Quinn move backfires on governor
Friday, Oct 21, 2011
* Remember Arlene Juracek, the retired ComEd executive whom Gov. Pat Quinn recently appointed to run the Illinois Power Agency? Quinn ousted Director Mark Pruitt to appoint Juracek, who rose to the rank of ComEd vice president. The governor insisted there was no conflict of interest, even though former ComEd veep Juracek still owns a significant amount of Exelon stock. Exelon is ComEd’s parent company. Juracek’s new job involves negotiating power contracts on behalf of consumers, meaning she’ll be sitting across the table from Exelon execs.
Quinn wanted Director Pruitt out because he was resisting signing long term contracts with alternative power companies, like wind and solar. Pruitt did get the ball rolling on some wind power contracts, but in one of her first moves in office, Juracek reversed Pruitt’s decision…
Guess who opposed former Director Pruitt’s move? ComEd and Exelon, of course. This is a home run for Juracek’s former boss.
* Next up, FutureGen…
Exelon and ComEd oppose these clean coal projects, as do other utilities. Another home run.
* And then there’s solar…
Once again, Gov. Quinn supported bids from solar companies, but ComEd and Exelon opposed it.
That’s three ComEd/Exelon home runs in just two weeks. I asked the governor’s office about this mess last night. So far, no word on their thinking. They didn’t respond at all to Crain’s. I’ll let you know if they come up with something later today.
* It looks like Lisa Madigan was right Here’s what the attorney general’s office said when Quinn announced the Juracek appointment…
Yeah. Great. She’ll hold onto the stock, which will likely rise on this latest news.
* Juracek still has to be confirmed by the Senate. The governor also vetoed a bill this year which would’ve taken away his authority over the IPA. That bill was backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Expect an override and possibly a rocky confirmation procedure.
…Adding… This is what Acting Director Juracek told Crain’s a couple of weeks ago…
As a friend of mine just pointed out, it looks like she managed to find the window between “possible” and “virtually impossible.”