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Governor Pat Quinn's (D. IL) has his share of bad press lately so he must be happy about this:

Gov. Pat Quinn’s effort to campaign again as a saint among sinners has been complicated by fresh scandals in state government — and by having a challenger who’s a political newcomer, with no track record of his own in government.

But Republican nominee Bruce Rauner had a long career in business that ended only about 19 months ago. And big parts of Rauner’s private-sector record could be as open to question as, say, the Quinn administration’s decision to provide soft landing for a deposed alderman on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s payroll.

Consider the sale of a company called APS Healthcare to Universal American Corp. in March 2012. The seller in the deal was GTCR, the Chicago private-equity firm that Rauner co-founded and led until his retirement in October 2012.

In a federal lawsuit filed against GTCR, Universal American says Rauner’s firm essentially sold it a $222.3 million lemon after APS and GTCR executives engaged in a “deliberate campaign to conceal the truth.”

In the suit, filed in November in Delaware, Universal American says it was told that APS estimated 2012 revenues of $44.8 million for 2012. Within six weeks of the deal closing, the revenue forecast dropped 40 percent. And four months later, projected revenues were down 90 percent. The final amount was a fraction of the initial forecast, according to court records. - Chicago Sun Times, 5/14/14

Here's some more info:

APS execs and ex-GTCR managing director David Katz participated in a "deliberate campaign to conceal the truth," claims Universal's suit, which does not mention Rauner, who left the company in October 2012 to run for Springfield's highest office.

In 2011, APS shelled out $13 million in settlement money after the federal government and the state of Georgia said the company had "failed to provide the required services to a large portion of the Medicaid recipients and over-billed the Georgia Department of Community Health," said the Sun-Times, quoting the feds.

"Bruce is not involved with this, and it is best to let GTCR’s motions speak for themselves," said Rauner representative Mike Schrimpf. "Bruce was never on the board at APS, did not put together the deal and played no role in the management of the company."

Responding to Universal's case of buyer's remorse, attorneys for GTCR and APS argued: "Budget projections are exactly the sort of uncertain, forward-looking statements that cannot give rise to fraud claims."

News of the lawsuit comes on the heels of another GTCR-related legal headache that came to light last week. A Florida judge, accusing the Chicago-based outfit of masterminding a Mafia-esque "bust out" scheme, ruled in favor of continuing litigation into a $1 billion case involving claims of wrongful death and abuse at nursing homes in which Rauner had invested.

The Winnetka-based multi-millionaire said he hopes that "if there is any wrongdoing, that it gets punished."

Meanwhile, Team Quinn -- dogged by federal and state probes into a failed anti-violence program and improper patronage hiring at the Illinois Department of Transporation -- is capitalizing on GTCR's legal woes in its battle against political rookie Rauner. Early Wednesday, Quinn's campaign issued a press release citing "additional examples" of fraud committed by Rauner-backed companies. - NBC 5 Chicago, 5/14/14

FYI, Quinn has said he shut the program down in 2012 when he learned of irregularities, and denies he used it as a political slush fund.  Not to mention this happened:

Bruce Rauner, Chairman, GTCR, LLC was one of the panelists at the  George W. Bush Institute forum at the Art Institute in Chicago Tuesday Sept 18, 2012. The forum titled
Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is attempting to do what hasn't been done in more than 10 years: hold the governorship as a Republican in the centrist state. The multimillionaire has a wife who says she is a Democrat, and he has said the government shouldn't intervene in a woman's decision to have an abortion.

Rauner attended a "Bill of Rights" event in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois' reproductive rights program Saturday. His wife, Diana Rauner, was one of the hosts, while Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a steadfast pro-choice lawmaker, was the keynote speaker. Quinn was also in attendance.

The timing of the event was significant, as Rauner did not appear at the lllinois Right to Life Committee's 45th anniversary dinner just two days earlier.

In a statement to NBC, Rauner's campaign attributed his attendance to his wife.

"Bruce's wife, Diana, is a supporter and she asked him to stop by because she could not," the statement said. "Bruce has always said he believes this issue is best left between a woman and her doctor and family, not the government."

Illinois Right to Life Executive Director Emily Zender called Rauner's choice to attend the ACLU event "disgusting."

In an email to The Huffington Post, Zender expressed some ambivalence as to how Rauner would govern on abortion rights if he's elected in November:

We ask Mr. Rauner reject the ACLU position and affirm that he will support these common-sense regulations on abortion. The statement by his spokesman that the abortion of a child "is best left to a woman and her doctor and her family, not the government" appears to indicate that he opposes any regulations on abortion, no matter how much the people support such measures. Would a Governor Rauner approve a repeal of Illinois' parental notice law or of our partial-birth abortion ban? - Huffington Post, 5/14/14

Rauner sure does sound like someone we all know:

Some notable business-to-government aspirants have failed in spite of their corporate credentials and willingness to spend. Republican Meg Whitman, who was CEO of EBay Inc. and now holds that post at Hewlett-Packard Co., forked out $144.2 million of her own money running for California governor in 2010. She lost to lifelong Democratic politician Jerry Brown.

Mitt Romney, who, like Rauner, made millions in private equity, lost the 2012 presidential race to Obama, once a community organizer and U.S. senator, by 332 to 206 votes in the Electoral College.

“People who have spent the major portion of their careers making money assume that because they’ve been able to do that, they have the ability or the right to present themselves as someone who knows about public service,” says former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat who served from 2007 to 2011 and is now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“That’s puzzling and, quite frankly, somewhat offensive to me.” - Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/14/14

Yep, sounding like a real Romney to me.  Now Quinn's pretty vulnerable but it might take the President to help Quinn beat is Romney-like opponent:

A new study finds that, over the past century, the president’s party has won his home state’s gubernatorial race four out of five times. That’s good news for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who is engaged in one of the nation’s toughest gubernatorial battles.

Quinn is facing wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R), who broke the state’s record for self-financing a gubernatorial campaign when his out-of-pocket spending hit $6 million in March, even before his successful primary win. The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that he is “perhaps the wealthiest candidate ever to run for public office in Illinois.” And that ability to spend and raise large amounts has Republicans optimistic about his prospects.

Rauner has enjoyed slight leads over Quinn in multiple polls. But the fact that Quinn has a fellow Illinoisan in the White House could be a sign that he may eke out a win, according to the study conducted by Eric J. Ostermeier, a research associate at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

As with any such study, the sample size was notably small and the time horizon notably long: Ostermeier found that of the 30 gubernatorial races since 1913, all but six have gone to the nominee of the sitting president’s party. - Washington Post, 5/13/14

A recent Gallup poll found that Obama enjoyed a 53.7 percent approval in Illinois, one of 11 states where the rate was above 50 percent.  Speaking of President Obama:

Gov. Pat Quinn will head to Iowa today to appear on a climate change panel he was appointed to by President Barack Obama.

Quinn will join  U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and others in Des Moines for a meeting of the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

According to the governor's office, the climate task force is part of Obama's federal efforts to address disasters caused by climate change. - Chicago Tribune, 5/14/14

And this also made the news:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is directing $14.5 million in funds toward renovating and building community health centers around the state.

The funds are part of the state's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program. The Legislature passed the six-year, $31 billion infrastructure plan in 2009. It was the state's first long-term capital program in a decade.

Community health centers are not-for-profits created by Congress to meet the needs of underserved communities and high-risk patients.

Quinn says investing in community health centers is a "critical and essential step" in transforming the state's health care system. - The Republic, 5/14/14

If you would like to donate or get involved with Quinn's re-election campaign, you can do so here:
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks during  a press conference Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 after being sworn in as governor after Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office. (AP Photo/Eric Y. Exit)

Originally posted to pdc on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Chicago Kossacks, and Land of Lincoln Kos.

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