Last week Juan Rangel resigned as head of the United Neighborhood Organization, the largest charter school operator in Illinois.
Dan Mihalopoulos of the Sun-Times reported:
Juan Rangel, longtime leader of the clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization, is out as UNO’s $250,000-a-year chief executive in the wake of a scandal that cost the group millions in state funding and led to a federal investigation of its bond dealings.
Mihalopoulos and the Sun-Times have been on the UNO-Rangel story for a while and have done a good job of detailing the sordid Rangel’s sordid relationship with Chicago and Illinois Democrats.
They reported his close relationship with Rahm Emanuel. Rangel was Rahm’s election chair.
The Sun-Times reported on Rangel’s ties to Speaker and Dem Party Boss Mike Madigan and Governor Squeezy, both of whom greased the wheels for a hundred million dollars in tax money for Rangel’s scandal ridden charters.
Rangel has close ties to politicians including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose 2011 campaign Rangel co-chaired, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who sponsored a $98 million state school-construction grant to UNO in 2009.
Rangel has been a longtime admirer and ally of Bruce Rauner, a huge funder of charter schools as one of his income generating streams. Listen to this praise of Rauner:
At a recent speech to the City Club of Chicago, Rangel went on a tirade about the CTU and defended Chicago’s billionaire elites in the face of criticism by Chicago’s hardworking taxpayers:
[CEO Rangel] praised the work of wealthy charter school supporters — and mayoral allies — like Bruce Rauner and the Pritzker family. “Do we have the resolve to embrace Chicago’s wealthy community… and support them as a focal source of energy that fuels the school reform movement with their money? Or will we shy away from them and allow the silly talk that currently passes for debate about the so-called one-percenters privatizing our schools?”
Right-wing Zahm thinks this makes Rauner a Democrat.
I think it demonstrates how little difference these party labels make when it comes to schools, charters, unions and big money.