Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Stopping Smith
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Stopping Smith

Friday, Sep 28, 2012

* My Sun-Times column

I first met Maze Jackson when he was running the Chicago and suburban ground game for Gov. Pat Quinn’s Democratic primary campaign.

He’s brash, smart, funny, with a mind that can go a dozen directions at once. I couldn’t help but like the guy. And now Jackson is running his toughest campaign ever.

Jackson is managing Lance Tyson’s uphill race against indicted former state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago). Smith was expelled from the House in August, months after being arrested for allegedly accepting a $7,000 bribe.

There is no legal way to kick Smith off the ballot, and he refused to drop out of the race. If he wins, the House can’t use the indictment to kick him out of office again because the Illinois Constitution forbids such a move.

A poll taken two weeks ago showed Smith with a huge 47-9 lead over Tyson, with the remainder undecided, so things don’t look good for Maze Jackson right now.

Tyson was picked by the district’s ward committeemen to challenge Smith after Tyson threatened to spend thousands of dollars of his own money whether or not he was chosen. Some committeemen had their own candidates in mind, but they begrudgingly went with Tyson after Secretary of State Jesse White intervened on his behalf. White engineered Derrick Smith’s appointment to the House, so he’s being held responsible by the powers that be for defeating Smith in November.

White drafted Jackson as Tyson’s campaign manager. Jackson knows the West Side legislative district well, having run Ald. Walter Burnett’s campaigns.

Jackson thinks the poll, taken by We Ask America, showed lots of residents were choosing their candidate on party lines. If a pollster asks a West Side Democrat how he or she plans to vote, they will naturally pick the Democrat. Jackson says he has to convince voters that his candidate is “the real Democrat.”

So far, House Speaker Michael Madigan has decided to stay neutral because a Democrat will be elected regardless, according to his spokesman. But Jackson believes this campaign has potentially national ramifications, and he’s not giving up hope yet that Madigan and/or the local Democratic Party will come to his candidate’s aid.

That’s a lot of hope, but is there a plan? Election Day is in about five weeks.

Jackson described an expensive campaign plan of mail, black radio and cable TV, but I haven’t seen much of an uptick in Tyson’s lackluster fund-raising.

A recent event hosted by Gov. Pat Quinn helped bring in some bucks, Jackson said. “People just wanted to see a sign that there’s going to be a campaign,” Jackson said. And now that the wheels are “getting in motion,” more cash should begin flowing. Some outside groups reportedly will spend money attacking Smith, Jackson said.

Jackson said he needs to persuade 30-40 percent of voters in the heavily African-American 27th and 28th Wards to break their lifelong habit of automatically voting for Democrats. The 27th is White’s ward, so that should go somewhat smoothly. The 28th is run by Ald. Jason Ervin, who, after some early trepidation, is now on board, according to Jackson. But the former Democratic committeeman there is Ed Smith, and he’s working against Tyson, so trouble is afoot.

The idea is to “run up the score” in the district’s other wards, which are more racially diverse. The walk card Tyson’s campaign is using features a mock “Wanted” poster with a mugshot of Smith, who is “wanted” for “disgracing the Democratic Party,” “Crimes against the residents of the 10th District,” and “Federal bribery.”

If only it were that easy to win a crazy campaign like this.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ouch - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:59 am:

    If Tyson loses to someone under indictment, he had better just give it up! I’m sure Tyson will be happy to put this on his resume.

  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:00 am:

    As Smith will likely be re-elected, he won’t be the first GA member to play out the string while under indictment. Larry Bullock and John D’Arco come to mind.

    Blago wasn’t in any hurry to leave, either.

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    === Jackson believes this campaign has potentially national ramifications, and he’s not giving up hope yet that Madigan and/or the local Democratic Party will come to his candidate’s aid. ===

    I hope Jackson has a Plan B.

  4. - Jasper - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    Replacing a guy charged with a crime with a Stroger staffer?

    Sure, I heard all the nice things about Tyson. Still, he’s a guy who thought Todd Stroger was a guy who could get the job done.


    None of these people have a clue. White has a history of backing some terrible people, including Smith and Ken Dunkin. When the best person you’ve backed is Walter Burnett, you’ve got problems. Given his record, why would any voter follow is lead?

    Preckwinkle? So much for her being a reformer. Somehow I suspect that if she saw a chance to put a former 4th Ward person into the seat, she would be all over it. “Ward City God Country” seems to be her mantra.

    Madigan? This is to be expected from him. Did anybody ever believe he cared about clean government?

    Stories like this make me wish Chicago had a GOP.

  5. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    In the US Congress, the Senate can refuse to seat a member. Is there such a rule in the GA?

  6. - Glass half full - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Seems like Tyson and the White Sox are in the same boat right about now….that being said I’m still betting on Robin & Jackson to provide us a miracle finish

  7. - The Shadow - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:00 am:

    Sometimes people need to come out from the shadows to shed the light.

  8. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    Another approach would have been to expel him after the election. Not sure whether he can be expelled again for the same offense.

  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:31 am:


    From Article IV, Section 6(d) of the Illinois Constitution:

    “Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings, judge the elections, returns and qualifications of its members and choose its officers.”

    On paper, that gives the General Assembly broad power to refuse to seat an elected member. Essentially, they can overturn an election.

    That said, the House Rules, which I presume are based on case law, are pretty narrow.

    You can read the House Rules for yourself or someone else can post them.

    I read them long ago, when many “Constitutional scholars” were arguing that Smith could be expelled twice for the same offense. An argument I scoffed at.

    Here in a nut shell are the rules:

    The General Assembly can refuse to seat a member if they find that the elected member does not meet the qualifications for office or if they find that the election results were fraudulent.

    Obviously, that’s pretty narrow. Although I’d point out that it does give the General Assembly the authority to refuse to seat (and I think remove, I’d have to go look), a member that fails to meet the residency requirements.

    Hope that answers your question.

    As an aside, I find it unlikely that the House would alter or ignore the Rules to make a special case for refusing to seat Smith. Overturning a democratic election should be and is serious business. A political coup, targeting someone who was re-elected by his constituents even after all of the facts were out about an alleged crime, would be an awful precedent.

    It’s not far from that step to refusing to seat a member who was elected despite having been arrested for a DUI, for example.

  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    From the post:

    –There is no legal way to kick Smith off the ballot, and he refused to drop out of the race. If he wins, the House can’t use the indictment to kick him out of office again because the Illinois Constitution forbids such a move.–

    The state Constitution also makes each chamber judge of elections and qualifications. He meets legal qualifications. If he’s elected, he’s in.

    As we saw with Sen. Burris, the Senate can’t just refuse to seat a qualified member. “Powell vs. McCormack” strictly limits that power.

  11. - Horton - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    Are these the Illinois “low information voters” I so often hear about?

    Nice to see them in action.

  12. - Tom - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    Derrick Smith is going to win. They (Lance) don’t have the bodies to put on the street. You can’t teach new dogs new tricks with 40 days left. Plus–to run an effective mail/radio.mail program plus street operation takes lots of money. They don’t have it.

  13. - Hammer - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    You reap what you sow. After decades of conditioning West (and South) siders that anything without a ‘D’ next to its name is a nonstarter, the powers that be have a tough road to hoe in 5 weeks and what looks like a deficit of sympathy from anyone else.

    While Smith should be run out on a rail, a victory might force people to pay more attention.

    White/Tyson should hope OFA isn’t doing an early vote push.

  14. - Hacks - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    Mike Kasper should know better than anyone that “bad precedents” abound in Illinois election law.

  15. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    ===The idea is to “run up the score” in the district’s other wards, which are more racially diverse.===

    Yeah, that might work in an off year election, but I think it’s going to be difficult with Obama at the top of the ticket. There is no way African-American voters are staying home this year. I haven’t looked at the precinct info, but I find it hard to believe there are enough racially diverse voters to run up any kind of score, especially with a tsunami of voters chomping at the bit to cast ballots this year.

    The committeemen need to get their door-to-door operation up and running in high gear and focus on getting Tyson votes from people they know are going to vote. With five weeks to go, if they have any kind of precinct operation, this shouldn’t be impossible, but it’s definitely going to be an uphill fight.

  16. - Capital is a must!! - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    Anyone who sits on the sidelines in this race no matter who the challenger is must condone bribery and essentially side with the disgraced former state rep Derrick smith. Prove me wrong……

  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    === After decades of conditioning West (and South) siders that anything without a ‘D’ next to its name is a nonstarter, the powers that be have a tough road to hoe in 5 weeks and what looks like a deficit of sympathy from anyone else. ===

    === Are these the Illinois “low information voters” I so often hear about? ===

    Oh, please. Alan Keyes got 1.4 million votes in 2004. Save your silly, partisan talking points for the SJR website.

    And in case you’ve forgotten (or were actually born yesterday), George Ryan was defended not just by members of his own party but also the Chicago Tribune editorial board for his ties to the deaths of six children during the 1998 election.

    Whatever you want to say about Derrick Smith — and I’ll grant you there’s plenty — you’re hard-pressed to match that for blind partisan loyalty.

  18. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    === Anyone who sits on the sidelines in this race no matter who the challenger is must condone bribery and essentially side with the disgraced former state rep Derrick smith. ===

    You’re talking about Tom Cross and Pat Brady too, right?

  19. - Shore - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    I don’t know what the term is but at some point in politics people just enter a negative into their calculations about a candidate or party and decide it’s not as big an issue to them. We saw it with clinton and his woman issues and I think we’ve seen it with democrats and corruption in Illinois. Smith gets elected goes to work in springfield, andy shaw, carol marin, pat brady, tom cross, fox news and the breitbart right media will have conniptions, voters will yawn.

  20. - walkinfool - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 3:07 pm:

    John Adams thought that party loyalty would be the death of the new Republic. We have made it so far, but the problem seems to be getting worse lately.

    It has little to do with location or political party. Dee Beaubien might also have an uphill battle, regardless of any superior abilities and positions, because many folks around Barrington have trouble seeing past an “R” on the ballot.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Weekend news roundup
* React to Rauner's Friday vetoes
* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Rauner vetoes several major pieces of legislation
* Four leaders meet in Chicago, plan another sitdown on Tuesday
* Kennedy delivered an unusually somber Democrat Day speech
* Governor signs River Edge bill in Rockford... err... Aurora
* Caption contest!
* All's well that ends well, I suppose
* Question of the day
* SDems have most seniority, HGOPs the least
* Asked when he'll take responsibility, Rauner blames Madigan
* Do Your Job, Inc. puts latest online ad on TV
* *** UPDATED x1 - IDHS responds *** What's the holdup on domestic violence funding?
* Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez says she won't run again
* Rauner calls TRUST Act a "very reasonable" bill, won't commit to signing it
* Drury says he has a "good sense" of how government works
* The story behind that Facebook pic of Madigan
* Rauner explains his weight loss
* Today's quotable: “No one’s going to locate there"
* *** UPDATED x3 - Still hasn't seen it - DGA criticizes Rauner *** Rauner points to WVON host's defense of Illinois Policy Institute cartoon as legislators to protest HQ
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





* Gubernatorial hopefuls should kiss ring on 'Mad.....
* Word on the Street: Enough delaying. Give Bill .....
* Editorial: Tell lawmakers, skip sideshows, fix .....
* Opinion | Voice of The Southern: Southern Illin.....
* State Journal-Register Reporter Doug Finke Weig.....
* COMING UP: Stories we're working on this week -.....
* The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson Ful.....
* State Journal-Register Reporter Doug Finke Weig.....

* Prosecutors: Prof killed boyfriend as part of sexual fantasy
* Fallen forensics: What a 2016 report has to say about them
* 2nd phase of O'Hare cargo development under way
* Illinois scientists hope eclipse sheds light on weather
* Fallen forensics: Judges routinely allow disavowed science
* EXCHANGE: Fire engine lifts spirits of Sycamore 7-year-old
* EXCHANGE: In Pana, there is a search for hope amid adversity
* Wear solar specs or make a viewer to safely watch eclipse
* Case dismissed against man in beating of Chicago officer
* Buddhist temple in Minnesota inaugurates new reflection pond

* Rauner signs law to eliminate township collector in Sangamon County
* Rauner signs bill creating agency to govern ALPLM
* New pharmacy rules in Illinois aim to improve patient safety
* Rauner vetoes plan requiring overdue bill reporting
* Rauner pays for private helicopter to public event in northern Illinois
* Rauner pays for private helicopter to public event in Aurora
* Sara Wojcicki Jimenez won't run for re-election to Illinois House
* Illinois governor says immigration bill 'very reasonable'
* Bloomberg puts $2 million into pro-soda tax ads
* Illinois Policy Institute cartoon sparks racial clash

* Join Crain's 40 Under 40 Alumni Network
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Coming soon to a strip mall near you: An MRI provider
* The biggest wallet in Chicago tech
* Peoples Gas pipes may not be exploding, but replacement budget is

* 20-year-old man shot in Austin
* Police: 1 dead, 2 wounded in Lawndale shooting
* From FG return TDs to onside returns, how Bears specialists benefited
* Miguel Montero on being called out by Anthony Rizzo, booed at Wrigley
* Man, 20, shot in Austin
* 49-year-old man shot, critically wounded on Far South Side
* Bears’ brand-new secondary will determine how good the defense is
* Man seriously injured while jet skiing near Calumet Beach
* In grand-scale ‘Gypsy,’ the fury of a woman with dreams denied
* NU grad Trevor Siemian appears to have won Broncos’ QB job again

* Review: Michael Mina lands in Chicago with a ritzy take on 1920s Paris
* Suspects' 'sex fantasies' led to fatal high-rise stabbing, prosecutors say
* 170 rape kits, no investigations until Cook County stepped in to seek justice
* White Sox shut down Rangers for 8 innings, hold on for 3-2 victory
* Balmoral wraps up summer season with $200,000 horse jumping grand prix
* Notre Dame's Daelin Hayes works to carry big spring into fall
* Spanish town struggles to reconcile locals as extremist cell
* Five shot as violent weekend wears on
* Man gunned down outside church was witness to fatal shooting last year
* Barns burn in two-alarm fire

» Northwestern Professor, Oxford Staffer Extradited To Chicago
» Prosecutors: Chicago Slaying By Northwestern Professor, Oxford Staffer Was Part Of Sexual Fantasy
» City: Graffiti Complaints Down 18 Percent
» Rep. Wojcicki Jimenez Not Seeking Reelection
» State Week: Fair Rallies, Fox News, Funding Schools
» Chicago Charters Seek To Grow As CPS Enrollment Declines
» Bloomberg Funds $2 Million In Ads Backing Soda Tax
» Rauner: ‘Nothing’ Stipulated On School Funding
» How Chicago Homicides In 2017 Stack Up Against Years Past
» Illinois Officials Warn About Phony Eclipse Glasses

* Statehouse Insider: Rauner tells reporters to not question wife's role in the administration
* Our View: General Assembly needs to override veto of Debt Transparency Act
* Bernard Schoenburg: Kennedy gets poetic at Democrat Day brunch
* Scott Reeder: Hate with a haircut
* United Way: Community health centers provide quality, affordable care
* Regie Dale: My testimony is my resume
* Rauner signs law to eliminate township collector in Sangamon County
* Rauner signs bill creating agency to govern ALPLM
* Thumbs Up: To statehouse action that should lead to a better Illinois
* New pharmacy rules in Illinois aim to improve patient safety

* Multiple-vehicle crash reported on I-57 near Curtis Road
* Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss brings gubernatorial campaign to Moline
* Q-C airport to hold emergency drill
* Upcoming Services
* NWS: Clouds might hinder view of eclipse in B-N area
* Man injured in shooting in downtown Champaign
* Man injured following shots fired in downtown Champaign
* Thousands gather at eighth annual Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival
* Blaze destroys hay bales at Wilton, Iowa farm
* UI Soccer vs DePaul

* Cloudy forecast could threaten eclipse experience in the suburbs
* High speed thrills at Winfield Criterium
* Downtown Mount Prospect plan sparks parking, traffic concerns
* Lake Zurich Police honored
* Volleyball players dig in the dirt at Elburn Days

* Hultgren backs change to Voting Rights Act...
* Oswego Pastor Gives Prayer on US House Flo...
* Illinois lawmakers blast President Trump's...
* Genevans respond to Charlottesville event ...
* Naperville's Lauren Underwood to run for R...
* Congressmen Randy Hultgren and Peter Roska...
* Local Officials Forming Taskforce Amid Cat...
* Hultgren asks FEMA to help in Kane, McHenr...
* Local Legislators Speak Out on Charlottesv...
* Hultgren marks 'Startup Day' with stories ...

* Three Senators Ask The DOJ To Investigate ......

* Senator Duckworth Tours Union Station Ahea......

* Business Partners Invites You To Their August Backyard BBQ/Member Mixer
* Electronic Recycling Date In September
* To Infinity And Beyond!
* EXTRA: 66 years since Gaedel had his "moment" in the baseball sun
* Crain's: Rehabs stabilizing market in this South Side neighborhood
* Our catalog of Hitting Left.
* You fascists are bound to lose.
* Construction To Begin On Lawrence & Wilson Viaducts September 18
* The vandalism of an Abe Lincoln bust...
* Chicagoetry: Ozymandias In High Definition

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Big deals for Google Wifi and Google Home at Google Store, Amazon, Target
* Register for first OnePlus Open Ears Forum in London by August 27
* Nova Launcher dev chucks Android Oreo name out the window for Orelletes
* Google needs to pay Apple a small fortune to remain the default search engine on iOS
* Let’s review some of tech’s big second quarter financial stories
* LG G6 After The Buzz: Still one of our favorites?
* Is Google’s mistake our gain? Android Oreo hinted at in teaser video filename

* Gonzalez beats the heat for scoreless outing
* Rodon faces Twins in twin bill opener
* Gonzalez paces White Sox in finale victory
* Gonzalez paces White Sox in finale victory
* Renteria hopes White Sox embarce spoiler role
* Renteria hopes White Sox embrace spoiler role
* Getz enjoying role helping develop prospects

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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