Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Derrick Smith and MJM
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.


* Question of the day
* Call for bipartisan cooperation met with accusations
* Kennedy talks property taxes, school funding, but won't reveal his "fix"
* ILGOP targets Rep. Martwick with robocall
* Unclear on the concept
* Pritzker robocall: "Don't believe Bruce Rauner's lies"
* Inside the Senate Democrats' minds
* It's just a bill
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner again refuses to accept responsibility or admit mistakes
* Pritzker to get firefighter nod, runs new ads, slammed by Trib, ILGOP
* "Right To Know" Is Wrong For Illinois. Vote No On SB1502
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner blames "procurement process" *** Another day, another warehouse lease probed
* CPS borrowing tab rises to $900 million
* Caption contest!
* Citigroup "strongly" urges clients to buy Illinois bonds
* Fingers point over continued Chicago population loss
* After years of ginning up pension envy, BGA finally clears the air
* *** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker responds *** Rauner gets deer in the headlights look after Proft question
* Department of Revenue finds problems with proposed service tax
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Loading


* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking sha.....
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape - Peor.....
* Political theater on House floor; Dems meet to .....
* Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Seize the Opportu.....
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape - The .....
* Editorial: Yet again, state gouges people for i.....
* Editorial: Automatic voter registration, yes..
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape..
* Revamped plan to raise sentences for some gun c.....
* House Democrats take time on Senate budget cons.....


* Metra to repair, replace bridges, build new station
* Chicago court stays deportation of pizza worker to Mexico
* Illinois sheriff halts plans for immigrant detention center
* Man sentenced to life for 2 deaths in botched bank robbery
* Bill would ease gender-ID change for transgender citizens
* Jury convicts Chicago woman for spending grants on herself
* House OKs plan to restore Chicago schools' elected board
* Census: Texas has 4 of top 5 fastest growing large US cities
* Life sentence for deaths of 2 women in botched bank robbery
* Chicago Ferris wheel hits 1M riders shy of 1-year birthday

* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape
* Census: Springfield population drops below 2010 levels
* Census: Springfield-Sangamon Co. population drops below 2010 levels
* Senate panel questions state warehouse leasing process
* Senate committee questions the leasing process in which Illinois acquires warehouses
* Trump budget draws different Illinois reviews
* Bernard Schoenburg: Senate Democrats take action; situation still tense
* Illinois House begins review of Senate Democrats' budget plan

* Union Station is on its way back, but it needs one more thing
* The hidden Union Station: Take a tour
* Is the Sean Hannity advertiser revolt Bill O'Reilly all over again?
* Sears stock rises after company posts first profit since 2015
* Illinois to receive $1 million of Johnson & Johnson settlement


* Men sue Willow Creek Community Church, allege sex abuse by counselor
* Man shot by police officer in Austin is charged with attempted murder
* 2 wounded in Aurora shooting
* Political theater on House floor; Dems meet to discuss budget
* Cubs escalate quickly on winning homestand, finish off Giants 5-1
* Promising chiller ‘Black Butterfly’ wrecked by one twist too many
* Fugitive convicted of selling heroin in Elgin at missed court date
* Jared Kushner’s actions under scrutiny in Trump-Russia probe: reports
* Police Supt. Eddie Johnson’s son to give him a kidney next month
* PODCAST: Time for the Bulls to start doing right by Jimmy Butler


* All aboard: Joliet Rocket steamin' into town
* Cheap out: Five fun things to do for free
* Quigley says Russia probe is 'in its infancy'
* Chicago in epicenter of charter school teacher contract disputes
* Local veterans sought for Library of Congress oral history project
* Illinois Tollway board approves $25 million Route 53 study
* LeBron James breaks Michael Jordan's playoff scoring record
* Montana election pits candidate's behavior against GOP partisan loyalties
* Boy who played catch with Cubs' Willson Contreras cherishes memory
* Dylan Gorski keeps defending state champ Providence alive with win over Stagg


» Judge Refuses To Dismiss Murder Case Against Chicago Cop Who Shot Laquan McDonald
» Chicago Firm Will Run $1 Billion Overhaul Of Union Station
» State Committee Approves Tougher Sentences For Repeat Gun Offenders
» Census Data: Chicago Lost 9,000 More Residents Last Year
» Does New Neighborhood Watch Reduce Crime Or Create Resident-Cops?
» Illinois Issues: Should 10-Year-Old Kids Be Kept In Juvenile Detention?
» Chicago Public Schools Look To Borrow $900 Million
» United CEO To Investors: We'll Be More Focused On Customers
» Red-Light Cameras Rake In Millions For Chicago Suburbs
» Judge Delays Decision On How Quickly State Should Pay Medicaid


* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape
* No: Trumpcare would result in less service, bigger bills
* Yes: Replacement would afford women better options, lower costs
* Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Seize the Opportunity
* Thumbs Up: To Hope Learning Academy for opening an inclusive restaurant
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape
* Census: Springfield population drops below 2010 levels
* Census: Springfield-Sangamon Co. population drops below 2010 levels
* Senate panel questions state warehouse leasing process


* St. Louis man convicted of murder in Brooklyn strip club shooting
* Flood stage bumped to 17 feet at Lock and Dam 15
* SJ-O baseball crushes PBL, makes sectional final
* Boys' state track notes: ALAH's Hall seeks two titles
* B-H's Reifsteck, teammates up ante at track prelims
* Area prep statistics: Baseball (May 26)
* NCAA men's golf championships primer
* Senators praise, honor Roger Walker with road designation
* Walmart gets approval from Belleville panel
* Honoring heroes with flags


* Baseball: Seidel swings away as Fremd stops Stevenson
* Baseball: Glenbard West tops Bartlett in 9 innings
* Baseball: Schaefer, Grayslake North find their way past Palatine
* Images: Lake Park High School graduation
* Softball: Willman, Rosary battle past Freeport

* Protesters continue die-in at US Rep. Rand...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* PHOTOS: Protesters stage die-in at Randy H...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene ...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Sweet: Hultgren, Roskam, Kinzinger avoid b...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* Lester: Suburban lawmaker says he knew Com...
* House GOP takes first steps to undo financ...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...

* Wal-Mart beats JPMorgan again as GOP keeps......

* Congressional Budget Office: House bill to......

* Republicans call on AG Madigan to enforce balanced budget requirement
* Akin: New Report Shows Personal Injury Lawyers Gaming the System for Profit
* Terence Davies discusses the passions behind his latest film, A Quiet Passion
* Vocal-forward Chicago new-music group Fonema Consort celebrates its second album Saturday
* Tell your Illinois state representative to vote no on pension theft. I did. Will Guzzardi responds.
* In Jefferson Park the opposition isn’t about density. Here is a test about the issue of density: What ward do the richest people in Chicago live in and how does it compare in density to the ward where the poorest people in Chicago live?
* Mainstreet offers RPAC headshot incentive to REALTORS® in June
* Another trio celebrated at June 6 ROTY banquet
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Spring
* Dalessandro leads Region 7 Caucus meeting


* 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

  
* Android Wear 2.0 getting out to Moto 360 (2015) now, Moto 360 Sport later
* Playing the hardware lottery with the Galaxy S8 (Video)
* Nexus lawsuit update: 5X dropped, 6P pushed on
* Last stock of OnePlus 3T runs out June 1 in Europe
* Join Talk Android as its assistant video editor!
* Android co-founder Andy Rubin will introduce Essential’s first phone on May 30
* Tips for mastering Magikarp Jump, the next Pokémon masterpiece

* Giolito spins seven-inning no-hitter for Charlotte
* Frazier's focus: 'Just keep on rolling' with Sox
* Kopech, Giolito starting on Thursday
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Quintana: Location culprit for big-inning woes
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Sox welcome Detroit for doubleheader


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

Archives
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

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




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