Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Sickening
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Sickening

Friday, Feb 25, 2005

I was willing to give ICC Chairman Ed Hurley the benefit of the doubt, but I was wrong (and I should have known better, since he’s such a pawn of the utility industry).

In a scathing rebuke, Attorney General Lisa Madigan accused the state panel that polices utilities of breaking Illinois’ open meetings law and ordered it to quit letting power company executives pay for commissioners’ restaurant meals.

One of Madigan’s top lawyers this week informed Illinois Commerce Commission chairman Ed Hurley that it was possibly illegal for him to have let Peoples Energy executives buy his and another commissioner’s lunch last month, even though Hurley paid back the executive later.

Moreover, Madigan’s office said the lunch date violated the state’s Open Meetings Act because two of the ICC’s four commissioners were present. The office “strongly recommended” the commissioners undergo a special training session to brush up on public meeting laws.

Worst of all, Hurley still doesn’t get it.

“I’ve got to assimilate some of this information and determine appropriate behavior, I suppose,” Hurley said of Madigan’s letter. “But again, I don’t think we did anything so terrible.”

The governor’s appointments to the ICC are at the very heart of my problem with him. The contractor contributions, the manipulations, the Elvis posing… that’s all small stuff.

Almost nothing that state government does impacts more people directly than utility regulation. The undeniable fact that this governor has appointed blatantly utility-friendly tools to the ICC - who have then marginalized or ousted pro-consumer staff - completely undercuts his claims that he is a progressive reformer.

His last appointment of a total unknown was designed to please both sides. That wouldn’t have been a bad idea if the ICC wasn’t already so heavily weighted against consumers. He should have appointed a real reformer, like former state Sen. Patrick Welch. But Welch has been told that he was too consumer friendly for the governor’s taste.

Right now, there is only one ICC commissioner who is on the side of consumers, and he was appointed by George Ryan.

Governor Blagojevich should be ashamed of his record. He has flagrantly pimped for SBC, ComEd and Peoples Energy for two years straight. He ought to be held accountable.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Greg - Friday, Feb 25, 05 @ 10:07 am:

    Rich,

    Lynne Kiesling (I hope I got the html correct) at the Knowledge Problem indirectly addresses your sickened feelings.

    The problem isn’t so much politicians shaking down regulated industries, it’s the model of regulation that creates an incentive for politicians to shake down “utilities.”

    The public good model is obsolete — if it were ever the best way of regulating what were thought to be “natural monopolies.” If you cut the size and scope of government, you will have less sleaze in government. By promoting transparency, competition, private property rights, etc. you develop a regime — however imperfect — of markets that do a better job of providing services at lower costs.

    Lynne, who writes from Chicago no less, does a better job of explaining this than I do. I also know that she in the past has worked with Lt. Gov. Quinn on electricity regulation.

    The whole consumer vs. business paradigm is becoming obsolete. De-regulate properly, bring in competition and it becomes business vs. business seeking the good graces of consumers.


  2. - Pat Collins - Friday, Feb 25, 05 @ 12:51 pm:

    Speaking of P. Quinn, I wonder how much stomach he has left these days. Keeping quiet while Milorad does his thing must really be taking a toll on that guy’s health.

    Either that, or he has an excellent stress management system!


  3. - Anonymous - Sunday, Feb 27, 05 @ 1:03 pm:

    I guess that depends on what Greg means by “deregulated properly.” Total deregulation that establishes a fair playing field and protects the public good is a pipe dream.

    Why? Because no matter how you establish the rules of the game, human nature is that someone is going to try to cheat. The game needs a referee. In a simple game like boxing, one referee. In a complex game like football, many. In the energy game, with all of its complex financial relationships, you need an entire agency of referees.

    We’ve already experimented with the notion of a totally deregulated business environment in this country. It was great for business in the short term, but the public good suffered tremendously. I don’t think we want to go back to the days of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”

    Instead, lets look at better systems of selecting our regulators, like direct election of the ICC. In the mean time, a few editorials from the Tribune and other major papers demanding Hurley step down would be a good start on getting Blagojevich to clean up his act.


  4. - Anonymous - Sunday, Feb 27, 05 @ 3:37 pm:

    According to insiders at the ICC, Chairman Hurley has maintained cozy relationships with executives of the companies he is charged with regulating since his appointment and promotion to chairmanship by the governor. The People’s Lunch scandal is allegedly just one of many such lunches shared by the Chairman and utility lobbyists.

    But don’t take the insiders’ word for it - look no further than Hurley’s arrogant dismissal of Attorney General Madigan’s troubling findings that members of the ICC had violated state laws meant to protect the public interest. Hurley doesn’t seem to get the fact that he has finally become a massive albatross around Blagojevich’s neck.

    The governor pledged “reform and renewa”l in his first for the office, a re-election campaign is just around the corner and the long unpaid “campaign promises invoice” is about to come due.

    The majority coalition led by Hurley on Blagojevich’s ICC have consistently abandoned consumers in its rulings on utility issues and proven their allegiance to friends at abusive monopolies like People’s Gas.

    Bravo to the Tribune for its recent editorial regarding the Illinois Gaming Board fiasco and the need for a reshuffling of that regulatory deck. It is high time for the Tribune to lend ink, and its powerful voice, to a more serious issue: the need to dismiss Chairman Hurley from the ICC.

    If the governor is serious about keeping a pledge to “reform” - cleaning up the Commerce Commission is a great place to start. Better yet, a strong first-step would be ending Chairman Hurley’s anti-consumer reign at the ICC.


  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 05 @ 11:13 am:

    Governor Blago’s indifference to the pro-utility ICC and its utility lap dog chairman is absolutely astonishing and is clear evidence of his empty promise to appoint pro-consumer commmissioners as part of his reform and renew state government pledge.

    Would the governor tolerate Hurley’s arrogance and abuse of power if Hurley were a holdover chairman from the previous administration? No way. Blago would have called a press conference and demanded the chairman’s resignation! Forget the press conference and news release…start governing by getting rid of the ICC chairman.


  6. - ole timer - Tuesday, Feb 6, 07 @ 10:32 am:

    There’s a switch, Rich. The Hairdo posts of your that I’ve looked at in the past seemed to blame Hairdo’s ’staff’ for the problems. Maybe you’re finally getting it that he’s at the root of this. Banish me if you will.


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 6, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    Ole timer, this post is two years old.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Taking a sick day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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

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

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

...............
<


Loading


* Atlas shrugged off as thriving Illinois metropolis..
* Automatic voter registration big step forward -.....
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight o.....
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight o.....
* Illinois Receives $16-Million Federal Grant to .....
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight o.....
* Pritzker 'glad' to see McCann amplify Rauner's .....
* Pritzker 'glad' to see McCann amplify Rauner's .....


* White Sox reliever Farquhar has brain hemorrhage during game
* White Sox reliever suffers brain hemorrhage during game
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight opioid abuse
* Ramsey Lewis to play Chicago Jazz Festival before retiring
* Illinois universities see rise in union activity
* Astronomical society opens observatory in Central Illinois
* Marker dedicated for W. Indiana's 'Little Syria' community
* Race to raise college scholarship money for Dreamers
* EXCHANGE: Veteran talks about building during wartime
* EXCHANGE: Former Peru resident restores old family tavern

* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years
* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* Duckworth, daughter make Senate history
* Report: Raoul hired ex-state worker convicted in fraud case
* Central Illinois couple suing DCFS over handgun ban at home day cares
* Meet the Springfield Fire Department's first female division chief

* Chicago's largest privately held companies
* Yes, we need the United Way
* Techie Neal Sales-Griffin takes aim at Emanuel
* Corrections
* The 0.3%: Million-dollar earners in Illinois


* Cubs catcher: Yu Darvish ‘too comfortable’ with 2 outs, unravels again in loss
* Yoan Moncada hurt, Lucas Giolito awful in White Sox’ latest ugly loss
* Horoscope for April 22, 2018
* Man critically injured in shooting in Homan Square
* Man critically injured in shooting in Homan Square
* Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea no-hits MLB-best Red Sox
* Elderly woman found pushing dead body around in shopping cart
* White Sox’ Tim Anderson’s antics offend Astros’ Justin Verlander
* 2 buildings catch fire in Back of the Yards
* Man fatally shot during gun sale robbery on Far South Side: prosecutors


* Yu Darvish’s fifth-inning struggles continue in Cubs’ 5-2 loss to Rockies
* A tough day gets worse for White Sox in another blowout loss to Astros
* Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse
* Last known person born in the 19th century dies in Japan at age of 117
* Sean Manaea throws no-hitter in Athletics' 3-0 victory over Red Sox
* Mitt Romney must compete in Utah primary for Senate nomination
* Off-duty officer involved in shootout during pharmacy robbery in Edgewater
* Toddler unharmed when gunman opens fire, killing 1 woman and injuring another on West Side
* Elderly woman found pushing dead man in shopping cart
* Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega agrees to talks as deadly protests rage on


» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race
» #647 Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B


* Guest View: Doing nothing on transportation funding is no longer an option
* Our View: Let the people vote on fair maps
* United Way: Dedicated volunteers affect lives every day
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: A nation at risk
* Ed Rogers: Anyone who wants to connect with people could learn a lot from Barbara Bush
* Thumbs Up: To women who break down barriers
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M


* 'Illinois River is an artery of the well-being of Illinois'
* Pepsi plant CEO from Southern Illinois injured in I-57 rollover crash involving semi
* Carbondale passes more than $54 million operating budget
* Fire at Arconic creates smoke, but no injuries
* Illinois universities see rise in union activity
* Tickets still available for Skillet, For King & Country at SIU Arena on Thursday
* Ebertfest 2018: Day 4
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight opioid abuse
* Midwest engineering students show off skills at SIUC's concrete canoe races
* I-64 driver hits cow, gets rear-ended by state trooper going after speeding suspect


* Girls soccer: St. Edward wins Rosary invite
* Softball: Late run lifts Huntley over St. Charles East
* Tough opening month continues for White Sox
* Softball: Patient Palatine pulls in RM title
* Boys gymnastics: Glenbard West's big day includes lopsided invite victory

* Rep. Randy Hultgren recognizes Loyola men'...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren visits McHenry's Pi...
* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House approves Curbelo, Hultgren bill prot...
* Bustos pushes to make 'blue wave' happen i...
* Pritzker, other Illinois Democrats in DC: ...
* A record number of women are running for o...

* Booker, Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Introduce H......
* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......

* Tammy Duckworth becomes first senator to v......
* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth bringing baby to Sena......

* The Columbia University student revolt. 1968.
* IEA RA delegate writes their disappointment in vote on NRA.
* TenMarks to shut down operations after 2018-19 school year
* University of Akron to lift the curtain on new esports program at forum in April
* Trump says he ‘doesn’t know what a community college means’
* Report: Instructional Design Support Helps Increase Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses
* Universities must expand reach to stay competitive
* Class Central Learner Survey (2017): MOOC Users Highly Educated, Have Experienced Career Benefits
* "Meeting House Tavern" Coming Soon To Clark & Winnemac
* The Week In Chicago Rock


* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

  
* Huawei’s upcoming AI assistant is a Black Mirror episode in real life
* eSim collusion: AT&T, Verizon being investigated by US
* Apple is replacing some 13-inch MacBook Pro batteries
* Apple is replacing the batteries for some 13-inch MacBook Pros
* Amazon won’t let users review James Comey’s new book if they didn’t purchase it through the site
* Netflix’s Cargo has a few new ideas for the zombie genre
* The Wikileaks Shop says that Coinbase has suspended its account

* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts
* Farquhar looms over White Sox in 10-1 loss
* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts
* Moncada pulled after 2nd inning by Renteria
* Moncada pulled after 2nd inning by Renteria
* Farquhar stable after ruptured brain aneurysm
* Lopez looks to work deep in finale with Astros


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

Archives
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
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




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller