The city has a new screamer. Sun-Times has raised the decibels. And is sounding them in populist manner:
“NOBODY’S WORTH $27 MIL. PER YEAR: Spotlight on Execs’ Monster Salaries on Eve of Big Hike in Your Electric Bill” [Grrrrrrrr]
It’s the Michael Cooke-just-back-from-New York Effect. See the lede. It’s journalistic demagoguery:
Stock prices at a near-record high.
And a top exec who pulled down more than $27 million last year.
Hardly signs of a company on the brink of bankruptcy, according to a growing chorus opposed to ComEd's impending rate hike for its 3.7 million customers. [Italics added, chorus being cheered on by S-T]
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn [proven rouser of rabble who once proclaimed, “There's no nice way of doing things,” referring to his tactics] is urging people to fight the hike, blaming it on "inflated egos with inflated salaries."
"It's hard to get a violin out for anyone who makes $27 million," he said Sunday, deriding the compensation package of John W. Rowe, CEO of Exelon, ComEd's parent company.
As if Rowe’s $27 mill would cover the rate hike. As if it’s a Mom & Pop place. This from the man who led a constitutional cutback of the legislature characterized by veteran Springfield correspondent Charles N. Wheeler III 20 years after its approval as “perhaps the most regrettable example of short-sighted anger in state history.” Sun-Times is in his corner. Has Editor Cooke studied Illinois legislative history?
"Nobody's worth that much, I'm sorry," said Pat Lydon, 61, a legal secretary from Old Irving Park who was visiting downtown Sunday [about Rowe’s compensation].
He did, eh? Wow. That does it. Quinn and the Citizens Utility Board and the two governor candidates had me wondering, but now I’m sure. Thanks, Sun-Times!
The heck with Forbes Mag, saying as reported by S-T, that ComEd under Rowe (since 1984) was the nation’s best-managed utility in 2005. So what!