Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner had some explaining to do last week when news broke of the federal indictment of two high level executives of ConvergEx, a company formed and controlled by private equity firm GTCR while Rauner was its chairman.
But not to worry. Rauner assures us he's "five layers away" from the miscreants.
Where have we heard that excuse before?
Oh yes, it was in The Godfather: Part II.
It was the scene where Willi Cicci, a soldier in Corleone organization, testified before a Congressional committee about the many layers of management in place to protect the head of the family, the "Godfather" Michael Corleone. Cicci is questioned by U.S. Senator Pat Geary, a corrupt politician in the pocket of the Corleones. Just as Rauner has his own "soldiers" to echo dishonest talking points, here Geary solicits testimony seeking to separate the Godfather from Cicci's dirty work.
SENATOR PAT GEARY: Mr. Cicci, would you care to amplify your answer?
WILLI CICCI: Would I what?
GEARY: Would you expand on your response? I'm interested to know, was there always a buffer involved?
CICCI: A what?
GEARY: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
CICCI: Right, yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers.
As voters continue to learn more about Rauner's long history of questionable business practices, maybe he'll soon borrow another line, this one from the original Godfather. You remember the one, at the very end of the movie when Michael Corleone is confronted by his wife - right before she leaves the room and the door is shut in her face.
"Don't ask me about my business."
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.