Now a detailed memo is being circulated raising questions about Pritzker’s financial involvement in that Communist country.
Most of the memo deals with new hotels built by the family Hyatt chain, of which Pritzker is a beneficiary, or efforts by the family’s Marmon Group to develop the Chinese coal industry. Those investments are in some cases 30 years old, uncontroversial at least in the case of hotels, and did not directly involve the governor.
Arguably more pertinent are more recent investments by Pritzker personally. As reported in state disclosure documents, they include a membership interest of undisclosed size in funds run by Bridgewater Associates and Two Sigma Fund.
Bridgewater’s investments included money in the Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund, which effectively is the investment vehicle for the Chinese government. Two Sigma, in turn, was one of the largest investors in three large Chinese firms delisted by the New York Stock Exchange as per U.S. rules for being too close to the Chinese military.
Is that a problem? Though Griffin had an explanation for the security investment – he thought the firm could grow with Olympics contracts – it didn’t look good at first glance. Similarly, Pritzker doesn’t look very good if his money is in companies that can’t trade in the U.S. because they’re tight with the Chinese military.
Pritzker’s campaign spokesman offers two replies.
The first: “Gov. Pritzker is not invested in Hyatt or Marmon and hasn’t been for years. The governor has never had management authority in either company and is not involved in any investment decisions. Richard Irvin is once again grasping at straws to deflect the focus from his megadonor Ken Griffin’s shocking, intentional investments….(including) the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-democratic surveillance efforts.”
The second answer is that, since he became governor, all of his assets are in “a blind trust, the terms of which prevent him from even communicating with the trustee let alone make any decisions over the trust’s assets. Likewise, Governor Pritzker voluntarily distanced himself from other pre-existing trusts of which he is a beneficiary, even though those trust arrangements did not give him any authority over individual asset investment decisions to begin with.”
Meanwhile, says a spokeswoman for Irvin, “The governor owes voters an explanation for his investment ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”