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*** UPDATED x2 - Spokesman identified - Rauner campaign responds *** DCEO official asks: “Is that a crime?”

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

* Joe Cahill on Gov. Pat Quinn’s month-long goodies tour

But lately Mr. Quinn has authorized some big-money discretionary grants to companies that agree to expand in Illinois. Like Amazon, many had strong business reasons to add staff here without state funding. This month alone, the governor gave a total of $22 million to four Illinois-based companies. We’re talking direct transfers of state money here, not loans or tax credits.

I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking the same thing: The governor is giving away our money to generate favorable headlines about new jobs in Illinois a month before voters decide whether or not to give him another term.

The commerce spokesman acknowledges a halo effect. “In most cases, I think the timing largely had to do with the companies and when they were able to go forward,” he says, but adds, “We have a good story to tell — and do I want to tell it before Nov. 4? Yes. Is that a crime?”

Joe doesn’t identify the spokesman and agrees with the spokesman that it’s not illegal.

I dunno about that. At minimum, an admission like this is bound to create an uproar over an inappropriate mixture of government and campaigning at DCEO.

And, really, what kind of a doofus admits to election day motivations for pushing state corporate subsidies out the door after the lousy year his governor has had with the 2010 NRI program? And less than a week before election day at that?

This ain’t good, campers.

*** UPDATE *** From the Rauner campaign…

“Pat Quinn is already under federal investigation for misusing millions in October of 2010, and now it looks like he’s pumped out half a billion dollars this month to boost his campaign once again. He’s throwing around taxpayer money in October in the hopes of raising your taxes in November. Throwing around more money in the last six days won’t change the harm Pat Quinn has caused Illinois over the last six years.” - Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

And adds…

As of today, Pat Quinn has doled out nearly $500 million in the last four weeks. In the last two days alone, he doled out $36 million.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Well, at least now we know who the doofus is. From an AP report posted yesterday

While Amazon’s Misener said the timing of his company’s announcement was “a complete coincidence,” a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said that agency had been in regular contact with Cronus Chemicals hoping the announcement would happen before the election.

“We have some good news here, and, yes, we wanted everybody to know about that before the election,” DCEO spokesman David Roeder said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

How brazen can he get?

- Posted by Rich Miller   124 Comments      


A big Wednesday oppo dump

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

* Uh-oh

A campaign committee formed last week to support the Libertarian Party candidate for governor is headed by a convicted felon.

The Liberty for Illinois committee has sent out direct mail pieces in support of gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm’s third party bid against Republican Bruce Rauner and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The committee, which has received all of its $200,000 in funding from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, is headed by Michael Bonivel, of Chicago, who spent at least two years in prison on two separate drug-related convictions.

Bonivel’s involvement in the race for governor is the latest twist in a push by the Operating Engineers to dilute support for Rauner among conservative voters. The Joliet-based labor organization already gave Grimm $30,000 to help tilt a hotly contested race in Quinn’s favor.

* Yikes

Court documents reveal that Bruce Rauner personally authorized a transaction which appears to have involved the flushing away of state pension money as part of a plan designed to allow Rauner and his fellow GTCR principals to escape liability in nursing home lawsuits.

* Hmm

I recently briefly examined GTCR’s SEC filings. Below are my observations about the industry generally and Rauner’s firm specifically. […]

The litany of permissible conflict of interest scenarios (many of which are commonplace throughout private equity) detailed in Bruce Rauner’s firm SEC filings, should be disturbing to any so-called sophisticated investor. Unfortunately, public pensions routinely consent to such potentially harmful conflicts either because they don’t read, don’t fully comprehend the oblique disclosures, or simply don’t care that politically-connected insiders may be profiting at the expense of stakeholders.

…Adding… One more

But this story of how someone appeared to get a job with political pull and then ended up on the payroll of the state’s Executive Ethics Commission does have a certain only-in-Illinois quality to it.

The story involves a woman named Gretchen Tucka. She was referenced several times as “Employee 218″ in a report by Illinois Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza that absolutely excoriated IDOT, charging that hundreds of people had been improperly hired by the department under Govs. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn.

…Adding… I know I said “one more,” but here’s another one

Before entrusting anti-crime program funds in North Lawndale, the Quinn administration acted on the advice of then-Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon (24th), picking the non-profit Better Boys Foundation as the “lead agency” for NRI in North Lawndale.

In February, the Illinois auditor general’s office reviewed about $388,000 that the Better Boys Foundation oversaw and concluded that 46 percent of the money went for what “appeared to be unallowable” expenses or there was no documentation to back up what was done with those dollars.

On Tuesday — more than eight months since the auditor general’s report was completed — a state spokeswoman said the foundation provided it with documentation and “we are in the process of reviewing it to determine if any funds will need to be recovered.”

In any case, two top foundation executives are no longer in their jobs. That’s because both former executive director John Holton and LaTonya Lumpkin — whose resume notes that she directed NRI in North Lawndale for the Better Boys Foundation — have landed jobs in Quinn’s administration. They were put in positions exempt from merit-hiring, anti-patronage rules, state records show.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


Quinn’s “You know me” ad reappears

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

* Gov. Quinn used this same type of ad in the 2010 primary and general elections with success. He’s certainly a man of habit…

As early voting continues this week, Governor Pat Quinn talks about his lifelong fight for everyday Illinois residents and the choice that voters face in the closing ad of his campaign for re-election.

* The new ad

* The 2010 primary ad

* The 2010 general election ad

Which do you like the best?

…Adding… The Rauner campaign anticipated this closer ad with a couple of their own Web ads earlier this month…

* Do you know Pat Quinn?

* NRI Blues

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      


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