Brady Won't Return Money Raised By Ex-Blagojevich Fundraisers

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 22, 2010 5:40PM

Bill Brady said yesterday he would not return campaign money raised for him by former Rod Blagojevich fundraisers Dean Martinez and Juan Ochoa, despite mounting pressure from Latino leaders.

It was revealed late during Wednesday night's gubernatorial debate that Ochoa and Martinez had staged a fundraiser for Brady under the name "Latinos con Bill Brady." Brady tried to shrug it off, saying that Governor Pat Quinn was "grasping for straws," that Martinez and Ochoa were "fine people" and that the fundraiser was only one component of Brady's outreach to Hispanic voters. (Such as that is.)

So who are these fine men that Brady's accepting campaign cash from? As Progress Illinois reminds us, Dean Martinez served in the Blagojevich administration as Secretary of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and was appointed deputy governor eight days before Blagojevich's arrest on corruption charges. Quinn fired Martinez a month after his ascension to the Governorship. Ochoa was appointed by Blagojevich to head the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Commonly referred to as "McPier," Ochoa remarkably left the Authority an even worse cesspool of debt and corruption than he found it.

The entire foundation of Brady's campaign is of a man who won't accept "business as usual" in Springfield, not to mention hanging the albatross of a 20-year state budget mess on the neck of a man who's only been governor 18 months and was largely marginalized as lieutenant governor by the Human Pompadour; governor and lieutenant governor campaign independently of each other. Sure, Quinn made it easier for Brady to tie him to Blagojevich with a wealth of soundbites from prior campaigns where he said Rod was good for Illinois.

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But how does Brady reconcile his "agent of change" stance while accepting money from two men who were complicit in maintaining the status quo? For their part, neither Martinez nor Ochoa, like Tony Rezko, maintain political loyalties to any one party, opting instead to support the candidates they feel gives them the best opportunity to advance their agendas. A source shared with Chicagoist the above invitation to a fundraiser thrown last night for Alexi Giannoulias hosted by a group called "Latinos con Alexi." Juan Ochoa is listed as one of the committee members responsible for arranging the event.