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*** UPDATED x1 *** Plummer says he was offered ethics commission slot in exchange for his silence

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019

* Background is here if you need it. Mark Maxwell followed up with Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville)…


* Transcript

Plummer: Certain legislators are making a lot of money from industries where they have a tremendous amount of influence. And I think that the more the average voter in Illinois paid attention, the more shocked they’d be about what’s going on in Springfield. […]

This bill eliminates the opportunity for elected officials and employees of the General Assembly to be owners of privately held gaming enterprises or receive consulting… payments from those entities. […]

A lot of people were surprised by the news that broke at the end of May [about Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady receiving commissions from a video gaming company]. And everyone that I have talked to has been extremely supportive of the general concept. […]

Bill’s inclination was to work more closely with the other leaders to maybe take a slower approach and maybe go after, I think in your article you said ‘low hanging fruit,’ and I would say that, I believe those were the exact terms he used. […]

I agree that the words ‘video gaming’ never came up [in conversations with Brady], that’s not really how things work in Springfield. What was crystal clear was his intention. And his intention was this legislation couldn’t be filed. And his intention was that I couldn’t speak publicly about this legislation. And those conditions and those terms weren’t placed on the other people who were being appointed to the commission. Those terms and conditions weren’t placed on other ethics-related legislation. It was just my ethics-related legislation.

Maxwell: You’re saying he basically offered you a position in exchange for your silence.

Plummer: Yes. […]

Maxwell: Do you still want to serve on the commission?

I very much want to serve on the commission. There’s a significant difference between resigning from the commission [as Brady has claimed he did] and declining an appointment that was very inappropriate. I’d love to serve on the commission.

Other Republican Senators have confirmed to me that Brady originally supported the Democrats’ idea to create a new legislative ethics commission, but had to bow to the will of caucus members who were furious that a “low hanging fruit” ethics bill was the only thing they’d get out of the veto session. Brady and Plummer reportedly got into a heated argument in caucus about this.

Plummer is not the lying type. He may be interpreting things in a different way, but he seems genuine in his belief that he was effectively being silenced in exchange for a little campaign sweetener, when he actually wanted to make some real changes in the way the Statehouse functions. That’s not an unusual thing for a legislative leader to do, by the way. Co-opting members is part of the game.

Brady also does have some issues with his caucus, and while there’s nothing illegal with him profiting from video gaming, some of his members tell me they were most concerned with the fact that he never actually reported he was making money off the industry

The senator lists Brady Ventures but not [Midwest Electronics Gaming] on his legislative statements of economic interests, which are filed with the Illinois secretary of state under the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. That’s because payments to Brady from Midwest go through Brady Ventures and are not made to him directly.

And with the recent revelations that the Illinois Gaming Board has given licenses to people with connections to organized crime, the entire industry is now under a cloud.

*** UPDATE *** From Leader Brady’s spokesperson…

· The leader originally supported the ethics commission task force because it was evenly split and not partisan.

· If you’ll recall during Senate Executive Committee, it was changed to become a partisan commission and the leader strongly voiced his concerns.

· The leader then shared those concerns and his opposition to the changes with caucus and that is when they all decided to oppose it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    === That’s not an unusual thing for a legislative leader to do, by the way. Co-opting members is part of the game===

    “It’s like… ‘protection’… for caucus members.”


  2. - Well - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    Well there’s Brady’s first mistake. Should have offered Plummer a nice spot on the agriculture committee where he could tend the rabbits.


  3. - Lake - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    Plummer gonna Plummer.


  4. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    If the Republicans are going to position themselves as the good governance party (which I think is a decent strategy in Illinois), they need to force Bill Brady to step down from being Senate leader.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    Looking at this, clinically;

    Plummer going after Brady, first *in* the caucus, then stepping down, with the specific words in his letter, choosing how he wanted his side, then getting the response, in writing, from Brady… then this press around it all…

    Clinically, this is also bigger than some promise or deal.

    === Maxwell: You’re saying he basically offered you a position in exchange for your silence.

    Plummer: Yes.===

    Then this isn’t accidental either.

    === I very much want to serve on the commission. There’s a significant difference between resigning from the commission [as Brady has claimed he did] and declining an appointment that was very inappropriate. I’d love to serve on the commission.===

    Finishing how *Plummer* wants it end gamed.

    How this will end? I know it’s not over… yet.


  6. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    ===Brady also does have some issues with his caucus, and while there’s nothing illegal with him profiting from video gaming, some of his members tell me they were most concerned with the fact that he never actually reported he was making money off the industry…===

    Unbelievably dumb in the current corruption climate. The fact that it may be legal is outrageous.


  7. - The Captain - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    I was thinking about this this morning, when Cullerton won the opportunity to lead his caucus it was the result of a full internal process, for Brady it was somewhat less so. This may be an overly simplistic description of how I remember that process but my recollection was that Rauner was dissatisfied with how Leader Radogno was negotiating the grand bargain and he tried to sideline her in favor of Brady, not long after that Radogno announced her retirement and Brady became leader, somewhat installed by Rauner.

    Considering Rauner’s role in that process I always wondered how secure Brady’s position was with his caucus. I have no inside info but it seems somewhat less secure right now, curious to see how this plays out.


  8. - Like a rug - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Plummer is not the lying type? Wow. I’m happy you haven’t had the experiences that some Republicans have had.


  9. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Wait, I’m confused. I thought Mike Madigan was the only corrupt one.


  10. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    To the anonymous commenters equating lawmakers making money off gambling with lawmakers making money farming, please 1) pick a username and 2) think about how facially absurd that argument is.


  11. - Dave W - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    Equating the minimum wage votes to Brady’s gaming conflict is ludicrous. You could play this game for literally every vote. Everyone who buy gas voting against the gas tax, anyone who pays income taxes voting against the income tax hike. It’s an absurd comparison.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    - Dave W -

    Tell me again about Plummer and congress and not afraid of anyone. That was fun.

    :)


  13. - Dave W - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    == Tell me again about Plummer and congress and not afraid of anyone. That was fun. ==

    I’m sorry, deciding not to run for Congress somehow equals him being afraid?


  14. - Registered Agent - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==Brady Ventures [disclosed] but not Midwest Electronics Gaming==

    Seems like it’s time for the Ethics Commission to take a hard look at disclosure of underlying contractual relationships and investments of the investment vehicles that are currently being reported by elected officials. It would have been nice to know exactly how much Rauner had invested in Sterigenics and whether he actually sold his investment interest, the date of the sale and who purchased his interest.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    Aw, - Dave W -, just givin’ ya the needle…

    Now this situation isn’t over and will be one to watch well beyond the commission.


  16. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    == You could play this game for literally every vote.==
    Agreed. So maybe Plummer should stop playing this game.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Did Plummer divest in the hospitality and lumber business in Illinois? What a joke. I bet he thinks what Trump did is perfect? Sad.


  18. - Dave W - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    == Now this situation isn’t over and will be one to watch well beyond the commission.==

    I think the caucus has had enough of Brady. They just needed someone to publicly call him out to break the seal. My prediction is that he’s done come January. I have no idea who the replacement would be. Someone who isn’t self-dealing would be a good start though.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    === My prediction is that he’s done come January===

    Same time Jason is running for Congress like ya said? :)

    We’ll see.

    So far no one has publicly taken a side on this in the caucus. A coup is something not for the quick triggered.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    - Dave W -

    I’m giving the needle, it’s all good.

    But, to a coup, that’s a serious thing to flip a caucus, especially without a person in the wings.


  21. - Dave W - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    OW: now there’s blood in the water, however.


  22. - Say What? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    On the bright side, the Republican Senate Caucus has gotten more attention this week over infighting than they have gotten in the past 4 or 5 General Assembly’s on all subject matter combined due to their irrelevance.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===now there’s blood in the water, however.===

    Which members are chumming on it?

    Haven’t heard one yet?

    Has Mr. Plummer asked to the specific that the Leader step down?

    I haven’t seen any of that yet, speculating as such is putting a lot ahead of what “could”

    It’s important, what is it that Mr. Plummer wants? From what I hear … in Plummer’s words… it’s his own bill filed…and be on the commission.

    Am I missing something?


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