The Associated Press is reporting that “a lobbying firm with close ties to a key subcontractor hired to promote the nation's health care law in Illinois is hosting a fundraiser for one of Gov. Pat Quinn's top political donors, raising questions about ‘pay to play’ politics amid the state's highly competitive governor's race."
More from the AP:
The Roosevelt Group is hosting a breakfast fundraiser Tuesday for the Democratic Governors Association "honoring Pat Quinn," according to an invitation sent out last week that lists suggested sponsorship levels of between $20,000 and $2,500. The Democratic Governors Association formed a political action committee last fall to support Quinn's re-election and has contributed $260,000 to it so far this year. In 2010, the group gave about $1.8 million to Quinn — making it the Chicago Democrat's second-biggest donor, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Roosevelt Group was co-founded by its two partners, Mike Noonan and Victor Reyes. A third person, Maze Jackson, is a lobbyist for the company. The three own Compass Public Affairs, a political strategy consulting firm that has a $250,000 state subcontract for the "Get Covered Illinois" marketing campaign. The contract, which paid Compass at a rate of $282 per hour, may be renewed when it ends in August.
The invitation shows a photo of Quinn with the governor's name in the largest size font on the page. It reads: "You are cordially invited to a Breakfast Fundraiser for the: Democratic Governors Association honoring: Pat Quinn."
The Roosevelt Group principals are among the best-known Democratic political strategists in Illinois. Noonan is a former staffer for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and a former campaign manager for Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Reyes is an ex-aide to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and founded the powerful Hispanic Democratic Organization. Jackson is a former statewide field director for Quinn.
The men's political strategy company, Compass, is part of a team working with FleishmanHillard to promote President Barack Obama's health care law in his home state under a $33 million contract that ends in August, but is up for renewal. Compass helped develop the "Get Covered Illinois" campaign's grassroots strategy and supervised outreach to church leaders, black business leaders and ethnic media.
Read more from the AP article here.