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Friday, Mar 23, 2012

* This is from the federal criminal complaint against state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago). It’s taken from footnote 1 on page 3 of FBI Special Agent Bryan Butler’s affidavit. “CS-1″ is the government mole who helped the feds nail Smith. CS-1 has apparently been helping the G for years

CS-1 has one prior arrest for domestic assault, but no convictions. Over the past 3-4 years, CS-1 has received approximately $1,200 from the FBI for his/her assistance in other investigations. In connection with this investigation, to date, FBI has paid CS-1 $4,000. The government has also provided CS-1 with financial assistance for purposes of relocation.

Um. Wow.

I think anyone close to the 27th Ward Democratic Organization ought to have reason to be very concerned.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:40 am:

    Agreed Rich. Every campaign should always act as though everyone is looking.

    I think given that CS-1 is a professional snitch, it kinda puts a stop on the House investigations.

    After four years on the payroll, my guess is CS-1 was gonna be cut loose pretty soon if she or he didn’t come up with something.

  2. - Elo Kiddies - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    Why stop there? The footnote continues:

    “During the period of CS-1’s cooperation, at least some of the time at the direction of SMITH, CS-1 has taken down campaign signs of SMITH’s challenger in the Democratic primary, Candidate A.”

    Which maybe isn’t news, but is unusual to see acknowledged in a criminal complaint.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:47 am:

    “Uh … Yes … 1 ticket for the Fed Witness Bus … is there still room? … and who do you want me to help you with … yep, no problem …”

    If I were a member of the 27th Ward Organ-Eye-Zation … I would see who is missing, and who happens to be “sick from work” all of a sudden.

    “Act as thou everyone is wearing a wire”, I guess that wasn’t in Rep. Smith’s “welcome to the General Assembly” packet.

  4. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:50 am:

    So you wonder if Smith is all he got, or if the Smith thing was so bad it was a Rod crime in progress type of thing….

  5. - Jim - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    I don’t see any problem. Everyone knows Chicago politics — from Mike Madigan on down — is clean. Smith is just a rare bad apple.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    ===The government has also provided CS-1 with financial assistance for purposes of relocation.===

    “Call a MANDATORY meeting of everyone in the Organization, no exceptions … and take precise attendace.”

    I do not even want to speculate who should be nervous … but there is a reason you don’t bring guys like Rep. Smith into “your house”, becaue all you need is one the “G” knows they can get, to warm up the bus …

  7. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:56 am:

    Sounds to me that Blago is going to be able to start a gang in prison. The “Former Illinois Politicians Who Are Currently in Prison Gang.”

  8. - Shore - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    “Agreed Rich. Every campaign should always act as though everyone is looking.”

    -Not if you play by the rules. Which most people outside of cook county at least try to do.

  9. - Today - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    Right on, Rich. Democrats have to handle the Rep. Smith thing very carefully. In addition to CS-1, has Rep. Smith been around long enough to have discovered some more skeletons. If so, they have to find a way to ensure the he doesn’t turn.

  10. - too obvious - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    I think everyone is still laughing about the “Follow the leader” eblast Tom Cross sent out yesterday.

    Does Cross really think anyone thinks he’s listened to on anything, or that Madigan needed to be prodded to clear the decks of Smith?

    It’s almost sad sometimes watching Cross and the House Repubs pretending to be relevant.

  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    Like I said yesterday, I hope they can find a minister’s wife to take Smith’s place on the ballot.

    Great column in the Sun-Times, btw Rich.

  12. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    I wonder if Smith has anything worthwhile to plea bargain with.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    === Not if you play by the rules. Which most people outside of cook county at least try to do. ===

    That was supposed to be a joke, right?

    I’ve worked on campaigns in probably half the counties in Illinois.

    If anything, campaigns outside of Cook County are WORSE, because there’s less media, few if any watchdog organizations, the people involved aren’t considered “big fish”, and there’s no enforcement.

    Oh yeah, and the town’s only newspaper is usually kept on a pretty short leash by the Chamber of Commerce/Republican Party.

  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    BTW, everyone within the 27th Ward Organization already knows who CS-1 is. You can bet on it.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    - too obvious -

    Take it a step further, if you are a member of the HGOP Caucus … Cross dings Smith on being indicted, but fails to ding him on the EXACT thing Smith did, and then Cross “takes the lead” which, in theory if Smith is not fighting the allegations, goes specifically public on the actions of enforcing Rule 91!

    The HGOP Caucus needs to look themselves in the mirror …

    To the Post,

    - shore - , Wether you think or “know” you are 100% clean, you have to act to protect yourself from OTHERS, looking for a seat on the Fed Bus. The self-preservation is real, regardless if you know you are “clean”.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    You know, this case could wind up like the former Rep/Alderman Ray Frias case. Fria was acquitted in essence because the jury felt that there was too aggressive of an attempt to get him to take a payoff.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:21 am:

    ===BTW, everyone within the 27th Ward Organization already knows who CS-1 is. You can bet on it.===

    I would hate to speculate that either way …

    I was being snarky about calling the meeting as a “way” to marrow things down, not being specific about actually doing it in practice or in real tinme or life.

  18. - Ken in Aurora - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:26 am:

    “I think given that CS-1 is a professional snitch, it kinda puts a stop on the House investigations.”

    If the feds were only relying on CS-1’s testimony maybe, but the tapes seem to address that concern.

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    @Ken -

    The warrant for the tapes was predicated on the reliability of CS-1’s claim that Smith was already soliciting bribes.

    Otherwise, its entrapment to show up at someone’s door and offer them $5000 to do something illegal.

  20. - siriusly - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:31 am:

    Oh sure Shore, every political campaign outside of cook county is a model of good behavior. Puleease.

  21. - Fed up - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    Much like the Blago case this will be stopped short. No one else will go down. Every now and then you have to sacrifice a small fish. He will get a nice job when he come back from club fed.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    ===He will get a nice job when he come back from club fed.===

    I may want to take that bet …

    If he is found guily of the alleged crime. Doubt that he will find “something”. He was in the House for about 25-45 minutes!

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:48 am:

    –Much like the Blago case this will be stopped short.–

    Who stopped it short and why? Give us all the benefit of the voices in your head.

  24. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    @Fed up -

    This is unlike the Blago case in so many ways.

    Rich’s post raises even more concerns about the judgment and ethics of the federal prosecutor’s office.

    As I’ve said before, the canon of ethics of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is designed to prevent them from interfering in the electoral process.

    You don’t announce an indictment of someone who’s about to go before the voters because it doesn’t give them time to clear their name.

    The timing of this indictment appears to have been clearly intended to influence the outcome of an election.

    Do we have any evidence that Smith accepted bribes from anyone other than a paid government informant — an informant who offered him a bribe, and whose word we’re suppose to accept that the bribe was solicited? Nope.

    Would the government’s interests have been better served by approaching Smith after the election with the wiretap and flipping him into an informant? Probably.

    So many questions, so few answers.

  25. - The Captain - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    You can’t arrest all your enemies, only the ones that broke the law. And you can’t charge them with all the things you hate about them (real and imagined), only the ones that are crimes.

  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    @wordslinger -

    I take the prosecutor’s word for it that the reason they swiftly indicted Rod is because he had figured out that he was being taped and was shrewdly trying to walk-back the evidence.

    There was no such justification in the Smith case.

    To any honest observer, the only reason for announcing the indictment was to influence an upcoming election. Big prosecutorial no-no.

  27. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    ==The timing of this indictment appears to have been clearly intended to influence the outcome of an election.==

    Yeah, right, like it worked even if true.

  28. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    Isn’t one of the problems that the State is in the business of granting money it does not have to private organizations?

    Of course a private entity is going to choose the easy way when looking for ‘free’ money. It’s high them the briber started to serve time as well as the bribe taker.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    ===Of course a private entity is going to choose the easy way when looking for ‘free’ money. It’s high them the briber started to serve time as well as the bribe taker.===

    I think this was specifically a “sting” …

    There was no Nursing Home … um … Nursing Care …uh … Daycare … “You know what I meant!

  30. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    –Isn’t one of the problems that the State is in the business of granting money it does not have to private organizations?–

    Huh? You do understand that there was no real business in this sting?

  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    @Wencisia -

    No, it didn’t work. But that’s hardly an excuse.

    Will County’s State’s Attorney was successfully sued for locking an innocent man up and denying him exonerating evidence in order to win an upcoming election.

    That prosecutor lost his re-election bid, but it didn’t make his actions any less vile.

    If anyone has a credible alternative theory for the announcement of the indictment, I’d love to hear it.

    Was anyone honestly worried that Smith was going to follow through on the offered bribe, write a letter, get the daycare its money, and all of that was going to happen so swiftly and irreversibly that the feds had a compelling public interest to step in days before the election?


  32. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    YDD @ 10:13am said

    “Oh yeah, and the town’s only newspaper is usually kept on a pretty short leash by the Chamber of Commerce/Republican Party.”

    Large swaths of rural downstate are strongly democrat enclaves - are they immune?

  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    Again, reread the article:

    “Critics assailed the timing of the Kansas City registration fraud indictments as inconsistent with a department [of Justice] policy that discourages bringing indictments close to an election if the cases might influence the outcome.”

    The indictments in question came just days before the 2006 elections.

    Fitzgerald has some explaining to do.

  34. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    @dupage dan -

    I can tell you without hesitation that Downstate Democrats do not control the local newspapers.

    The Republican Party and chambers of commerce exert influence because the local business community is the primary source of advertising revenue for the paper.

    I’ve had a couple of newspaper editors and several reporters admit to me that they were not going to cover stories because of the chamber’s influence.

    This extends not only to downstate weeklies, but some of the major daily papers as well.

    Aaron Schock’s “meteoric rise” was due largely to the kid glove treatment he got from the press.

  35. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    Yes, Smith’s case isn’t as cut and dried once you read the criminal complaint. But if you read the criminal complaint, as Rich has, you can see why the 27th Warders are probably afraid to talk about anything these days.

    On a completely unrelated note, I seem to recall a Tribune story from a few years ago documenting certain grants associated with a former state senator in the area. The grants went to questionable organizations, and the sponsoring senator was quite a character before he announced he was stepping down, dealing a major blow to the Senate softball team.

  36. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    YDD, they arrested him two days after he (allegedly) took the bribe. What is the impact on the election process if they intentionally sit on that information until afterwards? There would have been hell to pay. Is it their fault that Smith took the bribe right before the election?

  37. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    –Fitzgerald has some explaining to do.–

    To whom? He can sic the FBI, IRS, DEA, etc., on anyone he wants to, whenever he wants to. He picks and chooses his targets, and brings the full force of the national government against them for whatever reasons move him.

    Did you all think Chris Kelly was the biggest tax evader of all time?

    Fitz is the federal prosecutor-for-life. Every democracy should have one.

  38. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    @Don’t Worry, Be Happy -

    That is EXACTLY what the DOJ policy requires. Sit on the indictment until after the election.

    If they are guilty, they will be removed by office regardless, but indictment after the election preserves the right to due process.

    Indicting someone just before an election, without an opportunity to clear their name, is malicious prosecution. Even if they are cleared of all charges eventually, you can’t reverse an election.

    The fact that the US Attorney’s indictment didn’t change the outcome of THIS election does not exonerate them. To me, and any honest observer, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

  39. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:51 am:


    I believe this is why the U.S. Department of Justice has an Office of Professional Responsibility:

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility, reporting directly to the Attorney General, is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate or provide legal advice”

  40. - mark walker - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    All that Federal effort and expense, and a newly-appointed Rep, with a faked attempted bribe, is all they got?

    I’m beginning to wonder whether this reflects that most of our our politicians are cleaner than many like to think.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    ===I’m beginning to wonder whether this reflects that most of our our politicians are cleaner than many like to think.===

    CS-1 has been working with the “G” for “3-4 years” … the Feds usually drop that info to let us know CS-1 is not just a “one-time” helper … we just have zero clue what CS-1 has been doing for “3-4 years” …

  42. - olddog - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    @ DuPage Dan at 11:17 a.m. -

    If you look around, I think you’ll find plenty of downstate newspapers are “usually kept on a pretty short leash by the Chamber of Commerce/Republican Party” even in “strongly democrat(ic) enclaves.” Tally the downstate editorials quoted in Capitol Fax on state tax/business climate issues for the last two or three months, and you’ll get a pretty representative sample.

  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    @mark walker -

    Although many will be sad to hear it, our elected officials from both sides of the aisle are more lawful than you’d think from all of the news reports.

    That said, our campaign finance laws are so lax that breaking the law is inexcusable stupidity.

    Today, reports surface that Congressman Schock used campaign funds for, among other things, buying himself exercise tapes.

    As his spokesman points out, all perfectly legal.

  44. - Colossus - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    YDD: There was an article in the PJS yesterday about Schock that was definitely not kid-gloves. While not indictment-worthy (according to current law), it’s nice to see someone saying something about how he’s conducting his business*.

    *Yes, business, not public service.

  45. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    BTW Wordslinger, the basis for the prohibition against taking action that might influence the outcome of an election comes not just from the DOJ Manual, but federal law.

  46. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:14 pm:


    Are you suggesting there may be more indictments to come of interesting characters from days gone by real recently??

  47. - Fed up - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    The Feds stopped the Blago case before he actually sold the seat. Who was in on the bidding? Rahm, triple j who else. Yes I know it sounds conspiratorial but Fitzgerald let the other parties involved walk. Blago still appointed whoever he wanted. Those attempting to buy a senate seat allowed to walk away free.

  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    @Colossus -

    Any criticism of Schock in the Peoria Journal Star — even one that goes to great lengths to allow his campaign to explain away the slightest hint of impropriety — is progress.

    As a side note, I’d love to know why the heck a Peoria Congressman was having a fundraiser in Puerto Rico.

    Sounds like a junket to me.

    “Hey, Ferdinand, I’d love to take a Caribbean vacation. Could you hold a fundraiser for me so I can expense the whole thing to my campaign account?”

    Like I said elsewhere, campaign finance laws are so lax you can drive a bus through them. No one should be able to expense travel outside of their district to their campaign account.

    Otherwise, you’re just allowing folks to take vacations — a personal use — using campaign contributions. Its legalized bribery.

  49. - Fed up - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    Ydd@ mark,
    An appalling lack of coverage on Monuiqe Davis and her use of Chicago State employees to challenge petitions while these state employees were on the clock at the university.

  50. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    @Fed Up -

    Its delusional to think that a U.S. Attorney would balk at the possibility to bring down Jesse Jackson, Jr. or the White House.

    EVERYONE is gunning for JJJ.

  51. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    @Fed up -

    First I’ve heard about Rep. Davis.

    But since she’s not an official at CSU, I’m assuming the problem is with the university.

    Niether the Tribune nor Sun-Times has ever shown a reluctance to cover Rep. Davis. They just can’t make anything stick.

  52. - Fed up - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    YDD ,

    I would think its delusional to think Fitgerald would of let an associate of Obamas get recorded making a deal for the senate seat. The investigation was cut short before the seat was sold. Do the Feds arrest someone for talking about selling drugs or do they wait for the money to exchange hands.

  53. - Ken in Aurora - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 1:08 pm:

    @ YDD 10:29:

    Entrapment may be a defense for prosecution but there’s still a severe ethics issue. I personally don’t care if he thought it up himself or was entrapped, he should go down on ethics alone.

  54. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Fed Up, enough with your tinfoil hattishness. The investigation wrapped up because the Tribune exposed it and Rod was clearly plotting to create an alibi.

  55. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    You guy’s memory is shorter than my… never mind.

    One more time the fed’s stopped the Blago investigation because the Tribune published the fact that his office and phones were bugged! On the front page no less.

    @ Word - no CK was not the biggest tax evader of all times but he was the tax evader that had the dirt on Rod. You play the cards you’re delt.

  56. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    Rich -

    Thanks for providing the link to the indictment. Some other really interesting tidbits in there:

    - The meeting in which CS-1 initially offered Rep. Smith the alleged bribe was not recorded. (pg 4)

    - According to the indictment, the idea that the payment be in cash was CS-1’s idea (pg 19)

    - The $2000 in cash was intended to pay CS-1 for what I presume to be legitimate campaign work (pg 22)

    - For reasons no one can explain to me, the subsequent meeting and phone call with CS-1 arranging for and accepting his $2000 were not recorded.

    Throughout the indictment, it was pretty clear to me that Smith was actually concerned with whether or not the daycare got its grant, separate and apart from any campaign contribution. He tells them they need additional letters of support, he wants to make sure his grant letter is actually a good one, he explains they’ve got to get their grant application right, that the approval process takes time, that he can’t guarantee them a grant.

    Moreover, based on the evidence presented in the indictment, I can’t tell whether Smith is trying to obfuscate the source of the payment because he thinks he’s doing something illegal or he just thinks it looks bad politically.

    Federal candidates routinely accept contributions from the children of big donors who have maxed out. Its perfectly legal. For all I know from this indictment, Smith just wanted to make sure that the daycare operator was raising the money for his campaign from a source that wouldn’t be traced back to the letter.

    Again, there’s probably a heckuva lot more on tape, and the whole case is tough to judge without cross-examining CS-1.

    But if obfuscating the source of your political support is an impeacheable offense, the Illinois General Assembly should be empty.

  57. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 5:16 pm:


    I was thinking about all those newspapers that Paul Simon was involved in during his younger years. But I guess he wasn’t really a democrat (late Friday joshing).

    Your point is well taken.

  58. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    Yellow Dog Democrat: Please quit painting with a broad brush, as if every downstate county has the same make-up, business community, “Chamber influence”, etc.

    Go to Alexander County and tell me about the Republican influence there. How about Pope and Hardin? There are pockets of just about anything you want to find in this state, from “Chamber” influence to UMW influence to government worker union influence to UAW influence, etc.

    My experience is that these Chambers are so gun-shy that they rarely exert any influences for fear of turning off customers.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse

* Saturday's highlights: Finkes lead Central to consolation title
* Illini commit Davis qualifies for national meet
* MBB notebook: Groce thankful for head athletic trainer
* Thorne's injury mars solid outing vs. Iowa State
* MBB grades vs. Iowa State: Fair effort against Cyclones
* Fastener's Etc. Post Game Show 11-28-15
* No. 4 Iowa State 84, Illinois 73
* Tate: Bigwigs' latest call leaves team in tough position
* Tate: In tough spot, bigwigs opt for stable option
* Asmussen: Keeping Cubit brings stability

* Montini completes perfect season
* Glenbard West players earn championship of their own
* Aurora crash closes Lake Street
* West Chicago teen charged with fatally shooting his cousin
* Glenbard West downs Libertyville for 7A title

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News...

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Chinese Take Out
* "Mexican Food, Opening Soon"
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras
* Dueling pair of children being used to fight for attention of Chicago, world
* No Positive Loitering Tonight
* Fairness.
* It brings out the rats.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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