Well, that’s not what was being reported in various media outlets this week. Rauner did a round of interviews, including talking to ABC, NBC and CBS stations in Chicago, to explain himself on Monday — the day that Sun-Times story hit the streets. All three stations reported that Rauner called Duncan.
Jay Levine of CBS-Channel 2 said in his story: “Rauner admits making a call to Arne Duncan to get his daughter into Payton despite what he calls her middle school attendance record marred by illness.” […]
Mary Ann Ahern, in her story on NBC-Channel 5, said: “Bruce Rauner says yes, he made a phone call to then-Superintendent of Schools Arne Duncan, so his daughter, moving into the city from Winnetka, could get into Walter Payton College Prep.” […]
And CHARLES THOMAS of ABC-Channel 7 reported: “When his daughter’s application was rejected, Rauner admitted calling then-CPS CEO Arne Duncan to get her admitted to Payton, which had a waiting list of over 7,000 city teenagers.” […]
Rauner spokesman MIKE SCHRIMPF said this week that when Rauner told me in September he hadn’t talked with Duncan, it was because of how Rauner interpreted my query.
“They didn’t ask for him to put her into the school,” Schrimpf said of Rauner and his wife, Diana, “which I think is what the thrust of your question was.”
How can Mr. Rauner be trusted to clean up corrupt Springfield when he won’t fully explain how and why Mr. Levine made $25,000 a month trying to get government business for a company owned in part by Mr. Rauner?
As I reported last March, Mr. Rauner made his fortune as a principal in GTCR LLC, the big Chicago private-equity business. In fact, as my colleague Lynne Marek later reported, Mr. Rauner was the key “people person” in the firm, the guy who made the calls to potential clients trying to sign them up. And many of those big clients were pension funds, like the giant Teachers Retirement System of Illinois, which covers just about every public-school teacher in the state outside of Chicago.
That’s why my eyebrows went up when I discovered that in 2003, TRS initially turned down a request from GTCR to handle $50 million in its pension investments. The decision was reversed at the next TRS meeting, after Mr. Rauner personally showed up to make a pitch. And among those who voted to give the firm the $50 million was TRS board member Mr. Levine, whose legal problems hadn’t surfaced yet but who had objected at the first meeting to GTCR’s request.
Nowhere in the minutes of those meetings — and I’ve checked them for both the February 2003 meeting and for the May 2003 meeting — is a pretty pertinent fact disclosed: Mr. Levine at the time was getting $25,000 a month from a medical-bill processing company named CompBenefits that, a few years earlier, had been acquired by GTCR and three other investment companies. In other words, Mr. Rauner was seeking a favor from a guy whose bread was being very well-buttered, in part, by Mr. Rauner’s company.
* Rauner does, indeed, need to answer for this. But I checked with TRS executive director Jon Bauman about his recollections of those two meetings. Rauner claims he’s never met Levine, so I wanted to know if there was any interaction between the two men. His e-mailed reply…
They were both present at the meeting in May 2003 when GTCR got a do-over following a bad presentation at the prior meeting (I think Feb. 2003.) At that meeting, one of Rauner’s partners, a guy named Dave Donnini, showed up solo. We always encouraged money managers presenting to the Board to bring two people in case one screws up, has a bad day, or whatever. They didn’t, the presentation didn’t go well, and both Levine and John Glennon really bashed this guy’s head in. The Board almost voted it down but on the recommendation of the outside investment consultant, postponed action.
In May, Rauner came in with maybe 3 other guys and a clearly well-polished presentation. I don’t recall any controversy and few questions and the Board unanimously voted to approve the Fund.
To the Question, I don’t remember them interacting beyond a handshake or the like at that second meeting. I can tell you unequivocally that Levine never said anything to me about Rauner. He said he objected the first time because the guy was so bad and acted like the Board was a rubber stamp, in so many words.
So, maybe there’s not much “there” there, but Rauner still needs to answer questions.
Trading units of ConvergEx Group, a brokerage firm for big investors, agreed to pay more than $107 million to settle charges brought by U.S. authorities related to overcharging customers when the firm carried out their trades.
The units also agreed to admit wrongdoing, as did former employees Jonathan Daspin and Thomas Lekargeren.
Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department announced criminal charges against Messrs. Daspin and Lekargeren as well as ConvergeEx Group and a brokerage subsidiary. ConvergEx agreed to pay $43.8 million in penalties and restitution to settle those charges.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which charged the firm with fraud, said the firms used a system that made customers “unknowingly pay more than double what they understood they were paying to have their orders executed.”
In a statement, ConvergEx said the employees were no longer with the company and that the Bermuda trading desk at the center of the alleged fraud has been shut down, while the activity in question was discontinued two years ago. […]
ConvergEx has faced volatility on other fronts, too. In 2011, a deal to sell itself to CVC Capital Partners, a private-equity firm, fell apart. The next year it managed to sell its Eze Castle Software and RealTick businesses to TPG Capital, another private-equity company, in a deal valued at $1.9 billion. In June it withdrew plans to issue stock to the public but didn’t comment on its decision.
GTCR, a leading private equity firm, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company, ConvergEx Group (“ConvergEx”), to funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”). The transaction is an all cash transaction expected to close in the fall following receipt of financing and customary regulatory approvals. ConvergEx is a leading technology company offering software products and technology-enabled services to hedge funds, traditional asset managers, broker-dealers, corporations and plan sponsors. […]
“I’d like to thank GTCR for their unwavering support in helping ConvergEx become an industry-leading company. They have been a true partner,” said Mr. Velli. “We have had a fantastic period of growth with GTCR and look forward to working with CVC as we continue to execute our growth strategy and build out our capabilities to provide unique technologies that today’s marketplace requires.”
Sorenson Communications, an Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider, has agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau into whether the company billed the TRS Fund for calls made by unregistered, unverified, or ineligible individuals, and for calls that were made by or on behalf of the provider itself.
In case you aren’t aware of it, the Telecommunications Relay Service provides services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have a speech disability to communicate via the telephone.
Stung by a fortnight of miserable headlines, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is calling in some major media-relations reinforcements.
Joining Mr. Rauner’s communications shop effective next week will be Lance Trover, a longtime veteran of Illinois politics who most recently has worked for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., the state’s ranking Republican.
In a brief heads-up phone call late yesterday, Mr. Trover wouldn’t say much but insisted that his “leave of absence” to work for Mr. Rauner is not an indication of where Mr. Kirk stands. “The senator has made it clear he’s not endorsing” in the race among Mr. Rauner, Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, he said.
Trover would be the second Mark Kirk staffer to join the campaign. This is no coincidence.
“He will be attractive! He’ll be nice and helpful. He’ll get a job where he influences a great God-fearing Illinois. He’ll never do an evil thing! He’ll never deliberately hurt a living thing… he will just bit by little bit lower our standards where they are important. Just a tiny little bit. Just coax along flash over substance. Just a tiny little bit. And he’ll talk about all of this, and really being ’salesman’…and he’ll buy all the great Carhartts and $18 dollar watches.”
Come on! Who ever calls rich guys on the carpet? Rauner can do whatever he wants in this world (or our state) because he can buy it all. I gave up on believing in morality and ethics a long time ago. And those who support him and defend him are just like him.
Does Rauner have a learning disability? He’d have you believe he has difficulty understanding simple, direct questions — even when they’re presented in writing ahead of time, in the case of minimum wage.
Rauner flat-out lied to Bernie. Schrimpf’s spin is pathetic.
Can Stu Levine have visitors at Club Fed? Might be worth a trip for an enterprising reporter.
Lying, Cheating others, deception, misdirection, Democratic Clouting Connections (for the Primary, the General? ‘An insider’s Insider), big money, Chicago teachers, schools - charter and Chicago Public. Unions…
Payton Prep is the prism, will light shine through?
I read one time, “Do not equate money with success. What counts most about success is how it is obtained.” I would add: “and how it is used”. It is one thing for a Bill Gates to create something that changes the world and receives a windfall for doing so when his company goes public, but I submit it is very different when someone amasses great wealth one deal at a time and many which involve questionable methods and individuals. Levine, Rendell, Emanauel, Daley etc. My point being: When is enough - enough?? Does anyone think that the average voter in Illinois can relate to someone who didn’t stop at $100 million - or 200 million or even 500 million and say, “it’s time to give back or to get involved in public service”?? Can they relate to someone who didn’t stop when they had 2 homes - or 3 or even EIGHT, but had to have a NINTH before they took a break and decided they cared about Illinois?? It’s ironic that Springfield is also the fictional home town of the Simpsons, because Rauner makes Mr. Burns seem like a piker. The saddest cut of all for Republicans is that he will drag the ticket down in the general election when he gets creamed by the populist Quinn.
Stuart is up in Duluth for another three years. It’s cold and dreary up there this time of year. I’m sure a visit from a reporter would brighten his day.
- Former Merit Comp Slave - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 10:47 am:
This post just made my day. Money can’t buy political savvy, or even 7th grade level common sense.
- CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 10:48 am:
Gotta love it FarmerBrucey lies to Bernie
Bauman cant remember ….don’t forget he had forgotten everything until the G knocked on his door and he wet himself
FarmerBrucey’s runs/owns/profits from a bunch of firms paying big time fines…like a mini JP Morgan Chase
Too bad no asked about this stuff at the debate
“I wonder if Quinn will have to answer to any of this considering he was a statewide office holder at the time.”
Yes, Quinn certainly has a lot to answer for. There was also some really bad weather under his watch. Not to mention — I bought some cheese at Whole Foods, and when I opened it, it was moldy! What do I pay taxes for, amirite?
Rauner has a very small window of opportunity to clear this up, if it is even possible. Given the stuff in this post it looks beyond impossible. The GOP in Illinois can only hope the damage done can be gotten past quickly so that a viable candidate can beat Rauner in the primary.
Perhaps you can explain what exactly Quinn has to answer for as it relates to this topic? If you have information he was involved in any way please share it with us. Otherwise your insinuation that he needs to answer for anything just because he was, what, Lt. Governor, is laughable.
Willy, since I’ve never been a political staffer, consultant, advisor, operative, etc. maybe you can explain why a staffer would leave, come back, and then get reassigned that way. (As you were so good at explaining what “paid volunteers” are.)
I know that Kirk’s team have a reputation for being a bit aggressive (even when it’s not called for) so it must be a tough team to work on. However, aside from that, why would people move around that way?
- Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 12:10 pm:
The second time in two weeks he has tripped himself up by not keeping a straight story.
And, BTW, I think it’s great that Rauner is picking up more of Kirk’s staffers. If it goes like any of Kirk’s campaigns, any volunteers Rauner has should be dropping like flies soon, meaning they’ll head toward helping one of the others with renewed passion and vigor.
The Rauner deal that needs to be investigated is the forced sale of SBC subsidiary Security Link. The cast of characters are like chess pieces as they move around the board on this deal: SBC’s Chairman was Bill Daley, who would later become Obama’s Chief of Staff. Rahm Emanuel who had been Obama’s Chief of Staff would become an Investment Banker at the urging of Bruce Rauner and would later replace Bill Daley’s brother Richie as Mayor. Emanuel represented GTCR (R for Rauner) on the deal in which GTCR put up only $100 million of the $479 million purchase price, with Daley’s company financing the balance. GTCR then flipped the company for ONE BILLION DOLLARS - MONTHS later!! Rahm pocketed $16 million and GTCR approx. $500 MILLION!! The NY Times link to the story is: http:www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/politics/04emanuel.html?
Just your average deal that Illinois voters can relate to. Rauner’s done pretty well for an “outsider” running with Bill Daley & Rahm Emanuel. he didn’t even need Stuart Levine on this one!!
Well then, this will in fact be the most interesting race I’ve ever followed in Illinois. Mr. Rauner’s approach worked when Kirk used it, and I’ve always hoped that that was an anomaly. I guess we’ll soon find out whether money and disinformation or confidence in one’s capabilities and hence, clarity in messaging matter most in our elections.
Rich is far better than I connecting dots from Kirk to Rauner, and has done so with really good insight. It’s out there. You want to connect dots, grab a pen, I won’t stop you, and Rich has looked at it too, same with Cross and Rauner “money types” too.
It’s not that Lance is going that is telling, it’s more that Rauner thinks he may need more Flacks, and from the Kirk stable, that is what is telling.
Speaking of Rauner and education issues, here’s something worth checking out in Diane Ravich’s blog. In a post headlined “Candidate Rauner in Illinois Supports Charters & Lower Minimum Wage” (Jan. 16), she says:
I had a personal encounter with Bruce Rauner. Two years ago, I received the Kohl Education Award from Dolores Kohl, the woman who created it, a great philanthropist who cares deeply about the forgotten children and annually honors outstanding teachers. After the awards ceremony, Ms. Kohl held a small dinner at the exclusive Chicago Club. There were two tables, 8 people at each table. I sat across from Bruce and of course, we got into a lively discussion about charter schools, a subject on which he is passionate.
As might be expected, he celebrated their high test scores, and I responded that they get those scores by excluding students with serious disabilities and English language learners, as well as pushing out those whose scores are not good enough. Surprisingly, he didn’t disagree. His reaction: so what? “They are not my problem. Charters exist to save those few who can be saved, not to serve all kinds of kids.” My response: What should our society do about the kids your charters don’t want? His response: I don’t know and I don’t care. They are not my problem.
This was not a taped conversation. I am paraphrasing. But the gist and the meaning are accurate.
==Rauner is taking heat over this, and rightfully so. But when will St. Arne get his turn in the spotlight? It took more than one person to clout Rauner’s kid into Payton.==
I think the principal at Payton from then is retired, so if they talked it would be helpful. While I would also like to hear Arne Duncan’s side of the story, it might be more effective for GOP opponents of Rauner to say something like “Bruce Rauner had Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan clout his kid into school.” Emphasize the Obama part, obviously, in a GOP primary.
“a Rich Daley appointee, and Obama Cabinet member clouted Rauner’s Daughter”
Rich Daley, Rahm Emanuel, Barak Obama play real well in the GOP Primary.
Buzz words, Rauner knows buzz words.
- Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 3:23 pm:
Unfortunately, the three amigos do not have enough money to spend on an offense. Rauner’s money can bury these guys once he feels desperate and goes all-in negative.
Their best strategy (other than raising lots of cash) is to gamble that the PACS will do serious damage to Rauner, take their own shots at Rauner during the debates and save their money so that they can fill the air waves in those last couple of weeks.
“This was not a taped conversation. I am paraphrasing. But the gist and the meaning are accurate.”
“I think the principal at Payton from then is retired, so if they talked it would be helpful. While I would also like to hear Arne Duncan’s side of the story, it might be more effective for GOP opponents of Rauner to say something like “Bruce Rauner had Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan clout his kid into school.” Emphasize the Obama part, obviously, in a GOP primary.”
Keep brainstorming, folks….maybe you can eventually find something on Mr Rauner so maybe there still will be a chance everything can stay the same in Springfield.
Keep trying hard to take someone down, try to create a scandal rather than just debate Rauner on the issues.
- Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 4:31 pm:
===debate Rauner on the issues.===
MR- Be careful what you wish for. Rauner hasn’t exactly hit pay dirt when debating the issues (minimum wage, insider politics, etc.). His strength is burying his opponents with ad buys that stay with his talking points.
The best debates he has had so far have been with himself. Flippant is not a good characteristic of a serious debater.
@ medium rare === … try to create a scandal rather than just debate Rauner on the issues ===
Education *is* an issue. The part of Diane Ravich’s blog you didn’t bother to quote was a debate on that issue. If you were really earning your $7.25 an hour, you’d know people have been debating Rauner on education issues since he bought his way into the charter school racket in 2009.
Bruce Rauner is not prepared to have a debate on the issues.
When asked what he would do to turn state government around, his answer was that he would create a panel of 30 business leaders to make recommendations.
I guess he has never heard of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
Calling him a policy lightweight is an overstatement. His staff must tether him to the stage for debates to keep him from floating off like the Hindenburg.
As others have noted, if he hadnt made himself so rich through his insider dealings, we wouldnt even be discussing him as a candidate.
- Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 8:58 pm:
Indee, Rauner DOES have to answer for it, and the Media and General Populace should NOT stop asking him about it until he comes TOtally clean!–Because all we’ve gotten from him so far on it is a lot of gobbledygook, flip-floppin’ hyPOCrisy! Once and for all, Rauner, did you, in FACT, call Mr. Duncan to ask for him to find a way to get your child in or not? If you did, be a real man, and just take the hit already. Because Illinois voters may SEEM so at times, but we are NOT, in fact, stupid, and if you stay wishy-washy about this subject much longer, it might happen in March, or it might happen in November, but mark my words–you will pay for it with Defeat, and THAT’S an outcome I don’t think you are spending SEVeral MILlion dollar$ of your OWN money to end-up with. But you’d better be straight up with us, or the Voters will see to it that you put on your fake Carhartt vest one final time–and take a Hike, for GOOD…!
- Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 8:59 pm:
I had listened to both Rauner on Roe saying that he called and today’s report about what was on Capital Fax.
The one thing that was certainly missed by Roe, and not mentioned here is Rauner’s statement at the end of the audio that his primary residence is in Winnetka. If that’s the case, his girl had no right to attend CPS, even if he has a secondary condo in Chicago. Also, not explained is why she just had to attend Payton instead of New Trier.