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Rauner and Stroger?

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014

* The gist of a new Greg Hinz piece

a company [Bruce Rauner] partly owned and on whose board he served just happened to make 11 contributions to Mr. Stroger’s campaign fund and to the Strogers’ 8th Ward Regular Democratic Organization at the time when Cook County was awarding the company a series of contracts over four years. Not to mention a $5,000 contribution to the Democratic Party of Illinois, Mr. Madigan, chairman. […]

Team Rauner responds that the candidate had “no idea” what his company was up to and that, in fact, he gave lots of financial help to independent board member Forrest Claypool.

* Some deets

Now, GTCR owned a lot of companies at the time. But according to a 1999 filing with the Florida Secretary of State, Mr. Rauner was one of only four names listed on an application to do business with that state. He was one of two directors (the other also from GTCR) with others serving as CEO and president.

HealthRev hit the ground running. On Jan. 6, 2000, the Cook County Board, John Stroger presiding, approved a three-year pact with the company giving it a cut of any Medicaid collections it could make in the county’s huge balance of charity care debt, according to the agenda for that meeting (go to page 11). The pact then was estimated to bring in about $1.2 million a year for HealthRev.

Actually, the company did much better than that. According to the county, the firm was paid $8.8 million between June 2000 and April 2003. It earned another $1.9 million after the contract was renewed late in 2002, with the bulk of that coming before it sold the company to another private group in 2004.

Almost immediately after the first contract was approved by Mr. Stroger’s county board in January 2000, good things started happening to Mr. Stroger’s personal campaign fund and his 8th Ward organization account, which supported the activities of John Stroger and then 8th Ward Ald. Todd Stroger.

* From the union-backed Illinois Freedom PAC…

Hinz notes a “fascinating” pattern in which Rauner companies make political contributions to officials who have influence over government contracts the companies are awarded and Rauner subsequently claims to have no knowledge of such contributions.

* From the Rauner campaign…

* The Healthrev Contract Was Recommended By County Board Staff.
* Healthrev Was One Of The Three Lowest Bidders For The Contract.
* The Healthrev Contract Did Not Cost County Taxpayers Any Money - Healthrev Was Paid Only A Percentage Of What It Managed To Recover For The County.
* Healthrev’s Contract Was Approved Unanimously By The County Board.

    * The Motion to Approve was seconded by Commissioner Lechowicz, who was unseated in 2002 by Forrest Claypool. Bruce was A major supporter of Claypool.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    I love how Rauner takes zero responsibility for everything that goes wrong or looks bad at GTCR, but everything that goes right he was the leader who made his clients and consultants money. The R is up there for a reason, maybe its not a coincidence his name is last.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    Raunerite….Raunerite.

    A Raunerite won the GOP Nomination.

    Don’t tell me Bruce Rauner is a Republican. Just stop that.

    Education on “Bruce Rauner” is eroding to find the real Bruce Rauner.

    Good stuff….


  3. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    “No idea” what his company was up to? No wonder Rahm and rauner get along so well. Crony politics/crony capitalism, and you think it’s bad now?!


  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Time to change his moniker from The Baron to Sergeant Schultz.

    Poor Mike Schrimpf can’t even feign outrage any more.


  5. - Chi - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    On the Board, owns the company, no idea what the company does. Governor Ty Webb.

    Ty: What’s wrong with lumber? I own two lumber yards.
    Noonan: I notice you don’t spend too much time there.
    Ty: I’m not quite sure where they are.


  6. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    The ad writes itself: Run Illinois like a business, and then be clueless on what that business is doing.


  7. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    LOL at one of the THREE lowest bidders. I understand this was an RFQ type situation, but you don’t get a contract for getting a bronze medal in a bidding contest. Maybe his firm was the best qualified. Maybe he wanted to give some goodwill back to the pols who gave him a contract simply because his firm was the best.

    The issue I have is that he never has any idea of what these companies that make him millions are doing. Either he’s reaping enoromous profits for doing nothing and lying about being a successful hands on businessman, or he’s lying about not knowing what was going on. If it is the first, then what the heck are his qualifications to be governor, that he lucks into money without doing anything constantly? Why don’t we just let our Powerball winners serve as governor then? If it’s the latter, then why is he lying? Was there maybe some quid pro quo there? If there was, then he can’t claim to be an outsider. He’s a lying insider and the exact type of shady character his supporters want him to shake out of Springfield. In either case, he shouldn’t be governor.


  8. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    In 2008, the GOP ran the “Rod & Todd” campaign tying Democrats to Blago & Todd ut Stroger, even though neither of them were on the ballot. They put out cable ads and mailers with Stroger’s picture next to the Democratic candidate, as if they were bosom buddies.

    The GOP set the precedent of trying to discredit candidates by tying them to Stroger, even when there was no tie other than being in the same party. Now there is an actual tie between Rauner and Stroger.


  9. - Chi - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    It’s amazing the lengths the Crain’s commenters are going to defending Rauner here. To save yourself the trouble, just know that they think it’s ok Rauner did this because it’s necessary in order to do business in Cook County, but deep down in his heart he wants to clean up Illinois. God bless this blog for its ability to call people on the carpet for crap like that.


  10. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    Bruce Rauner is a Republican Willy, and he is the nominee of “Our Party”


  11. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Rauner is the ultimate equal-opportunity insider. He’ll shovel money at anyone who can help him, irrespective of party affiliation.


  12. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    DPR, well said.


  13. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    When you own a lot of companies and are on their boards, you don’t spend a lot of time looking into chump change like $5,000 political contributions. It’s a cost of doing business in Illinois and most other states, just like donating to the “right” charities that have powerful pol’s relatives either leading or getting a paycheck from the charity.

    Rauner’s lost me through his lack of a coherent plan to fix Illinois’ problems, but this is just chickenstuff whining.

    Even though as an Arizonan (we have MUCH better candidate choices out here, even amongst Dems) I couldn’t vote for him anyway, the only thing I can do for him when people ask me for whom they should vote for Guv I tell them “Quinn’s much worse”.

    It may be hard for an Illinoisan to believe, but I’ve met five of the Arizona Governor GOP candidates, and they actually are mostly trustworthy, honest people who care more about the state than lining their pockets with crooked money. How refreshing and unusual for a former Illinoisan!


  14. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    –Team Rauner responds that the candidate had “no idea” what his company was up to…–

    The standard line. I suspect you’d hear it a lot from Gov. Rauner.

    I gotta get me one of those CEO gigs where you bank $50 million a year and never know what’s going on.


  15. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    Sad to say, if you’ve done business in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois, and you’re big enough to bid on these contracts (which require a ton of resources), being a politically active donor to all sides isn’t uncommon. That’s how twisted up the system has become. There are but a handful of companies that can even meet the qualifications to bid on some of these contracts. I wish it weren’t so, but every professional services company in the contest for business is politically tied into donating to every player on the field. And you wonder why and how lobbyists prosper. Here you go.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    - * The Motion to Approve was seconded by Commissioner Lechowicz, who was unseated in 2002 by Forrest Claypool. Bruce was A major supporter of Claypool. -

    Now I understand what a hedge fund is.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    It goes without saying how much respect I have for Steve Schnorf.

    Steve Schnorf is a man of impeccable character and credentials, and has been beyond loyal to Illinois, and to the GOP.

    Bruce Rauner lived in Chicago, supported and voted for Forrest Claypool, has lived his life looking for whichever politician or political affiliation can get him, or his family members, (Daughter), or his companies access that no others may be able to get.

    Raunerite.

    Bruce Rauner, like the businessman he is/was looked for the path of least resistance and the GOP Primary was the way to get to the finals.

    Bruce Rauner has clouted through Dems, donated through Dems, and in the recent, voted and supported Dems, even if ther was/wasn’t a viable GOP alternative.

    Bruce Rauner cares nothing of My Party. My Party is now a vessel that he funds with the sole purpose of his victory, while touting a PAC, that will support Dems, if they support Raunerite ideas and ideals.

    I speak not with reckless words, but with a heavy heart, and thoughtful truths. The hijacking of a party was not the Unions trying to help Dillard, but a Raunerite, looking at a shell of a Party and a quick and easy road to get to November.

    With an incredible and sincere amount of respect, - steve schnorf -, I stand by my word, Raunerite, and not Republican.

    Bruce Rauner won the GOP Primary and that is as close as Bruce Rauner gets, donations to now Stroger notwithstanding.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    - A Guy… -,

    How is being an insider “Shaking Up” and “Bringing Back” again?

    You can’t BE part of the problem, and point the finger at others and be Sgt. Schultz about his own insider…”ness”.

    Hypocrite.


  19. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    I’m going to love saying this to all my ultraconservative friends who are backing Raunervich. This guy is a RINO. A Republican in name only.


  20. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    So if is bad to donate to politicians who have their hand out, inx’t it also wrong for politicians to use their offices to gather money?

    It is either wrong for both or OK for both.


  21. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    === Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    - A Guy… -,

    How is being an insider “Shaking Up” and “Bringing Back” again?

    You can’t BE part of the problem, and point the finger at others and be Sgt. Schultz about his own insider…”ness”.

    Hypocrite.====

    lol. Not sure if you mean “me” or Rauner. You feel the way you feel. Plenty of good Republicans don’t agree with you.


  22. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    Seeing the flip-flop reactions and selective outrage in comments from day-to-day can be entertaining at times.

    Metra’s chief meets with Mike Madigan to “discuss business” and emerges with the names of two people requiring public-sector promotions in order to get what they want? 29 of his 30 petition “volunteers” have worked for the state and donate to his campaign? His law firm’s actions? Meh. Perfectly fine. Business as usual. That’s Illinois.

    A company partially owned by Bruce Rauner’s firm saves Cook County taxpayers money and donates to the head of the Cook County Board? Call the authorities. Shady judgment. Improper. Disturbing.

    Can we please try to be a bit more consistent in our standards of judgment amigos and amigas? fwiw, imho both of their behaviors undermine public trust in the integrity and honesty of our system.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    I was singling our Rauner, not you - A Guy… -.

    A lot of good Democrats voted for Blagojevich.

    Can’t find too many that admit it.

    Won’t be fooled by a coat, a watch, a Harley, and I won’t get sucked in by those claiming Rauner is not a Raunerite, but a Republican.


  24. - SAP - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    To me, Rauner looks like Arthur Carlson, but without the brains.


  25. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    Hmm.

    Knows all about money to Claypool, nothing about money to Stroger. Knows all about financial successes with managing government funds, nothing about his controlled companies that faced major fraud problems, losses and fines. Selective amnesia.


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    –A company partially owned by Bruce Rauner’s firm saves Cook County taxpayers money and donates to the head of the Cook County Board? Call the authorities. Shady judgment. Improper. Disturbing.–

    I don’t see in the comments where anyone has said any of those things.


  27. - Joan P. - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:46 pm:

    And yet if Quinn claims to be ignorant of something occurring in a state agency, Rauner jumps all over him.

    Sauce for the goose?


  28. - x ace - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 5:59 pm:

    Schrimpf should bail now. At least,he might save his
    some degree of his own reputation .


  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 6:04 pm:

    Willy:

    I voted for Rod. Once out of Four elections.

    I think you and Schnorf are looking at this sideways.

    Here is my perspective.

    Rauner is a venture capitalist.

    The Illinois GOP is a struggling company.

    This is an acquisition, pure and simple.

    Whether it is a hostile takeover, rescue, merger, or something else depends on your perspective and may only be revealed in time.

    Clearly, for the 1/3 of Republicans that Rauner has accused of being corrupt, this is a nerve-wracking time. More so for their allies.

    And we honestly won’t know whether he plans on trying to “save” Illinois or sell it off for parts and profit unless he wins. The past does not look to good.

    Having said all that, as I said since Jump Street, this election continues to be a referendum on Pat Quinn in the minds of voters. That can still change, but it may not change until very late given how unions tend to run their campaign operations, which is basically a post Labor Day blitz. That is gonna give both Democrats loyal to Quinn and Republicans like Willy some heartburn.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 6:13 pm:

    ===Here is my perspective.

    Rauner is a venture capitalist.===

    - YDD -, here is what I commented above…

    ===Bruce Rauner, like the businessman he is/was looked for the path of least resistance and the GOP Primary was the way to get to the finals.===

    And…

    ===The hijacking of a party was not the Unions trying to help Dillard, but a Raunerite, looking at a shell of a Party and a quick and easy road to get to November.===

    I think we are in agreement.

    I am a Reagan Rule Republican, and a person looking to have a hostile takeover of raid My Party to get to November, regardless how a man lived his life is not someone I agree with 80% of the time, because he flip-flopping on economic and “no social agenda”…”baloney”…with Democrats and Indies for Rauner being touted more than GOP credentials does not 80% agreement make.

    All good, - YDD -.


  31. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 6:42 pm:

    Rauner has a plan, quite detailed, to explain all the details about, ya now, the details: payton prep, all those businesses his hands on mgmt style knows nothing about, etc etc. that will come out later.

    I want to be in on his tour to know all the fears, wants, goals, etc, of each and every member of the GA. He is kryptonite. How many current members have appeared w him??


  32. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 7:06 pm:

    –LOL Willie


  33. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 7:07 pm:

    at “a lot of good Democrats voted for Blagojevich”


  34. - Chi - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 7:33 pm:

    There is an inherent contradiction in Rauner’s campaign. He’s made millions of dollars off of deals with state and county governments in Illinois. And he’s running to clean up a system that he says is corrupt beyond repair. So either A) his business career has been squeaky clean, which means the system isn’t as corrupt as he says it is, or B) the system is corrupt as he says it is, and he’s part of the problem.


  35. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 8:56 pm:

    I still agree with YDD.
    The sooner Quinn treats this race as a referendum on his own reelection, the sooner he stops playing defense and starts winning this election.

    Arguing it is not a referendum on his term as governor has been a waste of time. He is behind because he has been allowing Rauner to present Illinois government and Quinn in Rauners own terms. Quinn has needed to stop attacking Rauner and begin telling voters why they should keep the governor we already have.

    Quinn can win by showing voters he is governor and already shaking up Springfield.

    This crap about Rauner is no surprise. By the time his opponents explain it in a way that would damage Rauner, it would be December.

    Be a governor, Governor!


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 9:03 pm:

    It’s not a referendum with two candidates running.

    Framing Rauner to increase his negatives will enhance Quinn’s chances at a greater leap.

    Rauner’s negatives are no where near where they need to be and Quinn is “down” 12. Get the negatives up to close the gap, then get back to closing arguments as to why Quinn.

    Negatives. Lesser of two evils. Remember the banner at the Pride Parade? That will do more for Quinn than making it all and only about Quinn.

    “More than one way…”


  37. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:40 pm:

    Huh. Turns out this company gave 5 large to the IL Democratic Party “attention Mr. Madigan” in 2000 as well. (Source: Sun-Times)
    Wonder what his guy here will have to say about that.


  38. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:43 pm:

    So timely! Where was this report in the weeks leading up to the primary? Who did the opposition research for Rauner’s major challengers who all seemed to miss this? Mentioning donations to Ed Rendell did not resonate as much, but Stroger would have been a different story.


  39. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:51 pm:

    Quinn needs to take the Rauner hypocrisy and start running ads. “Bruce did ____, then said ____.” “Bruce claims he will _____, but he did ____.” And they need to make Bruce look silly so people laugh.

    I can still see Rod’s ad with JBT’s head bobbing up and down. Bruce has given the Quinn people plenty of material, the question is, will they use it?

    I’d start with the minimum wage stuff, where Bruce had at least three contradictory positions, then move on to all of the Bruce had no idea what was going on in his companies stuff.


  40. - Gary Kopycinski - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 8:52 am:

    Rich, thanks very much for the research. Very smart. Very fair.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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