Friday, January 31, 2014

Tribune: Rauner's ties to crook Levine "tenuous at best"; Dillard: What about Cellini?

Two primary opponents of Republican businessman and Bruce Rauner,  Kirk Dillard and to a lesser extent Bill Brady, both state senators, are trying to make an issue of the gubernatorial frontrunner's business relationship with convicted political scammer Stuart Levine, who was part of the catch from the Rod Blagojevich scandals.

But today the Chicago Tribune called such ties "tenuous at best."

Dillard, who is best known outside of Illinois for his shameful appearance in a 2007 Barack Obama campaign commercial, has his own problem in regard to the Blago scandals, as I've pointed out before, his connection with longtime downstate power broker William Cellini. In 1996, Dillard referred to Cellini, whose eleven-month prison term ended in November, as a "trusted advisor."

Dillard's political career began as chief-of-staff to Jim Edgar, who served two terms as governor in the 1990s.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Cellini remains in regular contact with Edgar's chiefs of staff, said Dillard, who had the job for three years.

"When I was the governor's chief of staff, Bill and I talked, but it wasn't nearly as often as people imagined . . . a couple times a month," Dillard said. "It could be (about) upcoming political races or just rumors he would pick up.

"One of the things that makes Bill Cellini a trusted adviser is the longevity and breadth of his experience in state government," Dillard said.

"Bill Cellini personally cares in a friendship type of fashion . . . about governors Thompson and Edgar," Dillard said. "He's very different . . . from many of the other individuals who tangentially profit from government."
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