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 A consumer watchdog group says Commonwealth Edison and other backers of newly passed rate-hike legislation contributed more to legislators than did opponents.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says an analysis shows utility companies contributed more than $867,000 this year, compared to about $185,000 by groups that lost the fight over the rate-hike legislation.

The group's executive director, Brian Gladstein, says the finding raises the question; "where did money influence public policy?" He said public policy should be about what's best for the state, not who contributes the most to politicians.

Gladstein's organization found legislators who voted for the rate hike raked in more than $7,616 apiece on average. Those who voted against the bill got $1,420 on average from groups opposed to the utility legislation.

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