Illinois Gov. Pritzker under fire for his 'blind trust' investment with state government

To the political scene, Governor JB Pritzker faces new questions about his multi-billion-dollar personal fortune.

It comes after disclosure that the governor's so-called "blind trust" invested in a company doing business with state government.

A spokeswoman said Pritzker wasn't aware of the investment until after his trustees made it. But he promised four years ago it wouldn't happen and Republican lawmakers on Friday blasted him.

"Back in 2019, he was warned he should tell his blind trust operators not to invest in any corporations that had state contracts. Why didn't that instruction get made? Because, if it had, this shouldn't have happened," said Elmhurst Republican State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi

Based on ethics disclosures filed by the governor, his trustees sometime in the year 2020 bought stock in St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, a company with contracts in Illinois and other states to manage government-paid health programs for poor people. Pritzker’s predecessor, former Gov. Bruce Rauner, first hired Centene, though Pritzker’s administration added to it.

The governor's lawyer wrote, in part, "His blind trust is just that: blind. He receives no information regarding potential investments ... He has no knowledge of the trust’s current assets. To suggest otherwise is ... potentially libelous."

"We're never going to the get to the bottom of this...on the exact size and scope of his financial holdings. That's the critical issue," Mazzochi said.


It's worth noting that the original source of this story, the Better Government Association (BGA), did receive a very large donation from Ken Griffin, Illinois’ richest billionaire and a man who's talked of spending big to defeat Pritzker.

The governor, by the way, was also once a big donor to the BGA.