Illinois State House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago)
Lobbying clients of Shaw Decremer, a former aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan, did not respond to requests for comment on allegations of harassment involving their influence peddler in Springfield.
Prairie State Wire reached out to Decremer clients GTI Clinic (medical marijuana), the Illinois State Medical Society (representing the state’s doctors), the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals and the National Basketball Association (NBA). None responded.
Madigan’s office never mentioned the former staffer by name when it announced in February that it was severing a relationship with him, but several media outlets later identified him as Decremer, who “volunteered” for Madigan on political campaigns while working as a lobbyist. The accusations involved inappropriate behavior toward candidates and staff.
Decremer lost some clients after the charges came to light, but he picked up some as well, lobbyist registry records with the Illinois Secretary of State show.
His keeping, and even adding, clients shows that Decremer still has access to decision makers in Springfield, government watchdog groups said.
“While I am somewhat surprised to hear that he's picking up new clients, I am sure that he still has relationships with policymakers,” Jay Young, interim director of Common Cause Illinois, told Prairie State Wire. “I can only hope that folks have learned their lessons and will be willing to step up and say something if they see something.”
The NBA was one of the clients Decremer picked up since Madigan supposedly cut ties with him.
Decremer also represents Major League Baseball, and betting houses DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. Both the sports leagues and gaming businesses are positioning themselves for a near-certain push for legalized sports betting in the wake of the U.S Supreme Court’s ruling in May clearing the path for it.
One bill, introduced by former NFL player and now state Sen. Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), would allow Illinois casinos to take wagers on amateur, professional and college sports, and manage an internet platform for taking bets. The state would receive 12.5 percent of the sportsbooks' revenue.
The professional leagues would receive 1 percent of all Illinois sports wagering under the Harris bill.
Earlier this year, the NBA and MLB hired lobbyists in numerous states, SportsHandle wrote, in anticipation of the high court’s ruling.
“As the decision in the Supreme Court Sports Betting Case (Murphy v NCAA formerly called Christie v NCAA) nears, the MLB and NBA have unleashed a lobbying effort in 16 states with roughly 30 lobbyists, pushing this ‘integrity fee’ (the 1 percent fee in Harris’ bill) as well as provisions that would allow them to control data that a sportsbook uses, as well as the right to limit wagers that sportsbooks can offer,” the online magazine said.
Decremer was one of the lobbyists selected.