Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/3)

May 3, 2023


IDPH Reports 4 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Jury convicts all four defendants in ComEd bribery trial

On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted four former political insiders on all counts related to a conspiracy to bribe former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to benefit ComEd and advance its legislative agenda in Springfield.

Following an eight-week trial and 27 hours of deliberations, jurors found longtime contract lobbyist and close confidant of Madigan, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, and former City Club President and lobbyist Jay Doherty guilty on six counts of conspiracy bribery and falsifying records. McClain and Pramaggiore were found guilty on three additional counts of bribery.

The four were convicted of arranging jobs, contracts, and money for Madigan’s allies to influence him to support key pieces of legislation, including the 2011 smart grid bill that set a built-in formula for the rates ComEd could charge customers and the 2016 Future Energy and Jobs Act, which kept the formula rate in place.

Madigan is set to stand trial in April 2024 on a separate racketeering indictment that alleges his office operated as a criminal enterprise, providing financial incentives and awards for himself and close associates. The indictment also included additional charges against McClain.


Staffers for Illinois House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch seek to unionize: “Two dozen staffers in Illinois House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch’s office said on Tuesday they intend to unionize in a bid for higher wages and better benefits,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s IDOT secretary violated rules by letting high-ranking officials delegate duties to keep job options open, IG finds: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s transportation secretary violated a long-standing policy by allowing high-ranking officials in his department to delegate certain job duties so they would avoid triggering a revolving-door prohibition that could limit their job prospects once they left the agency, according to a state inspector general report released Tuesday,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Senate readies bill to establish all-day kindergarten for final approval: “The General Assembly is set to take a final vote on a bill establishing all-day kindergarten statewide after it passed a Senate committee Tuesday. The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to pass HB2396, which would require all Illinois school districts to offer full-day kindergarten. The bill establishes a task force to create a four-year implementation plan to get the full-day kindergarten policy in all schools starting by fall 2027,” by The Daily Line.

Bill to help South Suburban Airport get off the ground ready for final Senate vote: “A bill that could move the long-proposed South Suburban Airport forward for the first time in a decade is ready for final passage in the General Assembly. The Senate Executive Committee voted 10-3 Wednesday to advance HB2531 earlier this month, which would require the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to seek design proposals from private developers for the proposed airport near Peotone in southern Will County,” by The Daily Line.



Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson names Fred Waller as interim police superintendent: “Waller, who retired from the Chicago Police Department in 2020 after 34 years on the force, will take over when Johnson is sworn in on May 15,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

John Roberson named chief operating officer for Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson: “Roberson most recently has held a series of top jobs in the administration of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and held several position under former Mayor Richard M. Daley,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

No agreement yet on City Council committee assignments, working group of aldermen to continue meeting: “After meeting for about six hours at City Hall on Tuesday, aldermen did not come to an agreement on City Council committee assignments and chairmanships that would be in place for the next four years. A group of 12 aldermen were invited to meet on the 2nd floor of City Hall Tuesday to finalize committee assignments and select chairs and vice-chairs for each of the soon-to-be 28 council committees. Aldermen could be seen coming and going from the 2nd floor throughout the day. The group also met for at least six hours on Friday, according to some aldermen,” by The Daily Line.

City planners look to tackle pandemic-fueled issues downtown in update to decades-old Central Area Plan: “The city has kicked off the public input process for updating the decades-old guiding document for the downtown area. The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) hosted a webinar last Thursday before opening up a survey for Chicagoans to share their priorities for the next 20 years of downtown growth and development,” by The Daily Line.


Beltway Briefing: Biden Announces Run for a Second Term

What a week it has been: on Wednesday, Public Strategies hosted a reception for Rodney Davis, officially welcoming the former five-term congressman representing Illinois’ 13th District to the firm. On Tuesday, after months of teasing and a lot of built-up anticipation, president Biden announced he will seek a second term in office, joined by Vice President Harris as his running mate. And on Monday, Fox News star host Tucker Carlson was abruptly fired.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin talk about Biden’s announcement and discuss the impact on the conservative media landscape of Carlson’s sudden departure.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Is 2024 Going to be Déjà Vu All Over Again?

  • President Biden launched his fourth and final campaign for president last week, this time as an incumbent. Biden’s MO is to prove the naysayers wrong while pointing out he’s the least worst option.
  • This year has seen former President Trump expand his lead over the rest of the field in the GOP presidential primary. But there’s still a lot of time left and there are still paths to victory for other candidates to exploit.
  • The Supreme Court has concluded oral arguments for its current term, which means that more decisions will be coming soon, including in high-profile cases on environmental regulation, online speech, redistricting, and social issues.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.


Explore Articles and News

See All News