SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Derrick Smith and MJM

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014

* I talk to a lot of folks at the Statehouse on a daily basis and I have never once heard anyone say this

Well, another state legislator is heading to prison. You won’t hear much outrage in Springfield. Or dismay for that matter.

In the grand scheme of things, the conviction of state Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, on bribery charges is picayune. You’ll hear it whispered around the statehouse: “He ‘only’ took $7,000.”

Come to think of it, I have heard it said, but in sardonic derision, as in “If you’re going to take a bribe, why only $7,000?” In other words, it’s the usual dark humor of if you’re on the take, make sure to get enough cash to pay your legal bills.

* Back to the column at hand

A few years back, some Springfield wag printed up bumper stickers that said, “My Governor is a Bigger Crook than Your Governor.” This kind of cynicism has metastases through the electorate leaving political tumors of apathy, inevitability and suspicion.

There is no greater exploiter of this political cynicism than House Speaker Mike Madigan. Despite Smith’s indictment, Madigan threw his support behind his reelection this year. Madigan’s spokesman told the Chicago Tribune, the speaker supports Democratic incumbents and believes in “innocent until proven guilty.”

Well, some of the time.

I watched Madigan vote to impeach Blagojevich before he was ever brought to trial on corruption charges. When we hope for statesmanship in Springfield, we all too often end up with raw politics.

Good point.

And the “raw politics” aspect has played out pretty well for Madigan at the Statehouse. Black Caucus members, particularly in the Senate (where MJM is not loved at all), approvingly noted the Speaker’s defense of Smith in the March Democratic primary. Madigan stuck his neck way out for an embattled African-American and they were impressed.

Even so, supporting Smith in the 2014 Democratic primary will rightly dog MJM for a very long time to come.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Madigan’s spokesman told the Chicago Tribune, the speaker supports Democratic incumbents and believes in “innocent until proven guilty.”

    Keep in mind that the crime in question is always “aggravated House Speaker”.

    Once you’re guilty of that, you’re toast.

    – MrJM


  2. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Only in Springfield would some identify some level of “honor” in any of this. The atmosphere is toxic there.


  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Oftentimes, our greatest strengths are our greatest vulnerabilities.

    Madigan’s loyalty to his caucus is the keystone to his success and his longevity. When Madigan says he has your back on a tough vote, you believe him. That is particularly important for legislators in strong Democratic precincts because they oftentimes lack the fundraising ability of battleground districts.

    It is also why Madigan spent millions defending a dwindling caucus of downstate legislators over the past 12 years even though the numbers were against him and the “smarter” move would have been to spend those dollars in the suburbs.

    It isn’t just political calculus. Madigan is at the head of the class, but he is still old school, when it comes to his colleagues, his family, his friends, his staff.

    Bidding farewell to Bill Luking last night, I felt like I was staring at the edge of Tolkien history. How long before we bid or final farewell to the last dragon, the last giant, the last magic? Whatever the Tribune editorial board and other invaders of
    Middle Illinois might say about Springfield’s arcane ways, there ought to be some sadness in the passing of the best of it.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    “You’ll hear it whispered around the statehouse: “He ‘only’ took $7,000.””

    Technically, if Reeder wandered around the Dome and whispered it to himself, it’s true. “Journalists-in-residence” can roll that way and rationalize that they’re keeping kosher.

    Smith was one of the dumber crooks in a while — or at least since Trips. He made for a nice easy score for some federales climbing the career ladder.

    But not all crimes are or can be prosecuted.

    Every year, some of the greatest “business leasers” in the state roll down to Springfield and threaten to toss people out of of work unless the taxpayers give them money, in the form of tax breaks or grants.

    That might not be extortion by the letter of the law, but they sure do have the spirit.

    Nothing personal. It’s just business.


  5. - walker - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    The Reeder column way oversimplifies the whole situation.

    Did Scott Reeder forget that Derrick Smith was also expelled from the House prior to his trial, with Madigan’s obvious participation? He was treated just like Blago, in that sense.

    What made the difference was that Smith could get reelected in the interim. And Madigan could leverage that in a different way.

    This had little to do with Madigan maintaining his Dem majority, and a lot with getting support within the legislature for his agenda. Madigan gained that internal support by supporting someone whom he knew would probably be removed anyway. And it was very unlikely that the Dems would lose this seat in any case.

    “Raw politics” yes. But not like ordinarily thought. It was internal politics.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    - YDD - great take.

    It really has flipped to what loyalty MJM shows and uses as chits, is now sadly seen as bad, with very little seen as redeeming.

    What I miss? Loyalty, camaraderie, working to find common ground, and governing with partners seem in all.

    The polarization is what is going to sink the whole thing, not the ideal of better government is going to fill the vacuum.


  7. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    The only time I’ve heard surprise expressed at a corruption penalty was in 2007 when some Water Department workers were put in handcuffs by the FBI for alleged patronage work. The surprise expressed at the time was that they DIDN’T take bribes but were subjected to somewhat severe federal treatment anyway.

    It was just the once though; re bribery I’ve always said exactly what Rich did: take risk and loss of income from jail into account if you’re going to break the law. Smith is giving up considerably more than $7K


  8. - walker - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    O’Willy: Amen brother.

    Great comment, (though I had to reinterpret a bit of the grammar) :)

    Yes, there has been and still can be “loyalty, camaraderie, working to find middle ground, and governing with partners” and I might add “honor” in Springfield.

    But partisan polarization, and the self-comforting desire to see the worst in whomever’s seen as on the “other side”, can trump all of that.


  9. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    -Even so, supporting Smith in the 2014 Democratic primary will rightly dog MJM for a very long time to come. -

    Mike Madigan was co-chair of the 2006 re-elect Blagojevich campaign effort when Blago was already known as “Public Official A”. There’s nothing but sunshine around MJM. Only news junkies and highly informed voters are going to remember that MJM supported Smith.


  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Thanks Willy.

    As wordslinger points out, what separated Smith from the herd was neither his moral compass nor the audacity of his greed, but his lack of shall we say “sophistication”, My three year old would have known something was fishy.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    - walker -, thanks , apologies to the grammar.

    ===But partisan polarization, and the self-comforting desire to see the worst in whomever’s seen as on the “other side”, can trump all of that.===

    It’s like something that sucks the life out of a legislative body, and eats away the fabric of a working government.


  12. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    The Feds targeting “small fries” like Derrick Smith and LaShaun Ford is not “picking low-hanging fruit”, it’s picking fruit off the ground. Springfield needs an enema and targeting low-yield targets ain’t the way to get ‘er done.


  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Springfield needs an enema and targeting low-yield targets ain’t the way to get ‘er done.

    Ignoring them doesn’t help either.


  14. - Raunerbot - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    ==eats away at the fabric of a working government==

    run by people that Willy deems qualified to run our government.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Anonymous:

    Madigan is to US Attorneys Office as Moby Dick is to Captain Ahab.

    They are picking fruit up off the ground, but only because they are convinced it is a trail that will lead somewhere.

    We know, of course, they are walking around the tree in circles.

    The Feds went through Derrick Smith’s life with a sieve.

    Any other evidence of bribery? Any other wrongdoing?

    Nope.

    How much money did we spend to bait, trap and filet Smith for taking a $7000 bribe?

    Oh but wait, it sends a message, right?

    LOL

    Yeah, the message is “don’t be an idiot.”

    Meanwhile, Ty Warner get a stern warning for
    Millions in tax evasion.

    That message is pretty clear too.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Meanwhile, Ty Warner get a stern warning for
    Millions in tax evasion.

    That’s a sign of a bad judge, not a worthless prosecution.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    How much money did we spend to bait, trap and filet Smith for taking a $7000 bribe?

    Oh but wait, it sends a message, right?

    So the Koschman case (via Dan Webb) was worthwhile or not?


  18. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    If MJM’s got Derrick’s back, just guess who’s back he doesn’t have. Nothing to praise about this BS.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===run by people that Willy deems qualified to run our government.===

    And the voters, don’t forget the voters…


  20. - concern1 - Thursday, Jun 19, 14 @ 8:12 am:

    to ” a guy”…yes you are correct the legislators in Springfield have become TOXIC and its time to get rid of the TOXIC WASTE!!!!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* *** UPDATED x1 *** The dirty little secrets about Facebook video views
* Life on a ledge
* Question of the day
* Our totally inspiring and uplifting US Senate race
* Trump piles on Chicago, but he may want to ask his running mate about Indiana
* Don't hold your breath
* More ugliness
* Today's number: $105,733
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition, fundraiser list and a campaign roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............
<


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Sony’s Xperia XZ is up for preorder on Amazon
*
* Try Allo yet? Over 1 million people already have
* LG U+ could team up with US, Chinese, Japanese carriers to build LTE networks globally
* Do not drill a headphone jack into your iPhone 7
* MediaTek launches Helio X30, P20, P25 chipsets
* Android-Chrome merger may be previewed at Pixel event

* 50th big league start is large for stellar Rodon
* Rodon's shutdown start captures road series
* White Sox mourn loss of superstar Fernandez
* Rodon's shutdown start captures road series
* Rays, White Sox set for clash in Windy City
* White Sox mourn loss of superstar Fernandez
* Frazier hits HR, Quintana solid in Sox win

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Suspicious package found at Illinois Supreme Co.....
* Bruce Rauner stays on message: All Madigan, all.....
* Bruce Rauner stays on message: All Madigan, all.....
* Bruce Rauner keeps up anti-Madigan message; mig.....
* Strick: AFSCME is being unreasonable - DuPage P.....


* Man shot near popular Chicago tourist destination dies
* Police: 5 shot, 1 dead, after fight at Illinois campus party
* Police: 5 shot, 1 dead, after fight at Illinois campus party
* Former baseball pros open Chatham hitting, training facility
* 9 historic preservation projects to be honored next month
* 9 historic preservation projects to be honored next month
* Man shot near Chicago's Millennium Park after argument
* Audits fail to mention $280,000 in credit card spending
* Doctors 'prescribe' fresh produce with help from food banks
* US agency says Exxon tries to dodge blame for Arkansas leak

* Planning underway locally for Illinois' 200th birthday
* Attack on state senator leads to arrest of murder suspects
* Illinois Supreme Court overturns law allowing 6-member juries
* Local unemployment of 4.6 percent still lowest in state
* Elderly frozen-treat seller gets $380,000 from GoFundMe page
* Creation of Amish history museum in central Illinois underway
* Privately funded Executive Mansion work will follow traditional wage, bidding rules
* 'Memorandum of agreement' outlines restoration rules for Executive Mansion work
* Gov. Rauner uses Facebook Live to announce bicentennial plans
* Environmental groups push for lead testing of water in schools

* Galvins donate $10 million to Northwestern
* Arnold Palmer, 'The King,' dead at 87
* How Presence Health cracked the code on telehealth
* Merz Apothecary at your door within hours
* Where did the bankruptcy wave hit hardest?


* NRSC poised to help Sen. Mark Kirk
* It’s time for Bears to think seriously about heir to Cutler
* Short-handed defense just not good enough in loss to Cowboys
* Washington mall shooting suspect: ‘Creepy,’ had multiple arrests
* Man stabbed, critically wounded in Chatham
* Man shot in Austin
* Kapos: Green Tie Ball and how Chicago passes the civic torch
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Sept. 26, 2016
* Dear Abby: Someone cleaned while I was out
* Why watch? Bears’ woes are going from bad to worse


* Windsor school 'tasting menu' a big hit with students
* Jeremy Langford leaves with injury, giving Jordan Howard opportunity
* Jon Lester on David Ross: 'He only cried about three times'
* 3rd-down pass to keep Bears' comeback hopes alive fizzles
* Bears clearly not ready for prime time, look to be in preseason mode
* David Ross on ovations, curtain call: 'What a treat for a backup catcher to get'
* Man shot near Millennium Park dies
* Brutal start dooms Bears in prime-time loss to Cowboys
* Corbyn victory leaves little resolved for U.K. Labour Party
* David Ross steals show as Cubs win regular-season home finale


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Deckle McLain: Rise of bots can't be ignored in economy
* Bernard Schoenburg: Interesting twists in Troemper-Reid circuit judge race
* Statehouse Insider: Do you remember where you were during Rauner's Facebook Live session?
* Compass for Kids supports at-risk children
* Innovate Springfield gives boost to new businesses
* Eric Zarnikow: Aid changes mean students should act now
* Planning underway locally for Illinois' 200th birthday
* Attack on state senator leads to arrest of murder suspects
* Illinois Supreme Court overturns law allowing 6-member juries
* Local unemployment of 4.6 percent still lowest in state


* Wanda Stack
* Mississippi River continues to rise
* Renovations continue on Davenport streets
* United Neighbors closes for inventory, reorganization
* Davenport National Guard unit will help with Cedar Rapids flooding
* 2 taken to hospital after I-80 crash near Geneseo
* Bettendorf woman collects supplies for pipeline protesters
* Davenport man jailed in connection with robbery
* Liddell grabs attention
* Tourney to honor STM's Wells


* Reaction to Arnold Palmer's death Sunday
* Imrem: Death does not discriminate
* Prime time not so kind to Chicago Bears
* Chicago Cubs close home slate with win
* Prime-time not so kind to Chicago Bears

* 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

* Illinois/Wisconsin briefs - Dubuque Telegr......

* Senators Introduce Legislation Aimed at Bo......

* Is Hillary the ’05 White Sox? Does that make Trump equal of “Chief Wahoo”
* Blues people (an art project).
* The passive voice.
* “If we have learned anything about dealing with politicians is that they will look for any crack to take what is ours.”
* John Dillon on re-districting reform.
* Stop-and-frisk.
* Sunday chowdah.
* Rumdum
* Putting A Fresh Face On The Uptown Theater
* Attempted Hold-Up Of American Metro Bank On Friday


* IDOT Hiring in Preparation of Winter Weather - Temporary help needed to assist with snow-and-ice removal, public urged to apply
* Illinois Department of Insurance Reminds ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ Customers to Enroll In New Coverage - The deadline for ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ customers to enroll in a new plan is September 30, 2016; Consumers could experience a gap in health care cove
* Governor Rauner Celebrates Illinois’ Hunting Heritage on National Hunting and Fishing Day
* Governor Signs Executive Order Creating New Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* State of Illinois Announces Online Enrollment Platform for Group Insurance Programs - MyBenefits Marketplace continues Illinois’ digital transformation, improves state employee experience




      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller