Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicago Still Favors Crooked Politicians

Despite what they might say publicly about how they detest politicians who lie, cheat and steal, Chicago Democrats still like their crooked politicians as long as they have the letter "D" behind their name as shown by the results of yesterday's Illinois primary election. A week ago, a state representative  appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives only last year, Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), was hauled away in handcuffs after the feds caught him on tape soliciting a $7,000 cash bribe in consideration for writing a letter of support requesting a $50,000 grant from a state agency for a non-existence day care center in his district. Smith defeated his primary opponent, Tom Swiss, who is white and once worked for the Republicans, in his predominantly black, west-side district by a margin of 77% to 23%. “I was annihilated,” Swiss told the Sun-Times. “The ideologues came out, and those are the people that just would rather vote for a crook than someone who had worked for Republicans.” Incidentally, the Democratic campaign worker who ratted Smith out to the feds was black.

House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), who has been declared Speaker for Life, trounced his first well-financed opponent, Michele Pizczor 76% to 17% in his predominantly white ethnic, southwest side district in his nearly 40-year legislative career. Numerous investigative news reports over the years have documented how Madigan has used his political position to leverage millions of dollars in business for his Chicago law practice. He can argue to voters that he's never been indicted, but it doesn't hurt that he used his enormous power as House Speaker and state party chairman in the Land of Lincoln to install his daughter as the state's Attorney General, even if she was unqualified for the job.

A former state lawmaker and congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, was also no match in a newly-drawn congressional district for U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr (D-Chicago). despite his well-publicized, if unsuccessful attempt to buy the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama from former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who just started serving his 14-year prison sentence for public corruption, and Jackson's reported affair with a young Peruvian woman. Jackson walloped Halvorson by a 71% to 29% margin. Halvorson best sums up the state of affairs in Chicago:

“People can tell you that they want change, they want honesty, integrity,” Halvorson said. “But yet no matter what it is, the party leaders still come out for people who are ethically challenged, and it’s not just Congressman Jackson, but it’s others. I mean, Derrick Smith was just arrested for bribery. Party leaders still come out for people like that. And then when people vote for them, it’s kind of disappointing. But people still vote for it, people get what they deserve, and I’m happy for the outcome.”

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