The more germane question is why has only one legislator been indicted for over a decade? Sorry to sound cynical, but it’s an open secret that business as usual in Springfield is enough to land more than a few legislators in federal prison.

    Why is it that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District is doing anything about public corruption? The U.S. Attorney for the Central District is James A. Lewis. Heard of him?


  77. - reformer - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:15 pm:

    I can’t imagine that Smith will pull out a week before the election to make Swiss and Brady happy.
    It will be a minor and transient embarrassment for Democrats to nominate an indicted pol. I’ll bet it’s not the first time it has happened, though I can’t recall another example.


  78. - soccermom - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:23 pm:

    It’s hard to work up a full head of indignant steam about Smith when he is being challenged by a Republican who is pretending to be a Democrat and who seems to be trying to mislead voters about his race as well.

    That doesn’t mean it’s right to take a bribe, or to shake down a not-for-profit. It just means that one candidate’s lack of fitness (if these charges are proven true) does not automatically make his opponent more fit to serve.


  79. - JP - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:43 pm:

    Taking a bribe is a Federal Crime. Running as a conservative Democrat is pretty much common sense in Chicago.

    JBP


  80. - Easy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    Oswego-

    Pretty sure bribery and misuse of STATE Funds also violates state law. but i wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of one of your stream of conscience posts…


  81. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    @ too obvious and others:

    1. Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office after he was indicted and long before he was convicted. Very similar situation here: feds have a witness with Smith on tape. So “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t mean you are not fair game in politics after a federal indictment.

    2. Given my point above, Smith is fair game for the head of the Illinois Republican Party. The Dems have to wear the jacket on this one; Brady is doing his job - and doing it well today - by highlighting the culture of corruption among the Ds.

    3. No one expects Madigan to hang his head in shame and direct that Smith come off the ballot. But it is a fair demand for Brady, head of the opposition party, to make. His demand reflects the plain disgust of millions of voters in this state.

    4. Regarding “where was Brady w/ Cellini, G Ryan, and Kjellandar…. Brady wasn’t a Party official during the G Ryan thing. Cellini wasn’t running for office when Pat Brady became a GOP official. And finally, reflecting the stupidity of the poster’s comment, Brady specifically ran for Kjellander’s seat as Republican National Committeeman to represent a post-Kjellander, reform position within the Illinois GOP. (I actually think Brady announced his candidacy with the intention of running against Kjellander and that Kjellander simply decided not to run for reelection, but I could be wrong on the timing. Brady, however, was definitely the anti-Kjellander faction candidate.)


  82. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:50 pm:

    I wouldn’t want the Il Attorney General to bostruct a federal investigation for her own political gain.

    Easy,

    I still think … the US Attorney is the one to look into federal laws being broken …

    Don’t you worry thou … IL Attorney General Candidate Patrick Brady will prosecute all federal laws being broken.


  83. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:58 pm:

    ===The Dems have to wear the jacket on this one; Brady is doing his job - and doing it well today - by highlighting the culture of corruption among the Ds.===

    100% behind this. You are absolutely right.

    When Brady then asks where was Lisa, then that is where I part company.

    I think all the good work being done in the release is lost when an attoreny, a former federal prosecutor at that, claims the IL Attorney General should have done more in a Federal case and indictment, then I have to mock that …


  84. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 3:59 pm:

    Rich, “Apt” is a word not found in Brady’s or in the Tea Party tin foil hat crowd’s version of Mother Goose.


  85. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    Easy,

    By the way, thjis was a Federal Sting … that means the Feds were going out on their own being pro-active …

    But don’t let a Federal Sting operation get in the way of dinging on the Attorney General’s office, facts notwithstanding.


  86. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 4:04 pm:

    Somebody needs to stick a giant smelly sock in Brady’s mouth. For anybody to suggest this is somehow the Dem’s fault is just pathetic.


  87. - short memory - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 4:32 pm:

    Didn’t Lisa say the same thing when she was first running for AG and the George Ryan case.


  88. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 5:02 pm:

    - short memory -

    I believe your short memory is right. I also remember Republicans all over the state and the “gracious” Joe Birkett reminded her of these type of situations are not under the AG’s authority and congratulated her … “now you are a porsecutor.”

    Yeah, we remember it. And we remember how silly it was when she said it then too. Now it seems she learned, and those calling her to not be asleep at the wheel … have the short memory.


  89. - JP - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 5:04 pm:

    “For anybody to
    suggest this is somehow the Dem’s fault is
    just pathetic.” er….isn’t Smith a Dem?


  90. - Orland (D) - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 5:39 pm:

    Am I thinking this right? If Swiss wins the Primary and then the General, might he jump to the other side of the aisle and join Cross’ caucus.


  91. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 5:43 pm:

    ===Am I thinking this right? If Swiss wins the Primary and then the General, might he jump to the other side of the aisle and join Cross’ caucus.===

    ala Richard J. Daley? …yep


  92. - Snoopy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 6:37 pm:

    Love the fact a story about a Democrat allegedly accepting a bribe somehow gets twisted by some into an assault on a Republican roughly halfway through the comments.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Illinois Democratic Chairman cleaned up this part of his house a little bit?

    Can you throw us a bone, Mikey? We’re not looking for miracles here - just a little less corruption and a little more service.

    Now that’s a bipartisan idea.


  93. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 6:39 pm:

    JP:

    If you want to try and play that silly game that somehow Illinois corruption is limited to one party be my guest - and look like an idiot. This individual’s political party is irrelevant in Illinois, which is increasingly the land of dishonest, loser, jerks who proclaim to be politicians. This whole state disgusts me anymore. I’m sick of all of these pathetic legislators.


  94. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 6:53 pm:

    @Snoopy - I will happily repost the quotes from Tom Cross defending Rod Blagojevich and criticizing Madigan for pushing for his Impeachment.

    Tom Cross and the GOP stood idly by while Rod tried to steal everything that wasn’t nailed down. Madigan was the ONLY one who ever stood up to him.


  95. - Fed up Dem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 7:22 pm:

    This seems to be bigger than some minor level player like State Rep Derrick Smith.

    This does not sound good for Alderman Burnett and other 27th Ward honchos. “Alderman A” sure sounds like Walter Burnett.

    There is certainly more to come…….


  96. - fed up - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 7:58 pm:

    Wow the feds actually let the bribe take place. I wonder what would of happened if the let the Blago Bribe go all the way through.


  97. - Matt Podgorski -- NEIU Political Science Professor - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 9:04 pm:

    Tom Swiss is a Democrat now, period. The guy is practical and smart. When he wins the primary, and then general, he will caucus with the Dems but will vote for bills the way his heart tells him. He is and will be a Blue Dog Democrat from the 10th District and will do a great job.


  98. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 9:13 pm:

    ===When he wins the primary, and then general, he will caucus with the Dems but will vote for bills the way his heart tells him. He is and will be a Blue Dog Democrat from the 10th District and will do a great job.===

    That laughing you hear is MJM … he won’t caucus with the Dems …and if he tries that tact first, the HGOP won’t let him caucus with them either. He will be forced to be on his own, a target in a district he won’t be able to carry in two years … but will have a paycheck.

    Swiss’ ONLY option is to pull a Richard J. Daley, be seated by Madigan on the GOP side and hope for the best. You think the Speaker is going to TRUST Swiss in the Speaker’s Caucus?

    If Swiss gets out of this, and the stars align and he is able to get through both elections, his only hope is to Caucus with the GOP if they take him.

    Speaker Madigan will not take Tom Swiss in the HDEM Caucus …


  99. - Fed up Dem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 9:31 pm:

    Who is the Confidential informant?

    Who was the original target?

    What else did they investigate?


  100. - JimmyWhispers - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 10:12 pm:

    Prediction: Annazette Collins will be appointed back to her old seat. She might use this Smith arrest against her arch nemesis Jesse White. She might even win the Senate seat if she has a great communication director.


  101. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 10:25 pm:

    Prediction: Patricia Watkins wins the Senate seat convincingly and becomes the nucleus of a West side reform movement.


  102. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 10:28 pm:

    Anonymous 10:25 is me.


  103. - Matt Podgorski -- NEIU Political Science Professor - Tuesday, Mar 13, 12 @ 11:23 pm:

    Why would he caucus with the GOP and hope for the best? A repubican can never win in that district. He will be a Dem. I guess time will tell. But that is my humble prediction.

    Daley was a different story. Bullet voting back then, plus, he was appointed.

    My point is, Madigan is wasting money trying to take Swiss out. He wont be as big of a heedache as he thinks. Swiss just wants to have a say in education spending as well as to try to lobby business to relocate to the West Side.


  104. - Sideliner - Wednesday, Mar 14, 12 @ 8:08 am:

    Guessing MM is not happy that when he buys someone they keep shopping themselves.


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