Illinois House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan set to hear testimony from Exelon executive

An executive from Commonwealth Edison parent company Exelon is set to testify Tuesday before a special Illinois House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan in connection with a bribery case involving the utility.



a man sitting at a desk looking at a laptop: David Glockner, Exelon s executive vice president for compliance and audit, answers questions at a meeting with the Illinois Commerce Commission in Chicago on July 29, 2020. nn


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
David Glockner, Exelon s executive vice president for compliance and audit, answers questions at a meeting with the Illinois Commerce Commission in Chicago on July 29, 2020. nn

The six-member special investigating committee, formed this summer after federal prosecutors alleged ComEd engaged in a “yearslong bribery scheme” aimed at currying favor with Madigan, has become a partisan flash point ahead of the November election.

The panel was formed at the request of House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs to determine whether Madigan engaged in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator” and should face potential discipline. The speaker and the panel’s Democratic chairman, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside, have accused the GOP of political posturing. Republicans accuse Democrats of acting in defense of Madigan, who has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Madigan was one of several witnesses the committee’s three Republicans asked to testify, but all declined the invitation, with the exception of ComEd. Set to testify on the utility’s behalf on Tuesday is David Glockner, Exelon’s executive vice president for compliance and audit.

The six-member panel could subpoena witnesses, but that would require one of three Democrats to vote with the three Republicans to compel testimony. One Democrat also would have to side with Republicans for the special committee to approve a charge against Madigan.

As part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office announced earlier this summer, ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine and cooperate with investigators after federal prosecutors alleged in July that the utility offered jobs, contracts and payments to Madigan allies in the hopes of winning support for favorable legislation.

The agreement with federal prosecutors focuses specifically on two major pieces of energy legislation approved in the legislature in the past decade: the 2011 Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act and the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, both of which resulted in major benefits for the state’s largest utility.

In a letter Friday declining the invitation to testify, Madigan argued that “House Democrats won significant concessions, much to the chagrin of ComEd and Exelon, likely costing the companies millions of dollars in profits.”

Seeking to turn the tables on Durkin, Madigan noted the key role the House GOP leader and then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner played in negotiating the 2016 legislation, which opponents characterized as a bailout for two Exelon nuclear power plants.

“If Rep. Durkin were to put aside his current political agenda and speak honestly about his experiences with this energy legislation in which he was personally involved, I am certain he would attest that the process of negotiating that bill was bipartisan and his input was likely more valuable than mine,” Madigan wrote.

Following Madigan’s cue, Welch said in a statement Monday that he

Read more

House committee to hear proposed bill that would ban doping of horses on race day

Animal welfare advocates have been calling for federal regulations.

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce plans to hear a proposed bill that would ban the doping of horses on race day — a key concern over the safety and wellbeing of racehorses.

The Committee is expected to amend and approve the Horseracing Integrity Act, or H.R. 1754, which would establish the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority as an independent, private non-profit corporation.

The authority, which would be overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, would be responsible for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for racehorses as well as the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of the horses.

PHOTO: Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez and the field break from the starting gate during the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 05, 2020.

Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez and the field break from the starting gate during the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 05, 2020.

Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez and the field break from the starting gate during the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 05, 2020.

The bill was introduced in March 2019 by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Andy Barr, R-Ky. If approved, it would be taken up on the House floor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on Aug. 31 he would introduce compromise legislation, named the Horseracing Safety and Integrity (HISA) Act, which would incorporate many of the key provisions within H.R. 1754.

The proposed legislation comes after years of controversial horse deaths and animal welfare advocates calling for federal regulation of horse racing. In March 2019, Southern California’s Santa Anita Park introduced a zero-tolerance policy for almost all medication on race day after dozens of horses died within months of beginning the season.

“The doping of American racehorses has been a controversial issue over the past five years with hundreds of horses dying on racetracks annually, and the indictment of 37 trainers and veterinarians in March of 2020,” the Animal Wellness Action said in a statement Tuesday.

The legislation is supported by all three Triple Crown racetracks as well as the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, according to Animal Wellness Action.

“With the anticipated successful mark up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 will take a significant step forward toward passage in the House,” Humane Society President and CEO Kitty Block told ABC News in a statement. “The bill mirrors language being introduced today by Senate Majority Leader McConnell representing a state with deep economic stakes in racing

Read more

Thunder Dreamer Announce ‘Summer Sleeping’ EP: Hear “House And Garden”

Thunder Dreamer, the Indiana-based Band To Watch, have been all but silent since releasing their 2017 debut album Capture. And even though they’re back today to share new music, they’re remaining pretty quiet.

“House And Garden,” the opening track from their Summer Sleeping EP, exists in that softly pretty Wild Pink/Real Estate zone, trading out the shimmering distorted crunch of their debut for blissed-out, whispery guitar-pop, laced with daintily plinking piano and awash in a halcyon haze. In other words, it’s less thundering and more dreamy. “Clarice, I met you in Paris,” Steven Hamilton sings. “Your long, dark hair was all I saw/ Marry me, come back to Mississippi/ There ain’t no Champs-Élysées, I know/ But our love grows.”

Out today, “House And Garden” is the first of five songs on Summer Sleeping. Tyler Watkins of Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s recorded the EP throughout 2018 and 2019, and it’s coming out in November on Lonesome Morning Record Co., the label Thunder Dreamer are launching out of their Evansville, Indiana home base.

Hear “House And Garden” below.

TRACKLIST:
01 “House And Garden”
02 “Of A Million”
03 “Lorraine”
04 “It Slows Down”
05 “Blurred Out”

Summer Sleeping is out 11.6 on Lonesome Morning Record Co.

Source Article

Read more