The AFL-CIO, which has nearly 900,000 members in Illinois, filed a complaint with the Office of the Executive Inspector General, alleging that Rauner is violating the state’s procurement code because of Rauner’s former chairmanship of GTCR. GTCR has won millions of dollars in Illinois pension business, through the Teachers Retirement System.
According to the complaint, Rauner must wait two years before donating money to any candidate — even himself — under the procurement code.
Rauner resigned from GTCR on Oct. 19, 2012. Under the AFL-CIO’s way of thinking, Rauner would have to wait until Oct. 19 2014 (right before the general election) before he could donate to his own campaign.
“We filed a complaint and we feel very strongly it is a significant conflict of interest,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Mike Carrigan told the Sun-Times. “We strongly feel is a violation of the Illinois procurement code.”
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf contended the unions were “allies” of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and were acting “beyond the point of desperation.”
“The complaint fails on its face and is conceptually ridiculous. Bruce first contributed to his exploratory committee nearly a year ago, and the government union bosses finally filing this now only confirms that they know Bruce will defeat Quinn and shake up the status quo in Springfield,” Schrimpf said in a statement.
Officials from the Office of Executive Inspector General said they could not comment on the complaint, which the AFL-CIO filed late last week. An official in the inspector general’s office was not familiar with any previous complaints over alleged violations of prohibited donations by state contractors dealing with political candidates.
* The complaint can be found by clicking here.
* And here’s the actual statute referenced in the complaint…
Any business entity whose contracts with State agencies, in the aggregate, annually total more than $50,000, and any affiliated entities or affiliated persons of such business entity, are prohibited from making any contributions to any political committees established to promote the candidacy of (i) the officeholder responsible for awarding the contracts or (ii) any other declared candidate for that office.
This prohibition shall be effective for the duration of the term of office of the incumbent officeholder awarding the contracts or for a period of 2 years following the expiration or termination of the contracts, whichever is longer.
This is a fascinating case because I think the statute could be seen at least a couple of different ways. Still, I gotta wonder whether prohibiting somebody from spending cash on his own campaign would be constitutional.
My question, which hasn’t yet been answered, is: “Why the heck did the unions wait until Rauner had spent $5 million to file this thing?”