Tuesday, July 8, 2008

State Senator Terry Link's Towing Connections Raise Questions

State Senator Terry Link's connections to the towing industry and a possible impact on consumer protection legislation are giving him a "stubbed tow", according to the Lake County News-Sun.

As we reported in this space a few days ago, the new Illinois Commercial Safety Towing Law covers every Chicago-area county, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Winnebago (and McHenry, as of Sept. 1), EXCEPT Lake County. The new law is aimed at protecting consumers from "predatory towing" practices.

The News-Sun broke this story a few days ago, but what it didn't do at first was connect the dots to Terry Link (who stated that he saw no need to have the law apply in Lake County because he had heard no "outcry" from his constituents demanding inclusion in the new law) and the tens of thousands of dollars that Link's campaign has received from Lake County-based towing companies.

Once the connection was posted on Team America, Link's opponent, Keith Gray, dug deep into Link's campaign disclosures and came up with a long history of money taken by Link (and the Lake County Democratic Party, as well) from the same companies that one would think would benefit greatly by escaping the additional consumer protections afforded by the new law. Gray issued a press release yesterday criticising Link for what the Gray campaign deemed a "quid pro quo".

Well, it seemed like the News-Sun actually reads press releases (or Team America), because this morning's editorial is all about Link and his well-heeled towing contributors. The News-Sun editorial board "would hate to think there's a quid pro quo at work" given Link's towing connections and advantages the lack of applicability of the new law will give Lake County towers, but maybe Link will be forced to give some answers now that the light of day is finally shining on his sweetheart legislative deals for his contributors.

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