Do veterans’ lives really matter to Bruce Rauner and the Illinois GOP?
Some Illinois GOP leaders are finally expressing outrage at Governor Rauner over 13 deaths at a state-run veterans’ home in Quincy, Illinois. The Legionnaires-related deaths occurred in 2015 – two years ago.
The times – they have changed. Haven’t they?
Do you remember Illinois GOP leaders ever mentioning, explaining, lashing out in disgust or calling for an investigation into Rauner’s involvement in a billion dollar scheme his company, GTCR, was accused of to avoid liability in a string of nursing home wrongful death lawsuits in 2014? Real GOP Illinois doesn’t either.
Rauner’s $1 billion nursing home scandal
In 2006, Rauner’s firm, GTCR, operated a nursing home company — Trans Healthcare Inc. — which was facing 150 lawsuits. Judgments eventually totaled more than $2 billion.
In Spring 2014, a Tampa federal bankruptcy judge, opined that the purported scheme had “all the makings of a legal thriller,” ruled in favor of continuing litigation into a $1 billion case that involves alleged incidents of wrongful death and abuse by Trans Healthcare Inc., a nursing home chain GTCR co-founded in 1998. Among the accusations: That GTCR had purposely killed off Trans Healthcare and hoodwinked an aging graphic artist into unwittingly signing papers to buy the cash-strapped company, which has been in receivership—a form of corporate bankruptcy—since 2009.
Rauner claimed he was only on the Trans Healthcare board for a year but that turned out to be untrue. The Chicago Tribune reported he sat on the board for four years and prosecutors alleged Rauner was involved with Trans Healthcare until the very end. Rauner attacked the report as a smear campaign by Pat Quinn’s campaign.
In the end, GTCR avoided liability for the deaths and a judge identified two New York-based partners as the guilty parties instead.
Why Rauner’s 2014 nursing home scandal didn’t bother Illinois GOP
Republicans weren’t outraged by this scandal in 2014 because Rauner’s money was flowing freely into GOP piggy banks.
Rauner’s history with the Democrat Party didn’t bother Illinois GOP leaders at the time either: His support for abortion, his large donations to Planned Parenthood, his checks to the ACLU’s legal division to defend abortion rights, his donations to Daley, Durbin, Forrest Claypool, $65,000 to the DNC, and let’s not forget his decades long partnership with Chicago’s pro-sanctuary state mayor, Rahmbo “Deadfish” Emanuel – none of that appeared to concern Republican officials.
Republican leaders (and conservative ones too) were fully and completely aware of Rauner’s history. To ignore Rauner’s history was a deliberate choice and the potential payoff was, as President Trump would say, YUGE. After Rauner passed SB 31 (Illinois becomes a sanctuary state) and HB 40 (taxpayer-funded abortion), conservative leaders pretend they are Rauner’s victims for purposes of political expediency. You’re a sucker if you believe they’re these fat pocket conservatives are victims.
Money, money, money – Rauner’s money
Illinois Policy Institute received millions in Rauner dollars …in exchange for their complicity and silence. Rauner has appointed Illinois Policy Institute staff to high-ranking positions in his Administration. Ignore the political posturing, Marc Levine of the Illinois Policy Institute, was appointed by Rauner to the Illinois State Board of Investment and immediately became its Chairman. The Illinois State Board of Investment is the group that controls what, where, and how much state money is invested. Has Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman, Pat Hughes, and Dan Proft benefitted from Rauner – you betcha.
If Rauner’s history as a Democrat donor didn’t bother the Illinois GOP leadership, why should a little thing like wrongful deaths at a nursing home bother them?
Veterans lives might be very different to the Illinois GOP…especially in an election year.