|Illinois state capitol, Springfield|
Since the speaker, not the governor, is calling for the session, the legislators will not be paid a per diem, which is good news for Illinois taxpayers. However, the per diem is only $132, so not so much money that the state doesn't have won't be spent. (Yes, I wrote that sentence purposely that way.) But the special session will meet just after the successive Democratic and Republican days at the Illinois State Fair, so it's not such a bad deal for the legislators.
One week before winning his March primary race, Smith was indicted on bribery charges. Allegedly Smith accepted a $7,000 bribe in a sting operation involving a fictitious day care grant-seeker. Smith is a real quick learner, he has only been a legislator since last year. If he is bounced from office, Smith could return in January--the House doesn't have the power to remove him from the November ballot. The Democrats have lined up behind an independent candidate running against Smith. But Chicago voters are habitual, when they see "Democrat" on the ballot, they usually vote for the Democrat.
If phantom grant-related bribes sounds familiar, that's because earlier this week seven Chicago-area residents were indicted for conspiring to pay bribes to a non-existent federal official in exchange for Health and Human Services grants.
This is how Illinois works, folks. Actually it only works for the greedy few.
More Illinois corruption: Seven busted in bribery scheme
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