Bill Edley was a Democratic Party state representative from central Illinois in the early 90s.
He was Vice Chairman of Illinois House Transportation Committee and budget negotiator for the Illinois Democratic House Caucus.
Most recently he was the Illinois Field Organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 in 17 Central Illinois Counties.
I got in touch with Bill after he posted the following on his Facebook page.
Some Facebook “inquiring minds” wondered why the 18th Congressional District’s Democratic State Central Committeeman, Bill Houlihan, has over $150,000 in idle cash parked in his campaign account after the 2016 Election.
Each of 18 Illinois congressional districts has one male and one female Democratic Party central committee member. Bill’s represented the 18th Congressional District since the 2014 Democratic March Primary. He won without any opposition.
Shirley McCombs, Houlihan’s CD paired female 18th District Committeewoman had $218.38 as of June -30th, 2017 and rarely spends or raises any money running for her Democratic Party office.
Bill created “Houlihan Campaign Fund” on Oct 30th 2013 and filed his statement of organization on November 5th, 2013 with the candidacy’s ‘purpose” as “18th State Central Member” for the Illinois Democratic Party.
Bill Houlihan is state director for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and has over 30 years of political experience. So it’s a “Good Thing” that he’s using his experience to raise funds for Democratic candidates and local party organizations.
However, his top contributor was a surprise to me. Diane Cullinan Oberhelman is a successful Peoria businesswoman and the spouse of Douglas Oberhelman, the former CEO and Executive Chairman of the controversial Caterpillar, Inc. She and Cullinan Companies, LLC have contributed a total of $48,300 starting with $5,000 in Dec, 2013.
CAT is moving its executive headquarters from Peoria to Chicago and has been the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation into “Caterpillar’s Offshore Tax Strategy.”
During Caterpillar’s special U.S. Senate hearing in April, 2014, Senator Carl Levin characterized CAT’s tax strategy as “the only significant real-world impact of this arrangement was an instant major drop in Caterpillar’s U.S. tax bill. From 2000 to 2012, [this] tax strategy shifted $8 billion in profits from Caterpillar U.S. to its affiliate in Switzerland. This cut Caterpillar’s U.S. tax bill by $2.4 billion during that period.”
The long and short of why Houlihan has at least $150,000 in idle cash is that he collects more than he spends
Back in 1999, Caterpillar, helped by its audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, decided that to sharply reduce the American tax on profits from the sale of parts sent from the United States to customers around the world, it had to do little more than take the name of the American parent off the invoices and put in the name of a Swiss subsidiary.
So even though the parts might have never come within a thousand miles of Switzerland, the profits accrued to the Swiss subsidiary. And Caterpillar negotiated a deal to tax those profits well below Switzerland’s norm. Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, put the rate at 4 to 6 percent.
That cut the Caterpillar tax bill by $300 million a year.
Bill asks, “Why would U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s top Illinois staffer risk taking money when Cat is under investigation by the Senate and the IRS?”
“My take is,” I said to Bill, “who needs the Republicans and a new tax bill when you can be doing what Cat has been doing all along with Democratic Party friends in high places?”
“Right,” says Bill. “There is testimony from a Cat accountant that everything they did was legal. Of course, business groups spend millions passing laws to make sure Cat’s tax policy is legal.”
“And that’s the problem.”