CRAIN’S: Rauner company won Cook County contract, donated to Stroger

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If you put together a list of Illinois politicians whom Bruce Rauner would be least likely to funnel campaign cash to, Chicago’s Stroger clan and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan would be right at the top.

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The late John Stroger and son Todd Stroger pretty much left Cook County government a financial wasteland after their respective terms as president of the county board. Mr. Madigan has presided for decades over a state government that has had its own staggering stumbles. And while the Strogers and Mr. Madigan were in position to influence zillions in contract goodies, “reformer” Mr. Rauner, the GOP nominee for governor, would never stoop to pay-to-play tactics, would he?

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Keep reading.

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Incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and his sins have been in the media 24/7 lately, and for good reason. A patronage hiring scandal at the Illinois Department of Transportation and apparent abuse in the governor’s anti-violence program have drawn the attention of the news media, a federal grand jury and more, as they should. Mr. Quinn has a lot of explaining to do if he’s not going to be sent packing in November.

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But, once again, so does Mr. Rauner. Ergo the story about how a company he partly owned and on whose board he served just happened to make 11 contributions to Mr. Stroger’s campaign fund and to the Strogers’ 8th Ward Regular Democratic Organization at the time when Cook County was awarding the company a series of contracts over four years. Not to mention a $5,000 contribution to the Democratic Party of Illinois, Mr. Madigan, chairman. Or the fact that the company involved was hit with an $81,000 lien for failure to pay state income taxes.

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Team Rauner responds that the candidate had “no idea” what his company was up to and that, in fact, he gave lots of financial help to independent board member Forrest Claypool.

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But here’s the whole story.

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Read More: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140709/BLOGS02/140709837

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