Derrick Smith ‘I intend to fight these charges’

State Rep. Derrick Smith on Monday spoke publicly for the first time about his bribery case, saying he would not “cower” and vowing to fight the charge against him.Holding a prepared statement in front of him and talking in a shaky voice minutes after he pleaded not guilty to a federal court indictment, the West Side Democrat referenced “shenanigans” he said the FBI pulled on him. Smith’s lawyer later castigated the government’s confidential informant.

“I intend to fight these charges. I look forward to having the opportunity to clear my name,” Smith said in a press availability at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Smith said he was troubled by “the shenanigans being played by the FBI to lean on people around me.”

“I will not cower,” Smith vowed. “I intend to stand tall with my wife, family, friends, House colleagues and lawyers.”

via Chicago Sun-Times.

Seems to me like he’s going to be headed to prison but there’s no doubt that he’s entitled to plea not guilty and get a fair trial complete with a jury of his peers.

Another Foreclosure Wave Arrives

Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

“We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010,” said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

“Last year was an anomaly, and not in a good way,” he said.

In 2011, the “robo-signing” scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

Five major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February. Signs are growing the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur.

Mortgage servicing provider Lender Processing Services reported in early March that U.S. foreclosure starts jumped 28 percent in January.

via Reuters.

The main stream media is telling us it’s all getting better.  Get out there and buy something.  But that story’s actually a few weeks old.  The latest news is now:

Falling Home Prices Drag New Buyers Under Water

More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame.

via Reuters.

Doh!!  For those that don’t understand let’s be clear; the “solution” to the problem is making the problem worse.

Governments intrusion into every sector of our lives has been an abysmal failure.  The people are being taken advantage of and the banks — who are supposed to be the ones the government’s to control — get keep getting richer an richer.  The too big to fail are now even bigger.

It’s a joke.

CPS Director Accepted Gifts from Top Vendors

Now, [CPS Chief of Food Services Louise Esaian] and two members of her staff are accused in a report by CPS inspector general James Sullivan of accepting perhaps thousands of dollars in gifts from Chartwells and another vendor, Preferred Meals Systems, that have combined food contracts at CPS in excess of $75 million.

Esaian told the inspector general that the gifts didn’t influence her decisions at CPS, according to the report, which came out last week. But the appearance of conflict in such situations is inescapable, said Laurence Msall, president of the government watchdog Civic Federation.

“Even if it only affects the appearance of the procurement, it has a corrosive impact on the public’s trust and the perception of how government decisions are made,” Msall said. “These ethics codes exist because too often governmental officials are confused about what is in the public’s interest and what is in their private interests.”

The inspector general report does not make note of the expansion of Chartwells’ breakfast program. But at the same time the school board was considering, and ultimately approving, lucrative contract extensions for Chartwells and Preferred, the report says Esaian was being wined and dined at upscale Chicago restaurants, lavished with birthday gifts and NFL tickets for her friends and family.

via Chicago Tribune.

This is what happens when you hire politically connected people to run these programs.  They are not “called to service” or have any feelings whatsoever of acting in the best interests of the taxpayer.  They are all filled with a sense of entitlement that corrupts them into believing they some earned they things.

Derrick Smith Using William Beaver’s Defense

Today’s Story:

Victor Henderson, the lawyer for accused Illinois State Representative Derrick Smith tells “The Don and Roma Show” on WLS, that the reason federal authorities charged Smith with bribery, was because they wanted him to give up information about possible wrongdoing by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Smith’s long-time political mentor.

via WLS 890AM.

February 25th, 2012:

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, an old-school Chicago politician who likes to call himself “The Hog With the Big Nuts,” has been indicted on federal tax charges.  …

But Beavers, 77, called the indictment “horse s— I’m not worried about.”

He said the feds only indicted him because he refused to wear a wire on fellow Commissioner John Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and of former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

So let me write… again…

Assuming this is true, isn’t this just about the last thing you want to say?  How does this help Beavers Smith or Daley White?  It doesn’t.

Can you imagine some knuckle-dragging bent nose Tony Soprano wanna’be getting indicted and walking out of booking shouting, “They wanted me to wear a wire on Tony.”  Now what you’ve done is tie the two of you together and make both of you look guilty of somethin’.

Absolutely hilarious!!

Naomi Davis: Issues in the African-American Community

Local community organizer Naomi Davis put together a top-ten list of issues impacting the African-American community in her area of Chicago.  Not a bad list:

  1. NORFOLK & SOUTHERN/CREATE. Opportunity Of A Lifetime.  Multi-billion, multi-decade south side economic impact with America’s richest companies without a single negotiated community benefit/jobs plan.
  2. CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACKNESS.  Gulag Economy.  Jim Crow/John Burge/Howard Morgan, and millions of our young caught up in a culture of violence without guidance, in a system designed to profit from their downfall.
  3. FORECLOSURE FRAUD TSUNAMI.  Rape & Rescue.  Three generations of wealth stripped from our community on purpose, and now investor/gentry with federal subsidies are available to help rebuild…about us without us.
  4. 50% UNEMPLOYMENT.  City of Big Shoulders & U of C.  Some of our neighbors in public housing suffer with over 90% unemployment when worker-owned cooperatives like Evergreen in Ohio successfully partner the poor with universities and government in laundries, urban ag, solar enterprises…and more.
  5. SCHOOL CLOSING & TURNAROUNDS.  Mis-education Incorporated.  Follow the money and you’ll discover the real reason for ignoring parent and community protests, while some local politicians and preachers are purchased.
  6. NEIGHBOR-OWNED BUSINESSES.  We Are Colonized.  Our wealth is extracted rather than circulated in our communities by retailers we permit to take our money without reinvesting, also siphoning out scores of millions in LINK dollars.
  7. SUFFERING SENIORS.  Limited & Isolated.  Too many own homes they can’t afford to repair on fixed incomes, and live isolated from neighborhoods while their taxes fund TIF community developments that don’t help, but hurt.
  8. SMALLER GOVERNMENT.  The Rich Get Richer.  Privatizing government work creates a fat plutocracy with often questionable net savings to the public, and eliminates middle-class incomes which stabilize us.
  9. THE BLACK TAX.  Equal Enforcement & Traffic Justice.  Note the skin color of the 99% in traffic court and the amount of money extracted from our communities in traffic camera tickets and booted vehicle revenues.
  10. POLITICAL CORRUPTION.  Chicago Is #1.  In “Leading The Pack,” UIC Professor and former Alderman Dick Simpson document what we already knew: behind-closed-doors, under-the-table, business-as-usual politics here is destroying us.

via Naomi Davis email.

I wonder what race-neutral solutions she would propose?

Korrupt Kane Kounty GOP

Does the Kane County Board Chairmanship come with a license to print campaign cash?

Karen McConnaughay must think so.

So many county vendors became campaign contributors that the Daily Herald Editorial Board wrote, “We encourage McConnaughay to quit taking money from county vendors…”

She’s now running for state senate on a track record of presiding over a legalized money laundering scheme™. Here are the details–

In 2004, McConnaughay won election as Kane County Board Chairperson. From 2004-2009, the salary of Phil Bus- county development director- was spiked 71% from $93,481 to $158,923, graph.

Then Phil Bus retired (2009) on the largest pension in Kane County history- $113,277/ year, proof. The salary spiking had padded his pension. But only two months later, Bus was re-hired by the county on lucrative consulting contracts. Look up FoxPlans, LLC by year, here.

Sourced by a local newspaper, Bus’ wife and brother (Randall) contributed $9,300 in campaign cash to McConnaughay. We confirmed $4800 from the state board website.

The Bus brother Randall’s engineering company, according to published reports, became the “go-to consultant on almost every unincorporated county subdivision plan”. We sourced tens of thousands of dollars in “consulting” payments flowing from Kane County.

Karen McConnaughay’s political paradigm isn’t new to the GOP. Governors Thompson-Edgar-Ryan pioneered the patronage model. The Republican Party then split between political bosses who needed taxes to fund patronage, and our conservative, productive, tax-paying base.

You can’t reform Illinois if you don’t reform the IL GOP. And, you can’t reform the Republican Party if you elect politicians like Karen McConnaughay.

via McConnaughay Money Magic.

Have we had enough of this yet?  It’s the political machine in Illinois that must be destroyed.

Kudos to Adam Andrzejewski for bringing this to the light of day.

State Rep. Derrick Smith Charged, Arrested

Ha ha ha ha!

State Rep. Derrick Smith, a Democrat from Chicago, was arrested today for allegedly pocketing a $7,000 cash bribe to write an official letter of support for a day care center he believed was seeking a state grant.

The arrest came after an undercover operation launched by the FBI in December with the help of an undisclosed individual who works on Smith’s political campaigns, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The informant told investigators that Smith had talked about needing help with fundraising since he was appointed to the House seat last year. Smith allegedly said he wanted donations in the range of $5,000 to $7,000 and was willing to accommodate reasonable requests from donors, prosecutors said.

via Chicago Tribune.

Oh, this guy is so going down.  Read the story; the U.S. attorney has this guy dead-to-rights.

But the real question is who’s going to go down with him.  Mr. Smith is (was?) supported by a literal who’s who of the Chicago Democratic Party.  Jesse White, the Teachers’ Union, AFL-CIO, Ald. Fioretti, etc.

What’s even more interesting is that Smith’s opponent, Tom Swiss, is a former GOP party official of some sort in Cook County.  So now Democrats are forced to decide whether to vote for a guy who takes bribes or a former Republican.

Down right hilarious.

Mayor’s Friend Brings You the Speed Cameras

When Rahm Emanuel was a first-time candidate for Congress, Greg Goldner was behind him, quietly marshaling the patronage troops that helped get him elected. When Emanuel ran for mayor, Goldner was there again, doling out campaign cash to elect Emanuel-friendly aldermen to City Council.

And when the rookie mayor was looking for community support for his school reform agenda, there was Goldner, working behind the scenes with the ministers who backed Emanuel’s plan.

Now, it turns out the longtime allies share another interest — the installation of automated speed cameras in Chicago.

As consultant to the firm that already supplies Chicago its red-light cameras, Goldner is the architect of a nationwide campaign to promote his client’s expansion prospects. That client, Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., is well-positioned to make tens of millions of dollars from Emanuel’s controversial plan to convert many of the red-light cameras into automated speed cameras.

via Chicago Tribune.

The rest of the article is the standard, ‘A has nothing to do with B.’

Uh huh.  This is still Chicago after all.

We’re Number One… in corruption that is.

A former Chicago alderman turned political science professor/corruption fighter has found that Chicago is the most corrupt city in the country.

He cites data from the U.S. Department of Justice to prove his case. And, he says, Illinois is third-most corrupt state in the country.

University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dick Simpson, who served as alderman of the 44th Ward in Lakeview from 1971 to 1979, estimates the cost of corruption at $500 million.

via CBS Chicago.

Ya, that sounds about right.