Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Will the Real Tom Swiss Please Stand Up?

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Will the Real Tom Swiss Please Stand Up?

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Derrick Smith is heading to court to defend himself against bribery charges. Tom Swiss is defending himself at the polls about who he is -- a Republican in Democrats clothing.

Who knew the 10th District Illinois Represenative Race would be this interesting? 

Despite Smith's arrest on bribery charges, the money men behind his campaign haven't pulled back. 

Smith is a Chicago Democrat appointed to the House last spring. Federal prosecutors accuse him of accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for endorsing a state grant for a daycare.

Swiss says as voters hear about Smith's arrest they "feel betrayed" and his self-described independent race is gaining steam.
 
House Speaker Michael Madigan's political committee has provided more than $60,000 to Smith's campaign. Swiss and Republicans say Madigan should demand Smith's resignation but Madigan's spokesman says the matter is "under review."
 
Thursday Swiss said Madigan and Smith are sending direct mail to voters in the area intended to smear him.  The mailers appear to be a reaction to a billboard purchased by Swiss, who is white, that features an African American. There was some confusion as to whether Swiss was trying to pass himself off as an African American with the billboard. Swiss says no. 
 
“I call upon Speaker Madigan to halt the disgusting smear campaign that is being planned for the final weekend,” Swiss said.  “The Speaker should be joining me in calling upon Smith to withdraw, not trying to save Smith from the consequences of his own greedy conduct.”   
 

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