Like his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner, Gov. Pat Quinn also has connections to Cardinal Growth, the venture capital firm that was seized by federal authorities after bankrolling deals with City Hall.
Robert Bobb Jr., Cardinal’s co-founder, has been a Quinn campaign contributor. And Quinn appointed Bobb’s partner Joseph McInerney to the board of the Illinois Finance Authority, which helps local governments borrow money by issuing bonds.
The governor “does not know Bobb,” Quinn spokeswoman Katie Hickey said. “He was introduced to McInerney nearly a decade ago, and they have not been in contact in recent years.”
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Asked what the governor’s reaction was to the firm’s collapse, Hickey said: “He finds the whole situation disappointing.”
Bobb, a former federal prosecutor, and five other Cardinal officials contributed a total of $2,800 to Quinn’s federal campaign fund in April 2009, when Bobb hosted a fund-raiser for Quinn, the Chicago Tribune has reported.
Those contributions came nearly two years after the Chicago Sun-Times revealed Cardinal bankrolled Municipal Sewer Services, which landed lucrative deals from City Hall while Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son and nephew secretly were investors.
Bobb’s most recent contribution to Quinn was $400 in 2010. Since creating Cardinal Growth in 2000, Bobb has made 35 contributions totaling $121,000 to Illinois politicians — most of them Democrats, including Daley, Ald. Edward M. Burke, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and President Barack Obama.
McInerney gave $700 to Quinn’s campaign fund in 2004.
Quinn appointed McInerney to the Illinois Finance Authority in December 2009 — at a time federal officials were investigating Cardinal Growth. McInerney left the state agency’s board in March 2011.