11 months, 2 weeks ago from Chicago Tribune
House Speaker pours money into Derrick Smith's campaign, primary
From from Chicago Tribune:
Less than two years ago, Speaker Michael Madigan presided over the historic expulsion of a House member accused by federal authorities of taking a $7,000 cash bribe in return for a legislative favor.
"Derrick Smith is herby expelled from the House of Representatives," Madigan said solemnly from the speaker's podium as Smith became the first representative expelled in more than a century. "Mr. Clerk, please remove Derrick Smith from the roll of the House."
A few months later, Smith made a quick return to the Capitol, winning election in November 2012 to once again represent a West Side district as he awaits a criminal trial scheduled for late May.
Now Smith is trying to win re-election and he's getting major help from none other than Speaker Madigan. The House Democratic political operation has poured in more than $72,000 to pay for campaign brochures, mailing costs and staff to help Smith beat back four challengers in Tuesday's primary.
The speaker, who led the ethics investigation that resulted in Smith's ouster from the House, has not explained why he is supporting Smith. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said, "We're backing incumbents."