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This just in…

Monday, Feb 28, 2011

* 2:07 pm - As you know by now, ICC Chairman Manny Flores was having big trouble with his nomination. He had opposition in the Senate because of past political differences and because of utility company opposition. He wasn’t going to be confirmed.

So, as subscribers already know, Gov. Quinn decided to withdraw Flores’ nomination and move him over to another job while giving the ICC chairmanship to IEPA Director Doug Scott. From a press release

Today Governor Quinn named Doug Scott as chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and Manuel “Manny” Flores as director of the Division of Banking of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Scott has served as director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) since 2005 and Flores has chaired the ICC since January 2010. Governor Quinn also named Andrew Ross as the state’s chief operating officer and Lisa Bonnett as interim director of IEPA.

Lisa Bonnett will be the IEPA’s interim director. She is currently the acting deputy director.

* Also today, Quinn filled chief of staff Jack Lavin’s old job of chief operating officer…

Today Governor Quinn also named Andrew Ross as the state’s chief operating officer. Ross, who for the last two years has served as a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, will lead efforts to promote continued job growth in Illinois. He will manage efforts in the governor’s office and across state government to keep and attract new companies, encourage expansion of the green economy, and spur entrepreneurship and innovation across Illinois. In his previous position, Ross worked on an incentive package to keep Navistar and 3,000 jobs in Illinois, aided implementation of the state’s $31 billion capital program and helped overhaul the regulation of the Illinois cemetery industry following the tragedy at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip.

* Meanwhile, the Atlantic has uncovered Chicago’s best kept secret: The name behind the “fake” Mayor Emanuel Twitter account. It’s Dan Sinker, the founder of Punk Planet and a journalism teacher at Columbia College

As a professor, Sinker focuses on entrepreneurial journalism and independent media. A student in one of his classes described him as down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and interesting. She said he encouraged his students to build businesses around their work, helping underserved groups find places to congregate online. “He’s DIY,” she said and “big on building communities.” Most importantly, in a journalism world drenched in negativity, she said Sinker inspired students because he’s actually positive about the future of media. […]

“My wife has asked me,’Why did you actually start tweeting?’ And for the life of me I can’t remember,” Sinker said. “I remember I was at home. I think everyone had gone to bed. And I remembered, ‘Oh, I have that account. This might be kind of funny.’”

From the start, the account began to take off. After three tweets, Sinker himself retweeted a message and @MayorEmanuel had a few hundred followers in just a few hours. Within two days, it had 1,000 followers, largely on the quality of its industrial-strength swearing. “At the beginning, a lot of the mental amusement was putting two words together, one of them is profanity and maybe the other one is also profanity and it’s kind of weird,” he recalled.

But that started to change around Halloween, during a particularly excellent hallucination brought on my eating too much candy corn. “I started to think, I can really tell a story about this,” Sinker said. “And Halloween probably also marks the beginning of the end of creative profanity.”

The story about Fake Emanuel and Quaxelrod (the duck - you had to be there) floating on a Chicago River ice floe and bumping into Mayor Daley on his own ice floe is an all-time classic.

…Adding… From the Illinois GOP

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady [yesterday] called upon the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority to rescind the employment agreement of Speaker Mike Madigan’s son-in-law, Jordan Matyas. Matyas, who is married to Madigan’s daughter, was recently given a $130,000 per year lobbying position with the RTA.

“Whether the job offer was a peace-offering with the Speaker or an attempt to curry favor, it stinks and we need to stop running the State of Illinois like a banana republic,” said Brady. “How about hiring an experienced Government Relations professional with a deep understanding of regional transportation issues instead of an individual whose only qualifications are family dinners at the Madigans and an occasional ride on Metra?”

* But Pat Durante, who’s no Democratic lackey, disagrees with his GOP chairman

But the senior Republican on the RTA Board, Addison Township GOP Committeeman Pat Durante, said it’s Mr. Brady who needs to back off.

Mr. Durante noted that Mr. Matyas has worked as a Capitol lobbyist for several years, most recently with the Humane Society of the United States.

“His (Madigan) relationship shouldn’t be held against him,” said Mr. Durante, a longtime adviser to the late Congressman Henry Hyde. “I’ve been in politics a lot longer than Pat Brady. There are relatives who are qualified to hold a job, and this young man is one of them.”

…Adding More… From the Emanuel campaign…

Now that the cat is out of the bag, the Mayor-elect will keep his commitment to donate $5,000 to the charity of Prof. Sinker’s choice. Details to follow in the coming days.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - lake county democrat - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:26 pm:

    The Atlantic should make the $5000 charity contribution Rahm offered — thanks for a “protracted email negotiation” nobody cool wanted!

  2. - For the Ages - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:32 pm:

    does Flores have to bo through the confirmation process? And what does he know about banking?

    It would seem with the number of bank failures in Illinois he should have a working kmowledge of banking.

  3. - Behind The Scenes - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:52 pm:

    So, is the Governor’s strategy to move appointees (directors, etc.) around every two years or so to keep them from ever having to stand for Senate conformation?

  4. - Ahoy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:53 pm:

    So Ross is essentially doing what the Director of DCEO should be doing? Why do we have two directors of DCEO?

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:56 pm:

    Refreshing to hear an Illinois GOP chairman come out against any hint of nepotism, patronage, or wired contracts. Hilarious, but refreshing.

    I’m sure the Cellini family is weeping with pride over their stack of SOI leases, paving contracts and jobs on this courageous stand.

    Pretty good smackdown on Brady from Hyde’s guy.

  6. - Just Observing - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:05 pm:

    Manny’s political stardom has diminished quickly. He made a number of political mis-calculations, including leaving his aldermanic post and now, with no banking experience, he is being forced into a pretty obscure post.

    Does anyone know if this means a salary decrease for him?

  7. - George - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:08 pm:

    Good for Andy, good for Illinois.

  8. - JL - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:22 pm:

    Andy will do well. He is one of the smarter and level headed guys in State gov.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:32 pm:

    So Manny choses the wrong side … again … and geta job anyway?

    Why are we suppose to feel sorry for this guy?

  10. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:58 pm:

    Welcome to Illinois, where nepotism is so ingrained that folks are shocked and appalled when you challenge it, not when you expose it.

  11. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:05 pm:

    As an afterthought, my big problem with Brady’s criticism is hypocrisy, as the GOP establishment in Illinois is getting just as bad. The names of “LaHood” and “Hastert” come to mind.

  12. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    Durante always was a bright guy
    BTW it as very funny to read Gags Brady’s comment as his stooges in Peoria were picking the totally inexperienced and somewhat shady Lahood kid for a two year, free ride in the Senate.
    Nice timing Gags!

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    “Kid” Hastert was taken out by the voters, If Ethan would have won, wouldn’t that be different than Ethan losing his State’s Attorney race THEN being appointed to congress?

    The Kid is not the Old Man, but Hastert at least put his name on the ballot …LaHood just loses and waits for appointments.

  14. - 42nd Ward - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:18 pm:

    The entire GOP establishment was behind Ethan Hastert, big time. Don’t think he even tried to run on his own. I recall Ethan Hastert being introduced at a function during that campaign, and the emcee told me in advance he would specifically avoid mentioning the Speaker while introducing Ethan, as he did not lke the nepotism of the internal pressure. In his first sentence after saying hello to the crowd, Ethan brought it up.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===The entire GOP establishment was behind Ethan Hastert, big time. Don’t think he even tried to run on his own. I recall Ethan Hastert being introduced at a function during that campaign, and the emcee told me in advance he would specifically avoid mentioning the Speaker while introducing Ethan, as he did not lke the nepotism of the internal pressure. In his first sentence after saying hello to the crowd, Ethan brought it up.===

    I live in Kendall Co., and “He ain’t the Old Man” sunk him … why? … because every GOP Hack and then some were using that “Look, Ethan is his own guy, so keep Denny out of it … unless someone asks and it looks like it will help …” If you look at some older posts on this blog during thoses elections, I stated as much many times.

    I lived it again … with Dallas’ kid running for State’s Attorney and the Push Polls for Dallas’ kid stating and I quote, “Did you know Weis is the GOP insider in the race?”


  16. - Statesman - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    Flores follows the path of his ‘godfathers’ Ochoa and Martinez down the path of irrelevance. He is about as qualified and experienced in banking as Ochoa was at being the CEO of McPier.

  17. - Team Sleep - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    Darin was poised to run for Congress in 2007 - and then Aaron Schock announced. That put the kibosh on Darin’s candidacy quite quickly. I think Darin could have given Aaron a run for his money, but Aaron had gotten his elbows dirty in two consecutive races - and Darin had never run before. It should come as no surprise that he was the nominee, though. I’ll be curious to see if he runs for reelection or, if he does, if he can even fend off a potential Jim Ardis candidacy.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:33 pm:

    ===Darin was poised to run for Congress in 2007 - and then Aaron Schock announced. That put the kibosh on Darin’s candidacy quite quickly.===

    Why do we think THAT is?

    Because Aaron was so vastly more qualified, versus LaHood’s kid’s Genetic Lottery Winning Card?

    So … Darin got cold feet and lost momentum because some guy would be better than him? Is that bad?

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:39 pm:

    People, is it really necessary to rehash Ethan Hastert’s saga in minute detail?

  20. - phocion - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:40 pm:

    Andy is a solid choice - smart, effective, fair. Good call, Governor.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:41 pm:

    Sorry, Rich … the LaHood comparison took me down that dopey road …

  22. - JBilla - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:43 pm:

    It’s too bad being a consumer advocate is a bad thing at the ICC. And not confirming someone because of their race is abhorrent. Luckily Flores is as talented as public servants come. Can’t wait till his US Senate run when Durbin retires.

  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===And not confirming someone because of their race is abhorrent===

    That wasn’t part of the equation. Please, remove your tinfoil hat.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===Flores is as talented as public servants come. Can’t wait till his US Senate run when Durbin retires.===

    Isn’t the “over-stretching”, with the chatter for mayor of chicago, is what got him in one of his messes?

    Manny should feel lucky Quinn can hide him from harm, and Manny should not be measuring curtains again …especially statewide, and especially without rehabbing the image that was portrayed out there now.

    And sometimes, in politics, “talented” also means making good political decisions … just saying.

  25. - The Captain - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 4:51 pm:

    The entire archive of @MayorEmanuel can be found here. (.pdf)


  26. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:30 pm:

    Doug Scott is a fantastic upgrade over the perpetually miscalculating Manny Flores. To watch him fumble around the Mayor’s race as he was supposed to be serving in a theoretically nonpolitical job was really sad. Manny just didn’t get why running for mayor as a sitting ICC chair was a REALLY bad idea. He also fumbled numerous high-profile cases.

    Doug Scott is smart, capable, politically astute and honest as they come. It’s a great move.

  27. - JBilla - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:33 pm:

    I think Manny tries hard to help the people he represents. I also think he has a good eye towards the future. I hoped he would have run for Mayor, and I really don’t understand how the confirmation process works enough to comment further, but I don’t understand why anyone would want him not to be head of the ICC who didn’t work for a utility. I apologize, I must have misunderstood the reason for confirmation or non-confirmation

  28. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:37 pm:

    === I also think he has a good eye towards the future.===

    Have you been paying attention to ANY of Manny’s
    political decisions?

    Your statement is puzzling to me.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:38 pm:

    The “puzzling” post was mine - full disclosure

  30. - Statesman - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:41 pm:

    Race had nothing to do with it. As for Flores, he lost his independant streak (which is what got him elected over HDO backed Granato) when he started cow-towing for SEIU hacks. Became just another dem in Chicago politics. Dime a dozen.
    “Eye on the future”- he was in charge of the City Council’s green initiatives and failed to do anything about the mega-waste blue bag recycling program. That’s really thinking about the future.

  31. - Statesman - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:44 pm:

    As for ‘Senate runs’ in Flores future. He was one of the early one’s to approach Blago on the infamous Senate appointment. Rebuked, his godfather- the Blago Chaffeaur- Ochoa didn’t get him much traction there. Wrong side of the political fence- surely.

  32. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:46 pm:

    This is the second ICC chairman position denied to an individual with a record showing concern over consumer rights. The first, Cohen, can be due to his relationship with Emil Jones and Cohen’s longtime CUB experience. With Flores, it seems much more personal, especially within the State Senate’s clash of political personalities.

    As a citizen, it should not be too much to ask that Quinn appoint a chairman with a consumer focus for the State’s public utility commission. Both Cohen’s and Flores’ inability to be confirmed by their own political party which dominates the political power so overwhelmingly, may reveal a much bigger problem for the Majority Party than a mere clash of egos.

  33. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:53 pm:


    Doug Scott has plenty of pro-consumer cred without all the baggage of Manny. I agree with you that Marty was denied because of his consumer cred, but that really has nothing to do with what happened to Manny.

  34. - just sayin' - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 6:14 pm:

    Pat Durante vs. Pat Brady. Hard to say who is a less trustworthy source on anything. Both are about equally worthless.

  35. - Park - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:12 pm:

    Scott’s good, Bonnett’s good. No one tell Quinn…he’ll replace them with kids.

    Matyas hiring bad. Very bad. Very very bad.

  36. - Roark - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:43 pm:

    I’m sorry - I’ve worked for the EPA for 25+ years, and I’m less than impressed by Scott. He was a backbencher with Blago (who brought him in), and has spent most of the last 3+ years looking for a new job. He didn’t stick up for real managers when Blago/Quinn stacked the agency with know-nothing hacks.

  37. - chiguy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:58 pm:

    Manny is an asset to the ICC. It’s too bad that Delgado’s petulance didn’t allow confirmation. Naming Manny to a new post doesn’t change a thing; he still needs to get approved by Senate Exec and Willie won’t ever allow it. Willie, let it go man, you won. You beat Moreno and are still Senator, now be a big boy and let it go.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:19 pm:

    chiguy -

    ===Willie, let it go man, you won. You beat Moreno and are still Senator, now be a big boy and let it go.===

    Sometimes, letting it go means burying your opponent, so when Manny is done with politics, he will let it go.

  39. - Sorry State - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 12:46 am:

    Doug Scott apparently has everyone but the people of Rockford, who ousted him handedly as their Mayor, fooled. The “nice guy Opie” act apparently plays in Springfield and Chicago. Sheesh! “A strong advocate for working people…”? Ask the Crestwood folks who have been poisoned by their water for 30 years how good they’ll sleep tonight knowing that Doug Scott will now have their back with the utility companies! Only in the State of ILL.

  40. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 7:08 am:

    @ Sorry State,

    So the officials in Crestwood bear no responsiblity for poisioning their own citizens for personal gain? How exactly is it the fault of Doug Scott?

    The city for years fabricated records, and lying to EPA officials about water quality standards. And you decide that the ‘real’ culprit is the head of EPA, who isn’t involved in every lab test performed?

    Get a clue.

    Doug Scott is a very good administrator, and I wish him well in his new job. He will be good for the ICC.

    And Lisa will do an excellent job as his replacement while they search for a perm replacement.

  41. - Henry - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 8:21 am:

    Manny Flores is his own enemy. When he ran for alderman it was Miguel Del Valle and Senator Delgado who backed him against Granato (big mistake). He has no loyalty for people. He betrayed his constituents leaving his position without any regrets. He is using his appointment to get contacts and eventually raise money for his congressional race in the near future. Senator Delgado you represent the voices of lots of people sick and tire of many Manny Flore’s in the community. Please help the governor “fumigate” the state from the Ochoa’s group.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 8:34 am:

    ===Manny Flores is his own enemy.===

    THAT is it …If Manny had a “mute” button on his own inner thoughts of what to do, politically, he would be better off than where he is now.

  43. - sad - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 9:00 am:

    Lot of manny haters on here. You all work for the utilities right? Thought so…

  44. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 9:06 am:

    sad -

    Nope, been here for a while … to know Manny, is to be confused by Manny …and his decisions.

    If I had to give advice: If you have an opportunity, it doesn’t mean you are REQUIRED to do it …decisions have ramifications.

  45. - anon - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 9:14 am:

    Utilities all killed the nominations of Marty & Manny. Yes, there were further complications with Manny/ Delgado, but it was and always will be the utilities who control anything to do with ICC. It’s terrible.

  46. - Henry - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 9:30 am:

    Manny should go and work part time as a private attorney with Chico and part time offering free legal services to poor people. He is only waiting for an opportunity to run for the congress. Fight with the utilities is not helping him in his political aspirations. Look what happend with Marty Castro. After his shamless lost against Gutierrez his political career is over. They want to climb to fast to high.

  47. - Fredo - Tuesday, Mar 1, 11 @ 4:48 pm:

    Manny has no banking experience. NONE. How is he qualified for this position?

    He may be a good politician (but did seem to backstab a lot of people who brought him to the table) but that does not mean that he should have this position.

  48. - Sorry State - Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 1:37 am:

    @ How Ironic…I have a clue…I work there. He looks the other way all the time for political expediency. If more EPA people had the courage to tell their stories on this blog, besides the few we have heard from, you might get a clue. I guess your definition of a good administrator is a go-along, get-along person who doesn’t make waves. If so, you got your guy…Blago’s roommate and best friend, lest you forget. At least the trial is coming up….maybe we will learn more this time around about the players and doin’s.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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