And up the ante!
Watch for former Gov. Pat Quinn, who is eyeing a mayoral bid, to play City Council money ball this week on behalf of ComEd customers dollar-dinged by the utility company’s bribery scandal several years ago.
Sneed has learned Quinn plans to file an ordinance with the city clerk this week seeking to leverage a major refund to Chicago’s ComEd consumers bilked out of mega millions, which ended in a flurry of federal indictments two years ago.
∞The key: Quinn’s ordinance calls for the city and the mayor NOT to renew the ComEd franchise agreement to do business in the city until the giant utility company agrees to deliver substantial refunds to Chicago customers.
∞Translation: The agreement would include specific funds earmarked for those penalized by the bribery scheme.
“The city needs to play hardball with illegal activity,” said Quinn citing “ComEd’s $2 billion profit from a political bribery scandal begun in 2011.”
In a deferred prosecution agreement in 2020, ComEd admitted to wrongdoing and paid a $200 million fine to the U.S. government, which went into the U.S. treasury and not the coffers of ComEd customers.
“A new ComEd franchise agreement with the city could mean refunds from $500 to $1,000 for Chicago ComEd consumers or businesses due to the consumer initiative in this ordinance I plan to propose,” he added.
∞Backshot: The Illinois Commerce Commission has ordered ComEd to give refunds to their customers totaling $38 million, which was based on the salaries and expenses given to ComEd employees involved in the bribery scandal.
∞Buckshot: “But it’s far from enough for a company publicly admitting wrongdoing,” said Quinn.
“It ends up with only $4.95 being given back to the utility’s customers,” said Quinn.
“That’s chicken feed! It’s insufficient,” added Quinn, who commissioned a Blueprint Polling study in late May showing 92% of 614 Chicago taxpayers — breaking evenly among men and women — supporting the city use of its franchise power to force ComEd to refund to Chicago taxpayers “the millions of dollars it collected during its publicly admitted bribery scheme.”
The phone and internet poll had a four percent margin of error.
Quinn’s proposed ordinance follows in the wake of an ICC rehearing request by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the City of Chicago, and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), which Quinn helped create to protect customers from wrongful actions from big utilities. The group wants the ICC to revisit their decision to only refund $38 million to ComEd customers.
This is personal for Quinn.
“Back in 2011, when I was governor, I vetoed a ComEd bill pitching a formula rate to guarantee their profits,” he told Sneed.
“I was against what I saw as a way to pickpocket consumers and businesses,” he added, noting “Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan backed me up.”
“But my veto got overridden by legislation supported by House Speaker Mike Madigan.
“Now we’ve got to get the money back into the right pockets,” he added.
And away we go!
Please note: Pat Quinn was not passing out mayoral nominating petitions while pushing a stroller starring his new baby granddaughter, Priya, last week. But yes, they were spotted stuffed in one of his pockets.
Former President Donald J. Trump stated in an interview this week he had the ability/power to declassify the U.S. government files seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago estate just by simply thinking it.
Sneedless to say, that IS certainly something to think about.
It’s in the book!
Michael Kutza, who masterminded the creation of Chicago’s legendary Film Festival on a “cold and snowy” night on Nov. 6, 1965 — when no one initially showed up — has written a memoir about what he called “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
An interesting tell all … sometimes naughty, sometimes nice … littered with names, names, names and pix of Kutza with the great and the glam he lured to Chicago to attend a major film festival he would place on Chicago’s roadmap: Orson Welles, Kirk Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg are among the glitterati nestled in the pages of Kutza’s memoir entitled: “Starstruck: How I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for more than 50 years.”
No laughing matter: Sneed is told conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who pushed to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election but has stunningly agreed to be questioned by the Jan. 6 House committee probing the attack on the Capitol, possesses a great sense of humor.
She’s going to need it.
Royal polish: Although Prince Harry’s American wife, Meghan — the duchess of Sussex, who endured a bit of Brit press tweaking despite her stellar attendance during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral — did draw a finger of bizarre praise for wearing the queen’s favorite Esee brand of glossy, barely pink nail polish. … Saturday birthdays: actor Ben Platt, 29, and businesswoman Stephanie McMahon, 46. … Sunday birthdays: actor Donald Glover, 39; actor/rapper Will Smith, 54, and retired Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, 57.