Ald. Burke’s lobbying bonanza ethanol bill is spared under council ‘kill ordinance’

Source: By John Byrne, Chicago Tribune • Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2015

The development arose as the council took its usual step to clean the legislative slate for the upcoming term by eliminating most ordinances that hadn’t been acted on by the previous City Council.

According to the City Council Services office, just two ordinances will get spared under the exemption. One is a proposal to grant Columbia College the use of the public way on a block of South Michigan Avenue. And the other is the Burke E15 proposal.

Burke is one of the sponsors of the “kill resolution.” Asked after the meeting if he included the exemption in the resolution to give himself another shot at passing the ordinance, the alderman responded “I didn’t specifically note that, I’ll check.”

Burke’s ordinance is what’s known in political circles as a fetcher bill. Last year, it spurred a lobbying bonanza at City Hall as the major industries on both sides of the issue spent tens of thousands of dollars on heavy-hitters to try to persuade aldermen and aides to Emanuel that they should prevail. Now that the measure is still alive, that lucrative lobbying work can continue. Lobbyists and their clients tend to make campaign contributions to aldermen.

Emanuel’s office did not immediately respond to questions about the situation.