Thursday, October 27, 2005

Power Markets

As an industry, electric utilities have contributed over $1.3 million to Illinois state candidates since January 1, 2003. Taking advantage of Illinois’ no-holds-barred campaign finance rules, these funds have come directly from the utilities as well as from directors, officers, employees, and corporate-sponsored PACs. In most states, such large corporate giving would be illegal.

As the Illinois legislature and regulatory authorities consider utility demands for rate hikes that could cost households hundreds more each year, utilities are fighting back with generous campaign giving, concentrating their largesse in powerful legislative leaders.

For a full analysis of how campaign giving might influence the debate over public policy, see ICPR’s newest Issue Briefing, Power Markets: How the Legislature Determines Who Can Sell Electricity (and How!)