A company owned by GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's GTCR LLC reportedly took part in "pay-to-play tactics" by way of campaign contributions to Cook County officials just as the firm was vying for a multimillion dollar contract with the county.
According to a report in Crain's Chicago Business, GTCR owned HealthRev, which sought to get a contract to do Medicaid collections for the county in 1999. At the start of 2000, John Stroger's Cook County Board approved a three-year contract with HealthRev for the work. Meanwhile, the company made 11 campaign contributions to Stroger's campaign as well as his 8th Ward Regular Democratic Organization. The company also gave $5,000 to the Democratic Party of Illinois, which is headed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. The legislative leader repotedly had great influence in Cook County government at the time, though spokesman Steve Brown says he is unaware of the driving force behind the donation.
Despite the fact that Rauner was one of two directors of the company and one of four listed on papers filed with the Florida Secretary of the State (the company was seeking a contract with that state as well), Rauner's camp says the venture capitalist had "no role in the contributions or knowledge of them," according to Crain's. Rauner spokesman Mike Scrimpf also pointed to the GOP candidate's contributions to Forrest Claypool, who ran an Independent campaign against Stroger in 2006, as proof of the millionaire actually being one of "Stroger's biggest adversaries."
All in all, HealthRev, and all of the associated names under which it did business, pulled in at least $10 million as a result of the initial contract, and its 2002 renewal.
Also of note: the company faced a lien by the state amounting to more than $81,000 due to unpaid taxes. The company has since been sold, as of ten years ago, but the lien is still in place due to an unpaid tax balance of $48.
Read more about the apparent "pay-to-play" contributions by Rauner's company, as well as other questionable dealings by the gubernatorial candidate, here in Greg Hinz' full report.