CHICAGO – Allegations of concealing information and impeding transparency bubbled up in the Illinois governor's race Friday as Republican Bruce Rauner accused Gov. Pat Quinn of hiding while federal officials investigate a 2010 anti-violence program and the Chicago Democrat's campaign questioned Rauner's financial dealings.
Rauner's criticisms come as Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative is under investigations for possible mismanagement and misspending by federal officials, Cook County authorities and a legislative panel. This week, U.S. Department of Justice officials asked the lawmaker panel to hold off their probe in the midst of their own "ongoing related federal criminal investigation."
"The real answer to deal with this is for Gov. Quinn to come forward, come clean, talk in detail about what happened, what he knows, when things occurred, and release all emails and documents," Rauner said in Springfield. "That's the real answer here. He is obfuscating and hiding and he's trying to create diversions to get away from the real issue."
The venture capitalist from Winnetka, also released another television ad Friday in which he claims the Democratic governor seeking a second full term has broken promises.
Quinn's spokeswoman Brooke Anderson called the allegations "laughable," saying Quinn has answered reporters' questions about the anti-violence program almost daily.
"It looks like Bruce Rauner is as deft at dodging reporters' questions as he is at dodging his taxes," she said.
Quinn has called on Rauner, a venture capitalist, to release full tax returns for 2013 and other years to reveal any tax loopholes or conflicts of interest. Rauner has released basic returns for three years, has filed for a 2013 extension and said he'll release last year's ahead of November. Quinn says all the returns should be made public quicker and include supporting documents detailing investments.
Quinn's campaign also accused Rauner of "pay-to-play" politics after a Crain's Chicago Business report showed that a company once partially owned by Rauner's investment firm made donations in 2000 to Cook County Democrats after winning a county contract. Rauner stepped down from GTCR in 2012.
Rauner has said he didn't know about the donations and defended his finances after a recent Chicago Tribune report showed business income-loss tax rules allowed Rauner to pay no Social Security or Medicare taxes in 2010 and 2011 despite an income of $55 million.
Rauner said Friday that he paid "full taxes" as appropriate and that rules were followed.