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Bradley Tusk has come a very long way

Thursday, Sep 14, 2017

* Journal-Standard editorial

He misses his family. He’s had to mop floors, wash dishes and scrub toilets. Maybe the work will do him good.

Because while he was governor, he avoided the hard work necessary to help Illinois thrive.

Former Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk testified during the former governor’s trial that Blagojevich often was missing in action, was hard to contact and didn’t seem to care what legislation passed.

Tusk verified what others had observed: Blagojevich had little interest in doing the hard work it takes to lead a state. A Chicago television reporter once camped outside Blagojevich’s bungalow and found the governor rarely left his home except to go jogging.

* Crain’s

Political operative Bradley Tusk got into the venture capital game by accident, but he couldn’t have had a better start. In 2011 he agreed to accept shares in a ride-hailing startup in exchange for guiding entrepreneur Travis Kalanick through the maze of New York’s taxi regulations. Those shares of Uber, paid in lieu of Tusk Strategies’ $25,000-a-month fee, are believed to be worth $100 million now. […]

His two-year-old Tusk Ventures is in the midst of closing its first fund, having raised $31 million to invest in businesses in need of help negotiating regulated markets. The fund will also take advantage of opportunities that come along among the 28 companies Tusk Ventures has a stake in. […]

“I was seen as ‘Who is this political guy, and why am I giving him money?’” he recalled. “But people started to realize [that] almost every new company is a tech company, and most new businesses are regulated by government in some way. And entrenched interests don’t just say thank you when they’re disrupted. They punch back. So we’re needed.”

A hundred million bucks. Not bad.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JoeMaddon - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    Damn… I’m doing it wrong.

  2. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Is Tusk going to run for office some day?

  3. - Yiddishcowboy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    That Tusk…what an uber-bright guy…always had a good, pragmatic head on his shoulders. Not surprised he’s come this far. Mazel tov.

  4. - DuPage - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    ==had little interest in doing the hard work it takes to lead a state==

    That description fits both Blago and Rauner.

  5. - Government Cog - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Following in the footsteps on Jerry Reinsdorf, who parlayed his knowledge of the tax code as an IRS attorney into a specialty shop creating tax shelters and eventually a $1.2 billion fortune.

  6. - Truthteller - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    I guess if you can stomach Blagojevich and Kalanick, you can get ahead in this world. That $100 million came at a high price, but I’m sure Tusk thinks it is worth it

  7. - CLJ - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    $100 million on paper for a company that burns twice that much in a month. I would have taken the $25,000 per month since some “advisers” cashed twice that amount to deal with regulatory issues for the company in Chicago.

  8. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Is Tusk going to run for office some day?

    Is personal project was to defeat De Blasio this cycle in NYC. I think he’s doing better at the private sector thing.

  9. - Annonin' - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    One of the outfits listed in Tusk Ventures is Kickback
    TThat Bradley always the jokester

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Whenever Tusk’s name comes up I can’t help but remember his vapid comments in some profile about how he didn’t understand until after being appointed deputy governor that Illinois was a diverse state with different mindsets in different regions.

    Also if Tusk is worth $100 mill out of this, I wonder how much John Wyma and Bob Greenlee have made? they work at tusk ventures too per the website.

  11. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Who knew Bradley Tusk would be remembered as one of Illinois’ more competent governors?

    Seems like just yesterday that we took the training wheels off his little bicycle and watched him ride the Blagojevich administration all by himself, like one of the big kids. He’s all grown up now. Sniffle.

  12. - Levois - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    I wish I was an investment banker!

  13. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    $100 million???? Boy, talk about being at the right place at the right time.

  14. - Downstate43 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    He almost made enough to run for real Governor.

  15. - Former Leg Aide - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:57 pm:

    Tusk was only too happy to talk about Blago after the fact. One of the reasons Illinois is in such poor shape is we don’t hold people like Tusk to account for being enablers of people like Blago.

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