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Every vote counts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

* Sun-Times

With votes tight for keeping a 2011 tax increase in place, the attorney representing indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith has asked a federal judge to delay the start of his May 28th corruption trial by three days.

If a federal judge agrees to the request, House Speaker Michael Madigan stands to get valuable extra time, if he needs it, to round up the necessary votes to pass a tax-extension bill. The speaker is believed to be well short of the necessary 60 votes he needs to send the legislation to the Senate.

“We’re asking the judge if he can be there through the end of session,” defense lawyer Victor Henderson said of his client in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. […]

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman is expected to decide on the motion during a hearing Wednesday morning.

Henderson stated in his motion that prosecutors have no position on the request.

* Tribune

In a motion filed last week, the West Side legislator asked U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman to again reset the trial for June 2 due to “significant pieces of legislation to be voted upon” in the House before the traditional end of the session by May 31.

“Representative Smith is required to attend in order to represent his district,” the motion stated.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said Monday that Smith “will vote yes” on the income tax hike vote. But Madigan has acknowledged he is still “significantly” short of the 60 votes necessary to pass the measure in the House. If Smith isn’t available to cast a vote in favor, Madigan said, “It will be one less vote.”

This is mostly snark, but why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - Elo Kiddies - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    If his trial starts one time, it’s possible he could be convicted, removed and replaced before the session is over.


  2. - Anon - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    A legislator, indicted(?) for bribery, wants to delay justice so he can continue legislating.

    Sometimes I hate living in this state.


  3. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    This is Illinois.
    We allow future felons to decide your taxes.


  4. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Rauner has got to be hoping that Magic Mike gets his income tax hike on the back of this guy.

    Those robocall scripts just keep writing themselves.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Will he use his middle finger when he pushes the vote button in favor of this tax?


  6. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    ===why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?===

    I doubt any jury is going to be involved. IIRC, Smith’s team lost a motion to disallow the tapes, which will now be played. I expect he’ll plead guilty and hope for a lighter sentence. He’s toast if this gets to a jury.


  7. - phocion - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?==

    Either because the defendant isn’t too bright, or because he thinks he’ll be taken care of after doing time.


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    I bet Madigan hopes Smith isn’t there. I bet Madigan hopes he can’t get 60 votes. Then the summer will be filled with the doom and gloom of, “This is what that Rauner guy wants.” And some how, come election day, they will have the whole mess pinned on him. And it could happen, Rauner is an amateur. And Madigan is a pro.


  9. - MrJM - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    This is mostly snark, but why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?

    As good support for a last-minute motion seeking a change of venue?

    – MrJM


  10. - Levois - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Would anyone be amused if the judge denies this motion? I would be and besides the justice system at certain points in time doesn’t have to wait for the political process even if a politician who’s currently on the job is on trial.


  11. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    One of my properties is in State Representative Derrick Smith’s legislative district. Legislative voting is not a worthy enough reason to delay this trial, in my humble opinion. Knowing Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, I hope she agrees. #itstimetopaythepiper


  12. - Wally - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Rauner didn’t make 50+ million bucks last year because he is an amateur. He isn’t close to a billionaire because he is an amateur.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    If the judge changes this for Smith, she is essentially handing him one last object of value to trade or “sell” before trial.

    Some will try to say Smith’s vote is just “horse-trading” or “politics”, but in reality, Blago said exactly what Smith will really be thinking

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s - ing golden”


  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Meh, MJM obviously has a divided caucus. Herding cats is tough.

    For him, I don’t see any problem with a tax extension failing before the election.

    I think it was responsible for him to go on record being for it, but after that, let the chips fall where they may.

    Let the Tribbies, Reboot Illinois, Illinois Review and the Rauner campaign show what big brains they have.

    Make it a referendum for the governor’s race.

    If Quinn wins, pass it in the veto session.

    If Rauner wins, let him and the rest of the arithmetically challenged show their cards.

    I’ve got a secret for you: the results, regarding taxes and spending, are going to be the same, either way.

    If you don’t think so, you listen to too much a.m. radio and watch too much cable “news.”

    Campaigning is easy; governing is hard; math is harder.


  15. - Walker - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===I’ve got a secret for you: the results, regarding taxes and spending, are going to be the same either way.===

    I think Word is right on because Federal law, consent decrees, reality, the markets, the numbers and mathematics will lead us there.

    I certainly hope so, because the only alternative is that Rauner goes “nuclear” on us and takes steps to substantially destroy the state government. I just don’t see him as that shallow or ideological.


  16. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Uh, what does Rauner have to do with this? It snowed last week too. I know it was Rauner or GW’s fault… Not sure which?


  17. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    Does anyone else find it just slightly infuriating that the Speaker has the cojones to just matter-of-factly declare, probably at least a week before the fact, that a particular member is a yes vote? Way to keep up the pretense of representative government.


  18. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    Rich, are you still taking nominations for dumbest comment of the week? ^^^


  19. - Steve - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    To answer Rich’s question:

    Maybe Smith was promised ,in the future , a letter of recommendation in some “industry” from Mike Madigan. Those letters count for something.


  20. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Only dumbest comment of the week? Excellent! I have a few weeks to redeem myself…


  21. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    Democrats with any integrity should still be demanding that Derrick Smith resign immediately instead of pondering his budget/tax votes.


  22. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Commander, do you really think Madigan lets bills go to the floor without knowing how his members plan to vote? It’s not a secret ballot down there and this very topic was the subject of an hours long caucus meeting yesterday.

    Believe me, no one else is infuriated. If you are, then maybe you should read more and comment less.


  23. - Da Moat - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:11 pm:

    Smith will get his continuance; but I agree with the posters that Madigan may not necessarily want 60 on this, in am effort to boost turnout somehow, like with the Obama library.


  24. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:27 pm:

    No big deal. If Smith has to step down, the Speaker can always count on the ward committeemen to appoint someone who will be a rubber stamp. It worked so well when the “temporary” income tax hike was approved in 2010.


  25. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    Hey Representative Smith! I was in Englewood, Colorado over the weekend. Rod says he’s holding a good job in the laundry for you…just send along a small contribution and it’s yours!

    By the way, for everyone else, Rod says, “Hi”.


  26. - What is to be done - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 6:54 pm:

    This is what happens when the American creed of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness becomes abortion, socialism and welfare. Thanks democrats!


  27. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 6:59 pm:

    You’re welcome.


  28. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 20, 14 @ 10:58 pm:

    ==This is mostly snark, but why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?==

    Mistrial attempt?


  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 7:52 am:

    –This is what happens when the American creed of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness becomes abortion, socialism and welfare. Thanks democrats!–

    I blame the Packers. Anti-capitalists, with the state owning the means of production in the name of the proletariat.

    There’s a specter haunting the Midwest and it’s called “Cheesehead.”


  30. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 8:12 am:

    Defense attorney Victor Henderson (who represents Derrick Smith) has a spouse by the name of Angela Henderson who is a finalist for the position of Provost of Chicago State University. Mister Henderson is the personal attorney of Chicago State President Wayne D. Watson who sat on the dissertation committee for Angela Henderson. The Chicago Tribune published a lengthy article detailing allegations that Angela Henderson’s dissertation was plagiarized. Pat Quinn supports all of these people mismanaging a state supported university, so long as he enjoys their political support.


  31. - Throwing Stones - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 8:25 am:

    you vote for it because you do what the speaker tells you to do with no questions asked.


  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 8:27 am:

    UFR, your Byzantine conspiracy theory is duly noted. Quite a scoop.

    Chicago State University was founded in 1867.

    If you’re going to hang its history of mismanagement on Quinn, I guess we can look forward to further revelations from you regarding his role in the Dreyfus Affair and the Lindbergh Baby case.


  33. - Commander Norton - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    I didn’t say it was infuriating that the Speaker knows how his members will vote. I said it’s infuriating that he would publicly speak to how one of his members will vote.


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