Puff Central

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.

Robust profits.

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!


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