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|Treasurer Candidates Discuss Bright Start Losses
|Two candidates for Illinois Treasurer have differing opinions on how badly bruised the state's prepaid college tuition program was by bad investing.
Both Republican Dan Rutherford and Democrat Robyn Kelly answered questions about the Bright Start college savings program over the weekend before the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.
Rutherford says he's heard more than one explanation about how Bright Start lost $150 million, and that he might buy one suggesting there was a "rogue investor" at manager Oppenheimer Funds.
"Doggone, if there was a rogue investor in some firm that was running millions of dollars and lost as much as they did, they'd be fired," Rutherford said. "If they were in a company, they'd be fired."
Kelly, who's a top deputy in the treasurer's office now, says the investor himself was fired, though she wants to investigate the firm if elected to the top job, though they may not be kicked out, since they do have a state contract.
"When I'm the treasurer, I'm going to look at it," Kelly said. "I'm not saying I'm not going to look at it, and what the possibilities are, or are not. But they do have some of the lowest fees in the nation." Kelly also said safeguards and extra audits have already been implemented.
Kelly points out that "When you look at those who lost money, it was three percent of our account holders" that lost money due to the alleged rogue investor. The Bright Start program did get money back in a legal settlement.
And she says money was lost in college savings programs all around the country due to the economy.
|10 05 10 by Newsroom
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