* The AP matched up Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s Tweets to his official public schedule and his state travel invoices…
“Just arriving to the DuPage Township Republicans Sunday Brunch fundraiser where I will be the guest speaker,” Rutherford tweeted one Sunday last fall. Hours later, he posted that he was speaking at a Joe Neal for Illinois Senate event and at a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling.
Those fundraisers came during his stay in the Chicago suburbs to promote the I-Cash program, which reconnects Illinois residents with financial property they misplaced. While the costs were hardly exorbitant — he stayed at a Red Roof Inn for $70 a night — the reports that Rutherford filed with the state don’t mention the political events but justify the expenses for “performing duties as state treasurer.” […]
The AP found more than 20 such mixed purpose trips by Rutherford over an 18-month period through a review of his social media posts, expense reports and official schedule. Half a dozen were in Chicago, where the treasurer has an office, but the others were in smaller towns across the state tied to the unclaimed property events. […]
Rutherford, of Chenoa, said his office’s I-Cash events are the important “anchor” his political schedule is based around while traveling. He said he doesn’t claim per diems, and he regularly turns down a security detail. And he said his campaign committee and other party funds pay for lodging, including when he was Illinois chairman for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign in 2012.
This is a common practice. You schedule campaign business around state business. Fly down south to cut a ribbon, then stick around for a fundraiser. However, neither of his two predecessors used the I-Cash program to justify extensive political travel.
What makes this story interesting is that Rutherford has made it so easy to track his movements.