|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 16th district
November 26, 1949 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Lang was appointed to the Illinois House in 1987 by the Niles Township Democratic organization to fill the vacancy when Lang mentor Representative Alan Greiman became a judge.
In May, 2000 Lang raised money and formed an exploratory committee for a possible bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in the 2002 race. By July, 2001 Lang had raised $1 million. After raising $1.06 million but trailing in a field of six candidates, Lang withdrew in September, 2001, and former Illinois House of Representatives member and then Congressman Rod Blagojevich eventually won the Democratic nomination and governorship in 2002.
In May, 2004, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a non-partisan public interest group, analysed 13 1/2 months (January 1, 2003 – March 16, 2004) of campaign contributions to Illinois politicians from the gambling industry. Lang ranked 4th, after the Illinois House and Illinois Senate majority leaders and the Illinois Senate President, with a total of $82,084.50.
As one of the Illinois House’s strongest gambling proponents, Lang has received hundreds of campaign contributions from the gaming industry. Lang's political fund remains one of the Illinois House’s most robust with nearly $750,000 in donations and investments as of March 31, 2011. Harrah’s operating company has donated at least $35,000 to Lang between 1999 and March 31, 2011. Neil Bluhm, a developer who opened a Des Plaines, IL casino in the summer of 2011, donated at least $16,000 as of March 31, 2011.
Lang received about $92,000 from gambling interests between the start of 2010 through July, 2011, making him one of the top recipients.
In November, 2011, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform analysed 10 months (January 2011 – October, 2011) of campaign contributions to Illinois legislators from the electric power industry, including the state-regulated electric power monopoly ComEd, its parent company Amergen, and their political action committee. Among Illinois House members, Lang ranked 3rd, after House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and House Minority Leader Tom Cross, with a total of $15,500.00.
On August 5, 2015, Crain's Business Chicago published an article titled "This top Dem lawmaker asked Rauner for a job for his kid." According to Crain's, Lang asked Governor Bruce Rauner for a job for his daughter. Lang's daughter worked at the Illinois Film Office, a unit within the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The job was temporary, and Lang called an official in the Rauner administration to ask if the official could ask the governor to either extend the job or find her another job in the state government. Crain's cited an unnamed source and wrote the following:
"He was very pushy, insisting on something, suggesting that we could find a creative way" to continue to pay her. "He said he wanted to have a good relationship with the governor, and that, if we could find a way to help this happen, we'd be happy. He said it would be unfortunate if we didn't."
The official doesn't recall if Lang specifically used the word "unfortunate," but said that, at a minimum, Lang used words to that effect.
- Parsons, Christi (1995-05-26). "MOTOR-MOUTH DOES ALL THE DEMOCRATS' STALLING". Chicago Tribune.
- Fornek, Scott (2000-05-24). "Democrat gets leg up on governor's race". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Neal, Steve (2001-07-12). "Lang could land a spot in governor's mansion". Chicago Sun-Times.
- McKinney, Dave (2001-09-25). "Lang gives up bid for governor". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Gambling Interests Contributed $9.6 Million Since '94, $3.5 Million Since `01". Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. 2004-05-20.
- McQuery, Kristen (2011-06-24). "Casino Bill's True Believer Enters the Final Stretch". The New York Times.
- Ryan, Joseph; Ruthhart, Bill (2011-07-24). "Gambling interests cover their bets with campaign contributions; In the last 10 years, gambling interests have given nearly $10 million to Illinois politicians". Chicago Tribune.
- Novak, Tim; Fusco, Chris (2011-02-21). "ILLINOIS' 50 RICHEST POLITICAL WAR CHESTS". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "ICPR Finds Million-Dollar Shower of Campaign Contributions Related to Smart Grid Electric Legislation". Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. 2011-11-02.
- Hinz, Greg (2015-08-05). "This top Dem lawmaker asked Rauner for a job for his kid". Crain's Business Chicago. Retrieved 2016-07-28.