SPRINGFIELD-In a new television attack, Gov. Pat Quinn moved to one-up Republican Bruce Rauner in their tit-for-tat over who has had the most corrupt political associations.
Quinn’s new commercial, debuting this weekend, hits Rauner on his relationship with imprisoned influence peddler Stuart Levine, a $25,000-a-month consultant for a subsidiary of Rauner’s private equity firm.
At the same time Levine was under contract with the GTCR-owned company, CompBenefits, he also sat on the state Teachers Retirement System and helped steera $50 million deal in 2003 to GTCR, the Chicago investment firm at which Rauner was a principal.
Levine’s tie to Rauner wasn’t disclosed by either man when the TRS board voted for the GTCR investment.
The 30-second Quinn spot titled “Shakedown,” which coincides with the second anniversary of Levine reporting to prison, “explains how Rauner used pay-to-play to profit from taxpayer dollars with the help of one of Illinois’ most notorious swindlers,” Quinn’s campaign said in a statement.
Levine was sentenced to 67 months in prison for his role in kickback schemes on two state boards on which he was a member, including the pension system and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. He was a star government witness who helped secure federal corruption convictions against Antoin “Tony” Rezko and William Cellini,fundraisers for imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich; and former Ald. Ed Vrdyolyak (10th).
The Quinn ad follows by two weeks the release of a Rauner commercial, which ties the governor to his one-time running mate, Blagojevich, and the “corruption, patronage, cronyism, investigations, prison” associated with the ex-governor.