The Madigan love keeps coming for indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.
The political committee Madigan controls, Democratic Majority, pumped another $15,246 this week into Smith’s campaign fund to pay for printing and postage in his five-way primary for the 10th House District on Chicago’s West Side.
Since January 1, the Madigan-led fund has invested $46,736 into Smith’s re-election. All told, Democratic Majority has given Smith $115,530 since 2011, state campaign records show.
Smith is scheduled to go to trial May 28 for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe from an undercover FBI informant who asked Smith to help a purported daycare operator in his West Side district obtain a state grant. Smith has denied wrongdoing.
Even though the speaker voted to expel Smith from the House in 2012 – marking the first time a sitting member had been driven from office in more than a century — Madigan has offered to help incumbent House Democrats fend off primaries this spring, including Smith.
Despite his federal indictment, Smith easily won back his seat in the fall of 2012 despite opposition from his one-time Democratic patron, Secretary of State Jesse White.
“I believe he came back into office, right?” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said, when asked about how the speaker reconciles the fact he voted to expel Smith with now diverting financial help to his campaign.
“So he’s an incumbent, and we’re supporting incumbents,” Brown told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The most recent Democratic Majority expenditure to Smith’s campaign appears to be for a campaign mailer.
Asked if he could provide a copy of that mail piece, Brown said he didn’t have it.
Pressed if he could offer up a campaign contact for Smith, who does not appear to have a political website and has run essentially a ghost campaign devoid of joint campaign appearances with his four rivals, Brown suggested “dialing directory assistance.”
Smith is facing Chicago cop Eddie Winters, who briefly took over as state representative after Smith was ousted; lawyer Pamela Reaves-Harris; former teacher Beverly Perteet; and Antwan Hampton, a communications professor at Northern Illinois University.
Reaves-Harris is backed by Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), former Ald. Ed Smith and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., while Winters has the backing of the secretary of state.