Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Must Soothe CME, Not Rahm

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor once sat on the CME Group board, so he's got some pull with the organization that's threatened to leave the state.

    First it was Caterpillar, next came Sears, and now CME Group Inc., the company in charge of two major exchanges in Chicago, is threatening to move from Illinois because of oppressive taxes.

    CME Group chairman Terrence Duffy says company officials are evaluating a move, but a decision hasn't been made. Chief Financial Officer James Parisi says Illinois' tax hike in January to 9.5 percent from 7.3 percent cost CME an extra $50 million a year, the AP reports.

    In the case of Caterpillar and Sears, Quinn met with their principals and agreed to work out a deal. What will Governor Pat Quinn do to soothe this beast of a company?

    So far, he hasn't said much.

    But Rahm Emaneul, the mayor of Chicago, did address the possible departure of one of the state's major financial businesses. He was, afterall, a member of the CME board.

    "I talked to Terry (Duffy), I talked to Leo and I placed a call to Jack (all principals at the exchange)," Emanuel said. "As you know I sat on the board of CME at one point.

    "CME has grown to be successful while Chicago has grown to be successful and I believe we have many years ahead, both of us as a city and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and I'm confident they'll see what has been a successful relationship will continue."

    Emanuel said he didn't plan to go to Springfield to discuss ways to help keep the group here in Chicago.

    "We're not there yet," he said.

    But , in spite of his connections to the company, it's not the Mayor's job to go to Springfield to help retain one of the state's major financial businesses. That's Quinn's job.