* CBS2 interviewed Bruce Rauner about the renewed controversy over the alleged strings he pulled to get his Winnetka daughter into a top-flight Chicago public school ahead of other applicants…
Rauner admits making a call to former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan to see how he could get his daughter into Payton, despite what he calls a middle school attendance record marred by illness. He says principals have some discretion in admitting a small percentage of students, and parents have a right to make an appeal like he did.
“There’s nothing to apologize for that, there’s nothing wrong with it, and I would do it again and again,” he tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine in a one-on-one interview.
Rauner said he gave money to Walter Payton Prep more than a year after his daughter was admitted there. He said he and he wife have donated millions to schools.
* OK, most people would only be able to call the local principal to file an appeal. Rauner went straight to the tippety top…
So how difficult was it for an average Chicago student to be admitted into Payton College Prep the year that Bruce Rauner made a call to get his daughter in?
More than 9,000 students applied for 353 open seats in the 2008-09 academic year, according to data obtained by the Sun-Times through the Freedom of Information Act. This happened before the Chicago Public Schools system changed its policy on attendance records. That means for the thousands of students competing for 353 open seats, consideration was supposed to be based on test scores, grades, and students’ attendance when they were in seventh grade.
Mike Schrimpf, spokesman for Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign, told the Sun-Times that Rauner’s daughter “was admitted off the principal’s list, the same way many students have been admitted.”
Data shows that even by that measure, it’s an elite crowd.
Fewer than .0014 percent of Payton students were allowed in through principal discretion that year. […]
A source with specific knowledge of the admission told the Sun-Times that Rauner’s daughter was not a so-called “principal pick” but was let in following a phone call.
And he didn’t just write one check to the school. He also wrote a half million dollar check to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation.
* Also from the Sun-Times…
Here are the largest donations the Rauner Family Foundation has made between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2011. The foundation had assets of $50.7 million as of the end of 2011.
1. $500,000 to Donors Trust, Alexandria, Va., 2011
* From the Donors Trust “Building a legacy for liberty” website…
The founders of DonorsTrust recognized the need for philanthropic resources and services to help donors effectively manage their charitable giving. Moreover, it was clear to them that there was no infrastructure dedicated to a nationwide community of liberty-minded donors and organizations.
DonorsTrust was established as the sole donor-advised plan dedicated to promoting a free society and serving donors who share that purpose. To date, DonorsTrust has received over $400 million from these donors who are both dedicated to liberty and to the cause of perpetuating a free and prosperous society through philanthropic means. Since inception, DonorsTrust has granted out over $300 million to over 1000 liberty-minded charities.
From the Donors Trust FAQ page…
I need to reduce the capital gains tax liability associated with my appreciated stock, closely held stock, or unexpected windfall. Can DonorsTrust help?
You own appreciated stock and want to distribute it to a number of charities and avoid the capital gains tax. Make one transfer of stock to DonorsTrust and receive the market value for your gift. Then at your leisure, request DonorsTrust to distribute multiple gifts from the transfer.
* From The Independent…
A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt.
The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.
However, an audit trail reveals that Donors is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch who, with his brother David, jointly owns a majority stake in Koch Industries, a large oil, gas and chemicals conglomerate based in Kansas.
Millions of dollars has been paid to Donors through a third-party organisation, called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, with is operated by the Koch family but does not advertise its Koch connections.