SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
A new twist to an old game

Monday, May 19, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Every year, we get at least one “corporate fight” in Springfield. Two or more corporations or industries will duke it out over some proposed law change or another.

The cable TV industry, for instance, tried a while back to convince the General Assembly to tax satellite TV users. When I first started doing this job many moons ago, banks wanted the right to sell insurance to the public, which the insurance agents’ lobby opposed, as did a union which represented some insurance agents. The banks fought for years and eventually won.

This year has been relatively quiet until probably a few weeks ago. Psychologists want the right to dispense prescriptions to their patients, even though they’re not medical doctors. The doctors are opposed and so are the psychiatrists. Both sides recently hired a bevy of Statehouse lobbyists.

But the biggest issue to develop this spring was the fight between taxi company owners and ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft. Rather than call a cab company or wave a taxi down on the street, ride-share consumers use smart phone apps to book their rides. It’s become hugely popular in many cities around the world, but taxi company owners see the industry as an encroachment on their turf.

The ride-share companies started operating in Chicago without so much as a “How do you do” to the local government regulators and the fairly heavily regulated taxi companies retaliated. They initially tried to put the ride-sharing companies out of business with a ridiculously over the top bill.

Attempts at compromise failed. Eventually, a somewhat reasonable bill emerged, but Uber and Lyft fought it hard and both sides bulked up. Their spending rapidly escalated as independent contract lobbyists were hired left and right.

But the Statehouse spending may not have stopped there.

Earlier this month, some wealthy taxi company owners converged on Springfield and met with the Legislative Black Caucus at their headquarters near the Statehouse. The taxi owners’ goal was to convince the legislators to support tough – some would say too tough – regulations of Uber and Lift. Most House Black Caucus members subsequently voted for the regulatory bill, along with the vast majority of most other state Representatives.

Rumors soon began flying, though, that the taxi owners had donated money to the Black Caucus Foundation’s annual golf outing. The Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that raises money for things like college scholarships.

Maze Jackson, a former Statehouse lobbyist, was named the Foundation’s executive director effective March 1st. Jackson terminated his lobbying registration in late February. Before he did so, he worked with a lobbying firm that now represents the taxi industry.

Jackson admitted last week that he had held “discussions” of a “possible” donation, but he flatly denied that anything was solidly pledged and defended the talks because, he said, they were not directly related to any legislation. The donation wasn’t discussed at the meeting with legislators, he insisted. The Foundation is prohibited from being involved in politics, and Jackson said he’s committed to raising as much money as he can from anyone he can for minority scholarships.

Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Ken Dunkin(D-Chicago) also flatly denied that anything untoward had taken place. Other members of the Black Caucus, however, privately expressed worries that the situation could taint their Foundation in an era when even a slight appearance of impropriety can invite a federal probe.

Jackson also claimed that a lobbyist for a ride-sharing company had approached him about making a donation. But that lobbyist said that he was conversing with Jackson at the Statehouse and Jackson casually asked him what he was working on. When the lobbyist told Jackson that he was lobbying for a ride-sharing company, Jackson said that the taxi companies had already donated to the Foundation. The lobbyist said he told Jackson that his company would probably do the same, but he said he never actually followed up with his client.

One of the ride-sharing companies pushed this story hard last week in what was apparently a last-ditch attempt to derail the regulatory package. So far, though, the legislation appears to be on track.

There is no solid evidence right now of any direct quid pro quo here. Obviously, though, this doesn’t look good on its face. At all. And it needs to stop.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


10 Comments
  1. - A guy... - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    ====Other members of the Black Caucus, however, privately expressed worries that the situation could taint their Foundation in an era when even a slight appearance of impropriety can invite a federal probe.=====

    That’s pretty rapid movement from Point A to Point B. Between the lines, it looks like there’s some fire to go along with that smoke if legislators voice this kind of concern in one sentence. Could just be paranoia, but it looks a lot more like some members were very uncomfortable with the way this went down. Willing to bet there’s a lot more to this one. And this kind of thing is something the media loves to cover.


  2. - dave - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    Maze Jackson is going to be a problem for the black caucus. For a variety of reasons, and this smoke/fire situation is just one of them.

    Some of the public posts Maze has been posting on facebook related to Michael Sam have been more than offensive, and are definitely not the kind of comments you want from the face of the black caucus.


  3. - Walker - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    A lot of quid pro quo requests are hinted at rather than stated clearly.

    A lot of lobbyists/companies donate to favorite charities or related organizations on the off-chance that it might have some favorable influence.

    If it didn’t work, people would stop doing it. It occurs at all levels of government, and in the corporate world. I wouldn’t begin to know how to try to stop it with regulation.

    The solution lies with hiring the most ethical public servants.


  4. - DuPage - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    The ride-share reminds me of Mega-Bus. Mega-Bus had a fatal accident downstate. A low front tire blew out and they crashed into a bridge support pillar.
    They said the bus had been checked the week before during routine maintenance. USDOT regulations require tires to be checked at least once a day. Remote signaling pressure indicators would also have alerted the driver, but this bus did not have them.
    Who will be responsible for the safety of the ride-share vehicles and drivers? What if the driver runs short of cash and the insurance lapses?


  5. - Toure's Latte - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Do lobbyists ever gin up these fights for the business?

    Using an app to arrange a ride with an unlicensed stranger? Pass. Cab companies should deploy a ride service app for their own use.


  6. - LGHB - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    All of this from industry opposition to legislators protecting the industry giants reminds me of the movie Tucker.


  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    This is Illinois.
    You keep your 21st Century ideas and innovation away from here.


  8. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    This is Illinois.
    Cash only. Small unmarked bills, please.


  9. - Gator - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    This one incident probably won’t become a big deal. However, it might be indicative of a pattern of behavior on behalf of the Foundation, which could cause problems.

    How many companies with pending legislation have been approached for donations? Has the Foundation steered certain lobbyists to these companies?


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    Uh - check with Governor Quinn’s old friend working for Uber as their lobbyist, for more details, I bet.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Open thread
* Lead, follow or get the heck out of the way
* Daley's tinfoil hat
* 30-day pause in Lucas lawsuit
* Brady amendment kills lite guv proposal
* *** LIVE *** Session Coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update
* "Once it goes, it’s virtually impossible to rebuild"
* Graduated income tax backers predict bipartisan support
* More bad news for Exelon
* Civic Federation rips Rauner budget proposal
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 9.2.1 to Developers
* Instagram crams more ads in less space with Video Carousels
* Xiaomi and Huawei split Korean display divide to make curved-screen phones
* PieMessage brings iMessage support to Android
* Images of Xiaomi’s Mi Max and Mi Band 2 leak before May 10th launch
* Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Advanced undergoes test on GFXBench
* Huawei P9 Unboxing & First Impressions: Dual Leica Cameras

* Winning pair: White Sox, Red Sox impress
* White Sox to celebrate Honorary Bat Girl on Sunday
* Hit in 57 games, win $5.6 million
* Inbox: Latos the White Sox biggest surprise?
* South Side Sox Mock MLB Draft - First Edition
* Following up: No explanation yet for triple play that wasn't
* Podcast: Are these White Sox destined for greatness?

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Legislative panel votes against plan to close K.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close dete.....
* A bipartisan legislative oversight panel has vo.....
* A bipartisan legislative oversight panel has vo.....


* Rockford girl charged in connection with teen's death
* Illinois panel votes against plan to close detention center
* Parolee faces murder charges in girlfriend's beating death
* Chicago: Students can access bathrooms by 'gender identity'
* College of DuPage appoints its first female president
* 3 shooting incidents leave 2 teens, man dead in Chicago
* Man pleads guilty in drunken driving death of Muncie teen
* EXCHANGE: Club introduces skills for high-tech future
* Illinois Democrats propose higher taxes for the wealthy
* Weber makes sweet investment in Champaign custard shop

* Legislative panel votes against plan to close Kewanee youth detention center
* Price, demand driving Illinois' hog farm expansion
* Medicaid policy may deny access to HIV medication
* Rauner: Graduated tax would be bad for the state
* Suit: Illinois law restricting child sex offenders too vague
* Medical marijuana panel meets to evaluate 15 new conditions
* National Wrestling Hall of Fame revokes Hastert's awards
* For some, Chicago State University offers hope
* For some, Chicago State a flawed but final shot at a degree
* Constitutional amendments face a deadline this week

* Kirk, other down-ballot Republicans brace for Trump ticket
* Union League Club warns of security issue with credit cards
* Study: 7 of 10 most profitable US hospitals are nonprofits
* Illinois panel again urges medical marijuana expansion
* College of DuPage appoints its first female president


* 17-year-old boy charged with bringing gun to Aurora high school
* Fire official: Body pulled from Chicago River near Lake Michigan
* Transgender CPS students to use bathroom that matches gender ID
* Letters: Chiefs of ten top Chicago museums support Lucas Museum
* Just say no to highest property taxes in the nation
* Friends of the Parks urges ‘non-lakefront site’ for Lucas museum
* Body pulled from Lake Michigan identified as Palatine man
* Tony nominations rich in Chicago connections
* Tony nominations rich in Chicago connections
* Illinois woman shot in Wisconsin hours after cops wounded suspect


* Concealed carry gun-wielder intervenes in domestic dispute and shot dead in Texas
* U.S. Navy SEAL killed in combat in Iraq
* No foul play suspected in slain rapper Tupac Shakur's mother's death
* Friends of the Parks suspends lawsuit over Lucas Museum
* Radiohead releases 'Burn the Witch' on resurrected website
* Billy Corgan quickly sells out shows set for Highland Park tea shop
* No celebration on World Press Freedom Day: Journalists face murders, keep working
* 'Hamilton' lands record 16 nominations in Tonys with many Chicago ties
* The Philippine election could shake up rising tiger's economy
* Beyonce backs sports drink made with watermelon water


* Legislative panel votes against plan to close Kewanee youth detention center
* Price, demand driving Illinois' hog farm expansion
* Their View: A sigh of relief that Chicago didn't get Olympics
* Their View: Be aware of commuters on two wheels
* Medicaid policy may deny access to HIV medication
* Kathleen Parker: Trump, in his own words
* Rauner: Graduated tax would be bad for the state
* Bernard Schoenburg: Speaker Madigan on phone for Sangamon County Democrats fundraiser
* Suit: Illinois law restricting child sex offenders too vague
* Medical marijuana panel meets to evaluate 15 new conditions


* UI Springfield to build first student union
* Prosecutor seeks access to medical records of UI student charged with infant’s murder
* Fifth man arrested in Gibson case
* Does the U of I need a mascot? Penny for your Thoughts 05-03-16
* 05-03-16 Penny for Your Thoughts. Does the U of I need a mascot?
* Drier weather settles into the Corn Belt
* Day 1 at pot dispensary 'went pretty well'
* Mitsubishi plant in Normal sold to Michigan firm
* College of DuPage appoints its first female president
* 'Hamilton' sets record with 18 Tony nominations


* Buffalo Grove woman critically wounded in Wisconsin interstate shooting
* Business conference set for May 21
* Cheny Furniture opens in Libertyville
* Walgreens offers naloxone in New Jersey
* Libertyville native among record-setting Tony nods for 'Hamilton'

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Sen. Dick Durbin to visit southern Illinoi......

* Rep. Lang Calls On Sen. Kirk To Act - FOX ......

* Date Announced For The End of an Era: Shake Rattle & Roll Sets May 21st As Last Day
* One Empty Lot Prepares For Construction, Another For Use As A Staging Area
* Date Announced For The End of an Era: Shake Rattle & Read Sets May 21st As Last Day
* Surfing in Brooklyn.
* Teachers (Frank McCourt).
* Washington Post: The divided American dream
* Thorner: E-Cigarettes a Healthy Way to Quit Smoking, Heartland Institute panel says
* Q&A about the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.
* West Virginia coal worker confronts Clinton over anti-coal comments
* A bigger threat than Friedrichs ever was.


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller