* Mark Maxwell…
Senator Bill Brady’s tenure as Minority Leader faces new uncertainty after Senator Jason Plummer, Brady’s former 2010 gubernatorial running mate, accused Brady of offering him an appointment to sit on the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform in exchange for muting his criticism of Brady’s side gig working to promote video gaming terminals in bars.
“It was said multiple times that he would not appoint me if I followed through on filing that legislation that I had worked on, or if I spoke publicly about it,” Plummer told WCIA on Monday night. “I was kind of surprised that he was as forward as he was. I said to him, I said, ‘Geez, Bill.’”
“I recall the conversation with great detail because it wasn’t just one conversation,” Plummer added.
Several Senate Republicans, who asked to speak anonymously, said Plummer’s explosive allegations could make it incredibly difficult for Brady to keep enough votes in his camp to win re-election to keep his post in 2021. […]
Plummer, an Edwardsville Republican, claims Brady’s aides quizzed him about legislation he has drafted that would outlaw elected officials from earning income to operate or promote video gaming terminals. Plummer says he has drafted, but not yet filed, Senate Bill 2318, which would prohibit any member from the General Assembly from receiving any income from a gaming related interest. The idea has been discussed by a number of Senate Republicans, who say they would support it, even though it would outlaw Brady from keeping one of his side jobs. […]
“I very much wanted to serve on the commission,” Plummer said, citing his interest in passing tougher ethics laws. According to several sources familiar with the private Senate Republican caucus meetings, Plummer openly pressured Brady to pursue more stringent ethical reforms, but the Minority Leader instead opted to embrace the “low hanging fruit” Democrats offered and moved to establish a Commission to study the issue of fighting corruption, as opposed to enacting laws to ban lawmakers from serving as lobbyists, or to broaden the powers of the Legislative Inspector General.
Wait a second. The Senate Republicans, including Plummer, voted unanimously against establishing that ethics commission. From a press release…
“With the cloud of scandal hanging over the Dome, we need to be taking up serious ethics reforms not punting to another partisan task force,” the caucus said in a statement issued before the vote.
* I checked in with Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady this morning and he said Plummer has “never” spoken to him about that video gaming bill. “He’s never brought it up.”
Brady said he had discussed with Plummer the need to represent “the interests of the caucus” at the joint commission, not his own private views. He also characterized Plummer’s comments as “false accusations.”
* There’s also a passage in the story about Sen. Dan McConchie, whom Brady appointed to the commission after Plummer took his name off the list…
However, Brady did not harbor the same concerns or require the same conditions from Senator McConchie, even though he had made several public statements and filed legislation in support of tougher ethical laws.
All of those bills were filed and the statements were made before the commission resolution passed, Brady said today. He’s right about that.
* Whoever is telling the truth here kinda matters less than the news value of watching two Senate Republicans, who ran as a team in the 2010 gubernatorial election, duking it out in public. Stay tuned.
*** UPDATE *** Partial walkback?…
* Plummer letter to Brady
* Brady’s response to Plummer