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Rep. Lang steps down to become lobbyist

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* I told subscribers about this earlier today. AP

A former Democratic leader in the Illinois House has resigned his seat.

Lou Lang announced Monday that he’s ending his 32-year legislative career. The 69-year-old from Skokie has joined the lobbying firm Advantage Government Strategies.

* Tribune

Lang will join a lobbying firm headed by the late Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s former chief of staff Nancy Kimme. He started his tenure in Springfield in 1987 and became known for his advocacy for expanded gambling and for ushering in Illinois’ medical marijuana law.

Last year, Lang left his leadership post after a former medical marijuana advocate accused him of retaliation, verbal abuse and “inappropriate behavior.” Months later, the legislative inspector general wrote that “evidence does not support” the complaints, after the woman who made the accusations didn’t participate in the resulting investigation.

Lang won re-election in November. Asked on Monday if last year’s experience led to his resignation, he said: “Not at all.” […]

Kimme’s lobbying success in Springfield came in part from her Republican connections after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s election. Now, Lang adds depth to the firm with the new Democratic domination in Springfield.

* Illinois News Network

“One enduring feature of any legislative career in Springfield is transition – entering and leaving the legislature. For me, I too will be part of this year’s transition,” Lang said in a news release. “Rather than beginning a 17th term in the 101st General Assembly, I have decided to resign my seat effective today, Jan. 2, at noon.”

The 16-term lawmaker was appointed to the House in 1987 and was seen as a probable successor to longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan. […]

He will remain in his political position as a committeeman for the Niles Township Democratic Organization and Executive Vice Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.

Local Democrat leaders from Suburban Cook County will choose a successor to the 16th House District. Leaders will interview those interested in seeking the post, according to Lang’s news release. Because he’s keeping his post in the local township Democratic organization, Lang will likely have a say in who succeeds him.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

30 Comments »
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    The revolving door continues.


  2. - Gooner - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    I had a ton of respect for Rep. Lang, but the idea of winning and then resigning is a problem. That decision should have been made long before the election to allow voters to decide who will fill the seat.


  3. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Have they announced the State House Plate numbers yet? This would adjust everybody’s down by 1


  4. - Truth Squad - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    If this isn’t further proof of how badly Illinois needs a cooling period for elected officials to lobby, I don’t know what is.


  5. - Colin O'Scopey - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    Good luck to Rep. Lang. His departure will leave a hole in the Dem caucus. I suspect that he was recently informed that he will not be invited back to the leadership ranks and the thought of being a “back-bencher” didn’t appeal to him so he leaves on his own terms. He will be missed.


  6. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    So what does HDem leadership look like now?


  7. - Colin O'Scopey - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    =So what does HDem leadership look like now?=

    Ask this question on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning after the new GA takes office. Mr. Speaker seems to be keeping his cards close to the vest on this issue.


  8. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    It will be interesting to see who Mr. Lang brings into the business. Will he be a rainmaker or just a hired hand?


  9. - Just Curious - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    Good luck to Rep. Lang. Enjoyed working with him.


  10. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    The Committeeman weighted votes will be Lou Lang’s November 2018 votes which were:

    Pat O’Connor 718 2.7%
    Ira Silverstein 12,755 47.6%
    Lou Lang 13,340 49.7%


  11. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Since Pat O’Connor could be the deciding vote is Lou & Ira disagree and he doesn’t want anything to blow up in his face in the middle of his contentious re-election race, expect the replacement to be very thoroughly vetted


  12. - Shytown - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Sadly, there will be some who will hire him despite his baggage.


  13. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    === Sadly, there will be some who will hire him despite his baggage. ===

    An unfounded accusation ought not constitute “baggage” that cripples a career.


  14. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Here is an interesting study:

    Today, Gov. Rauner, who tried to expunge Kimme and company from the record, is loading up the tin can van to move out of the mansion after failing to break even 16 percent in the City - a far cry from JBT’s 25 percent in 2014.

    Meanwhile, Nancy is hiring some of the biggest names in Illinois politics, which, along with the respect she and her team have garnered in the building, will keep her a power house in the Statehouse.

    Take note, Raunerites: “You play with fire it may hurt you or burn you, lessons are blessings you should learn through.”


  15. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    32 years and now a lobbyist. Only in America.


  16. - Dr Dean - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===An unfounded accusation ought not constitute “baggage” that cripples a career.===

    BINGO.


  17. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    Gee, that is surprising! A retiring Illinois GA member going into lobbying. What will they think of next?


  18. - Public Citizen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    Deprive the voters of the right to elect their representative and immediately go to work for a lobbying firm….Absolutely disgraceful.


  19. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Evidently my tinfoil hat was off kilter and had the wrong old guy Dem leader retiring.

    Lang was a good leader. He’ll be hard to replace.


  20. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    Any respect I had for Lang just went out the window. He had to wait until well after the election to make this decision? Now he gets to appoint his replacement because he is committeeman?


  21. - jim - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    another marginal character who won’t be missed. on top of his overly fat pension, he’ll collect overly fat lobbying fees. I predict he’ll be an outstanding influence peddler, particularly with the Democrats controlling all three branches of government.


  22. - Wilhelm Frankel - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    Rep Lang always made time to speak with people like me. He was always a vert cordial gentleman. I wish him the best.


  23. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:49 pm:

    Is this the ‘swamp’ thing I have been reading about?


  24. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 7:21 pm:

    == Is this the ‘swamp’ thing I have been reading about?==

    Retiring GOP legislators go right to the rail too. Three offhand are Matt Murphy, John Millner, and Dave Sullivan. So this is not a partisan thing.


  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 7:30 pm:

    Does Sandack lobby for Skype?


  26. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 7:57 pm:

    anon2.definetly bipartisan.


  27. - justacitizen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 9:05 pm:

    ===If this isn’t further proof of how badly Illinois needs a cooling period for elected officials to lobby, I don’t know what is.===

    Agree. I thought there were revolving door rules prohibiting immediately using contacts and influence as a lobster. This doesn’t smell good; in fact it sticks.


  28. - Dr Dean - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 9:54 pm:

    ===Agree. I thought there were revolving door rules prohibiting immediately using contacts and influence as a lobster. This doesn’t smell good; in fact it sticks.===

    No, that’s only state employees. Elected officials are not restricted.


  29. - Generic Drone - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:42 pm:

    This kind of garbage needs to be fixed or this state will continue its downfall.


  30. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, Jan 8, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    jim, are you against all public pensions? According to life charts, a 69 year old male has a life expectancy of approximately 13 years. So actuarily speaking, he projects as minimal impact on GARS. His service beyond normal retirement age should be lauded. Obviously, he continued to serve for reasons other than his pension.


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