Tuesday, June 10, 2014

EXTRA: Now, he’s gone!

SMITH: Now a former legislator
Derrick Smith is no longer a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Upon being found guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court on corruption charges, he lost his legislative post. Democratic Party officials will get to pick someone to replace him for the rest of his term (which basically amounts to the six days of the fall veto session in November) later this summer.

SMITH, OF COURSE, was the guy who got kicked out of the Illinois House two years ago when he was indicted because of the great shame he brought upon the Legislature. Yet he managed to get re-elected in the general election cycle because his name remained on the ballot. Although this year, he lost in the Democratic primary.

There are those people who claim that Smith was an absolute travesty because of the fact he didn’t disappear upon indictment – lingering on in the Legislature like a perpetual lame duck.

I always thought the fact that some people were getting so worked up over this was a tad pathetic. Because the reality is that now that he has a felony conviction, he will be removed from office.

Ultimately, he is gone. Whether it happened then, or now, doesn’t make much difference.

HE GETS TO focus his attention now on how little of prison time he can somehow manage to be sentenced to later this year.

And as for those people who were determined to postpone his trial a few days so he could be a part of any General Assembly action toward resolving the budget mess, it would seem that his lone presence wasn’t enough to get anything done.

The Legislature still punted, putting off a real definitive vote until autumn.

In all, Smith doesn’t have much of a legislative legacy. He didn’t accomplish much. Most of his colleagues go out of their way to distance themselves from him.

YET HE GOT so much public attention from having been removed, then re-elected.

Has ever a nothing legislator been paid so much attention in proportion to how little he accomplished?


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