Sneed: Quinn punted on pot because of close ties with lobbyists

SHARE Sneed: Quinn punted on pot because of close ties with lobbyists

Pot shots . . .

Sneed hears rumbles that former Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision not to issue medical pot licenses in the waning hours of his term in office was driven by the list of politically connected lobbyists affiliated with the pot picks.

“I’m told Quinn, a true populist, feared the perception of any wrongdoing or favoritism — when he saw the list of highly paid lobbyists he knew repping the winning applicants,” said a top Sneed source familiar with the pot applicant process.

“So he tossed it to his successor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, to handle,” added the source.

• Backshot: Quinn’s administration had been working feverishly to vet and push through the licenses up to the last minute but felt the applicant selection process was still at a point where it was too hot to process, the source said.

• Buckshot: The Chicago Sun-Times’ Becky Schlikerman and Jon Seidel reported Monday that Jack Lavin, Quinn’s former chief of staff, served as a lobbyist for at least one of the companies pushing for a license, which had already been disqualified.

The Hillary file . . .

Wee Willie Winkie: Sneed hears former Secretary of State/U.S. Senator/first lady Hillary Clinton, who has a tender as well as a tough side, has taken to singing to her granddaughter, Charlotte, while everyone else, including granddad Bill, reads books to the baby.

• The Hillary songbook? Hillary once told Sneed she liked stomping in time around the White House to the tunes of Carly Simon, who is now a close pal, when she was frustrated and wanted to relax.

Now that would be an eyeful.

The violence venue . . .

Top cop Garry McCarthy, who was recently elected the first veep of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, was in Washington, D.C., Monday talking to President Barack Obama’s task force on violence.

• Meanwhile: Sneed hears actor/director Spike Lee is putting together a documentary film on violence and education with a special focus on Chicago.


Gimme a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Attorney Manny Sanchez, a former Dem stalwart who was unceremoniously dumped from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority board by Gov. Pat Quinn in 2012, finally played a winning hand.

• To wit: A furious Sanchez, who then flipped sides and endorsed GOPer Bruce Rauner for governor last year — has just been reinstated to the board by Rauner, who named him chairman, replacing former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr.

There ya go.

$$$$$ . . .

Gavel gab: The Denver auction of studio memorabilia from the storied Caribou Ranch — the site of the legendary recording studio of Chicago’s Grammy-award-winning musician and producer James William Guercio — netted nearly $800,000 smackeroolees!!!

• Going. Going. Gong! Conducted by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the dinner bell summoning recording artists Elton John, Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Rod Stewart, Frank Zappa, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty to the ranch’s mess hall netted $13,750 — and the Steinway piano used by Elton John to record his album featuring “A Candle In the Wind” netted $112,500.


Tit for tat! Ald. Joe Moore (49th), who resigned from the Citizen Action/Illinois board recently because of his “busy schedule,” was not endorsed Monday for re-election by the consumer advocacy group.

• Translation: “I lost by one vote,” said Moore, who claims his support for charter schools in his district did not sit well with a board, which is heavily influenced by the Chicago Teachers Union and endorsing Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor.

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Alan Cumming, 50; Mimi Rogers, 59, and Patton Oswalt, 46.

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