Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » ComEd 4 trial highlights
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
ComEd 4 trial highlights

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s on some overlooked testimony yesterday by ComEd exec Scott Vogt

The 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act is best remembered for the bailout of two nuclear power plants, which funneled more than $230 million of revenue annually to Exelon thanks to surcharges on monthly electric bills statewide.

That was just one portion of a heaping plate of revenue. While most of the focus — and controversy at the time — was on the nuke subsidies, the value of that law to Exelon’s utility subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, was an estimated $1.8 billion. […]

But what likely accounts for the surprisingly lucrative aspect of FEJA for ComEd is that it was allowed for the first time to profit on its investments in energy efficiency — programs designed to help households and businesses use less power. Those programs existed before FEJA, but the charges to ratepayers were mere pass-throughs and included no profit kickers. […]

Asked to react, ComEd spokesman Paul Elsberg declined to discuss the $1.8 billion estimate. But, he said, “Without commenting on specific witness testimony, the bottom line is that FEJA provided substantial benefits to customers served by all electric utilities across Illinois, including by significantly expanding energy efficiency programs that have saved ComEd customers more than $7 billion on their electric bills, preserving nuclear plants that provide 24/7 carbon-free energy and the thousands of jobs associated with them, spurring new investment in renewable energy projects, and funding programs that train workers for clean energy jobs.”

* Hannah Meisel on the 2011 Smart Grid law

But the utility’s fortunes really turned with the passage of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act in 2011 – another of the laws central to the government’s theory of ComEd’s alleged bribery scheme. Included in that law, also known as “Smart Grid” legislation, was an overhaul of the way consumer electric rates were calculated. The new process, known as formula ratemaking, created a new tool for ComEd to recoup what it said was the true cost of running and improving electric service for its customers in northern Illinois. […]

However, the 2011 law included a provision that automatically “sunset” the formula rates a few years after they first took effect, necessitating ComEd to go back to the General Assembly to ask for the renewal of formula rates.

Toward the end of Vogt’s lengthy testimony on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Schwartz asked Vogt “what control” the sunset provision gave Madigan “over ComEd’s financial future.”

“A fair amount,” Vogt said.

He loved sunsets more than any southwest Florida resident.

* We talked yesterday about the Senate Democrats’ 2018 TV ads that pushed legislative leader term limits and mentioned Madigan by name. The Sun-Times has the full exchange, but here’s a telling excerpt where Madigan is mulling what he’s going to say to then Senate President John Cullerton

MADIGAN: And number three, John, do you understand the position you’ve put me in? In terms of do I do something or do I do nothing. So, do I just do nothing about this or do I do something about it?

You did not want to be on the receiving end of that sort of message. Whew.

* Speaking of which, here’s the Tribune

Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita told jurors in the “ComEd Four” bribery trial Monday that former House Speaker Michael Madigan for years had “total control” of the state General Assembly and ruled his fellow Democrats “through fear and intimidation.” […]

Rita also said Madigan was “very good at raising money,” and that his control of the purse strings come election time made members dependent upon his support for their political survival.

Rita said Madigan valued “loyalty to himself, to the caucus, to the party” above all else. He said he counted himself as among Madigan’s loyal supporters in the 18 years they served in the House together.

Asked how Madigan typically exercised his power, Rita paused for a second before saying flatly, “Through fear and intimidation.”

* Hannah Meisel

And when asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Streicker if he’d personally experienced that aggressive tactic, Rita responded, “yes.”

If anyone gets angry at Rep. Rita for saying what he said, they must’ve either forgotten that Madigan wanted people to fear him, or they were part of his mechanism. It’s just how things were done. Nobody ever denied it. He deliberately cultivated the image.

* Jon Seidel

Federal prosecutors planned to have Rita testify about McClain’s role in the gaming legislation. They alleged in a court filing that Rita met with the speaker in his office in 2013, where Madigan told Rita that Rita would sponsor a major gaming bill. When the meeting ended, Madigan walked Rita out of his office and McClain was standing near the doorway.

Madigan pointed to McClain and said “he will guide you,” according to the feds.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber barred prosecutors Monday from getting into the topic of gaming at the request of defense attorneys, though. Rita is also likely to testify about the influence that McClain — a ComEd lobbyist —Â had on the passage of another bill Rita sponsored: the Future Energy Jobs Act, or FEJA.

FEJA is one of the key pieces of legislation at issue in the trial.

Rita did testify about the “he will guide you” quote today, without mentioning the gaming connection.

* Today on FEJA…


* Speaking of “our friend,” this is from a federal transcript introduced yesterday where McClain is explaining why he refers to Madigan that way

I generally never refer to the speaker. I just say our friend. […]

—its uh, it’s just more, it’s easier because um, um I’ll never forget there’s one time one of the ComEd people were at a coffee shop, and it was the Speaker this, and the Speaker that, and the Speaker this, the Speaker that and the, right next to her at the table was Tiffany Madigan. […]

And so suffice it to say, about two weeks later she was no longer working for ComEd. […]

(Laughs.) And so um, the um, so if you just say our friend, no one really knows what we’re talking about so. So, uh that’s the way I’m gonna talk, if that’s okay?

…Adding… Ken Dunkin was mentioned in the trial yesterday as an example of Madigan’s power. Dunkin was again a topic today during cross-examination…


       

24 Comments
  1. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    ===You did not want to be on the receiving end of that sort of message. Whew.

    My understanding from others is that Madigan would then just look at Cullerton and that was the most uncomfortable look one could receive.

    Thanks to the 19 for ridding Illinois of him.


  2. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    Who doesn’t say Dunkin’s name with disdain? I get what Cotter is trying to get at and maybe it makes sense given the jury doesn’t understand the Dunkin situation, but wow is that a bad example given Dunkin had virtually no friends left in the party.


  3. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 11:52 am:

    I love Ray Long but that was one of the issues I had w the article. They make it out to seem that it was just a matter of Dunkin did something Madigan didnt like so MJM ran a candidate against him.

    They completely miss the context. Dunkin alienated everyone in the Dem party and the progressive movement as a whole. Everyone. Especially after Rep Golar came back from the hospital to override the Rauner veto and Dunkin still allied himself w the governor.


  4. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    I think I know why Cullerton resigned when he did.

    Avoid the mud slinging in the air please.


  5. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    Low Level:

    Do you remember who brought Dunkin into the legislature?

    I’ll wait for your response.


  6. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:05 pm:

    ==Do you remember who brought Dunkin into the legislature?==

    Yes. He won a primary in 2002 against Howard Kenner and was known to be Jesse White’s candidate. Dunkin managed to alienated Jesse White as well.

    What’s your point?


  7. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    Ken decided he didn’t need to play by the rules and became his own agent that went down in flames bucking Madigan.


  8. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    With the trial spelling so much of this out, I wonder what cost Mike Madigan had in terms of the people that left, avoided, or were in some way ostracized from Democratic politics because they didn’t want to engage in a system where the corruption was so apparent.

    We certainly learned a lot about Mike Madigan when he refused to take action to stop sexual harassment in his organization.

    I just can’t help but wonder what we’ve lost because of his hideous specter.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===became his own agent===

    Hardly. He was working hand in glove with Rauner, who was thoroughly despised by everyone in that caucus.

    Also, there’s the Golar consequence.


  10. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==Ken decided he didn’t need to play by the rules and became his own agent that went down in flames bucking Madigan.==

    Are you trying to tell us Ken Dunkin was a reformer type?


  11. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    Com Ed looks like a better trader than even Bears GM Ryan Poles who has the #1 free agent class so far according to Sporting News

    Who wouldn’t trade a 200 million dollar fine for 1.8 billion?


  12. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    Point taken Rich.

    The fact that has gone unmentioned thus far is that
    the IL Attorney General who should have been looking out for
    the citizens of IL when ComEd was pushing its rate increases
    and Smart Grid bills through the Legislature and the ICC,
    was his adopted daughter.

    Can we question her loyalty?


  13. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    Lucky Pierre:

    No, Ken was just enamored of his own ego.


  14. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    === The fact that has gone unmentioned thus far is that
    the IL Attorney General who should have been looking out for
    the citizens of IL when ComEd was pushing its rate increases
    and Smart Grid bills through the Legislature and the ICC,
    was his adopted daughter. ===

    Nobody has questioned Lisa’s actions or ethics related to this. Keep your conspiracy theories to yourself.


  15. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    Are the federal prosecutors and FBI agents going to say Obama was afraid of Madigan for this? /s

    https://youtu.be/0QScPpAxDIo?t=27


  16. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===Can we question her loyalty?===

    Lisa Madigan’s association with Mike Madigan is pretty hard to miss. I don’t think one needs permission to engage in something that has been the condition of the field her entire political career.

    There probably isn’t much there given the scope and length of this FBI investigation. One can eat a lot of steak without meeting the butcher.


  17. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    === With the trial spelling so much of this out, I wonder what cost Mike Madigan had in terms of the people that left, avoided, or were in some way ostracized from Democratic politics because they didn’t want to engage in a system where the corruption was so apparent.

    We certainly learned a lot about Mike Madigan when he refused to take action to stop sexual harassment in his organization.

    I just can’t help but wonder what we’ve lost because of his hideous specter. ===

    Your anti-Madigan bias is oozing out more than usual. Name one person that left the General Assembly or was “ostracized from Democratic politics” because they wanted to get away from Mike Madigan’s “corruption that was so apparent to everyone”.


  18. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    Hannibal:

    Please ask the legitimate candidates for office that were denied
    a fair election after Madigan sponsored candidates split the votes six ways to Sunday.

    You’re right, there’s no conspiracy, and the Feds are hard up for work.

    Please bite me.


  19. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    === Please bite me. ===

    Please be careful who you say that to. My handle is Hannibal Lecter after all. Lol


  20. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    I’m glad you caught the irony. LOL!


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    Regarding Lisa Madigan…


  22. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    Thanks, Rich. I hope this quiets some of the conspiracy minded individuals on this thread.


  23. - Our Friend’s friend - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 5:42 pm:

    Lucky Pierre- You couldn’t be more right about ComEd’s $200 million dollar fine and avoiding prosecution. They were given the equivalent of a parking ticket which the consumer ultimately pays.


  24. - oxfordian - Wednesday, Mar 22, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    The AG’s office (when Lisa Madigan was AG) was also the only one complaining about this when FEJA was being negotiated:

    –But what likely accounts for the surprisingly lucrative aspect of FEJA for ComEd is that it was allowed for the first time to profit on its investments in energy efficiency — programs designed to help households and businesses use less power. Those programs existed before FEJA, but the charges to ratepayers were mere pass-throughs and included no profit kickers. […] –


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Illinois react (Updated)
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated x2)
* Keep calm and Dolt-on
* Saying the quiet part out loud (Updated)
* Study: Illinois has the most diverse cannabis business ownership in the US (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2024
June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller