After signing the unpopular Illinois Trust Act – which makes Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants – a new report reveals Governor Bruce Rauner’s firm makes millions of dollars from his interest in a for-profit health care provider that has millions in government contracts with immigrant detention centers. Conservatives called out Rauner as a traitor to the GOP party platform for signing the pro-illegal immigrant bill.
Rauner’s firm, GTCR, also makes millions of dollars from state employee pension contracts – which means, as much as he says he hates public employee unions he sure knows how to profit from them. He has made millions of dollars gaming the public pension system.
In his most recent statement of economic interests, the multi-millionaire Republican governor disclosed earnings from a private equity fund that owns Correct Care Solutions, a for-profit health care provider that has millions of dollars in government contracts with jails and prisons across the country, including immigrant detention centers.
The governor said he relinquished investment decisions to a third party and has no direct ties to Correct Care Solutions, a group whose work extends to places like Karnes County Residential Center in Texas, one of just four immigrant family detention centers in the country contracted for profit.
Still, Rauner’s disclosures indicate that he’s earning income from the group, which reports annual revenue of $1 billion.
Last year, Rauner was strongly criticized by conservatives for signing into law the Illinois Trust Act, a bill limiting local authorities’ role in enforcing immigration laws.
One watchdog group said the third-party management of Rauner’s finances — an arrangement which stops short of a true blind trust — does not inoculate the governor from criticism about financial gain and called on him to divest of any funds involving immigrant detention centers.
Why is Rauner so wealthy? Is it because he’s tethered to the public trough and used his political connections to ink big money deals. Bingo.
In testimony during the 2008 trial of Blagojevich pal Tony Rezko, Mr. Levine and others said Mr. Levine had had a $25,000-a-month contract “consulting” for CompBenefits Corp., an Atlanta-based dental and vision benefits company once known as CompDent. According to its website, CompBenefits at the time of Mr. Levine’s contract principally was owned by four private-equity firms, including GTCR LLC. Mr. Rauner, a founder of GTCR, is the “R” in the acronym.
Mr. Levine said his job was to get work for CompBenefits through whatever means were needed, including payoffs. A 2005 Sun-Times article says the firm then held contracts covering tens of thousands of workers at Chicago Public Schools and with the state.
Mr. Levine testified that he’d paid a bribe to obtain the CPS work, worked with insiders Bill Cellini and Ed Vrdolyak on other deals (both men later were convicted in unrelated federal cases) and plotted with Mr. Rezko to get work with Cook County via Orlando Jones, a key insider who later committed suicide.
Messrs. Levine and Rezko eventually went to prison on other matters, and prosecutors never took any action on CompBenefits. Perhaps that’s because they could not corroborate Mr. Levine’s testimony, or perhaps it’s because some major figures were going to prison anyway. I don’t know. Neither do I know whether Mr. Rauner or GTCR knew the details of what the firm was up to prior to the federal probe.
Mr. Rauner, GTCR, and Stu Levine had another interaction. That came in 2003 when the board of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System—on which Mr. Levine served—first tabled and then approved GTCR’s bid to get a $50 million investment from the giant pension fund.
Republican leaders (including a number of conservatives) helped elect Rauner in 2014 and are back onboard with his re-election effort now. Rauner’s history is indefensible but they continue to defend it.
Rauner isn’t pro-life and he’s onboard with the open borders/sanctuary state agenda of the Left. He’s publicly against unions and government largess but he continues to feed off it.
What is Rauner, really, but a Democrat in disguise?