It Isn’t Called the “POWER” Company for Nothing

Written in November, 2005, this article about Commonwealth Edison’s lobbying might add background to what WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune have written in the last day or so:
The Illinois Senate rejected former Citizens Utility Board Director Marty Cohen for the Chairmanship of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Governor Rod Blagojevich had nominated him an attempt to re-furbish his image among those who had criticized his former appointments as being pro-utility.

It certainly is no surprise that utility companies control the Commerce Commission. That is why ICC was created in the first place (during the 1920’s, I think).

Here’s the story I was told on the train to Springfield by an older man who identified himself as Samuel Insull’s secretary.

He told me that Insull was tired of having to buy the Illinois General Assembly, so he pushed for creation of a commission. Presumably, that would prove cheaper.

Commonwealth Edison, the power company, certainly had considerable power in the 1970’s.

I remember asking pages who were sorting bills (where the Capitol press room is now located) what they were doing.

Besides making packets of newly printed bills to put thread in the huge books of bills for those state representatives who wanted them all, they were putting copies into other piles.

I asked who got the other piles. It seems that various lobbyists asked, that is, paid someone, I guess, to get a copy of every bill introduced.

Guess whose lobbyist got two copies of every bill.


It was Commonwealth Edison.

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