SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 - Quinn reverses course *** Reform and renewal

Monday, May 19, 2014

*** UPDATE *** The governor blinks

Moving to head off a developing campaign issue, Gov. Pat Quinn today called for amending the state’s ethics law to impose a blanket one-year ban on top ex-aides lobbying their former colleagues.

After a series of recent media reports about activities by his ex-chief of staff, Jack Lavin, who left state payroll last September, Mr. Quinn’s office released a statement saying that he will push for legislation to forbid such work for one year after a senior official leaves office.

“The governor favors amending the law to say that any chief of staff, deputy chief of staff or deputy governor – whether they’re participated in a decision or not – should not be permitted to lobby any official in state government for one year,” Mr. Quinn’s spokeswoman said. “We’re pursuing legislation.”

Mr. Quinn’s office previously said that the lobbying work by Mr. Lavin had been reviewed by attorneys and met the requirements of law. But that stance today came under fire from a top ethics watchdog group and from the campaign of Mr. Quinn’s election rival, GOP nominee Bruce Rauner.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Longtime readers know that “Reform and renewal” was a deliberately sarcastic headline I used countless times during the Rod Blagojevich years because it was one of his campaign slogans.

So, let’s get back to it

A former top aide to Gov. Pat Quinn is now working as a lobbyist for a group representing casino owners and a company hoping to get into the medical marijuana business, raising eyebrows among some who want to strengthen the state’s so-called revolving door ban.

Jack Lavin, who left his job as Quinn’s chief of staff last September, started his own lobbying business in February and has landed several contracts in recent weeks, Lee Enterprises reported Sunday.

Records show Lavin represents the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which has been in the middle of talks regarding an expansion of gambling in Illinois. He’s also signed on with Effingham-based Healthcentral LLC, a company formed to compete for a license to grow marijuana after lawmakers approved a four-year medical marijuana pilot program.

* This is all legal

Although Illinois has a revolving door ban designed to put roadblocks in front of agency directors and other top state officials seeking to join companies that have contracts with state government, Lavin has apparently moved into his new role without a hitch.

Under the law, certain state employees or former state workers cannot accept employment or compensation from a non-state employer if the worker, in the past year, made regulatory or licensing decisions or awarded contracts affecting the non-state employer.

As chief of staff from December 2010 to October 2013, Lavin was in the midst of some of the biggest decisions facing Quinn, ranging from expanding gambling to the legalizing medical marijuana.

* Greg Hinz

And should a governor who frequently brags about how he’s cleaned up state government after the Rod Blagojevich years just watch as his former top aide exploits a huge loophole to swing the revolving door in his favor? […]

Rauner campaign manager Mike Schrimpf was even more pointed.

“First Pat Quinn’s running mate is hired by Blagojevich’s former budget director, then we learn about dozens of political hires in Quinn’s administration,” he said, referring to Paul Vallas and a hiring scandal in the Illinois Department of Transportation. “How Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff is trying to cash in as a lobbyist. There’s seemingly no end to the ethical cloud hovering over Pat Quinn.”

* Lavin was also hired by a ride-sharing firm

In the latest move, Uber Technologies Inc. has brought aboard Jack Lavin, who until September was chief of staff to Gov. Pat Quinn. Another addition: lobbyist Al Ronan, whom I hadn’t seen on previous lists. They join, among others, former state Sen. Jim DeLeo, D-Chicago, and Mike Kasper, who has close ties to both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing firms could use the help because, so far, they’re losing in Springfield. […]

Mr. Quinn’s spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, said hiring Mr. Lavin won’t have any impact on his ex-boss. “The governor will treat this legislation just like any other,” she insisted.

* Again, this is all legal and Quinn can’t just tell Lavin that he can’t make money because Lavin doesn’t work for him any longer.

But it’s probably also fair political game and another smallish strike against the governor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    This is Illinois.
    We don’t want no reform or renewal.

  2. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    “The governor will treat this legislation just like any other,”

    Right. That is why these companies pay this old Quinnster a pile of dollars, just to be treated as if they hired anyone as their lobbyist.

    Nothing to see here people, just typical Illinois political crapsmanship!

  3. - DuPage Rep - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    There is no news here, let’s go back to talking about Walter Payton Prep and confederate flags.

  4. - BigDoggie - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    But the real question is, has Jack Lavin ever shook hands with anyone wearing a confederate flag patch!?

  5. - phocion - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    Kind of a non-story. Don’t former government officials get into this business all the time? (see, e.g. Marlow Colvin).

  6. - too obvious - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Definitely “smallish.”

    Truly trivial compared to Rauner’s GTCR baggage.

  7. - Arizona Bob - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Of course, if Quinn were serious about reform, he’d come out with a statement saying,” I strongly believe that we need to be held to a higher ethical standard in the office of the Governor. Towards this end, I will not provide Mr Lavin, or his lobbying firm, access to me nor my staff. I also will not promote the clients of his firm, or legislation they support, to members of the general assembly. This is the first step towards making my tenure here the most ethical in Illinois history.”

    Of course, doing this would severely limit Quinn’s post gubernatorial income opportunities, so this will happen when prairie chickens fly (under their own power!)

  8. - lake county democrat - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Would this be legal under the reform commission proposal which Quinn gutted like a fish?

  9. - Anonymous - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Mr. Quinn’s spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, said hiring Mr. Lavin won’t have any impact on his ex-boss. “The governor will treat this legislation just like any other,” she insisted.

    And as we know. Lobbyists don’t influence politicians. (Snark)

  10. - DuPage Rep - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==Truly trivial compared to Rauner’s GTCR baggage==

    Nice spin. Back to saying Bruce kills old ladies I see. Don’t forget to mention his divorce records and his daughter’s high school.

  11. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    There are three key questions out of this:

    1) Did Jack violate the revolving door statute with his moves? Sure looks that way.

    2) Did he run it through the traps at the AG’s office (this is their domain)? Doesn’t look like he did. And…

    3) Will this lead to a new effort to create a revolving door law for not just staff but lawmakers?

    From what I’ve seen here, the current statute hurts smaller fish while leaving the big fish free to practice their corruption…just like with our lame lobbyist laws.

  12. - Sir Reel - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Why didn’t Quinn say this fix was needed last month or last year? Because it wasn’t a campaign problem then. Governor Squeaky Clean strikes again.

  13. - A guy... - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Throw this one on the pile that keeps growing.

  14. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    Will they call it “Jack’s Law” if it passes?

    Rauner might want to rethink this. Half of his campaign staff is probably hoping this fails.

  15. - PoolGuy - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    thought when you leave state job to do something like this, you have to run it by OEIG to get their blessing. so guess Lavin did not do that, but given the Maram problem think people would have been aware this could be a potential blowback?

  16. - Bogart - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Quinn does not need legislation to fix this. If he were serious or even slightly competent, he would have already issued an executive order barring any of his staff/agencies from talking to a former “chief of staff ..etc. for a period of at least one-year.” That would effectively close the loop hole. And he could also pursue legislation in the normal course. You’re an Executive, Quinn - start acting like one.

  17. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    What do you think Pat asked Jack when he saw him lobbying right after he left in September? Do you think Pat even gave it a moment of pause?

    You know, Pat the “reformer”? Do you think Pat thought that perhaps it was a bit unsavory for his old pal to end up working their old friendship into a working gig right off the bat like that? Or, do you think Pat just winked and smiled at his old friend?

  18. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    And what about Andy Ross - he left government and immediately went to work for a state contractor or would be state contractor.

  19. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Gee Pat, that “reform” was long in coming wasn’t it? Got any other ideas up your sleeve that maybe a political campaign might jiggle loose out of Old Betsy?

    How about not letting a Lt. Governor who served with an impeached governor, not run for a full term after finishing out their impeached running mate’s term in office?

    You know, just to keep things all reformy and fun-tastic?

  20. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Just wondering-could PQ do this by Executive Order?

    PS: Rich, back in the day, you numbered the “Reform & Renewal” Posts by Chapter to avoid confusion. May have to do that again?

  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    @Cynic -

    Correction, I believe the revolving door goes through the Executive Inspector General, not the AG.

    The purpose of the Revolving Door Law is to prevent government executives from using their authority to benefit some entity in expectation of some future gain from that entity.

    It is not to prohibit officials from using the knowledge or skills they developed while in government for the benefit of others after they leave.

  22. - 4 percent - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    @ Chicago Cynic… I’m curious about those lame lobbyist laws. Seems to me that its the lawmakers and city council members who are violating the law and getting caught. Please point out the lobbyists who have been convicted recently…

  23. - Working night and day... - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    It’s rumored that the Governor’s Office requests that the OEIG give a pass on revolving door determinations to favored team players. How else would the recently former general counsel (and ethics officer) for the Illinois Commerce Commission be allowed to start representing Ameren before the Commission within weeks ofleaving the Commission?

    She and people like Jack get a waiver and all is legal…not ethical, but legal.

  24. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    4 percent, not all corrupt conduct is illegal. In fact, if you write the laws, you can ensure your conduct remains just this/side of legal. I’m talking about the broader corruption of money in the system. So for example, lobbyists should be required to disclose when they sponsor fundraisers, bundle contributions or even make contributions. That information should be kept in a unified database and disclosure should be required when lobbyists file their bi-weekly disclosures.

  25. - wordslinger - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    I don’t really see the point right now in playing whack-a-mole with campaign finance or lobbyist laws. The Supremes have told us it’s all free speech.

    The way that crew in the marble building in Washington is rolling, you’ll be lucky to hold onto any public disclosure at all.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 5:06 pm:

    YDD, you are correct that OEIG polices this but I recall the AG has a role to play as well. I recall when Brian McPartlin was denied clearance under the revolving door statute to take a job, that clearance was denied by the AG, not by the OEIG.

  27. - Mokenavince - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 6:37 pm:

    Splish splash he was taking a bath, them he changed his mind. Quinn should think of the future
    he may need to become a lobbyist and fast.

  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 7:56 pm:

    @Night and day -

    What? General Counsel??


  29. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 19, 14 @ 8:41 pm:

    Word, I am not proposing anything the Supremes have said is remotely problematic. I’m simply talking about disclosure which everyone agrees is constitutional.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Using the Apple Pencil for 3D Touch on the iPad Pro
* New Snapdragon processors bring low light photography enhancements
* Buyers of either a Verizon LG G4 or LG V10 can claim up to $200 in prepaid cards this Black Friday
* Defend your castle underground in Digfender
* Huawei Mate 8 launches tomorrow, so why not a few leaked renders?
* Google brings on mobile developers for cross-platform Vulkan API work
* Motorola announces Cyber Monday deals, new Moto X designs

* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign C Alex Avila for 1 year, $2.5 million
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois makes tax break deals with three compa.....
* New United States bill would tighten refugee ve.....
* The quiet evolution in Springfield - Chicago Tr.....
* Gov. Rauner grants clemency to 10, denies 200 -.....

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield police chief bemoans body-cam 'burden'
* Illinois makes tax break deals with 3 companies
* Most Illinois metro jobless rates fall but many lose jobs
* EXCHANGE: Fire training buildings adapt to versatile needs
* Amtrak ramps up service, offers tips for holiday travel
* Bishop Hill Museum acquires early painting by folk artist
* State treasurer to hold online auction of unclaimed property
* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage

* Review: Sociale in the South Loop
* Her Barbie was a lawyer. Now she defends victims' rights
* Meet the guy making money off your food scraps
* United, Delta bet on long oil slump
* United offers pilots 13% raise

* President Obama: ‘Disturbed’ by Laquan video, grateful for ‘peaceful’ protests
* Black leaders call for Supt. McCarthy to resign
* Viktor Tikhonov embraces off-ice role as Artemi Panarin’s guide
* Ex-Hawks winger Ben Smith working his way back from a concussion
* FOP posts notice on raising bail for officer charged with murder
* Brian Bliss remains employed by Fire
* Black Caucus renews calls for McCarthy’s ouster
* Reasons Blackhawks fans should be thankfull
* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder

* Calls for reform after McDonald video release; protesters march in Loop
* Man charged with home invasion after woman reported taken from Oak Park house
* Four new Laquan McDonald shooting videos raise more questions
* Questions remain on long inquiry before Laquan McDonald shooting charges
* Police: Two girls struck by SUV while walking on sidewalk
* 3 injured in separate South, West and Northwest Side shootings
* Indiana's proposed new religious freedom plan draws ire
* Charges dropped against protest leader accused of striking cop during Loop march
* Gov. Rauner grants clemency to 10, denies 200
* CPS reverses course on special education cuts, will spend more

* Bernard Schoenburg: Josh Langfelder took father's advice on election petition signatures
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does

* Cubit planning ahead
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 11-25-15
* Asmussen's Huddle Up: Michigan State feeling good
* PODCAST: Celestina Savonius-Wroth, U of I Library
* Ex-Rockets: Relish experience
* Arcola's Hutton takes care of business
* Updated: Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash
* The Health Reporter Is In: Nov. 25, 2015
* Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash
* Man pulled from parked car, robbed in Urbana

* Predators end record scoring drought, beat Sabres 3-2
* Nice start for Lakes
* New videos show Chicago cop pursuing teen before shooting
* Neuqua Valley can't stop Hinsdale C.
* Waukegan improvises big finish against Carmel

* 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

* Nebraska ethanol producers name former Dur......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* Laquan McDonald.
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.
* Thomas Francis McGuire interviewed on NTNM
* Random thoughts.
* Prosecutors drop charges against Malcolm London.
* Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law
* Thanksgiving by the numbers
* IAR offices closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving holiday
* Charter expansion. Where is the IEA?
* Courtenay School Clothing & Toy Drive Underway

* 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 SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller