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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.