"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Jeff Smith’s Refusal to Come Clean Costs Taxpayers $220,000

November 5th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

 

‘We have to wonder, though, if Smith will try to use his status as an early endorser of Obama – he endorsed in February – to try to get the Justice Department to go easy on him.”

The election to replace Senator Jeff Smith, who has pled guilty to charges stemming from his involvement in an illegal smear campaign during the 2004 Congressional primary, will cost $220,000.  That’s right – the bill for the election to replace him will add up to nearly a quarter of a million dollars and Missouri taxpayers will foot the bill.  To think, this cost could have been avoided had he just admitted his crime to federal investigators when they asked and paid a simple fine, rather than lie to them and attempt to cover it up.  Instead, his attempt to deceive federal authorities and his constituents resulted in a prison sentence and a large bill for taxpayers to pay.

Smith’s sentencing hearing is set for November 17th, and many are already speculating as to how much time he will get.  Another Missouri blogger, Randy Turner, notes that Smith has objected to the presentence investigation report, saying that his actions “indicate the government is planning to recommend more prison time than Smith is wanting to serve.”  We have to wonder, though, if Smith will try to use his status as an early endorser of Obama – he endorsed in February – to try to get the Justice Department to go easy on him.  Clearly, if Smith is willing to disobey federal election law and then openly discuss blaming it on a dead man to avoid punishment, he is not morally above a little bit of “pay to play” action to save himself from prison.

Who will repay taxpayers for Smith’s willful disobedience of federal election laws?  Certainly we should not have to foot the bill for his misbehavior.  Will former Senator (and now admitted felon) Smith pony up the cash after he is released?  We doubt it.

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Tags: St. Louis

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Romona Taylor Williams // Nov 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Where is your beef about taxpayers having to fork up $398M in TIF and another $100M in Distressed Area Land Assemblage Tax Credits for land baron Paul McKee’s taxpayer BAILOUT? To insinuate that the Obama admin. would do anything on behalf of Jeff Smith in return for a first time, “State” Senator’s endorsement, is nothing more than gangsta, gutter & trailer trash journalism.

  • 2 Paul Ground // Nov 5, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Actually, Ramona, the folks at MOPNS have been easier on the Good Senator than he deserved. Consider, in addition to the cost of the election to replace him, the cost of his prosecution, which could easily have been avoided had he entered a plea to being with or, as the article suggested, simply not lied to federal authorities.

    Moreover, whatever you think of Mr. McKee’s plans for the North Side, there’s approximately as much comparison between the Smith story and the McKee story as there is between Barack Obama and a cheese omelet. The only way you can compare the two is if you think either that it’s a crime to develop property and seek tax incentives for doing so, or if you think it shouldn’t be a crime to lie to federal investigators.

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