Lou Lang (D-Skokie)
Lobbyist Yehiel Mark Kalish confirmed that he is “lobbying hard” for Lou Lang’s (D-Skokie) vacated House seat, but he says that no deal is in the works whereby Lang would get Kalish’s clients in exchange for the seat.
Kalish called North Cook News after reading a report that he would turn his clients over to Lang, who retired to become a lobbyist with Advantage Government Strategies, in exchange for the seat.
“No, no, no, no,” Kalish said. “There is absolutely no deal like that.”
A source familiar with Skokie politics contacted North Cook News saying that an exchange of clients for the House seat had been agreed to and, “I’m totally against it because it’s being done for all the wrong reasons.”
Kalish says he is now registered in Illinois to lobby for two pharmaceutical clients, but that he is “de-registering” from them shortly and they will not be transferred to Lang.
He did confirm that Lang is interviewing prospective replacements on Sunday and that he will announce his decision immediately following the interviews.
Kalish says he has been in the “political sphere” for 15 years and considers himself very qualified for the job. The other top contender, he says, is longtime Skokie Trustee Randy Roberts.
“But you never know. Lou could be really impressed with someone else once he finishes the interviews,” Kalish said.
Kalish did not return an earlier call for comment on the story.
Lang, 69, announced his retirement just two days before the start of the new two-year session. He began his tenure in the House in 1987.
He resigned as deputy majority leader last May when a legislative activist accused him of sexual harassment.
The 16th District includes Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove and portions of neighboring Chicago.