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JB Pritzker has financial ties to Jim Edgar

Monday, Sep 24, 2018

* Anita Bedell at Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems e-mailed me the other day to ask why this part of Mark Maxwell’s story about former Gov. Jim Edgar’s kind words for JB Pritzker hasn’t received more notice

Edgar talked fondly of Pritzker, calling him “bright” and someone who can “learn on the job.”

The two men met in 2007 when they both sat on the board of YouBet.com, an early gambling website for horse racing. Less than two years after Pritzker joined the board at YouBet, the state legalized advanced-deposit wagering, but only granted a license to four companies. YouBet was one of them. It raked in $34.7 million in its first year operating officially on the books, according to records kept by the Illinois Racing Board, though the website and operation were up and running before the state legalized it.

The company has since merged with a website called TwinSpires, a Churchill Downs entity that was also a charter member approved for a business license in Illinois. Last year, TwinSpires handled 46 percent of all legal online horse racing bets placed in Illinois.

Pritzker, like Edgar, wants to legalize sports gambling in Illinois. After a speech to the City Club of Chicago last Friday, Pritzker floated the idea as a potential revenue stream to pay for some of the items on his political wish list.

* Illinois Review

The Courier-Journal in Kentucky reported that Churchill Downs opened Derby City Gaming, with “900 ‘instant racing’ machines similar to slot machines, and a “50 seat sports bar featuring stacks of television screens”.

Could the company be positioning the facility for sports gambling? Read more

ILCAAAP NOTE: Churchill Downs also owns Arlington Park in Illinois and has been lobbying for slot machines, table games and Internet sports gambling at racetracks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Chicagonk - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    The Duchossois family (owners of Churchill Downs and Arlington Park) have done a lot of business with JB over the years. It’s a small world for the uber wealthy like Rauner and Pritzker.


  2. - Pick a Name - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Hmmmm. Things are coming into focus now.


  3. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    I’m not quite sure what the “financial ties” are from either Anita’s Email or the referenced articles? Has Governor Edgar contributed to Mr. Pritzger?

    I’m not sure serving on a Board constitutes a financial tie…or did I miss something?


  4. - Roman - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Remember when the expansion of gambling in Illinois was largely a moral debate? Now it’s all about the revenue and who benefits from how the pie is sliced.


  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    ===I’m not sure serving on a Board constitutes a financial tie===

    Hyperpartisan alert!


  6. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    I fail to see much relevance in that. I suppose if you are a billionaire you have financial ties to many people.

    As the Rauner’s have proved, financial ties don’t necessarily drive what you say about someone.


  7. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    It just shows all the insiders have clout and make money. While the working class and middle class fight each other over crumbs the real ruling class that is the politicians make money and the d or r after the name is not relavent as long as everyone is at the table. Horse racing is as pure as the driven snow just ask Otto Kerner


  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    Based on this story, Edgar was out of office for almost 15 years when they sat on the same board. Are you suggesting there’s a conflict of interest?

    At the risk of being labeled a hyperpartisan by you, I’ve served on boards (private corps and nonprofits) with lots of people and I’m not sure how sitting on the same board constitutes a financial tie.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    In reality, like the Pritzkers and Rauners and The Ounce, there are connections in “circles”, glad it’s out there.


  10. - Real - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Edgar has been criticizing Rauner since before the general election. This is a non issue and is not connected to Edgar not endorsing Rauner.


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    –The Duchossois family (owners of Churchill Downs and Arlington Park)…–

    It’s not like that, anymore. Churchill Downs Incorporated went public on the NASDAQ in 1993.

    Mr. D is on the board and has 1.32% of outstanding shares.

    http://ir.churchilldownsincorporated.com/stock-information


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    ===I’m not sure how sitting on the same board constitutes a financial tie===

    Um, you invest in the same company and sit on the board together that’s a financial tie.


  13. - Turner - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    ==In reality, like the Pritzkers and Rauners and The Ounce, there are connections in “circles”, glad it’s out there.==

    Nice try Willy. “The Ounce” is a charitable organization that helps needy people. The “Track” is the “Track.”


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    ===Nice try===

    LOL.

    Running in the same circles can include business, charitable, even educational.

    Why wouldn’t a former governor and a billionaire be on the same board, be it, again, charitable, business, educational.

    That’s my take.

    K? K.


  15. - Montrose - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    I think what some people are reacting to is what they think of when they hear “financial ties.” My first thought when I hear that term is “person A is helping person B make money.” It seems like a much more direct financial relationship to me. They clearly have the same financial interests, but JB is not investing in Edgar or vice versa.

    I think the more interesting piece is understanding how they both financially benefit from policies they are supporting.


  16. - Turner - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    ==Why wouldn’t a former governor and a billionaire be on the same board, be it, again, charitable, business, educatuonal.==

    A former governor that cares deeply about keeping horse racing alive through the expansion of gambling is a little different that helping kids get an early start on education and development.

    Your analogy is a poor one.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    ===Your analogy is a poor one.===

    lol, yeah, it’s really not.

    Former governors on boards with the wealthy elite, in all three areas I highlighted is commonplace.

    You may not like that, but it’s true.

    Heck, the very wealthy elite get appointed to boards and commissions by governors, even mayors.

    I’m glad it’s out in the open.


  18. - Turner - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    ==lol, yeah, it’s really not==

    I respect your opinion, but please don’t try to tie this with a Payton Prep analogy. Even by your anti-Rauner standards that would be a stretch.


  19. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    Neither Pritzker or Edger are currently on the board of TwinSpires.

    So the financial ties are probably as relevant as Rauner having investments in a fund that has state contracts, but Rauner has not yet profited.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    ===I respect your opinion===

    Doubtful…

    ===but please don’t try to tie this with a Payton Prep analogy.===

    Yeah. I haven’t, didn’t, and yet you think you’re making a point. Oh boy.

    ===Even by your anti-Rauner standards===

    Yeah, there’s that respect, lol

    ===that would be a stretch.===

    … and yet, your straw man, I didn’t build it.

    Anything else?


  21. - Turner - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    ==Yeah, there’s that respect, lol==

    A little defensive. Poor attempt at humor on my part. You are a proud anti-Raunerite. No insult intended. 43 days to go until the election. A lot of time for real disrespect.


  22. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Come on man, it’s ok to admit that two people who hold shares in and sit on the same corporate board have a financial link or at least a mutual financial interest in could be considered a financial tie. And you can do it without mentioning Rauner.


  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    Mike Madigan and the Republican former governors he (indirectly) owns.


  24. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Is anyone implying that this business tie is the reason Edgar has publicly said he won’t endorse Bruce Rauner?

    Or is this an attempt to try to add a monetary reason that a sane, former Governor, who was famously moderate, frugal and bi-partisan, can’t stomach the governing exploits of an anti-union zealot?

    Because beyond whatever business relationship he has with Pritzker, Rauner has still be an abject failure as governor and that, by itself, is a good reason for Edgar to stay off the Rauner bandwagon.


  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    –Is anyone implying that this business tie is the reason Edgar has publicly said he won’t endorse Bruce Rauner?–

    I’m guessing Edgar got a lot fatter on the juice from Rauner’s backlog of bills, through Illinois Financing Partners.

    By mid-2017, they were collecting juice on $800 million of debt they’d purchased, and were going for more.

    https://www.illinoisfp.com/record-quarter-purchase-illinois-vendor-payments


  26. - Back to the Future - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    Nice payday for JBP.
    This guy has his fingers in every gov. related insider deal that seems to pop up.
    Has he every really held a job?


  27. - Anon - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    Who would’ve thought that Gov Kick the Pension can down the road, in his fine words for JB, would also share three connections to get even richer off gambling expansions? Does this mean we get to see a JB at the race track with Edgar ad?


  28. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    “Is anyone implying that this business tie is the reason Edgar has publicly said he won’t endorse Bruce Rauner?”

    That seems to be the implication of this thread.


  29. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    “Is anyone implying that this business tie is the reason Edgar has publicly said he won’t endorse Bruce Rauner?”

    That seems to be the implication of this thread.

    I would say this thread seems to imply that being on a board with someone of a publicly traded company does not imply a financial relationship.

    It seems intent on defending JB


  30. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 4:56 pm:

    –This guy has his fingers in every gov. related insider deal that seems to pop up.–

    Really? What are the Top 10, since he’s in every one?


  31. - Pick a Name - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    Back to the Future, nobody can seem to identify a job that JB has held. Outside of writing checks, that is pretty much it.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 5:14 pm:

    ===nobody can seem to identify a job that JB has held.===

    … and yet, CEO after CEO see Pritzker as not only involved, but an important player in 1871 by not just writing checks, but by being the catalyst making the project and their companies possible.

    For the 378th time, you know this, you’ve seen the ad with the CEOs, (multiple) saying it’s so.


  33. - Anon0091 - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    “Back to the Future, nobody can seem to identify a job that JB has held. Outside of writing checks, that is pretty much it.”

    This is so dumb. It was dumb when Rauner said it in the debate and it’s dumb here. JB founded the most active venture capital firm in Chicago. He founded a private capital firm that employs thousands. He founded 1871. He was the key to building the Illinois Holocaust Museum. He was chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. And quite a few others. And yea, he also funded scores of organizations.

    You and Rauner need new material.


  34. - SSL - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 5:54 pm:

    I’m sick and tired of people trying to smear JB’s reputation.

    Did he have questionable conversations with the most recent Illinois governor sent to prison. Sure, but so what?

    Did he yank the toilets out of his mansion to get a big tax break that the average, non politically connected taxpayer couldn’t get? Sure, but mind your own business.

    Has he pretended to be pro labor while owning companies that aren’t? Of course, but what’s that to you?

    Governor Flintstone is going to be fantastic. He’s an above board guy, regardless of what his actions prove.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 5:57 pm:

    ===Did he yank the toilets out of his mansion to get a big tax break that the average, non politically connected taxpayer couldn’t get?===

    If you yank the toilets out of your house, you’d qualify for the same break. So… there’s that.


  36. - downstate hack - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 6:42 pm:

    I don’t agree much with Pritzer or Edgar, but it is such a no brainer for slots at Alrinton Race Track.


  37. - blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 7:33 pm:

    If I yanked the toilets out of my house……big time troubles.


  38. - Back to the Future - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 8:31 pm:

    Not sure about the top 10. No doubt he did do wonderful and important work on the Holocaust Museum and I do know people involved in 1871 and they’d speak very highly of that organization. Largest venture capital firm in Chicago? Chicago is home to a lot of financial powerhouses.
    That doesn’t mean he isn’t an insider that benefited from his connections. Never voted In a republican primary in my life so a bit surprised someone would think I like Rauner.
    Have to admit I have heard I am dumb before.
    Overall just not comfortable with his resume and these news stories that keep popping up. So far it seems he will have 4 years to serve as governor and I really hope he does well.


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