CHICAGO - Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady and Finance Chairman Sandy Stuart will be honoring Exelon Chairman Emeritus John W. Rowe March 19th with a special reception at the Chicago Club. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will also be in attendance. Rowe made news in 2009 when he led Exelon's split with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the Chamber's opposition to cap and trade.
Reportedly armed with negotiated exceptions on how the proposed tax system would affect Exelon, Rowe pushed for the cap and trade tax's passage. During a Wheeling Township GOP meeting, then Congressman Mark Kirk publicly credited Exelon's CEO with influencing Kirk's vote in favor of cap and trade.
The ILGOP honoree has an interesting donor record. Over the past 12 years, Rowe has written 96 checks to political candidates in Illinois state and local elections, totaling $232,000+. Over $123,800 has gone to Democrats and $83,000 to Republicans. He has donated thousands of dollars to Chicago Mayors Richard Daley and Rahm Emanuel, as well as Chicago Alderman Ed Burke (D), and Burke's wife Anne who is an Illinois Supreme Court Justice. He's also written checks to Cook County Board President John Stroger, his son Todd, and current board president Toni Preckwinkle.To provide some perspective on the candidates Rowe has backed, Preckwinkle, as I have written before, is the Cook county board president who helped secure a $100 million a year Obamacare waiver for the county to allow them to expand Medicaid early. Preckwinkle was also the woman who introduced President Obama to Reverend Wright and once said that President Reagan could "rot in hell".
Rowe also has donated to President Obama. Exelon,as a company, was President Obama's fourth largest donor in 2008. Additionally,in 2008, Senator Obama watered down nuclear regulations while accepting nearly a quarter million dollars in campaign contributions from the Exelon. Obama buddy, David Axlerod was also once a consultant to the company, and in 2011, Exelon received a more than half billion dollar loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to build a solar plant in California.
To be sure, Rowe's contributions include a good deal of money to Illinois Republicans as well as more than $22,000 to the RNC, $10,000 to the NRSC and a good deal to state level Republicans as the Illinois Review reported, and he is connected with one of the largest businesses in the state. However, what kind of a message is the state GOP and Reince Priebus trying to send by honoring an Obama crony who seems to possess no ideological compass? Sadly, it seems that this is only further proof that the already blurry line between Illinois Democrats and Illinois Republicans is becoming increasingly more blurry. We are governed by a single party--corruptocrats.
Cross posted here and here.