Com Ed Favors for Votes

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax has an article about Commonwealth Edison’s relationship with Illinois legislators.

In view of the recent subpoenas, he observes,

“But beyond whatever ComEd and Exelon may have done, what will be truly fascinating is if the feds ever publish a list of politicians who allegedly got sweet favors in return for their votes.

That could be a long one.

I’ve long heard that Chicago Democratic Party politicians have been able to get people hired by Com Ed, but could the Feds uncover other rewards for voting for Com Ed legislation?

Take a look at the campaign contributions Com Ed, southern Illinois counterpart Ameren and related companies, suppliers, etc., to legislators.

From McHenry County Blog’s October 28, 2011, article:

Below you see the contributions from 2011 for the 39 State senators who voted to override Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 1652:

  • Senate Democratic Victory Fund – $89,250
  • Republican State Campaign Committee – $42,650

The Democratic Party Senate campaign fund is controlled by Senate President John Cullerton.

The Republican Party Senate campaign fund is run by Minority Leader Christine Radogno.

In descending order, here’s what each of the 39 State Senators who voted to raise your electric rates got in contributions from Commonwealth Edison, Ameren, plus other companies and executives thereof which the Committee on Political Reform believes had an interest in the bill’s passage:

  • Christine Radogno – $38,000
  • Kirk Dillard – $19,000
  • Mike Jacobs – $16,750
  • Dale Richter – $13,930
  • Antonio Munoz – $13,850
  • Don Harmon – $11,500
  • Toi Hutchinson – $11,000
  • James Meeks – $11,000
  • Bill Brady – $9,500
  • Annezette Collins – $8,250
  • A. J. Wilhemi – $7,700
  • Mattie Hunter – $7,000
  • Carole Pankau – $6,350
  • John Millner – $6,050
  • Donne Trotter – $6,000
  • John Jones – $5,750
  • Kimberly Lightford – $5,500
  • William Haine – $5.450
  • Terry Link – $5,000GOP Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno
  • Michael Noland – $4,750
  • Matt Murphy – $4,250
  • Pam Althoff – $4,000
  • David Leuchtefeld – $3,358
  • Kwame Raoul – $2,500
  • Sue Rezen – $2,000
  • Maggie Crotty – $1,500
  • John Cullerton – $1,500
  • Linda Holmes – $1,250
  • Iris Martinez – $1,250
  • Emil Jones, III – $1,000
  • William Delgado – $1,000
  • David Koehler – $750
  • Martin Sandoval – $500
  • Thomas Johnson – 0
  • Steven Landek – 0
  • Ron Sandack – 0

After voting against the bill the first time around, State Rep. Jack Franks flipped and voted for what TV reorted Mike Flannery charaxcterized as a “stealth” veto override.

Governor Pat Quinn made his views explicity:

The veto override vote:

The fall veto override of the Com Ed bill Governor Pat Quinn vetoed.

A March 4, 2012, article “Jack Franks Shows Tree Killer Side” began,

“After his last minute ‘conversion’ to the electric rate hike side of the bill promoted by Com Ed and Ameren, it appears that Democrat Jack Franks is now playing water boy for the not-so-regulated-as-before utilities.”

House Bill 3884 would allow Com Ed to remove all the trees on the south side of Lake Avenue, if they are withint 20 feet of the power lines. Northern Illinois electric service would be safe from most falling trees, but denuded of nearby trees.

Another favor Franks did for Com Ed was to introduce legislation allowing Com Ed to cut any trees within twenty feet of a power line, even if located on a resident’s property.

“Chainsaw Jack” Franks’ introduction of legislation to allow Com Ed to chop down any tree within 20 feet of a power line inspired this satirical movie poster.

The anti-conservation bill earned him the nickname “Chainsaw Jack.”

The bill was so bad that the Chicago Tribune ran its lead Sunday editorial in opposition.

The Chicago Triubne’s featured editorial on Sunday, March 11, 2012, was about “Chainsaw Jack” Franks’ bill to allow Com Ed and Ameren to level every tree withint 20 feet of a power line.

After the subpoenas started flying in Commonwealth Edison’s direction, looked for contributions from Exelon President CEO Anne Pramaggiore, who hurriedly resigned.

She used to be head of Com Ed’s Springfield lobbying effort.

Guess waht?

Even when it was clear that Franks would not be in the Illinois House because he was running for McHenry County Board Chairman, rather that for re-election, Pramaggiore still gave Franks the maximum allowed by law–$5,600.


Com Ed Favors for Votes — 3 Comments

  1. There’s our local prize piggy: Pammy Althoff, with her snout outstretched for more, more & more!

  2. The following are two major laws that benefited ComEd and its parent Exelon.

    On October 26, 2011, the State House and Senate overrode Governor Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 1652 (SB 1652) to create Public Act 97-0616 (PA 97-0616), the Smart Grid law.

    On December 7, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2814 (SB 2814) to create Public Act 99-0906 (PA 99-0906), the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), that included subsidies for wind, solar, and nuclear.

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