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150’s Sweeney loses Tollway board slot

Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017

* Frankly, I’m surprised he lasted this long

Labor union leader James Sweeney, who accused Gov. Bruce Rauner of trying to “destroy the labor movement” in Illinois and once parked an inflatable rat on the tollway lawn, won’t be reappointed to the tollway board.

Rauner chose not to keep Sweeney, president of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. His term expired in May.

A Local 150 spokesman confirmed an official told Sweeney last week that his term wouldn’t be renewed. […]

“They’re losing a lot of expertise … there’s no longer any directors with firsthand knowledge (of road construction) during one of the largest capital expansions in the tollway’s history,” Local 150 Communications Director Ed Maher said.

I mean, the guy did everything he could to deny Rauner a 2014 GOP primary win, funded a Libertarian Party candidate against Rauner in the general, helped engineer the early AFL-CIO endorsement of JB Pritzker and is now actively looking around for a Republican to run against Rauner in the 2018 primary.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    Yeah, can’t argue that this guy has been a loyal soldier, but there are consequences to maximizing antagonism to unions.

    Never understood why Rauner didn’t try to divide trades and public sector unions. It was right there for the taking. I mean, I’m glad, I just don’t get it.


  2. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    Shed no tears for the 1%’er. He’ll be just fine.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Isn’t there a conflict of interest there?

    If a company meets the specs of the bid, what’s the problem if it’s a union company or a non-union company? State law says the bid has to go to the lowest bidder, no?


  4. - Inspector Gadget - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Well now he has more free time to find somebody to run against Rauner in the primary.


  5. - Inspector Gadget - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Also it will be interesting to see who Proft puts in that appointment.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Also it will be interesting to see who Proft puts in that appointment.===

    I think the “new” dynamic is Proft suggests to Tillman. Now, Tillman can either veto the choice outright or its sent back to Proft for clarification.

    Once Tillman is secure within the Proft choice, Tillman let’s Rassmussen know their choice and waits, probably after a 5pm news day because of the new Comms Crew, for the shell press release for Tillmam and Proft to edit then sent to the IPI news service to accidentally leak it as a scoop. Then, taking the IPI work-product, the Friday news dump magically announces that the scoop is true.

    How much of this is snark depends… lol


  7. - Man with a Plan - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    The Tollway loses its only construction guy, and we’ll see what kind of crazy replacement Governor Tillman comes up with. Politics over the public interest.


  8. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Anonymous - Lowest “responsible” bidder I think. The lowest bid can be penny wise and pound foolish.


  9. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    @Oswego Willy-

    You left out the part where @StatehouseChick drops by Proft’s show to opine “So true, so true!” ‘Though I guess she won’t be publicly criticizing Rauner comms staff no more.


  10. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Wonder if Sweeney will bring donuts to his last official meeting?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    If you had the “Over” on Sweeney’s tenure at the tollway, please, head towards the “Pay” window with your stubs.

    The more Rauner and the trades have their clear differences, the more I’m with the Trades.


  12. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    I hope the governor buys him a clock as a going away gift.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    ===I hope the governor buys him a clock as a going away gift.===

    Usually it’s a $25 gift card, but a clock always makes a great gift.


  14. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    Its kind of heartening to see someone in leadership take one on the chin for the work he does,standing up for his membership.

    A rarity


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Who does Proft appoint? Well Tilman is having people at IPI do a two page analogy on what’s wrong at the toll way. And whoever can squeeze Madigan’s name in the most ( with a sprinkle of two mentioning Cullerton ) then gets forwarded to Rasmussen for the appointment and have Proft approval


  16. - Man with a Plan - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    Let’s not forget this appointee will have to be a Democrat.


  17. - Henrico - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    Sweeney added no value to that board. The average member of the Operating Engineers got nothing from his service on it. It was just another side hustle for a guy in an organization full of people working side hustles.


  18. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===Let’s not forget this appointee will have to be a Democrat.===

    I hear Ken Dunkin may be available.


  19. - Inspector Gadget - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Lets not forget it takes Senate Approval so it isn’t happening to soon.


  20. - FBT - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    This will give Sweeney more time to meet with Corey Lewandowski to plan Sam McCann’s campaign.


  21. - Mama - Wednesday, Jul 26, 17 @ 9:04 pm:

    The Tollway will be handed over to the private sector now.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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