February 11, 2014

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Illinois, Latest News

DGA Statement on RGA Chair Christie's Meeting with Billionaire Bruce Rauner

Democratic Governors Association Communications Director Danny Kanner today issued the following statement regarding RGA Chair Chris Christie’s meeting with billionaire Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner:

“Billionaire Bruce Rauner and Chris Christie make a perfect pair – two guys who will do whatever it takes to benefit their own careers. Rauner and his partners pocketed millions in a ‘corporate fraud’ targeting nursing home patients, his firm employed an imprisoned Blagojevich associate who voted to award Rauner’s firm state pension business, and much of his vast fortune has been made shipping American jobs to low-wage countries. His willingness to play Chicago-style politics while punishing families and workers to make a buck must make the abusive, bullying RGA Chair proud.”

BACKGROUND:

Jury Awarded $1.1 Billion In Damages After Woman Died At Understaffed Nursing Home Owned By GTCR.“On July 22, a Polk County jury awarded $1.1 billion in damages in a case of corporate corruption and misconduct that ultimately led to the death of a local woman. A jury agreed that defendant, Trans Health Care, Inc. (THI), deserved to be punished for such severe corporate greed that it caused Arlene Townsend to suffer for years in a nursing home that was short-staffed and under-supplied… Evidence showed the investors — that included New York real estate investors; financiers General Electric Capital Corporation (a private bank) and Ventas, Inc. (a real estate investment firm); and multi-billion dollar Chicago private equity fund GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC — set out to build their empire through a series of mergers and acquisitions with the ultimate goal of taking the company public, cashing out and making a lot of money.” [10News WTSP, 7/25/13]

Victim’s Attorney: Case About “Corporate Fraud, Corporate Greed.” “The lawsuit against nursing home company Trans Healthcare Inc. claimed the company was negligent in [Arlene] Townsend’s death and operated without adequate staff or supplies… [Isaac] Ruiz-Caruz, one of the attorneys representing Townsend’s estate, said the case was about ‘corporate fraud, corporate greed.’” [WFLA, 8/20/13]

Hinz: Rauner’s Private Equity Firm Contracted With Imprisoned Blogojevich Associate Stuart Levine. In March 2013, Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz wrote, “[I]nvestment moguls like Mr. Romney and Mr. Rauner can get entangled in all sorts of things in their business careers that don’t play well on the political stump. Which leads to a tale of Mr. Rauner’s involvement—perhaps unintentional, perhaps not—with Stuart Levine, the notorious political fixer, federal felon and corrupt Springfield insider who helped bring down Rod Blagojevich, whose old job Mr. Rauner is eyeing. 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.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/11/13]

GTCR Subsidiary Lauded Itself As “One Of The World’s Leading Business And Knowledge Process Outsourcing Companies.” In a May 2007 press release, outsourcing company Zenta wrote “H-Cube today announced that it has changed its name to Zenta and integrated the operations of its three subsidiaries to create one of the world’s leading business and knowledge process outsourcing companies… H-Cube was formed in January 2005 through a partnership between Henry Hortenstine and GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, one of the nation’s leading private equity firms, to create a world class business and knowledge process outsourcing company… ‘We had three objectives as we integrated our acquisitions,’ said Mr. Hortenstine, chief executive officer of Zenta. ‘First, to provide ‘one stop shopping’ for our clients. Second, to improve our backup, recovery and business continuity capabilities by leveraging our multiple operations centers in Mumbai and Chennai. Third, to achieve scale economies and operational efficiencies. Our new name is indicative of the progress we’ve made in these initiatives.’” [PR Newswire, 5/8/07]

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