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ComEd’s lobbying crew is heavy on Madiganites

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019

* WBEZ

Fifteen of the 23 firms that worked for Commonwealth Edison in Springfield this year deployed lobbyists with direct ties to powerful Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic boss Michael Madigan, a WBEZ investigation has found. […]

Will Cousineau, another trusted Madigan aide, lobbied ComEd together with colleagues from the Cornerstone Government Affairs firm.

Cornerstone reported that it had stopped representing ComEd in the Illinois Capitol on Oct. 25. […]

In addition to [former Rep. John Bradley, who also is no longer representing ComEd], the retired Democratic members of the Illinois House who have landed gigs as ComEd lobbyists are Annazette Collins, Kevin McCarthy, Donne Trotter and Howard Kenner.

Donne Trotter left the House in 1993 after he won his state Senate race. Trotter and Madigan weren’t exactly close.

Cornerstone’s Statehouse lobbyist list includes Chris Sarley, who worked for retiring GOP Congressman John Shimkus.

Mike Kasper is listed in the story. He is most definitely a bigtime Madigan guy, but his two partners are former high-level Senate Democratic and House Republican staffers.

Travis Shea is listed as a current ComEd lobbyist and former MJM staffer, but he was booted from his firm in March. The head person at his old firm, Chip Englander, is a former Rauner guy.

ComEd also employs lobbyists like former GOP Rep. Ed Sullivan, former GOP Sen. Dave Sullivan and the brother of Leader Durkin’s campaign consigliere Tom Walsh.

* But, yeah, make no mistake, that company does indeed have a whole lot of Madigan types on its lobster payroll.

…Adding… The article lists Jake Miller as a Madigan guy. Miller (no relation) was on Tech Review (legal) staff for one session 17 years ago.

…Adding… I checked in with Mike Kasper and he said ComEd was originally Jim Fletcher’s client. Fletch is now retired, but, Kasper said, ComEd is principally handled by Courtney Nottage, who is a former chief of staff for Senate President Emil Jones. Kasper said he does do work for ComEd as a partner in the firm, however.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

30 Comments »
  1. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    Well…..duh. He is the speaker after all.


  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Also water is wet.

    But having someone in a leadership role as long as he has been kind of naturally leads to this sort of thing.


  3. - Phenomynous - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Don’t see any of those GOP guys with cancelled ComEd contracts though…


  4. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    MJM has been at this trade for so long I am surprises there are not more of his folks logrolling.


  5. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    If the ILGOP could actually win enough elections they might get control of the house and the senate and then they could get a bigger share of the corruption/lobbying pie.

    Alas they have not. Poor them.


  6. - Gallactic Cupcake - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    Just imagine that whenever Speaker Madigan is no longer speaker, all these folks will actually have to work.


  7. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Don’t forget the sky is blue also. Until and unless there are clear and firm restrictions on post elected office lobbying this will continue. And just when will that happen? i think you know the answer.


  8. - Dudley Magoo - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    - Phenomynous - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Don’t see any of those GOP guys with cancelled ComEd contracts though…

    Your assuming the several Madigan connected ComEd lobbyists left voluntarily. According to the SOS website 4 Madigan folks left or were removed in the last few days. If they left on their own then it was a heck of a coordination.


  9. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    This makes sense since the House Democrats have, by far, the largest caucus and a diverse one to boot.


  10. - Phenomynous - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Magoo, I think you misinterpreted my comment.


  11. - Dudley Magoo - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    @phenom

    Sorry. Yes I misinterpreted them.


  12. - southsider - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Michael Best also has two of the most capable women in Springfield, neither of whom have Madigan ties.


  13. - sigh - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    That article was so bizarre, names of really well connected people mixed in with the seemingly not very well connected, like grabbing names out of a hat. And it’s my understanding the vast majority of staff at the capitol work for one of the four leaders. So if you’re staff in the capitol working for the Dem side of the aisle, you work for either Cullerton or Madigan officially even if you don’t actually report to them personally. While Republican staff works for Brady or Durkin. And then people that understand state government well can become lobbyists. No news there. I respect NPR reporters. Surely they get that?


  14. - southsider - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    == And then people that understand state government well can become lobbyists. No news there. I respect NPR reporters. Surely they get that? ==

    Ah, yes, but reporters need something to do between indictments.


  15. - west wing - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    Illuminates how effectively Madigan created a machine in government and the private sector … and built a loyal army of staff and former staffers in places of influence outside of government … not sure they teach this in Illinois Government classes but they should as an example of the machine


  16. - DougChicago - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    Point well taken. It’s a bipartisan cesspit.


  17. - Anon 2:21 - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    So, if you worked for Madigan decades ago, you’re still tattooed as a “Madigan” person? What about those who left staff and found a life as a legislative consultant without his help? Are we to believe that once a staffer always a staffer?


  18. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    First of all, I think this article is completely unfair, but I would expect nothing less from Mihilopoulos. He is a “hit piece” gotcha journalist that would never let the facts get in the way of his undying pursuit to drag people through the mud.

    There were several people on that list that are actually good people and hard-working lobbyists that would never engage in the type of corruption that we have been hearing in the news. The responsible thing to have done is to wait and see where this probe shakes out and then do a deeper dive into whatever the fallout may be - A lot of innocent people are seemingly having their reputations affected by non-factual hit piece articles like this.


  19. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    Didnt ex Rep Shirley Jones wind up w a contract to represent ComEd? After chairing the Public Utilities Committee?

    “Once a staffer, always a staffer”. Well, lets say as an ex staffer you get a gig without his assistance. Fair enough. You still are going to use that on your resume and in that sense once a staffer always one” indeed.


  20. - JIbba - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Personally, I was surprised that ComEd needs 23 lobbying firms. Perhaps that is the magic number needed to employ all the “right” people.


  21. - Anon 2:50 - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    =You still are going to use that on your resume and in that sense once a staffer always one” indeed.=

    Methinks (nod to Ms Sneed) there aren’t a lot of “ex-Madigan staffers” who are leading with that factoid on their resumes these days.


  22. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    === Methinks (nod to Ms Sneed) there aren’t a lot of “ex-Madigan staffers” who are leading with that factoid on their resumes these days. ===

    What youthinks would be wrong.


  23. - southsider - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    == - Anon 2:21 - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    So, if you worked for Madigan decades ago, you’re still tattooed as a “Madigan” person? What about those who left staff and found a life as a legislative consultant without his help? Are we to believe that once a staffer always a staffer? ==

    More than 3,000 people have been on staff during Madigan’s tenure. I’d anticipate 2,500 never met the man. But the assumption is every single one of them is only effective or employable because Madigan.


  24. - Sonny - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 3:20 pm:

    Madigan people who worked for even short stints constantly broadcast it all over the place that they were ‘Speaker staff.’ Their badge of honor of being ridden by weirdos dropping out of the scene in disgrace finally publicly mutated into something shameful and now it’s not cool but it’s not WBEZ that is sending them to parties for minions only and writing it on their resumes and bios.


  25. - {Sigh} - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    If Brady or Durkin were Majority Leaders, I’m sure we would see a lot more republican lobbyists.


  26. - Nagidam - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    It shouldn’t shock anyone that a company would hire people that know state government and are connected to political leaders. Why would it shock anyone that more of these lobbyists are connected to the longest tenured speaker in the United States history. But what is the story? We got a long way to go before we find out. I think it would be prudent for the Governor to wait to see what transpires with these investigations and make decisions based off of what is understood.


  27. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    And the list of lobbyist for any number of other large companies doing business in the Once great state of….You hire them for their expertise and connections Duh.


  28. - Southwest Sider - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 7:00 pm:

    Term limit fantasy..


  29. - Downstater - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 7:49 pm:

    News flash, everyones lobbying crew has Madigan people. That’s kinda the point.


  30. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Nov 6, 19 @ 9:33 pm:

    Rich, I really think the term here should be “Madiganders.”


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