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Bill Brady piles on

Monday, Jan 27, 2014

* The Tribune takes a relatively quick look at Bruce Rauner’s problems with his nursing home investments, including alleged deaths and major lawsuits

But earlier this month, attorneys for GTCR and the other parties called the law firm’s complaint a “fantastical, meandering tale.”

“Each successive pleading is more chaotic, implausible, melodramatic and absurdly far-reaching in the scope of its various conspiracy theories than the last,” the defendants’ lawyers said.

In a separate court filing this month, attorneys for GTCR said the equity firm lost “substantially all” of the $60 million it invested in the nursing home firm since 1998, including $20 million when it tried to restructure Trans Healthcare’s finances in 2006.

GTCR’s court filing went on to allege that the attorneys who won the $900 million judgment for the estate of the Gainesville man previously had reached a settlement with the actual operator of the nursing home for $575,000.

Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf labeled the damage lawsuits a “classic plaintiff lawyer scheme” to “go after as many deep-pocketed entities as possible,” including GTCR and other former investors.

From what I’m hearing, we can expect to see a lot more on this topic.

* From a Sunday press release…

Senator Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Governor, today challenged his opponent Bruce Rauner to come clean with answers to questions about his dealings.

“Bruce Rauner likes to paint himself as a hands-on businessman, talking about ‘being there in person, figuring out what matters … solving problems’ and how ‘in business it’s about getting to know them on a first name basis … getting to know each other personally.’ But Mr. Rauner apparently didn’t follow his own business philosophy when it came to dealing with corrupt insider Stuart Levine,” Brady said.

Rauner has said he doesn’t know and has never met Stuart Levine, even though Levine had a $300,000 annual contract with a company partly owned by Rauner’s firm GTCR, while Levine sat on a state pensions board awarding GTCR $50 million in state contracts.

In addition, his spokesman says he had nothing to do with the management of a health care company bought by Rauner and GTCR, which owned nursing homes where patients suffered neglect and died. He resigned from the board of another firm and sold off GTCR’s stock shortly before the company nosedived in an accounting scandal that resulted in conviction of three top executives, money to GTCR, and $285 million in losses to other investors, but again left it to his spokesman explain.

“If he’s not hands-on in business, how could voters depend on him to be hands-on when it comes to spending their tax dollars and managing state government,” Brady said.

“Mr. Rauner had a perfect opportunity at a debate Thursday to be forthright, but again stood silent on the reports that are now regularly coming to light about his dealings. The voters deserve those answers and I will insist that Mr. Rauner give them,” Brady said.

“The citizens of Illinois deserve a governor who will truly be hands-on dealing with the many challenges facing Illinois and building an economy that helps Illinois business grow and that benefits Illinois families.”


…Adding… Sen. Dave Syverson, who backs Sen. Dillard in the race, posted this on his Facebook page yesterday

Remember what the Democrats did to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital regarding Sensata Co. in Freeport. While he had nothing to do with it, the facts of the issue meant little in the political world. The stories now coming out on Rauner’s inves…tments, while I’m sure there is a long detailed explanation that shows no involvement, all the public sees is the Headlines (like below) and the Democratic spun commercials. Whether we like it or not this is Illinois and Dem’s will play Obama politics (do whatever it takes, the ends justify the means) . We need a candidate that has been vetted, who can be a uniter, who’s not controversial, who can bring in Independents and Reagan Dems, who can win a General Election not just a primary, and then one who can work with both sides after for the Illinois we deserve.

Hat tip: Illinois Review.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Samurai - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    ==”Mike Schrimpf labeled the damage lawsuits a “classic plaintiff lawyer scheme==”

    More like a classic venture capital scheme to squeeze every penny of profit at any cost to others

  2. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    D-Lard’s lunge to the right is not something a non-controversial uniter does if he wants votes from anyone other than Tea Party lunatics.

  3. - shore - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    at least 3 of these guys are going to wake up a year from now and say what they’ll say to themselves for the rest of their lives-I had a clear shot at a governors mansion and I just didn’t execute.

    This is almost embarrassing. None of these guys is particularly impressive but all of them should have a reasonable path to replacing quinn and can’t seem to get off the ground.

  4. - Nonplussed - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    “…while I’m sure there is a long detailed explanation that shows no involvement…”

    Such confidence in an issue you admit you don’t know anything about.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    ==”Mike Schrimpf labeled the damage lawsuits a “classic plaintiff lawyer scheme==”

    Wonder where “Slip and Sue”, the absentee LG choice stands on that quote…

    Food for thought.

  6. - econ prof - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Is this the same Bill Brady that was repeatedly asked to “come clean” 4 years ago about his voting for legislation that directly benefited his development company in the Champaign area?

  7. - veritas - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Rauner was on the Board of Lason. He was the one who forced them to pursue the acquisition program that led to their demise. They have confessed that they started cooking the books when their targets weren’t met and that is YEARS before Rauner resigned. In fact, during the period that he was on the Board and an INSIDER, he sold off almost all of his interest in 3 separate IPOs, the last 2 of which almost certainly contained fraudulent information. His best defense - his only defense is to say he didn’t know what was going on in a company where he sat on the Board and hired the management team who are now in prison. He was a DIRECTOR!! He claims he didn’t know who Stuart Levine was - he was just another guy who was paid $25,000 a month and who sat on the Board of the Teacher’s Retirement System who gtcR was doing business with. Wait a minute - Rauner claims he personally went before the TRS Board after their first presentation was mis-handled. He went before the Board, but didn’t know who Stuart Levine was on the other side of the table and/or that he was on the payroll of one of his companies??? At minimum it doesn’t sound like he is the “hands on” leader he purports to be and when he says he is going to run the state like a business - which business: Lason, the nursing homes, the TRS?? We really need a bit of clarification on that.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Syverson is correct.

    Quinn would immediately trot out his tried-and-true, Illinois “populist” message. The race then becomes a candidate who wants to “give” and “help” vs. a candidate who wants to “take away” and “punish”.

    Game over. It might be close, but Illinois Republicans saw how well that worked in 2010. National Republicans saw how well that worked in 2012.

  9. - Samurai - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Veritas–Good points.

    Yet,through all of Rauner’s ignorance he still managed to realize huge profits derived from fraudulent accounting practices and whatever consulting Stu Levine was doing for $25,000.00 a month. What consulting was Levine doing?

  10. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    So Rauner’s latest spin is that he was basically just an absentee landlord. Getting rich and fly fishing at one of his ranches while the defenseless elderly folks in the nursing homes suffered from lack of care and resources. Nice.

    This just keeps getting worse and worse for Rauner. Who will be the first in the GOP to stand up and say the obvious, that Rauner should drop out for the good of the IL Republican Party. Or maybe let him get the nomination so the burning down can be complete and Republicans can start over fresh. Maybe not a bad idea.

    I know one thing. If this was Obama owning even ONE nursing home under similar facts, the tea partiers and Fox News junkies would be burning tires in the streets.

  11. - Throwing Stones - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Maybe Brady could build Rauner a nursing home at the end of the road he built that was never finished. then they could both reside on the board and make illinois a business friendly enviornment again. (snark of course, but i couldent resist, sorry rich).

  12. - veritas - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    Samurai: It is certainly appropriate for this question to be asked: “Who at your company (and we all know the purpose of subsidiaries is to develop firewalls in cases such as just this) hired Stuart Levine and what was his job definition?? Knowing that he was on TRS Board should have raised a red flag of conflict of interest. Why didn’t it??” Rauner would have us believe: He never met Levine - had nothing to do with his employment - that $25,000/month could have been for any number of things - and the business from TRS that subsequently flowed had nothing to do with Levine’s employment!! N.B. Levine is in prison because his employment elsewhere had EVERYTHING to do with the reward of business. Implausible doesn’t do it justice.

  13. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    There are so many angles to this story. Like tying Rauner’s hostility to unions to the nursing home scandal. Maybe if those nursing home workers were unionized, maybe the care wouldn’t have suffered so much and maybe fewer people would have died unnecessarily and prematurely.

    Hopefully some day, preferably before Rauner becomes governor, the Tribune and others will start doing their job.

  14. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    My problem is that Rauner simply seems like another vulture capitalist, sort of a Bain Capital wannabe. Say what you will about his competitors in the GOP primary but they at least give the sense of having some sense (in a good way, not just an Illinois toadying kind of way) of the difference between business and politics.

    It’s also not lost on me that the really aggressively mean-spirited commenters on local newspaper forums seem to like Rauner, while the ones who are conservative in the traditional meaning of the word seem to favor one of the others.

  15. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:31 pm:


  16. - veritas - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Rauner has tapped into our collective anger and frustration, rather than inspired us to dream. Think back to how many times in life you have acted out of anger only later to say, “What the hell was I thinking about??” If you vote for Rauner out of anger and frustration - you will have one more opportunity to ask yourself that question.

  17. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    “Rauner has tapped into our collective anger and frustration, rather than inspired us to dream.”

    Seriously, that’s really good veritas. Well done. I’m no Obama fan except w/r to his wordsmithiness. And that’s Obama quality.

  18. - veritas - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    too ovious: Thanks. The comment was, well - veritas.

  19. - Wensicia - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    It’s amazing how strangely quiet the Tribune has been on Rauner, when they’re not publishing his and his friends op-eds, that is. Yet, they’re always critical about everything and everyone else in this state? They buried the above story on page 13 of the Sunday paper, which is clearly defending Rauner.

  20. - MrJM - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    “Uhh… Sorry about the delay, Mr. Rauner, but the petard you ordered just arrived.”

    – MrJM

  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    And with that comment, MrJM pulls into an early lead for the 2014 Golden Horseshoe.

  22. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    The Raunerbots are hopefully doing a lot of nursing home volunteerism right about now. No amount of hours will save their guy of course, but would be some good penance in any case.

  23. - Ghost - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Actually I could see Rauner purchasing a breaching explosive, but I am sure he has min wage people to set those off so he won’t get hoisted by it…..

    Did we really thin gtcr attorneys would call this legit? When you lose and a judge didn’t toss the case I think the claim the case is fantasy is lost in the reality. Also as to the “loss”, that’s common, you run expense for things unrelated to that business through its accounts. Maybe draw some salary for yourself and friends etc, to offset profit and make it look like a loser. Company pays legal fees, trips, supplies, nuisance ESA vehicles, memberships, etc which can be connected loosely as an expense to that operation, but are really unneeded items and a way to draw down profit and increase expenses. No one keeps in a business for such a period if it is truly bleeding cash and it’s not just be redirected.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    In Rauner’s world, he probably figured he deserved a big raise like Jamie Dimon.

  25. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Nice to see that the Bard is being used to mock the Baron. Only on CapFax…..

  26. - Toure's Latte - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Can not believe a guy who profits from death still leads the primary.

    Oh, wait. Right. GOP.


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