* May 21, 2013…
Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin named and shamed local corporations that have taken tax incentives from the state’s financially strapped government in a Monday evening speech to a prominent Chicago business group.
“The last election cycle I called a local CEO to talk to him about supporting a pro-business candidate … ,” Griffin, a billionaire and Republican hedge fund manager, told the Economic Club of Chicago. “And I asked straightforward and simple, and he said, ‘No. No. I’m not going write a check. You see, if Illinois is not hospitable to my business. We’re just going to move.’
“And then I learned what the word ‘hospitable’ meant. For a few weeks later, it was announced that his company received tens of millions of dollars in tax incentives. His silence was bought and paid for,” Griffin said.
Griffin said the story was “sadly’ not unique. Citing Chicago Tribune reporting, Griffin put logos of Illinois businesses that had accepted tax incentives on a large screen behind him.
A few people in the sold-out crowd at the Palmer House Hilton began to applaud, but many appeared stunned as the names of corporations, either theirs or those run by people they knew in the audience, appeared on screen.
Just something to consider when reading budget coverage this week.