Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker plans today to lay out a sprawling framework for a renewable energy package he’d like to see the state legislature take up in November, including new ethics laws in response to Commonwealth Edison’s bribery-tainted lobbying practices.
The “point person on utility matters” for Pritzker? Christian Mitchell: Mike Madigan’s former executive director at the Democratic Party of Illinois, former Madigan loyalist in the State House and former campaign staffer for Lisa Madigan.
Here’s what Mitchell said when asked whether it was a problem that Madigan remained Speaker of the House during this new legislative push (you know, because he’s under federal investigation for bribery in connection with the issue)…
The governor’s top aide stopped short of saying the administration would make a formal request that Madigan recuse himself from deliberations, considering the numerous Madigan references in the federal filing outlining ComEd’s bribery scheme.
“The speaker’s not been involved in any working groups or conversations,” Mitchell said, when asked about the speaker recusing himself. “I think that’s a question for him.”
Recuse himself? Madigan is the Speaker of the House. He controls every detail of how every bill advances. He doesn’t need to be in the room. All the staff in the room works for Madigan.
How can Pritzker get away with this without demanding Mike Madigan resign as Speaker of the House immediately?
Also, how can Mitchell be involved in any of this? He’s not only conflicted by his strong ties to Madigan, he’s also conflicted by his past campaign contributions from ComEd.
And while we’re talking about conflicts of interest, let’s take a look at this bit from the WBEZ report:
The governor is seeking to have Illinois running on 100% clean energy by 2050 and is calling for new steps to boost solar and wind project developments in the state, plus encourage use of electric vehicles. By 2030, the governor hopes to have 750,000 more electricity-powered vehicles on Illinois roads.
Wouldn’t you know it: one of the governor’s closest advisors, Dave Lundy, represents a number of “clean energy” clients and played a leading role in opposing the Future Energy Jobs Act back in 2016.
To review our key questions:
1. Does Pritzker acknowledge that Madigan must resign as speaker before considering this proposal?
2. Will Pritzker ask Christian Mitchell to step away from this portfolio given his conflicts of interest?
3. Does Pritzker acknowledge he is conflicted in this debate by his senior political advisor Dave Lundy?
Interestingly enough, the Illinois Republican Party reported raising $41,600 from ComEd in that same time period.
2) It’s difficult to comprehend what the purpose of this press release is beyond just repeating the word “Madigan” over and over like it’s some sort of talisman. For example, Mitchell was installed at DPI as a check on Madigan. And AG Lisa Madigan was a very well-known ComEd nemesis.
3) Lundy has also been a ComEd nemesis for years. That company’s lobbyists hate him, as do many of the other folks who pushed the ComEd-backed Future Energy Jobs Act. But I don’t doubt that Lundy loves the idea of being known as the governor’s “senior political advisor.” Congrats, ILGOP, you just put money in Lundy’s pocket while enabling his enemies at ComEd. Swell job.
4) The basic gist that I’m getting out of this release, other than the Madigan stuff, is that the governor’s proposal needs to be put on hold until Madigan is gone. The only entity that truly benefits from such a result would be… ComEd. I mean, it’s not like Madigan can jump in and help his old pals at ComEd right now without adding to his already substantial legal problems. The opposition currently has ComEd right where it wants the utility. If you really want to zap that company, then now is the time to strike while Madigan is sidelined and ComEd is at its weakest point in decades.
So, what in the heck is the ILGOP up to?
August 24, 2020 at 03:01PM