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Rutherford has to redo petitions

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

* As long he’s fixed them now there will be no lasting damage. But Dan Rutherford’s infamously tight grip on every dollar means he doesn’t have many staff members, particularly those who could catch something like this

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is running for the GOP nomination for governor as the experienced pro who can lead the party to victory, had to junk his nominating petitions earlier this month after his campaign found a fatal wording error in them.

Mr. Rutherford now has new petitions on the street and is expected to easily qualify for the ballot when petitions are filed next month. But in the process, nearly a month of field work was undone — a bit of an embarrassment for a contender whose campaign website describes him as someone with “the professional and governmental experience” that is needed to lead.

According to Craig Burkhardt, an election-law attorney who recently joined the Rutherford campaign, the wording problem was noticed by the campaign sometime in the first week of October, about a month after Mr. Rutherford added attorney Steve Kim as his lieutenant governor running mate and began circulating petitions.

The petitions failed to include a notarized statement that they had been circulated “not more than 90 days preceding the last day for filing of the petitions.” That boilerplate language is required by law.


…Adding… To avoid any possible confusion, please make sure to note that Craig Burkhardt was brought in to fix the problem. He wasn’t around when the mistake happened.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    After the Romney petition debacle, you’d think he’d be on top of his petitions this time.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    Odelson, Raucci, Jackonetty, Kasper.

    That is the list.

    Can’t go to those guys?

    Get someone who can at least …understand … how petitons are to be …legal(?)

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I was too busy tweeting about what I was watching this weekend while on the treadmill to worry about my petitons! #NoBallotAccessNoProblem

    Keep the tweeting up, and keep screwing up the fundamentals.

    You won statewide, for goodness sakes and your petitons were sent out wrong?

    Kinda like the SSNs in the Envelopes?

    Dan is not about the details(?) Maybe …

  3. - Bond, Gold Bond - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    And just wait until someone closely examines the treasurer’s staff/campaign staff kabuki two-step.

  4. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    “Have a good lawyer. Keep your hand on your wallet. The laws are unfair.” — Lou Reed (2000).

    – MrJM

  5. - A guy... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    Hard to believe this can happen in a high level campaign that is not hastily waged. Sometimes it’s worth a hundred bucks to get it looked at. I think there’s even a standard legal one available on the Election Commission website. He’ll survive this, but it is embarrassing and nothing frosts volunteers like wasting their time.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I knew something was wrong when Pongee was listed as the Notary #TireTrackEqualsNotaryStamp

    @FakeRutherfordDan - Details are not what I am about, I am big picture, an “idea” guy. #HowAboutTheIdeaOfGoodPetitions

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I learned alot after Romney, and I am sure no one would have challenged me, like I threatened #KarmaViaPetitions

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I am just telling supporters that it is an honor to get their signature twice. #LemonsOutOfLemonPetitons

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I heard “Grogran” had petitons in Crayon, so I am ahead of him, ok? #JasonPlummerLeavingHisMark

    @FakeRutherfordDan - I am sure all those who spent their own time to get signatures won’t mind doing it again #TheirTimeIsMyTime

    @FakeRutherfordDan - Yeahm I was going to challenge petitons for the Convention, I am sure those I would challenge wouldn’t do that to me. #BeingRighteousLeadsToResentmet

    @FakeRutherfordDan - Pongee will be delivering the “new” petitons shortly. Pongee hasn’t mesed up things this bad, so Pongee might be back to help #AnythingToNotTalkAboutFiasco

    @FakeRutherfordDan - Movie I am watching after this fiasco? The Paper Chase #FakeDanCracksFakeDanUp

  7. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    Sometimes the simplest errors are staring you right in the face and you don’t even notice. Like leaving your glasses on top of your head and forgetting where you put them for a moment.

    On the other hand, you are more likely to miss those simple errors when you are trying to keep staff at a bare minimum.

    Either way, it’s good for a quick chuckle. If that is the worst that happens on a campaign - whether it be for dogcatcher, clerk, mayor or governor - you will usually be able to look back and laugh at that boneheaded moment come election day.

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    MrJM, I spotted that quote from Lou Reed yesterday (RIP).

    “Get a good lawyer” is my standard message on all graduation cards. As an adult, you’re going to need one eventually; you don’t want to be looking through the Yellow Pages when the time comes.

  9. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Wow - this is a really impressive level of incompetence by his campaign staff. If I were Dan, I’d be pretty worried - not about the petitions, but about his overall operation.

  10. - Siriusly - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    “What do you mean the petitions can’t include that picture of me pointing?”

  11. - Just Wondering - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:53 am:


    Of the four lawyers that you listed, only Odelson will sometimes handle GOP candidates. The others are Democrats and Raucci rarely does petitions any longer.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    If memory serves …

    Quote from the Post …

    ===One Romney source described Rutherford’s leadership as “a complete disaster” and said Romney’s campaign headquarters had to fly paid staffers to Illinois to collect signatures at Chicago-area train stations and walk precincts because the treasurer’s organization had failed to collect enough signatures.

    The Romney high command, the source said, “was flabbergasted that an Illinois statewide official had no organization.”===

    Paper Tiger? All we hear is Dan rutherford has been all over, and has the organization. Well, if Dan got the Organizational issues resolved, then Dan Rutherford has real issues… that Dan can’t get petitons rolled out with the correct verbage to get ON the ballot?

    Keep the Tweeting up Dan…I needed to know you did laundry this weekend, while you had to redo petitions.

    Details matter. They always do.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    - Just Wondering -,

    Making the point that there are those who make a career at being the best at things like … election law, and those four are the best.


    ===Can’t go to those guys?

    Get someone who can at least …understand … how petitons are to be …legal(?)===

    I think I made it quite clear that Dan needed to find someone who at least …understood … how to make petitons legal, in that post, not that those four are the only ones that need to be the attorney.

    Odelson, Raucci, Jackonetty, and Kasper are the measuring sticks and on their own tier.

    Rutherford owed it to all his supporters, to not waste their time with petitons that do not pass muster, and missing the details, seems to be a Rutherford calling card.

  14. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Darn it, Rutherford. Why can’t you just run a competent campaign?

    Dillard is determined to do everything possible to make himself as unelectable in a blue state as Bill Brady. Mission accomplished.

    I thought Rutherford would be a serious challenge for Rauner because, while he hasn’t run a great campaign, he’s run a mistake free one. Seems like that might not be the case for long.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    JW, instead of waiting until now, he could’ve asked Burkhardt for help months ago. Your point is therefore dilatory.

  16. - A Modest Proposal - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    Rutherford, on the campaign trail, is saying that one of his attributes is that he is hands on. This type of hands on work doesn’t benefit the campaign, and it won’t benefit the state to have a hands on person who doesn’t know what they are doing attempting to run this state.

  17. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:39 pm:


    I tell the kids I know, “Put my number in your cell phone under ‘Attorney.’ If you get in trouble, tell them that’s who you want to call. If you call me first, I’ll call your parents and you won’t have to.”

    That last bit usually makes the sale.

    – MrJM

  18. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    This is interesting. My parents (who were repped by Rutherford in the GA for years) got some letter recently with copies of Rutherford petitions in the mail for them to circulate which they thought a little odd because while they are regular GOP primary voters and probably will vote for Dan they’ve never worked on a campaign before at all.

  19. - Ray del Camino - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Penny-wise and pound-foolish.

  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    Rutherford is short staffed not because of his fiscal policy with his campaign but because he’s just that difficult to work with. One of his staffers/drivers quit this weekend in the MIDDLE of a commute from Pontiac to the burbs.

  21. - Wumpus - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    This is the worst disaster for precinct walkers/petition circulators since Rauschy (where is he now) changed his aim from Got to Lt Gov.

  22. - walkinfool - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    Hundreds of candidates do this correctly every cycle, without expert legal help. The requirements are clear and widely available. The problems usually come later, with signatures, or filing.

    Having a second set of experienced eyes before printing petitions, always helps.

  23. - A. Nonymous - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:09 pm:


    The blank petition templates are right there on the DOE website. Put down ‘the Twitter’ and open the 2014 Candidates Guide PDF.

    Teh Interwebs ain’t that difficult.

  24. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    I do have to laugh about one part of this. BOILERPLATE is called boilerplate for a reason.

    Ok Dan, let’s try this: Cut, paste, print. There, now was that so hard?

  25. - Archiesmom - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    I’ve had an experienced commercial printer catch petition mistakes like this. There’s no excuse.

  26. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    Problems with petitions happen more than they should. Here’s a flashback…

    “Prosecutors say that in President Obama’s case, nine of the petition pages were apparently forged. Each petition contains up to 10 names, making a possible total of 90 names, which, if faked, could have brought the Obama total below the legal limit required to qualify.”

  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    Logic, that’s quite an effort for a little gratuitous Obama-bashing. Well done.

  28. - Norseman - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    Dan would have made sure the petitions were right if they had a picture of him throughout or they were a draft tweet. Dan cares about Dan. Administering an office is just an undesired sideline from his mission to achieve the highest level his ego desires.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    - Norseman -, make sure the OW/Bill petitons are looked at by someone. I will be busy tweeting about …whatever …

    To the Post,

    I hope no one thought I was taking issue with Craig Burkhardt. No one trying to “correct” the issue should take the blame away from those who created the crisis.

    Penny-wise and pound-foolish, indeed, - Ray del Camino -!

    Remember, the first and most important decision Dan rutherford made was Steve Kim, … “Oh! Steve Kim! That guy?”, and the second decision was to hire someone to “correct” petitons that were not correct in the first place.

    Details are not Dan Rutherford’s strong suit, unless it makes a Sweet…Tweet.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:37 pm:

    @FakeJasonPlummer - Oh yeah, @FakeRutherfordDan, it’s true Bob Grogan’s (the ‘r’ is optional) petitions are done in crayon, & by me, but they are at least legal! #Burn #BurnNoSeriouslyBurnTheBadPetitons

  31. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    Word: Not much effort. Anyone involved in politics should remember it and one quick google search found many articles about it. And the article also referenced Hillary Clinton having problems with petitions too. My point wasn’t to bash; but to reinforce that issues with petitions aren’t as uncommon as they should be. There is a bit of irony in it though related to Obama as his supporters challenged all of his opponents petitions as he got his start in politics.

    My point isn’t who; but just that petition issues are a lot more common than they really should logically be.

  32. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:17 pm:

    That boilerplate has been in Illinois’ peititions for a long time and this is not Dan Rutherford’s first time to the rodeo at the Board of Elections. You’d think if he didn’t have an election law lawyer on board at the begining he might have wanted to check out the petition himself for all the times he’s done this.

  33. - Downstater - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    More cynicism by Oswego Willy! That’s about all you get from him.

  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:41 pm:

    Get your petitons right … the first time.

    I hate losing, and I am tired of Dopey campaings making amateur mistakes, and making terrible decisions, all in the name of My Party losing time and time again. Use your “search” engine.

    These 4 running for governor, only hear how great, how wonderful, how “special” they are, how smart …

    It is not my place to tell them how great they are. They have those around them to do that …

    They all need to be better, do better, or the snark, or the mocking, or even the unsolicited advice helps, then that is good.

    No one is listening to me, anyway, except you…

    Every time you make it about me, it just reinforces the fact of the post, like being grossly unprepared to have petitons out there that will not pass muster, all the while tweeting about meals, yeah, they are going to hear about it.

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy

  35. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:44 pm:

    A Total RE-do??? Oh Brother, for just the very BAsics of a Campaign, and on such a rudimentary matter, that’s just NOT a really good sign at all…!

  36. - Samurai - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 6:06 pm:

    Dan, don’t forget to file the Statement of Economic Interests. That pesky form has knocked many a well intentioned, but unwary, candidates from the ballot.

  37. - BarnacleBob - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 7:03 pm:

    With all those relatives on the campaign payroll - how could this has slipped by ?

  38. - fake county chairman - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 7:37 pm:

    As a tier one race this should not happen .Dan the man needs to bounce some one.

  39. - fake county chairman - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 6:54 am:

    This what happens when the people around vou want a full time job and dont take care of the candidate.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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