Three days ago, Democrats in Illinois went to bat for Derrick Smith, the state lawmaker who got arrested after taking a bribe from an undercover federal agents. Party officials on Chicago’s West Side even held a rally urging voters to support him in Tuesday’s primary against a former Republican challenging him for the nomination. Democrats succeeded in getting Smith the nomination.
Now, of course, they want him gone (via Madison Conservative):
The growing pressure on state Rep. Derrick Smith contrasts with the silence from Democratic leaders who avoided such criticism in the days after the arrest, when it might have affected his primary race.
Some, including U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Ald.Walter Burnett, 27th, encouraged voters to support Smith to ensure the West Side seat stays in Democratic hands. But that changed the day after his easy victory over Tom Swiss, a former Cook County Republican Party official.
Now Democratic leaders are moving to oust Smith and pick a replacement to run in the November general election.
What did Quinn have to say about Smith before Tuesday’s election? Er … nothing:
Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday tiptoed around Smith’s bribery charge, calling his race against Swiss a “tough call for voters,” but one “they’ll be able to sort out.”
As I pointed out Monday, that was a real Profiles In Courage moment for Quinn. Now that Swiss is safely out of the way, Quinn and his fellow Democrats want to look tough on corruption, but none of them lifted a finger to stop Smith from winning that primary on Tuesday, and many of them explicitly backed Smith.
Unless Smith confessed in the last two days, the conclusion here is that he’s just as innocent or guilty now as he was three days ago. And the conclusion one can draw from that is that Democrats in Illinois don’t care about corruption — they just care about winning election. That starts from the Governor all the way down to the precincts, apparently.