Smith not throwing in the towel
Aug 12, 2014 | 809 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If a pending court case on corruption charges and a possible lengthy jail sentence aren't enough to persuade State Senator Malcolm Smith to drop his re-election bid for State Senate, then were not sure nearly every single elected official from the city to the federal level that represents event a part of his current district coming out in support of his opponent is going to convince him either.

But that's exactly what happened on Tuesday, when nine of Smith's colleagues (for now, we guess) in government, led by Congressman Gregory Meeks, announced they would be supporting Smith's challenger, former councilman Leroy Comrie.

If you're not familiar with Smith's recent troubles, he was charged last year with taking part in an elaborate bribery scheme that would have resulted in Smith – a Democrat – getting his name on the Republican line in the 2013 mayoral primary. A federal investigation also snared then-councilman Dan Halloran and former vice chair of the Queens GOP Vince Tabone.

In the case of Smith and Tabone, the judge declared a mistrial because prosecutors at the last minute released 70 hours of secretly recorded conversation, but nearly 30 hours were completely in Yiddish, which the defendants' lawyers argued would have to be translated. That would have delayed the trial even longer, and many of the jurors could not serve that long.

Halloran opted to go ahead with his case (in part because he was on the verge of bankruptcy, according to his lawyer, and couldn't afford another stint in court), and was recently found guilty. He is set to be sentenced on December 12 and faces up to 55 years in prison.

But for Smith, the mistrial means that he won't be back in a courtroom until after Election Day, which means his campaign for re-election can soldier on.

And soldiering on it is!

The Smith campaign set out an email last week letting potential supporters know there are three ways they can help the embattled state senator hold on to his seat: donate, volunteer or host a house party.

Smith apparently has at least one supporter out there in hip-hop artist Mr. Cheeks of Lost Boys Mafia Family, who will be headlining a benefit concert later this month in Jamaica, just in case you want to get a little entertainment for your political donation.

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