I thought this story would provide some insight into a Rauner Administration.
From the Chicago Tribune.


4 aces in the cards to aid Rauner

Melissa Harris

It’s difficult to predict who will take official positions in the administration of
Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, a multimillionaire private equity executive-

But it was clear he will rely heavily on about a dozen mostly business leaders
who stood behind him Thursday at a news conference as he faced cameras
for the first time since election night.

And while there are Chicago executives, such as billionaire hedge fund
manager Ken Griffin and health care executive Glen Tullman, who contributed
far more money to Rauner’s campaign than any of the dozen on stage
Thursday — four men in particular stand out for having done more than write
checks during the campaign.

They raised the money, pushed and prodded friends, and advised on strategy
and policy. And they are likely to help shape Rauner’s administration, at a
minimum, in informal ways as the state grapples with a massive budget
deficit and slow growth.

Here’s a look at that inner circle.

Rauner on Thursday announced that two of them, John Gates Jr. and Ron
Gidwitz, will be on his transition team.

Gidwitz co-chaired Rauner’s campaign and chaired his finance — meaning
fundraising — committee. He is a multimillionaire who in 1996 sold his
family’s business, Helene Curtis Industries, for more than $900 million. He
ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2006.

He has long been a Republican fundraiser and previously served on the
State Board of Education and was chairman of Chicago’s City Colleges

Gidwitz suggested that Rauner will not rely heavily on advice from any
one person like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does with his top unpaid
adviser, Michael Sacks, who runs a multibillion-dollar investment firm,
Grosvenor Capital Management.

“I don’t know if I see anyone having the same prominence as Michael,”
Gidwitz said in an interview, referring to Sacks.

Gates Jr. also is a wealthy business executive. He sold Centerpoint
Properties Trust, a real estate company he co-founded, for $3.5 billion in
2006. According to news reports, Gates pocketed about $100 million from
the sale.

He created a family office, PortaeCo, to manage his money and began
taking on civic roles, first as chairman of the Metropolitan Pier and
Exposition Authority, which owns Mc-Cormick Place and Navy Pier, and
later as chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Gates stepped down from the RTA in June. At McPier, he oversaw a host
of controversial reforms aimed at juicing up convention business and
weaning from union power. Rauner and Gates were on an interim MPEA
board together.   Gates declined to be interviewed for this story.

The third member of the group is William Strong, a longtime friend and
business associate of Rauner’s, who helped raise money this year in
Illinois for the Republican Governors Association.

“I was delighted to serve (New Jersey) Gov. (Chris) Christie, in his role as
chairman of the Republican Governors Association, to raise money to
elect Republican governors around the country, most importantly Bruce
Rauner,” Strong said in an interview.

Strong is now a consultant to Morgan Stanley after having served as co-
CEO of its Asia operations and on its global management committee.
Before that, he was head of the Midwest region, based in Chicago. He
also is chairman of Longford Capital, a Chicago startup that invests in
lawsuits in exchange for a cut of any court awards.

Strong has known Rauner for 20 years, first through business between
Morgan Stanley and Rauner’s former firm, GTCR.

The last member is Philip O’Connor, a policy expert who served
Republican Gov. Jim Thompson as former chairman of the Illinois
Commerce Commission and director of the Illinois Department of

O’Connor downplayed what, if any, role he would have.

“If I do anything at all, I’ll be a helper and factotum,” a kind of jack-of-
all-trades, O’Connor said. mmharris@tribune.com
Twitter @chiconfidential

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
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