Shady Donors Funnel Money To Wisconsin Governor Candidates

Convictions, charges, probes dog Illinois power brokers

November 28, 2005

Madison - The three Republican and Democratic candidates for governor next year have accepted nearly $23,000 since 2003 from Illinois contributors who have been convicted or indicted of extortion, fraud, bribery or other crimes, or who are connected to state and federal criminal investigations, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has found.

Some of the reputations of the 10 Illinois power brokers have even prompted politicians there to return campaign contributions from those donors.

Republican candidate Mark Green has been criticized for keeping several contributions totaling $28,845 since 1998 from political committees controlled by former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was indicted on criminal conspiracy and money laundering charges involving the 2002 Texas legislative elections.

DeLay’s legal troubles and his ties to Green have been well publicized. WDC investigated and found legal controversies surrounding several lesser-known Illinois contributors to Green and the other candidates, Republican Scott Walker and Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Here is a profile of the charges, investigations or controversies that surround them, and the amount of campaign contributions they have invested in the three candidates for governor:

  • Stuart Levine, a prominent Chicago attorney and former member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and former trustee of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, gave Green $4,000 and Walker $3,000 in 2003. His wife, Sheri, contributed another $2,000 to each candidate. Levine, widely known in Illinois for giving millions in contributions to mostly Republican candidates, was charged this year with 28 felonies accusing him of denying construction permits to hospitals that refused to hire politically connected contractors and financiers from whom he would receive kickbacks. In a separate case he also was charged with 13 counts of wire and mail fraud, soliciting a bribe and extortion for seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms seeking to do business with the teachers’ pension fund.
  • Nicholas Hurtgen, of Glencoe, a former aide to Republican Governor Tommy Thompson and former senior manager of Bear Stearns & Company’s Chicago office gave $4,013 to Green in 2003. His wife, Catherine, gave Green another $4,000 that year. Hurtgen, who has been indicted on seven charges of mail and wire fraud and extortion, is accused of conspiring with Levine to force an Illinois hospital to hire a particular contractor in order to get state approval for their project. Federal authorities say Hurtgen participated in the scheme to get Bear Stearns the financing deal for the project. Hurtgen also has ties to Walker who hired Bear Stearns to underwrite a $100 million Milwaukee County bond deal, and to Doyle for whom Hurtgen helped organize an October 2002 Chicago fundraiser reportedly attended by a host of gambling interests.
  • Patrick Ryan, of Winnetka, founder and chairman of Aon Corporation, the world’s second largest insurance broker, contributed $2,000 to Walker in 2003. Last March, Aon agreed to repay customers $190 million to settle a federal complaint that accused Ryan and the company of cheating customers by steering them to certain insurers in return for kickbacks and the insurers’ promises to use Aon for its own coverage or reinsurance needs.
  • Joseph Cari, a prominent Chicago attorney and former finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee, contributed $314.55 to Green in 2003. Cari pleaded guilty in September to attempted extortion in a kickback scheme with Levine in 2004 that funneled Teachers’ Retirement System business to select people and companies.
  • Dean Buntrock, of Oakbrook Terrace, founder and former chairman of Waste Management, contributed $1,500 to Doyle in 2003. Buntrock and other company executives settled a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint in August that accused them of “massive financial fraud” from 1992 to 1997 for lying about the company’s financial condition and overstating profits by $1.7 billion. The settlement required Buntrock to pay $19.45 million in penalties and other payments.
  • Bob Kjellander, a Springfield lobbyist and treasurer of the Republican National Committee, contributed $1,000 to Walker in 2003. Kjellander is under scrutiny by federal investigators for his role in helping a Washington-based investment firm land a $500 million contract with the Teachers’ Retirement System. The firm, Carlyle Group, is reportedly paying Kjellander between $2.8 million and $4.5 million, and federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records concerning Kjellander’s fees. Kjellander drew public attention in 2004 when it was revealed Bear Stearns & Company paid Kjellander $809,000 to lobby the state for a $10 billion bond deal. It was later reported that Bear Stearns, which earned $8 million for handling the deal, paid Kjellander even though there was no record he did any work to help the company get the bond deal. No charges have been filed against Kjellander, his company or Carlyle.
  • Alexander Lerner, of Glencoe, head of the Illinois State Medical Society, contributed $1,000 to Walker at a January 2003 fundraiser in Illinois. Lerner cooperated with a federal corruption investigation involving alleged bribes for contracts taken by Donald Udstuen. Lerner was not charged but he admitted accepting some of the bribery money paid to Udstuen. Udstuen, a lobbyist and close adviser to former Governor George Ryan, pleaded guilty to a tax charge in connection with the bribes he received in the Ryan corruption scandal. Ryan is now on trial in a 22-county federal indictment for racketeering, fraud and other corruption allegations.
  • John Burgess, of Buffalo Grove, chief executive officer of International Profit Associates, a telemarketer that sells business management consulting services, contributed $5,000 to Doyle in 2005. Burgess lost his law license after an attempted grand larceny conviction in the 1980s. Burgess’ company was sued in 1999 by the state attorney general on behalf of former employees who claimed they had not been reimbursed for expenses or paid commissions. The suit was settled and the claims were submitted to arbitration. He contributed $50,000 in 2002 to Democrat Rod Blagojevich’s successful run for Illinois governor, but Blagojevich returned the money after reporters questioned Burgess’ past.
  • Michael Ficaro, of Oak Lawn, gave $123.74 to Green’s campaign in 2003. Ficaro was among eight members of the Ungaretti & Harris law firm, including Joseph Cari, whose contributions to Green totaled $2,233.91 on September 24, 2003. The figure probably represents in-kind contributions, rather than more common cash contributions, to pay for the costs of a fundraiser the lawyers held for Green. Ficaro is suing a law firm that accused him of having ties to organized crime in court documents filed in a town of Rosemont casino bankruptcy case. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has accused some of the failed Emerald Casino project’s investors, who Ficaro represented in licensing proceedings before state gambling regulators in 2002, of mob ties.
  • John Glennon, of Lake Forest, owner of North American Capital Corporation and a former adviser to Governor George Ryan, gave $1,000 to Walker in 2003. Glennon has been charged in the Levine-Hurtgen embezzlement and fraud scheme with criminal conspiracy for concealing kickbacks in the financing and construction of two Illinois hospitals and lying to federal authorities.

In addition to Blagojevich, at least one other Illinois politician has returned a contribution from one of these donors. GOP House Representative Ray LaHood said he returned a $1,000 contribution he received from Levine in 2000 because he has a policy of returning money to contributors if they are indicted.

Illinois contributors who gave $100 or more Green, Walker and Doyle since 2003 can be found below.

Table 1
Large Individual Contributors* from Illinois to Republican Mark Green
January 2003 – June 2005

CONTRIBUTOR CITY EMPLOYER AMOUNT
Greenberg , Lorraine Lake Zurich Promotions Unlimited $8,500.00
Hurtgen, Nick & Catherine Glencoe Bear, Stearns & Co $8,012.63
Levine, Stuart & Sheri Highland Park Attorney $6,000.00
Cooper, Carey & Cheryl Highland Park National Fragile X Foundation $4,000.00
Anirudhan, Madhavan Romeoville Essen Nutrition $2,000.00
Sarang, Bineet Schaumburg Sarang Corp $2,000.00
Gilbert, Janet Oak Park Canadian National Railway $1,500.00
Locke, Charles Lake Forest Retired $1,000.00
Modi, Leonardo Highland Park Modi Antiques $1,000.00
Dellin, Edward Chicago William Blair & Co $1,000.00
Vinson, Sam Aurora Ungaretti & Harris $1,000.00
Bhardwaj, Yogi Gurnee National Petroleum Inc $1,000.00
Wolfe, James Oak Brook Knight InfraStructure $750.00
Packard, Nancy Roscoe Regal-Beloit Corp $500.00
Cari, Joseph Chicago Ungaretti & Harris $314.55
Shea, Courtney Chicago Kemper Securities $250.00
Bibby, John Jr Hinsdale Jones, Day, et al $250.00
Coe, Lynn Barrington Chapman & Cutler $250.00
Mariano, Robert Lake Forest Roundy’s $250.00
Philippi, Michael Chicago Ungaretti & Harris $224.34
Fahey, Thomas Chicago Ungaretti & Harris $213.94
Harris, John Chicago Pittiglio, Rabin, et al $200.00
Levenstein, Gary Highland Park No Employer Listed $168.84
Bahcall, Miriam Chicago Ungaretti & Harris $129.52
Ungaretti, Richard Chicago Ungaretti & Harris $127.21
Ficaro, Michael Oak Lawn Ungaretti & Harris $123.74
Eaton, Timothy Wilmette Ungaretti & Harris $100.61

Table 2
Large Individual Contributors* from Illinois to Republican Scott Walker
January 2003 – June 2005

CONTRIBUTOR CITY EMPLOYER AMOUNT
Kiley, James & Lynn Chicago Robeco USA $5,329.94
Levine, Stuart & Sheri Highland Park Attorney $5,000.00
Hunter, Michael Antioch Akorn Inc $3,000.00
Fitzpatrick, John G Chicago Continental Investment Group $2,500.00
Stritch, Edward Chicago Concord Group $2,500.00
Wrubel, Brian & Amie Chicago Marquette Associates $2,500.00
Mariano, Robert Lake Forest Roundy’s $2,000.00
Ryan, Patrick & Shirley Winnetka Aon Corp $2,000.00
Ryan, John Clemens Wilmette Republican US Senate candidate $2,000.00
Kjellander, Robert Springfield Springfield Consulting Group $1,000.00
Brunsvold, Elizabeth C Chicago Illinois Republican State Senate Campaign Committee $1,000.00
Kaput, Jim L Lemont Servicemaster $1,000.00
Lerner, Alexander & Marianne Glencoe Illinois State Medical Society $1,000.00
Glennon, John Lake Forest North American Capital Corp $1,000.00
Gilbert, David Glencoe Clear Blue LLC $1,000.00
Kenny, James & Margaret Glenview Kenny Construction $1,000.00
Lynch, Patrick Glen Ellyn Chicago Equity Partners $1,000.00
McKenna, Andrew & Mary Glenview Schwarz Paper Co $1,000.00
Mogentale, Eric Winnetka Walton Street Capital $1,000.00
Smith, Harold B Glenview Illinois Tool Works $1,000.00
Thompson, James Chicago Winston & Strawn $1,000.00
Malec, Mark Gurnee Neumann Homes $500.00
Moulthrop, David Aurora Rogers Memorial Hospital $500.00
Bush, Rick Glen Ellyn Homebuilder $500.00
Ramm, Dennis Geneva STV Group $500.00
Sellett, Barbara Flossmoor School choice $250.00
Plezbert, David St Charles M/A-Com $250.00
Cohen, Burton Chicago Self-employed $250.00
Lau, Daniel Hawthorn Woods Camp Dresser & McKee $250.00
Duggan, John Chicago Concord Group $200.00
Dyrud, M John Wilmette Retired $200.00
Hayden, Brian P Bartlett Tries & Rice $200.00
Classen, Douglas Glen Ellyn Dana Investment Advisors $147.00
Furlong, Mark Lake Forest M&I Bank $100.00
Levis, Phillip Evanston No Employer Listed $100.00
Holmes, Aaron Hillside No Employer Listed $100.00
Putrenieks, Arnis R Barrington Lafayette Partnership LLC $100.00
Greig, Paul Lake Forest No Employer Listed $100.00

Table 3
Large Individual Contributors* from Illinois to Democratic Governor Jim Doyle
January 2003 – June 2005

CONTRIBUTOR CITY EMPLOYER AMOUNT
Cambio, Nathan & Tina Highland Park ATC Leasing Co $20,000.00
Collins, Thomas & Roxanne La Grange Collins Engineers Inc $12,000.00
Horton, Glenn Orland Park Horton Group $10,000.00
Kiley, Roger Chicago Law Offices of Roger Kiley $6,000.00
Mariano, Robert Lake Forest Roundy’s $6,000.00
Silver, Michael & Mary Chicago Equis Corp $5,750.00
Burgess, John Buffalo Grove IPA-IBA $5,000.00
Casper , Joseph III Chicago Real estate developer $5,000.00
Steinberg, Gregg Northbrook IPA-IBA $5,000.00
Wolfe, James Burr Ridge Knight InfraStructure $5,000.00
Lentz, Kevin Arlington Heights Knight InfraStructure $4,000.00
Cutler, Winston Chicago SAP America $3,500.00
Wolfberg, Daniel & Robert Chicago Payday Loan Store $2,550.00
Rooney, Phillip Hinsdale Retired $2,500.00
Mitrovic, Slobodan Deerfield Industrial Handling Equipment Inc $2,400.00
Brinati, William Norridge No Employer Listed $2,000.00
Dixon, Cindy Johnsburg Prime Commercial Corp $2,000.00
Knight, Christopher Glencoe Foley & Lardner $2,000.00
Musa, Michael Orland Park Environmental Protection Industries $2,000.00
Post, Erik Winnetka FTI Consulting $2,000.00
Wake, Richard Naperville EBY-Brown Co $2,000.00
Kuhlman, Margaret Chicago Oracle Corp $1,750.00
Petkovich, Vlado Chicago Advanced Practical Solutions $1,618.19
Blanusha, James Tinley Park CTE Engineers $1,500.00
Buhler, Robert Lake Forest Open Pantry $1,500.00
Buntrock, Dean Oakbrook Terrace Extended Stay America $1,500.00
Englehart, Harry Chicago Beacon Advisors Inc $1,500.00
Jacobs, John Downers Grove SimDesk Technologies $1,500.00
Welker, Kevin Darien Speedy Loan Corp $1,100.00
Petrovic, Milan Chicago Advanced Practical Solutions $1,074.49
Bauer, Patrick Hinsdale Bearing Point $1,000.00
Bobins, Norman Chicago La Salle Bank $1,000.00
Bossy, David Hinsdale Mid-America Development Partners LLC $1,000.00
Carlson, Le Roy Evanston TDS Telecom $1,000.00
Dierking, William Lake in the Hills No Employer Listed $1,000.00
Eanes, Raullo Naperville National City Bank $1,000.00
Elkins, Gary Northbrook JG Medical Software LLC $1,000.00
Fahner, Tyrone Chicago Mayer, Brown, et al $1,000.00
Fischer, Robert Park Ridge CTE Engineers $1,000.00
Guidarelli, Matt Willowbrook Hygieneering Inc $1,000.00
Kamin, Kim Chicago Schiff, Hardin & Waite $1,000.00
Kovacevic, Dragan Lake Forest City Fresh Market $1,000.00
Larusso, Joseph La Grange Park Fahrner Asphalt Sealers $1,000.00
McAlpine, Jill Wheaton Homemaker $1,000.00
Montross, David Chicago Equis Corp $1,000.00
Ohl, Kevin Aurora Crowe Chizek & Co $1,000.00
Petersen, William Chicago Vedder, Price & Kaufman $1,000.00
Ramm, Dennis Geneva STV Group $1,000.00
Rogers, William Loves Park Rogers Development $1,000.00
Soodan, Kehar Chicago Soodan & Associates $1,000.00
Tuchman, Michael Northbrook Levenfeld Pearlstein Law Firm $1,000.00
Wyma, John Chicago John Wyma & Associates $1,000.00
McDermott, Maura La Grange Park Begirra Design $750.00
Silver, Mary Chicago Equis Corp $750.00
Goldenberg, Jay Deerfield Cashland Check Cashing $600.00
Betzelos, Steve Elburn Diversified Dental Systems $500.00
Bjelopetrovich, Dane Skokie No Employer Listed $500.00
Bouchard, Anthony Wilmette CTE Engineers $500.00
Conlon, Kevin Wilmette Wilhelm & Conlon Public Strategies $500.00
Condo, Joseph Park Ridge No Employer Listed $500.00
Coughlin, Catherine Barrington SBC Communications $500.00
Furlong, Mark Lake Forest M&I Bank $500.00
Goldner, Gregory Chicago CTE Engineers $500.00
Hedge, Thomas Libertyville Kraft Foods $500.00
Henke, Randy North Barrington Alfred Benesch & Co $500.00
Hosanna, Joseph Glendale Heights CTE Engineers $500.00
Hovde, Steven Barrington Hovde Financial $500.00
Jackson, Tim Oswego Wausau Insurance $500.00
Kolloway, Michael Tinley Park CTE Engineers $500.00
Lucas, Mark Park Ridge CTE Engineers $500.00
McKenzie, Shawn North Barrington SBC Communications $500.00
Menarik, Mark Park Ridge Tancher $500.00
Mologousis, Beatrice Homer Glen Homemaker $500.00
Nedinic, Boro Morton Grove Boro Plumbing $500.00
Oremus, James New Lenox Central Ready Mixed $500.00
Patch, James Roscoe Allied Games $500.00
Pineda, Candice Hanover Park Comark Inc $500.00
Pomerantz, Harold Chicago DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US $500.00
Rinehart, Kathleen Lake Forest Michael, Best & Friedrich $500.00
Roggemann, John Jr St Charles CGI-AMS $500.00
Sutton, Michael Evanston Infrastructure Engineering Inc $500.00
Berra Swafford, Pamela Naperville Naperville Park District Board $500.00
Waite, David Cary Ciber $500.00
Wilhelm, David Chicago Wilhelm & Conlon Public Strategies $500.00
Zivak, Slobodan Chicago Norman Mechanical Inc $500.00
Hosler, Sheila Plainfield PLS Financial Services Inc $450.00
Ponticelli, Kevin Northbrook Kraft Foods $375.00
Peterson, Michael Wheaton Lexmark International Inc $340.00
Baksha, Joseph Naperville Outlook Group Corp $250.00
Boyd, Thomas Libertyville Kraft Foods $250.00
Cecchi, Daniel Elburn Collins Engineers Inc $250.00
Harney, Anne Chicago Collins Engineers Inc $250.00
Kovacevic, Radovan Lake Forest Boro Plumbing $250.00
Thomas, Cherryl Chicago Ardmore Associates LLC $250.00
Wackrow, Janet Brookfield Collins Engineers Inc $250.00
Zurcher, Mark Chicago Kraft Foods $250.00
Bacalao, Enrique Aurora Alliant $200.00
Beric, Zoran Arlington Heights No Employer Listed $200.00
Brunner, Craig Mt Prospect Metcalf & Eddy $200.00
Burger, George Geneva Holcim Inc $200.00
Eckman, John Crystal Lake LaFarge Corp $200.00
Fatum, Stephen Wilmette Barnes & Thornburg $200.00
McNeil, Donald Chicago No Employer Listed $200.00
Milosevic, Dragan Chicago Schiff, Gorman, Krkljes $200.00
Orlic, Milos Lincolnwood No Employer Listed $200.00
Herrmann, James Elmhurst Third Wave Technologies $150.00
Perry, Richard Roscoe Beloit Area Community Health Center $150.00
Adelson, Lawrence Wilmette Heartland Partners $100.00
Arora, Mannesh Woodridge No Employer Listed $100.00
Cagigal, David Naperville Alliant $100.00
Carlson, Philip Naperville No Employer Listed $100.00
Chorzempa, David North Riverside No Employer Listed $100.00
Crawford, Derek Glenview No Employer Listed $100.00
Etmekjian, Charles Buffalo Grove No Employer Listed $100.00
Gardner, Brian Buffalo Grove No Employer Listed $100.00
Haskins, John Naperville Majestic View Dairy $100.00
Johnson, Scott McHenry Nurse anesthetist $100.00
Justen, Nancy & Mark McHenry George R Justen & Sons Funeral Home $100.00
Leary, Jane Evanston No Employer Listed $100.00
Lloyd, John Oak Brook No Employer Listed $100.00
Moro, John Glenview No Employer Listed $100.00
Ormsby, Keith Champaign No Employer Listed $100.00
Oszkandy, Chester Grayslake NAI MLG Commercial $100.00
Pellegrino, Michael Lake Bluff No Employer Listed $100.00
Rust, Mark Wilmette No Employer Listed $100.00
Smith, Scott Beloit Beloit Fire Dept $100.00
Waldon, Dennis Flossmoor Lavin & Waldon $100.00

*Contributors of $100 or more per year.