CHICAGO – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a settlement with Illinois in which it accuses the state of securities fraud related to its pension system. Possible 2014 GOP candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner commented in response:
“Illinois politicians have been dishonest in their financial dealings for years and years. They hide the true financial disaster that is going on in our government. We’re supposed to have a constitutionally required balanced budget. But they use smoke screens and shell games to kick the can down the road. If they don’t pay a bill they don’t count it as an expense. So they don’t pay bills and it’s misleading. It’s abusive to service providers. The politicians count borrowing as revenue. Borrowing is not revenue. They lie to the public, they lie to the taxpayers. Now the SEC tells us the career politicians in Springfield have been lying to bondholders about the severity of our problems. Is anyone surprised? It’s just another example in a long line of dishonesty in Springfield. They should’ve been caught years ago.”
According to the SEC, between 2005 and 2009 “the State of Illinois misled bond investors about the adequacy of its statutory plan to fund its pension obligations and the risks created by the State's underfunding of its pension systems.” Springfield misled investors and municipal bond holders as to the true state of the unfunded pension liabilities. Today, Illinois only has 40% of its pension funded, with close to $100 billion in unfunded liabilities. The SEC states that Illinois’ lack of transparency is not only unacceptable, but also illegal.
Rauner continued, “What I’m hearing on my Listening Tour is that people are fed up with corrupt career politicians. People believe it’s going to take an outsider, someone from the private sector to shake things up.”
A businessman from Chicago, Bruce Rauner is currently on a Listening Tour across Illinois with stops this week in DuPage, Effingham, Cumberland, Shelby, and Coles counties as he contemplates a 2014 bid for governor.