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Bruce Rauner questions raised on ties to Rod Blagojevich's crony, Stuart Levine

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Bruce Rauner, the front running Republican gubernatorial candidate, is under attack by the IllinoisFreedom PAC, as they have launched a new television ad today. IllinoisFreedom PAC is making clear ties between Rauner and the convicted Stuart Levine.

Who is Stuart Levine?

He was the ultimate Springfield insider and political fixer, who is now a federal felon. He testified against disgrace former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

It was also his testimony against Springfield power broker William Cellini and Antonin "Tony" Rezko that sent them to federal prison. Levine also wore a wire against a former Chicago alderman, and ultimate political insider, "Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak. Vrdolyak's pleaded guilty.

Why is there a connection between Bruce Rauner and Stuart Levine?

See Rich Miller's Capitol Fax posting. This is what Michael Murray, spokesman for IllinoisFreedom PAC says:

Bruce Rauner says he is an outsider who can shake up Springfield, but nothing could be further from the truth. A company co-owned by Rauner’s firm paid Blagojevich crony Stuart Levine $25,000 a month at the same time that Levine, who sat on the Illinois Teacher Retirement System board, voted to give Rauner’s firm tens of millions of dollars in state pension funds. Bruce Rauner isn’t who he says he is. As a businessman he made a fortune using his Springfield ties; just think what he’d do as governor."

Illinois Freedom is buying more than $1 million in the ad in the Chicago, Champaign, Peoria, and Rockford media markets.

Check the facts, says Illinois Freedom PAC:

  • Rauner’s firm GTCR had an ownership stake in a company called CompBenefits Corp., that retained Stuart Levine who has been called a "notorious political fixer, federal felon and corrupt Springfield insider who helped bring down Rod Blagojevich.
  • According to Levine, the company paid him $25,000 per month to get city and state contracts by whatever means necessary, including payoffs. Levine even admitted to paying a bribe to get a $15 million city contract for the company.
  • At the same time Levine was being paid by the company that Rauner’s firm partially owned, he voted to award Rauner’s firm $50 million from the state teachers pension fund.
  • In January 2014, Greg Hinz, a columnist for Crain’s wrote, "I’d like to report that Mr. Rauner and his campaign have forthrightly answered the questions [about his relationship with Stuart Levine]. But I still can’t… How can Mr. Rauner be trusted to clean up corrupt Springfield when he won’t fully explain how and why Mr. Levine made $25,000 a month trying to get government business for a company owned in part by Mr. Rauner?"

Bruce Rauner has a lot of questions to answer about Stuart Levine and their relationship.

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Sources:

Rich Miller's Capitol Fax's

Chicago Sun Times

Crain's Chicago Business

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Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions,johnpresta@att.net.

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