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Illinois Politics

Late Night: Indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith Has Stashed $100,000 in Campaign Cash… and More

The Chicago City Council Finance Committee on Monday night ok'd Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed infrastructure bank to fund city capital projects.

(Chicago, IL) – April 16, 2012. Usually candidates­–even victors–in tough primary fights end a campaign with an empty treasury. But not indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago). Smith apparently made a profit.

On Monday, Smith reported that his successful primary campaign brought in $162,885 in cash and in-kind contributions between January 1 and March 31, but that he spent none of the contributed money.

Smith began the reporting period with $10,047 in the bank and received $94,021.05 in cash contributions and $68,864.49 in-kind contributions from mostly the House Democrats. Meanwhile he reported no expenditures, leaving $104,068.64 in the bank.

Smith was indicted by the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on March 13 for accepting a $7,000 bribe in a sting operation, one week before the election in which he won 77% of the vote.

In the days leading up to his arrest, Smith snagged on March 10 a $2,500 check from Elzie Higginbottom and Smith reported on March 13 a $1,500 contribution from Peoria Packing of the 1300 block of West Lake Street in Chicago. What timing.

At least Smith will have a few laughs on his contributors and perhaps some dough to pay his attorney.

He’ll need it–both the laughs and the attorney.

Walsh Winning Campaign Cash Contest – In the Illinois 8th Congressional District general election contest, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) starts with a fund-raising edge over Democratic rival Tammy Duckworth.

In the last quarter, Walsh raised $266,213 and has $607,150 cash on hand. Duckworth raised $670,145, but after her primary contest, she has only $259,974 cash on hand and nearly $100,000 in reported debt.

For the cycle Walsh has raised almost $1,250,000 and Duckworth hauled in $1,600,000, of which 90.6% of individuals gave $100 or less to the ex-Iraqi war veteran.

The vulnerable Tea Party favorite represents a high-priority target seat for the Democrats, and Duckworth will have no problem raising plenty of cash. This may be the last cash lead of which Walsh can boast.

Mayor Richard Daley may no longer be in City Hall, but his legacy continues to bloom outside the building.

Sticky Buns for $100 – Thankfully, avoiding the typical Springfield Monday cash and dash round of fundraisers, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) had a civilized fund-raising breakfast in Chicago on early Monday morning at the Ann Sather’s restaurant, which is famous for its sticky, over-warmed, drooling-good cinnamon buns.

Hosting the event were Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) ex-State Senator Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), Illinois Human Rights Department Director Rocco Clapps, and human rights activist Michael Bauer.

Tax Day Follies – The Chicago area’s three Democratic Congressional Candidates who are challenging GOP incumbents, Tammy Duckworth, Brad Schneider, and Bill Foster, held a news conference at the Fort Dearborn Post Office on Tax Day to call for the “Buffett Rule” tax plan. Polling reveals that 60% of Americans support the idea, a proposal that rejiggers the tax system so middle class families don’t pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and gazillionaires, like its namesake, Warren Buffett.

Duckworth, Schneider, and Foster also held a joint press conference shortly after their March 20 primary victories. Expect to see more of them together. Not a bad media shtick as long as they don’t overdo it.

Smile Commissioners, You’re Live –Through an initiative of the Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County Board meeting on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 @ 10:00 a.m. will be the first streamed live on the County’s website. Going forward, all County board proceedings will be streamed live and maintained in a media archive.

Had this existed during the turbulent Todd Stroger years, this would have been must watch TV.

Next Redistricting Fight: Cook County Board – Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin is hosting a hearing of the Cook County Board of Commissioners’ Census Redistricting Committee at Oakton Community College on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Next Victory Looming? – Chicagoan Lauren Peters has steered the candidacy of Chicago Alderman James Cappleman (D-46th) and State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) to victory in the past 18 months. Now she is headed to Wisconsin to become Deputy Field Director of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin‘s U.S. Senate campaign. Peters, who held a farewell party at the Andersonville restaurant Hamburger Mary’s last week said she’d be back in 7 months… Hat tip, Patrick Boylan, Editor, Welles Park Bulldog.

Don’t Quote MeRumor and gossip that’s not quite fit to print, but, what the heck, we’re including it anyway as a public service because we’re sure you’ll find it as titillating as we do… Two Down – On the heels of the abrupt resignation of Illinois Department of Human Services Assistant Secretary Grace Hou in January, the department’s general counsel, Mary Sullivan, has reportedly handed in her resignation, punching another hole in the department’s leadership… Tenaska Tied Down? – The Omaha, Neb.-based firm is pushing Illinois House lawmakers hard to follow the Illinois Senate’s lead to require Illinois utilities to purchase its electricity for the next 30 years, but the measure might find itself bogged down by the convoluted politics of the Illinois budget drama. What isn’t tied up by the budget?

Incoming Advocate Fire – Propelled by Chicago’s largest mental health service provider, Thresholds, last Wednesday, April 11, more than 700 people rallied at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to protest Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed $54 million budget cut in mental health services. Threshold’s new C.E.O., Mark Ishaug, is also ginning up supporters to bombard lawmakers with budget-relief pleas in the coming days. Down to the bunkers.

Say What? – Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza will have some things to say to the folks at the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group luncheon at the Union League Club on Friday, April 20, starting at 11:30 a.m. Mendoza is a pistol. It’ll be worth the $30.

What Were They Thinking? – Mitt Romney is getting 47% of national registered voters and Illinois’ Favorite Son Barack Obama, 45%, in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking results from April 11-15. Both Obama and Romney are supported by 90% of their respective partisans.

Media Watch – According to Crain’s Greg Hinz, by an 11-7 margin, the City Council Finance Committee Monday evening approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed infrastructure bank to fund city capital projects. The full council will likely approve the plan on Wednesday… The Chicago Tribune’s Bob Goldsborough reports that David Axelrod, President Barack Obama‘s 2012 campaign strategist, last month purchased a 4-bedroom, 4 ½ bath, 3,200 square foot condo for $1.7 million at a high-rise Michigan Avenue building.

Tomorrow’s News? – Chicago Magazine’s David Bernstein is working on a story targeting Jay Doherty & Associates… The Chicago Tribune’s Hal Dardick is aiming at  former Chicago Alderman, including Bobby Rush, Miguel Santiago, Patrick Huels and others… Andy Shaw’s Better Government Association is looking at the tenure of ex-Chicago Business & Consumer Affairs Commissioner Norma Reyes.

What’s a Work Day? – Take That, Fella – On Tuesday, in an effort to steal some thunder from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s speech in Springfield, Governor Quinn will announce a major international corporation is moving its U.S. headquarters to Illinois instead of the cheese head state. Quinn will be at the Embassy Suites, Salon E, in Rosemont at 11:15 a.m… Biz Newz Part II – Mayor Emanuel will make a small business announcement at the Logan Square Kitchen, 2333 N. Milwaukee Avenue, at 11:00 a.m… Biz Newz Part III – As part of the county’s Earth Week events, County Board President Preckwinkle will recognize several local businesses at a County Building press conference, 5th floor, at 9:30 a.m…

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


One Response to “Late Night: Indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith Has Stashed $100,000 in Campaign Cash… and More”

  1. Derrick Smith was obviously the type of person needed in Springfield. Runs a campaign and makes money. Think what he could do for pension reform, I guess now his talents will be wasted on prison reform instead.

    Posted by Jim Sather | April 17, 2012, 11:59 AM

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