Sunday, January 23, 2011
« Back to Search Results Archive Report spam Delete Move to Inbox Labels More actions 1 of 3 Older › Plutocracy comes out from the shadows, shows its fangs in Illinois legislative fights
Below is the lead of a story I'll be putting up at substancenews.net tomorrow and then expanding on through various investigations over the next months. In my opinion, it's the most important investigative story I've ever done.
I think a similar story is probably in front of you in New York, but based on our experience here, we have to do this story ourselves, since our corporate media won't touch it or anything near it.
Two of the world's wealthiest families, both from Chicago (the Crowns and the Pritzkers), and several of Chicago's wealthiest individuals (including Kenneth Griffin and Sam Zell), poured more than $3.4 million into the newest Political Action Campaign (PAC) fund in Illinois during the last months of 2010. Most of the money was contributed during December 2010. The result was that "Stand for Children Illinois" — which didn't exist four months earlier and only opened its Illinois offices in Chicago in December 2010 — had nearly $3.5 million in its PAC at the end of 2010. Stand for Children Illinois opened its first office in Illinois (at 300 W. Adams St.) in December 2010. The office was finally opened two months after Stand for Children began operations in Springfield with huge contributions to several Illinois politicians during the month prior to the November 2, 2010 election.
The pre-election campaign contributions totaled more than $600,000. They are in addition to the money now in the Stand for Children PAC and came through the Oregon headquarters of the group.
Stand for Children — along with the Illinois Business Roundtable, Advance Illinois, and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago — sponsored and lobbied for the controversial legislations called "Performance Counts" during the lame duck session of the 2010 Illinois General Assembly. "Performance Counts" was defeated despite intense lobbying by the four powerful business groups in December and January 2010 - 2011 by a coalition of unions and community organizations committed to improving the public schools. Public school improvement in Illinois and elsewhere is now in stark distinction to corporate "school reform" of the type promoted by Stand for Children, a distinction that will become more clear during the years ahead. Stand for Children and its four allies have vowed to bring "Performance Counts" back, whole and in its parts, for 2011.
Nearly identical bills have been introduced in other states.
The contributors to the Stand for Children PAC in December 2010 are two of the world's wealthiest families, both of which are based in Chicago (and the Chicago suburbs), the Crowns and the Pritzkers. Others who added their wealth to the Stand for Children PAC during December 2010 include Sam Zell, the real estate speculator who bankrupted the Chicago Tribune Corporation, and several private equity chiefs. The private equity and hedge fund millionaires who put their money into Stand for Children include John Canning and Paul Finnegan (Madison Dearborn Partners), Kenneth Brody (DRW trading group), Kenneth Griffin (Citadel Group), and Matthew Hulsizer (PEAK6 Investments).
The amounts given by the individuals who were organized to finance the Stand for Children PAC in December 2010 are far beyond what any teacher or typical citizen could afford, leading to the observation that the Plutocracy (a government by the richest people) is trying to bash Illinois public schools and teacher unions behind a smokescreen of disinterested "school reform" groups. Stand for Children was based in Oregon at the time it made its initial contributions to Illinois politicians during the month before the November 2, 2010 election and finally opened a Chicago office in December 2010. One of the unanswered questions is how a group of the wealthiest people in Chicago and the suburbs learned about Stand for Children and decided to donate huge sums of money to it.
The amounts, as reported to the State of Illinois(the D-2 annual reports) are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Brody, Kenneth (Manager, DRW Trading Group). $100,000 (on December 23, 2010).
Canning, John (Chairman, Dearborn Partners). $250,000 (on December 8, 2010).
Crown, Arie (Partner, Henry Crown & Co.). $100,000 on December 29, 2010.
Crown, Elizabeth (Homemaker). $50,000 on December 10, 2010.
Crown, James (President, Henry Crown and Company). $150,000 on December 10, 2010.
Crown, James (President, Henry Crown and Company). $50,000 on September 27, 2010.
Crown, Nancy (Homemaker, self employed). $100,000 on December 29, 2010.
Crown, Patricia (Psychotherapist, Self Employed). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Finnegan, Paul (Co-CEO, Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC). $200,000 on September 29, 2010.
Finnegan, Paul (Co-CEO, Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC). $300,000 on December 2, 2010.
Griffin, Kenneth (Founder, CEO, Citadel Group). $500,000 on December 15, 2010.
Hulsizer, Matthew (Co-Founder, CEO, PEAK6 Investments). $374,000 on December 8, 2010.
Hulsizer, Matthew (Co-Founder, CEO, PEAK6 Investments). $100,000 on September 27, 2010.
Merrick Ventures LLC (No individual listed). $100,000 on December 9, 2010.
Pritzker, Margot (Homemaker, Self Employed). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Pritzker, Penny (Chairman and CEO, Pritzker Realy Group). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Pritzker, Thomas (Chairman & CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Pritzker - Pucker, Gigi (CEO, Odd Lot Entertainment). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Pucker, Michael (Attorney, Latham & Watkins LLP), $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Ruhana, George (Partner/CEO, Options House LLC). $26,000 on September 27, 2010.
Saltzman, Bettylu (Homemaker). $1,000 on November 1, 2010.
Simmons, Brian (Partner, Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC). $100,000 on December 30, 2010.
Smith, Leo (Teacher, Perspectives/ITT Math & Science Academy). $25,000 on October 12, 2010.
Stand for Children, Inc. (Portland, OR). $210,000 on October 6, 2010.
Stand for Children, Inc. (Portland, OR). $50,000 on October 7, 2010.
Traubert, Bryan (Opthamologist, Eye Physicians of Chicago). $50,000 on December 29, 2010.
Wilson, Donald (CEO, DRW Trading Group). $250,000 on December 22, 2010.
Zell, Samuel (Chairman, Equity Group Investments). $100,000 on December 20, 2010.