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Stand by for news… Rutherford claims Rauner behind shakedown attempt

Friday, Jan 31, 2014

* Sun-Times

llinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford who is running for governor, is calling a news conference Friday to address allegations made against him, according to a source.

There is nothing involving him dropping out of the race, according to a campaign spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman said the press conference in response to “bad behavior” related to another candidates in the primary race.

The presser begins at 10:30 this morning.

I’ll let you know what’s happening.

* Let’s do a ScribbleLive feed

- Posted by Rich Miller        


174 Comments
  1. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    This sounds so melodramatic.

    But I guess playing up victimhood in the press has totally worked for Rauner so it makes sense others would give it a try.

    Good luck, Dan.


  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    It’s Friday and Rutherford is calling attention to allegations about himself.

    This can’t be good news.


  3. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Wow - what allegations? Did I miss a major a memo?


  4. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    As Erin Andrews said to Richard Sherman, “…who was talking about you?”


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Yikes. If you are responding to “something” not in the mainstream, on a Friday…

    Wow.


  6. - John A Logan - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Rumor is that Rutherford is going to dispel the rumor that he has ever spoke in the first person during an interview.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Treasurer Rutherford,

    Be careful, know how you are going to take this on, and if you challenge, be ready.


  8. - Superanon - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    CRABTREE!


  9. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    What’s the allegation????


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Can’t hold a presser, say its a personnel matter; Why? Keeps the questions in the forefront…


  11. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Personnel or personal?


  12. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Demanded how? In a conversation? In a more formal demand letter? In a lawsuit/complaint filing?


  13. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    If this is from Rauner, it looks like the GOP is being torn apart: Downstate v. Chicago.

    Rutherford’s own fault for saying he won’t go negative. He’s the only other gubernatorial candidate who can go on TV and create a message.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    This might backfire…being open and not saying anything(?) Yikes…


  15. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Holding a press conference to reveal, for the first time, unspecified allegations against yourself?! Rutherford should know better than this. If Rauner is behind this, he has succeeded.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Rauner is scorched earth for the GOP, taking on everyone, but I guess no one thought this might get really dirty?

    This ain’t bean bag, and seems Rauner only knows that…


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    All this did today is make the allegations more public… again, don’t know if this helps, leaving it so non-responsive


  18. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    So we’re all invited, by Rutherford, to imagine what the allegations against Rutherford could be…. So dumb.


  19. - Served - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    I think this is his strongest play, but only because he’s backed into a corner. Since its a personnel issue, he legally can’t elaborate, so he’s trapped there.

    He has to get it out there first, because if he doesn’t it looks like he was hiding this, and he at least did it on a Friday. Plus, putting Rauner’s fingerprints on it gets his name into the mud a little more. It gives him liberty to go negative (Rauner started it by slandeirng me)

    Time to take the gloves off, Rutherford. This primary just FINALLY got interesting.


  20. - Timmeh - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    ==Holding a press conference to reveal, for the first time, unspecified allegations against yourself?! Rutherford should know better than this. If Rauner is behind this, he has succeeded.==
    Those accusations would have come out anyway.

    I’ll wait until I can see more of what’s being said (can’t get the video), but this seems like a play that Rauner would call. Rutherford is probably the cleanest GOP candidate and Rauner is trying to throw dirt on him. I just wonder what the dirt is and whether it is Rutherford’s dirt to wear.


  21. - cover - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    The only purpose of this press conference, as far as I can fathom, is that Rutherford at least disclosed that something is going on - that prevents Rauner from firing the first public shot.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    ===All this did today is make the allegations more public===

    We do not know that.

    Reason: A media outlet could’ve been ready to run with this story using Rauner oppo.

    Calm down. Get off the process focus for a second until this plays out, please. Thanks!


  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    We can only evaluate the effectiveness of Rutherford’s move after the allegation comes out, which it most certainly will.

    Knowing what it is, it may make more sense to jump out in front of it like this instead of trying to claw back after it comes out.

    Only time will tell.


  24. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Rich, you can delete if you think it’s too speculative… but I heard that there is a sexual harassment claim against Rutherford from a young male staffer.


  25. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Well this is just about as vague and unsupported by anything other than Dan’s word as Rauner’s allegations of union support/cooperation with someone like Bill Brady…

    But that nonsense was just campaign spin. This is personal.

    If stuff like this has been going on behind the scenes it helps me better understand how easily and thoroughly Rauner got under Rutherford’s skin at the DH debate.

    Seems to me though that for all Rauner’s posturing about how tough he is going to be on Madigan and the Democrats all he has done is eviscerated the party’s 2010 governor standardbearer, the GOP’s only statewide officeholder other than Topinka in the last 10 years, and a former chairman of the DuPage County GOP. Not sure Alan Keyes put in better work for the Democrats.


  26. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    So this is regarding an employee in the State Treasurer’s office, not a campaign employee, right?

    If so, wouldn’t the AG and or IG want to be involved, again, depending on the nature of the allegation?


  27. - GOPChick - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    What are the allegations? Is it the whole gay thing? There’s nothing wrong with being gay! I guess if it is sexual harassment that is a different story…but I sincerely hope this isn’t because of the whole gay thing. What is the world coming to?


  28. - Powell - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I’m going to need the post-game to figure out what just happened.


  29. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Assuming that what Rutherford says is on the up and up with all the dangers an assumption entails. Might this be sign of some panic in the Rauner camp with more info coming out about old Baron von Carhart? I wonder if internal polling is showing his support a mile wide but an inch thick.


  30. - Timmeh - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Ok. Since we’ve got a story:

    If Rutherford paid out the 300k, game over. His campaign could afford to pay that out, but if later on it comes out that you paid someone 300k to shut up, you’re instantly guilty in the eyes of the public. Plus, he needs that 300k for TV.

    As for the allegation, I think he can weather it. He’s gotten out ahead a bit and placed some of the blame on Bruce Rauner which calls into question the legitimacy of the allegation. Bruce Rauner can put out TV ads attacking him over it, but Rutherford might forget about running a clean campaign since he was that ticked off.


  31. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Whoa.

    Svenson is president of the 42nd Ward Republican Organization and Illinois chapter leader of the Republican National Lawyers Association.

    So messy.


  32. - Knome Sane - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    The is an old axiom in politics: “If you’re explaining or complaining, you’re losing”.

    And Rutherford is taking this in a whole different direction: “complaining but NOT explaining”


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    === ===All this did today is make the allegations more public===

    We do not know that.

    Reason: A media outlet could’ve been ready to run with this story using Rauner oppo.

    Calm down. Get off the process focus for a second until this plays out, please. Thanks!===

    Apologies. My Comment was too speculative and not open-minded to the porcess and how it couls play out in different avenues.

    Too fluid…


  34. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    The only sure bet…Rich will be able to add value as always. If allegations are levied, with no finding, would Rutherford be able to go after all involved? It’s a big step to levy anything like this. To make it up entirely, is extrodianry and would ruin Rauners chances. It makes my stomach turn as nothing in Illinois is impossible…


  35. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    One thing out of this is if Rauner wants to get personal, this Walter Payton Prep thing is going to be taken to a whole new level. Whether it’s with the Republican PAC or Quinn’s campaign it’s only a matter of time. I hope his family is ready for it.


  36. - train111 - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Response from PJQ:

    “This is #%#@^ golden”

    as his good luck streak continues onward.


  37. - Smoggie - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    If an attorney offered “to keep something under wraps” for a price, I sure hope the ARDC gets a call too.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ===Never too fluid for Mr. Willy to bash Rauner! ===

    Read. It was more about it hurting Rutherford, and having no direct response, and the impact on Rutherford.

    Dope.


  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ===If Rutherford paid out the 300k, game over===

    He didn’t. That’s the whole point of today’s presser. I think… lol


  40. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Smoggie… That’s the problem… Under wraps…and settlement are too far different issues… That probablly was a mistake to say…IF IF there is anything at all… It could get worse before better in anyway for Rutherford…


  41. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    I know Christine Svenson. She’s a right wing lawyer extraordinaire. I’ve been waiting for Rauner to drop the gay shoe and here we go. Classic. BTW, I don’t think this was a very smart way to respond by Rutherford.


  42. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Well on the positive side, at least no matter what a lot more people are going to actually know Dan Rutherford is running for governor.


  43. - Just Saying - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    As much as I dislike Rauner, why would he want a guy who is essentially splitting the downstate vote with Brady to be destroyed? Rauner isn’t a dumb guy.


  44. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Wow…Rauner just countered… that is much more interesting… If that part is true… That really hurts Rutherford… Connecting a law firm to this allegation and it is not….?


  45. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Why not make Rauner out to be the Chris Christie type?

    Rutherford: “I’m not going negative; I’m the victim here!”


  46. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Rutherford accused Svenson and Rauner of committing, at the very least, attempted extortion. That’s prison time. Politics aside, this is very serious.


  47. - ILPundit - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Rutherford is not a dumb politician. So, the only thing we know for certain is that, whatever the allegation is, he concluded that his best move was to get up immediately with his own spin rather than wait for the allegation to surface in another way.


  48. - Question - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Isn’t Svenson the lawyer for IPI, Proft and all the PACs? She is the one that files their disclosures if I recall.


  49. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Agreed… But he should not have tied Rauner if the firm has proof of otherwise… Clearly they do…


  50. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Rutherford accused Svenson and Rauner of committing, at the very least, attempted extortion. That’s prison time. Politics aside, this is very serious.


  51. - The Historian - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Per Chicago Cynic’s comment, her web bio states she’s active in the Federalist Society, which is rightwing indeed. Again, per the web, this is a one lawyer law office with a lot of “Coming Soon” on its web pages; isn’t it an interesting coincidence that both this matter and the real estate lease would happen to find their way to the very same solo practitioner?


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    I know I was coming at this from the monies, and if you are going to try to get ahead of this

    However, not say anything directly to it, and in Rauner’s response, there is an “egging on” of Rauner to answer, and the opening of a door for all of this to be in the open. I am certainly not speculating one way or another on the monies and how that played itself out at this point.

    If you open the door, and not paying the $300K, and discussing the tactic today, doesn’t that make the follow ups, “What could make something worth $300K to keep quiet to the person asking?”

    Horrible, horrible gotcha question…makes me sick.

    Mine is worry for Rutherford, and thinking how it could play out. Simple as that.


  53. - corvax - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Flip Rauner hired a worker’s comp/litgation attorney to review an office lease? Odd.


  54. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    It would have made more sense to complete the “investigation” before going on tv to call attention to it.

    Especially if one is confident there is nothing to be found by said investigation.


  55. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    More along the lines of, “A complaint was made, it was thoroughly investigated and no substance was found to it.” Past tense and old news.

    As opposed to, “A complaint has been made and it is all Rauner’s fault. We are investigating.” Current tense and new news.


  56. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    It’s disappointing. There’s quite clearly a “something” here involving Rauner, but that “something” will never filter down to reach the average voter. No, the story will be framed exactly as Rauner will want it framed. “Career Politician Involved In Dirt.” It’s a real shame that Rauner, due to his money edge and clearly more skilled staff, is playing the game so much better than the other three.


  57. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    @Question:

    I don’t know about her representation of Proft/IPI but she was co-counsel with Tony Peraica’s law office in a Cook County GOP suit against ISBE over alleged Democratic Party ward violations a few year’s back.


  58. - Think About It - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Mr. Rauner…your greed and ego will take down an entire GOP organization. Mr. Quinn….Mr. Rauner just gave you the gift of the mansion. The gift of being a career politician. Mr. Rauner, you’re not ruthless, you’re stupid.


  59. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    =It would have made more sense to complete the “investigation” before going on tv to call attention to it.=

    I’d bet a lot of money that an outlet was working on this, which would explain why they threw together a presser on short notice on a Friday. If this comes out through the media first, Rutherford would’ve been toast. At least now he’s slung an arrow, and if he’s really lucky and Rauner was sloppy, it may hit the mark and cause real damage. Neither situation is ideal for him, of course, but he probably chose the best of two bad options.


  60. - Toure's Latte - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    What is it with GOP guys? Do they think if they snivel around trying to destroy opponents, people will vote for them?

    Looks like smooth sailing for another four years, courtesy of the Illinois GOP.


  61. - Served - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    I would be shocked, SHOCKED if a Tribune reporter received a tip and called Rutherford asking about this story sometime in the last 24 hours.


  62. - The Captain - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Lot of weird “what the heck” stuff here but it seems likely that the attorney made a settlement offer of $300,000 that included a confidentiality clause and Rutherford is cleverly characterizing this to sound like a shakedown for hush money.


  63. - ok but? - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    So where is his rent/lease expenditure?
    In kind?
    From?


  64. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Oops, the campaign “will” succeed. Need to get the campaign press guy to proof my posts better.


  65. - Downstater - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Interesting, the Chicago Tribune has nothing on its website about this.


  66. - Smoggie - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Confidentiality is a term demanded by the defense.

    When the plaintiff’s counsel leads with it, then it is a shakedown.


  67. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    If there’s some kind of blackmail attempt, Rutherford or the Treasurer’s office should really call the FBI or the US Attorney’s office. Absolutely stunning.


  68. - MrJM - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Interesting, the Chicago Tribune has nothing on its website about this.

    I agree, Downstater.

    But you misspelled “shameful.”

    – MrJM


  69. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===When the plaintiff’s counsel leads with it, then it is a shakedown.===

    Wonder if the Treasurer’s Office as an entity, has that doc, with the verbage, or was it it verbally conveyed?

    Paper, like emails, tell more than specualtion.

    Thinking out loud and wondering.


  70. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    $3500 to review a lease? Just reported it on Tuesday?

    Obviously, there’s a lot more to come. But I don’t see any good for any of the GOP candidates in this one.


  71. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    ==Interesting, the Chicago Tribune has nothing on its website about this.==

    They might just be filing the story, but if the S-T has one already, it is suspicious. However, in the A block of the noon newscast WGN TV did report on Rutherford’s press conference and allegations.


  72. - Anon. - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==What is it with GOP guys? Do they think if they snivel around trying to destroy opponents, people will vote for them?==

    Ask Blair Hull and Jack Ryan.


  73. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Adding:

    Apparently Svenson supported Smithburg over Gerson for 42nd ward committeeman race in 2012.

    So is the dysfunction of the bizarro Cook County GOP infecting the governor’s race now?


  74. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    “But you misspelled “shameful.”

    Very well put!


  75. - Dee Lay - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==I would be shocked, SHOCKED if a Tribune reporter received a tip and called Rutherford asking about this story sometime in the last 24 hours.==

    Served - I have the feeling you are spot on with this.


  76. - Just Observing - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    From the Sun-Time:

    === But Schrimpf, the Rauner spokesman, said the payment to Svenson had nothing to do with Rutherford. The Rauner campaign had hired Svenson to review its office lease “because our regular attorney had a conflict of interest with the landlord,” Schrimpf said.

    “We paid her a one-time fee of $3,500 for that service and never discussed anything with her related to the treasurer,” Schrimpf said. ===

    $3,500 to review an office lease is very expensive. An attorney review on a real estate purchase, not a lease, is far more extensive and generally costs a lot less. Furthermore, I don’t think most people employ an attorney to review a standard office lease.


  77. - What's the story??? - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    It looks like Rutherford did what he wanted for the moment, having everyone look at Rauner, the attorney, lease costs (really). GOP politics at its finest.

    What about the allegations of a staffer? Who is the staffer? What is the allegation? Was there no investigations when they first heard about it? Why not?

    Lots of questions to be answered on all sides.

    Wait till that all comes out, then the papers will have a field day.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    Would a copy of the signed lease show if Rauner’s Crew was represented by Svenson?


  79. - Soccermom - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rutherford shouldn’t hide behind the “personnel” matter. If you’re going to get out in front of a story, just do it. Stop the “drip drip drip.” And the “promise of confidentiality” sounds like something the U.S. Attorney would be interested in investigating.


  80. - ? - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Mr. Schrimp, who is we? The campaign? You? And by “we never discussed anything with her related to the treasurer?” Do you mean at the time of your office lease issue? Be careful, you may have to explain these reponses under oath.


  81. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===Rutherford shouldn’t hide behind the “personnel” matter. If you’re going to get out in front of a story, just do it. Stop the “drip drip drip.” And the “promise of confidentiality” …===

    Exactly what I was speculating earlier.

    Get “in front”, and stay in front. don’t get in front, kinda, and chase down the specualtion that may follow.


  82. - Soccermom - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    The real shocker here is that Rauner is actually paying rent…


  83. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    === C’mon, no one here wants to mention the rumor that has been circulating about Rutherford for years and years? Such astute political observers. ===

    That has no relevance to the issue at hand. If he harassed someone, that would be the relevant issue. Not the “rumor.” Try coming up with something better to comment on.


  84. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    - Soccermom -,

    Maybe there, but Jason Plummer’s space is donated.

    Ok, so Rutherford got “in front” today, Rauner countered, Rauner has questionable connection to lawyer, responds to that with Lease/Legal Work…

    Wonder what will drop next on this and from who and to answer what question. That might be just as telling as the information dropped.


  85. - Downstater - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    =Would a copy of the signed lease show if Rauner’s Crew was represented by Svenson?=
    For goodness sakes, an attorney’s name is not going to appear on a lease document he/she reviewed.


  86. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    All you need to know about the state GOP is that they were willing to sacrifice one of the most powerful offices in the WORLD (United States Senator) rather than see a mildly independent, rock-solid conservative keep his seat. They utterly DESPISED Peter Fitzgerald. However distasteful Rauner is - and he is - it’s fun to see another rich guy outside their influence give them hell.


  87. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    –C’mon, no one here wants to mention the rumor that has been circulating about Rutherford for years and years?–

    Some people can get through the day without peeking in someone’s bedroom window. Personally, I find speculation on how someone gets down pretty creepy. You don’t, I take it.


  88. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    @A Nanny Moose

    Because one of the main points in Rich’s directions in red lettering is not to traffic in innuendo. This isn’t TMZ, nor is it a place to peddle gossip or be “used” by campaigns and their opponents as a tool to “attack” others.

    Even so, some of the factually inaccurate earlier posts are entertaining to read.


  89. - Downstater - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    =Rauner has questionable connection to lawyer=
    What questionable connection? Rauner’s campaign said they hired to do legal work on a lease for office space. What a reach? Just plain silly.
    Campaigns hire lawyers all the time for various reasons.


  90. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    The attorney for the claimant is a 100% political hound, looking for profit out of GOP politics. I have no doubt she has been recruited to do this, and I can easily guess on the future compensation.


  91. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Someone did ‘ask the question’ indirectly.

    Again they said due to the nature of the allegation they could not answer if the complaint was related to that.


  92. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===Rutherford shouldn’t hide behind the “personnel” matter. If you’re going to get out in front of a story, just do it. Stop the “drip drip drip.”===

    Rutherford is, I think, handling a bad situation as best as he can. If he says nothing, the story gets in front of him & it looks like he’s hiding something. If he says too much, he gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the disclosure of a personnel issue. He is really backed into a tight corner here with respect to what he can do. The one lifeline Dan has is that the attorney involved is very active in the republican Party and appears to be a Rauner supporter.

    Right now, I would consider crossing party lines to vote for Dan.


  93. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===What questionable connection? Rauner’s campaign said they hired to do legal work on a lease for office space. What a reach? Just plain silly.===

    The fee of $3500 and the late reporting of the lease, and all of this doesn’t seem all the bit, unusual?

    “Nothing to see here…”?

    So no one can question any part of the timing, or the billing?


  94. - Frank - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    Rutherford’s theory on Rauner’s culpability doesn’t really add up.

    If Rauner’s people found an attorney to file trumped up charges on behalf of a disgruntled employee, why would that attorney offer to keep the whole thing under wraps for 300k? Rauner would want the report out in the public domain, he wouldn’t be involve in order to get the attorney an out of court settlement. And he can help deliver a lot more than $300,000 in legal fees!

    If Rutherford’s theory is right, then Rauner’s campaign is filled with a bunch of rank amateurs — and it ain’t.


  95. - too obvious - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    $3,500 to review a lease is nice work if you can get it. Winston or Kirkland wouldn’t charge that.

    But that’s just a distraction. No one I see is claiming that she got that money to shake down Rutherford. That could simply be her doing that on her own because she’s a Rauner person. We need more facts obviously.

    But Christine Svenson has been a gadfly for a long time doing various projects for the IL GOP’s old powers-that-be. She’s a small fish who desperately wants to be a somebody. Svenson for example is the attorney of record for the plaintiff in a silly trademark lawsuit where a rump group is challenging another group’s use of the name “Republican National Hispanic Assembly.” The defendant group was led by a guy who went against the DuPage Co. establishment. More petty retaliation. That case is still knocking around in DuPage Cir. Court in front of Judge Bonnie Wheaton.


  96. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    The comment by A Nanny Moose has been deleted. And I sure hope that my IP address search isn’t mistaken and the person behind that comment is not a reporter.


  97. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    ==If Rauner’s people found an attorney to file trumped up charges on behalf of a disgruntled employee, why would that attorney offer to keep the whole thing under wraps for 300k?==

    Obviously Rauner or his campaign (if involved) wanted to catch Rutherford paying his way out of a scandal. A candidate can survive an employee’s unsubstantiated allegation. But a payment of $ to keep that allegation from the public is a death knell.

    Keep up Frank.


  98. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===challenging another group’s use of the name “Republican National Hispanic Assembly.”===

    Which appears to put her in league with Rauner’s running mate.


  99. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Frank

    What happens when the shakedown attorney comes out with DR payed me to keep this Quiet?? That is better for Rauner than the story coming out as is.


  100. - Rod - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    The real question is if Rauner does win the primary will Rutherford support Quinn for Governor because of this, and if the other Republican accept that Mr. Rauner would be capable of such an underhanded activity would some of the others endorse Pat? Really they don’t call it the luck of the Irish for nothing do they.


  101. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    Frank, trust me. This is a set up.


  102. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    - Mason born -,

    Alleged. To keep you safe …

    ===Which appears to put her in league with Rauner’s running mate.===

    Not making light, but there seems to be buffers between the direct links, so as the dots pop up, it would be nice to have a strong connector to understand this better for all. The line made in pen is not showing up yet.


  103. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===The fee of $3500 and the late reporting of the lease, and all of this doesn’t seem all the bit, unusual?===
    Mr. Willy, please READ when that was actualy reported. It was done last year in March. See Rich Miller’s blog above.


  104. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    12:45 was my Comment, 12;51 was the Rich Tweet to correct,

    Understand time …


  105. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Willy

    Thanks i should have clarified it honestly.

    Bruce may be telling the truth for once this cycle.


  106. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    This attorney has also been hired on multiple occasions by Rauner backer Jack Roeser.


  107. - Soccermom - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Okay. Soccermom is admittedly naive when it comes to some things. But it is hard to believe that Rutherford would have done anything that would so clearly imperil his gubernatorial ambitions when he has been running for so long. (I know, I know…)


  108. - What's the story??? - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Where is the “no comment” from Christine Svenson. Why isn’t anyone trying to talk to her. Everyone else has made a comment.

    Her story should be good. She has to know that the risk of actually asking for $300K would send her to jail. She can’t possibly believe that he would pay up?

    To be continued……


  109. - Frank - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    - Abe and Mason -

    I hear you — that’s certainly more than possible, but to answer Mason’s question: “what happens when the shakedown attorney comes out with DR paid me to keep this quiet??” — one thing that happens is that attorney loses her license and opens herself up to criminal charges for extortion. Which does beg another question: did anyone ask Rutherford at the presser if he went to the police to file a complaint?


  110. - Pat C - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    She has to know that the risk of actually asking for $300K would send her to jail

    But of course that never happens. What DOES happen is that a lawyer says (or does) they will file a lawsuit, but are willing to settle out of court.

    I’m sure that happens a lot.


  111. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    === =Would a copy of the signed lease show if Rauner’s Crew was represented by Svenson?=
    For goodness sakes, an attorney’s name is not going to appear on a lease document he/she reviewed.===

    Funny thing about exchanging leases, they sometimes also come with cover letters …

    The lawyer can respond to, if she so desires…


  112. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    == Which does beg another question: did anyone ask Rutherford at the presser if he went to the police to file a complaint? ==

    Not that I recall…


  113. - Lawyerly - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    the attorney can not respond if they want to. They only can respond if their client gives them permission.


  114. - A guy... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Just a little clarity possibly: $3500 may sound like a lot of money in legal fees to review a lease. But in an “A” building with a steep rental cost and all the conditions one might add in order to lease it for a period of time less than multi-year (most commercial leases are multi-year), any build out, a possible extension if necessary beyond the originally scheduled time at a different fee arrangement, etc. These things can become very complicated and legal. I’m not sure I read how much space is involved, but if it includes phone rooms which require moving in a lot of infrastructure and greater internet access, this lease becomes a rather complicated short term arrangement (less than 1 year)Think in terms of 10 or 12 hours of legal work adding up to $3500. That’s not a crazy estimate. I’ve done a lot of leases. Never done one without an attorney. Usually 5 or 10 year deals, but prime office space would charge a premium for a short term. I don’t think the fee is way out of line.


  115. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    - A Guy …-,

    ===I’ve done a lot of leases. Never done one without an attorney.===

    Are you an attorney?

    There have been 113 comments, and yours is the only one calling $3500 reasonable.

    You are going from supporter to shill fairly quick.


  116. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Frank

    I will admit you’ve found the sticky wicket. That being said I also don’t see DR coming up with the 300k number or the keep it quiet language without some sort of exchange.

    I suspect that, if this has truth to it, BR or his campaign wanted her to file the suit to put it in the news. Let DR battle the story through the remaining few weeks and blunt Rauners biggest challenger and the only one with any cash. As Willy has said time right now is the most precious commodity.


  117. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    This attorney’s career background is in employment law, mainly workmen’s compensation defense. She became a divorce attorney when she left her firm and joined her mother’s established divorce practice. Her website lists only residential house purchases as her real estate practice, not commercial leasing, which is a very different topic. In the past years she has been routinely representing Jack Roeser’s primary and GOP Committeeman candidates in ballot challenges at the Board of Elections. In 2012 she was the President of the Republican 42nd Ward Organization, and without warning or resignation turned on the Committeeman who appointed her by endorsing the challenger just before the election. The challenger was a twenty-something whose father is (by coincidence, no doubt) extremely rich. The challenger was also backed by Jack Roeser and then GOP Chairman Pat Brady. The Committeeman won.

    Start smelling the coffee, boys - Rauner’s going greasy, and this stuff is just the start.


  118. - MrJM - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    There’s now a Pearson piece up at the Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-rutherford-investigating-employee-allegation-blames-rauner-20140131,0,3755960.story

    – MrJM


  119. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Something yet to be mentioned is the fact that if there is any truth to the allegations against Mr. Rutherford, he just signed his own political death warrant.

    Few things are more distasteful than going on tv and using your position to intimidate the subject(s) of any impropriety.

    Hopefully, of course, there is nothing behind whatever allegations have been made. But if there is some truth to them, then it is game over for Mr. Rutherford after today’s events.


  120. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    It’s almost as if the state GOP knew there were good poll numbers being released today, and it had to do something to counteract them. What a dysfunctional organization.


  121. - VictorNorth - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Rauner’s campaign acknowledged it paid Svenson $3,500 last year, but said the payment was only to review the campaign’s lease for office space, and never discussed anything regarding Rutherford.

    ****The Rauner campaign also said Rutherford’s office recommended Svenson for the job.****
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/01/31/rutherford-rauner-behind-allegations-made-by-employee/

    LOL, the plot thickens! smh


  122. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    VictorNorth, that’s dealt with above. The guy wasn’t working for Rutherford at the time.


  123. - Hmmmm - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Understanding that Svenson works for Proft and Proft cannot stand Rauner, it smells like a Proft dirty trick. I smell Cicero politics.


  124. - Served - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    Absolutely riveted by this story. Some reporters are going to have a very busy snowed-in weekend with this one, and I hope there’s an included timeline graphic when stories go up.


  125. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    What if either Dillard or Brady were behind this and not Rauner? Rutherford may have really stepped in this big time with the preemptive strike at Rauner, because I am not so sure Sverson is backing Rauner at all.


  126. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Proft??? Please. There is a far more direct path here.


  127. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Interesting point regarding Mr. Fitzgerald, etc., LCD.

    And $3500 isn’t “high” to review a lease, depending on the property, terms, conditions, etc.


  128. - Hmmmm - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Please what?? Svenson does most of her work for Proft and IPI. Cicero Dan enjoys his dirty tricks and has made his disdain for Rauner clear.


  129. - too obvious - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===challenging another group’s use of the name “Republican National Hispanic Assembly.”===

    “Which appears to put her in league with Rauner’s running mate.”

    An update on that silly legal squabble I mentioned between competing Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) groups.

    Yes, Christine Svenson did file the original lawsuit in DuPage Cir. Ct. and she was the attorney for plaintiff for awhile. But she withdrew from the case last year. I don’t know why. She handed plaintiff’s case over to Dan Cronin’s brother, Tom, who just happens to be a huge Rauner backer. In fact Tom Cronin recently hosted a reception for Rauner.

    I’ll concede this is very much a side issue and largely coincidental. I mostly relate the anecdote just to show once again how silly, small, and incestuous GOP politics really is in this state.


  130. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    DuPage Rep.: Don’t overlook the Jack Roeser connection. Roeser is strongly backing Rauner. Roeser pays Svenson on a periodic basis for election work. Follow the money, as usual in Illinois Republican politics.

    I also saw that the Rauner campaign just said that Rutherford should address the “serious claims” of the employee. Q. So how does the Rauner campaign know anything about the claims?


  131. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Hmmmm.: I don’t know of any work that Svenson does for Proft at all. Do you? I do know that she has done work for Roeser for years.


  132. - ISBE Website Clicker - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Go to ISBE website, do Submitter Search, put in Svenson. Interesting results.


  133. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    I think this is gonna have to play out on its own. We don’t know the full story until we hear the actual allegations and Rutherford’s response.

    As far as I can tell so far, there is seemingly no direct connection between the accuser and Rauner. Why this person used that lawyer is still a question, but let’s just wait.


  134. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    And just to think: last night after catching up on various articles regarding the race, all I kept thinking about was how strange Rutherford’s statements about having all sorts of ethnic holiday parties in the mansion were–especially with the economy the way it is.

    I joked to myself that perhaps he’d been placed in an EEOC harmony hut and forced to listen to a 24×7 barrage of “diversity training” videos for an entire month and this was the result.


  135. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Re: RNHA - Svenson was one of 6 people thanked as a guest speaker at their last convention on their website.Brady and Rauner were two others.


  136. - Frank - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Mason

    All good points. As I read more about this, I’d agree that there is obviously a tie between Rauner and the attorney, but I sense it’s a much more tenuous connection than Rutherford alleges. My guess: the employee who is making the complaint found the attorney through mutual GOP contacts. The attorney took the case and set up an meeting with Treasurer’s legal counsel to lay out the complaint and talk settlement.(Which would not open her up to an extortion complaint if it was done in the right way.) In the meantime, the attorney talks to her contacts in the Rauner campaign and says “you guys might be interested in what I have cooking.” The Rauner campaign leaks the info to someone in the media. The Rutherford campaign gets a call from that reporter. The Rutherford campaign knows the allegations will be damaging, even if they are untrue, so they go on the offensive to pre-empt the media report and say the entire thing was set up by Rauner. But like I said, that’s just a guess.


  137. - Hmmmm - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    Looks like Svenson does alot of work w/ IPI and Proft. Check out this link http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/SubmitterSearch.aspx?ddlLastOnlyNameSearchType=Contains&txtLastOnlyName=Svenson&ddlFirstNameSearchType=Contains&txtFirstName=&ddlAddressSearchType=Starts+with&txtAddress=&ddlCitySearchType=Starts+with&txtCity=&ddlState=&txtZip=&txtZipThru=&pageindex=1


  138. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    As far as I can tell so far, there is seemingly no direct connection between the accuser and Rauner. Why this person used that lawyer is still a question, but let’s just wait.

    Not sucking up to the barkeep… But this point is the best of the day… It is the deathblow to whichever one proves something….


  139. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    One last thought to the Raunerbots: why would an attorney as “connected” as this one seems to be bring a claim against a sitting GOP statewide office holder in election season, unless she was put up to it? It does not seem to be a good business move, and if Rutherford wins it is a catastrophically bad move. Something must be out there to make the risk worth it. So whatever this is, “legitimate” it is not.


  140. - Lawyerly - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Trying to figure this all out. Rich, you said the guy didn’t work for Rutherford in March. So we know who the guy is? Is that from Rutherford’s presser?

    Just a little confused.

    I’ll also say that I believe that Rutherford is the strongest challenger to Rauner so Rauner has a lot to gain. But the other guys do as well, so if someone set this up to go after Rutherford, it’s as likely to have been those two.

    Svenson has Cook GOP ties so the fact that Rauner used her back in March might make sense. Trying to legitimately create allies. Overpaying, well, why not for someone who can deliver GOP votes to you.


  141. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Frank

    Equally possible and in some extent more probable. I am really trying to avoid condemning Rauner out of hand. Your answer while still distasteful is less disturbing then mine. I hope you are right just in the odd chance the voters of IL lose their mind and actually put Rauner in the Mansion (would that count as his 10th).

    I fear though that either Rauner or those on his staff have no limits to what they will do to destroy those that get in his way. I suspect Rauner would rather have Quinn win if he loses. Rauner is like a guy with a hand grenade he either gets his way or he’ll frag the whole party.


  142. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    === Rich, you said the guy didn’t work for Rutherford in March. So we know who the guy is? Is that from Rutherford’s presser?===

    Dude, scroll through the live blog. It’s all there. Kinda busy at the moment.


  143. - overcooked - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    The connection is as simple as this: Svenson is the sttorney for the Cook County GOP. The Cook County GOP is all in for Rauner.


  144. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    === One last thought to the Raunerbots: why would an attorney as “connected” as this one seems to be bring a claim against a sitting GOP statewide office holder in election season, unless she was put up to it? ===

    @Percival - respectfully, I find your logic a bit disturbing.

    If someone approaches you as an attorney and says, “I have this problem with my employer. I need help.”

    The response should be, “I agree. I will help you.

    Oh, wait, I am politically active and in the same party as your employer. Now get out of my office.”

    That is the sort of go-along-to-get-along mentality that caused our state many problems over the years.


  145. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Rauner may or may not have a direct hand. One would hope his campaign would put some distance between Bruce and the atty. The atty is clearly a player in Republican politics. At the same time you have a group from Ohio with no direct ties to Bruce airing a set of negative ads against the other three. It could all be a coincidence, but the more of this negative stuff happening that hurts the three and helps Bruce, the more suggestive it becomes.

    With respect to misconduct regarding the $300 K ask, there are legal ways to pursue such things, and I suspect that is what Dan is referring to. For media purposes, that needs to be boiled down to its essence.


  146. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    The process is interesting. I would have thought this would have gone through an Inspector General. The Treasurer’s office has one. How their counsel can stand up and announce they are appointing people to investigate is something I would be interested in knowing.


  147. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    So this person just happened to walk into this lawyer’s office by chance ? New try Raunerbot.

    “If someone approaches you as an attorney and says, “I have this problem with my employer. I need help.”

    The response should be, “I agree. I will help you.

    Oh, wait, I am politically active and in the same party as your employer. Now get out of my office.”

    That is the sort of go-along-to-get-along mentality that caused our state many problems over the years.”


  148. - Percival - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Formerly Known As: Now it’s time for the Real World. Politicos do not go out of their way to attack a major party leader unless they don’t want to be politicos much longer, especially if the man you attack is running for an office that will allow him to effectively run you out of the Republican Party in Illinois, including any national party lawyer posts, which I believe this attorney holds. Also, if so much of your legal business comes from politics as people here are asserting about this attorney, you don’t “poo” where you eat by taking a controversial case in politics. You lay low and be a friend to all so all will give you business. I say again: there must be something out there that is making all this risk worth it for this attorney. It sure is not “truth, justice and the American Way.” Not with an Illinois Republican Party politico. Not a chance.


  149. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    @AFSCME Steward - Calling me a “Raunerbot”? That’s got to be the funniest thing posted all year.

    Go back. Look at my posts. See my harsh comments about Rauner and his damage to the Republican party.

    Then try paying attention, please.


  150. - IbendahlLuvsJBT - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    This has Proft written all over it. Svenson goes way back with Proft. Back to Starfish/Urquhart.


  151. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    Even if he’s not directly involved at all (though I doubt that somehow), nevertheless, the Baron STILL has to stick his 2 cents in, although, admittedly Rutherford’s tack was to front the problem and immediately (and somewhat questionably) point the finger at the Baron.

    Not so sure that’s so smart at this point–not until we learn the entire substance of the allegation at least and how close, if much at all, Rauner is to the players and issues involved.

    Any way you shake it though, this development is CERtainly NOT good news for the Treasurer, who was going to have to make a garGANtuan push in the final weeks of his campaign alREADY to somehow sell himself enough to the Public with what he insists will only be POSitive TV ads, in an 11th hour attempt to try and eke out victory as the only BR foe left with some real MONEY to expend–as the one in 2nd or 3rd place right now who’ll really need some lift, if the Polls are correct. At any rate, this is a painful smack at him of some sort which is coming at almost the worst possible time, and infers problems withIN his Campaign when people hardly like the look of insecurity in one who asserts he has the goods to qualify to be the Leader of the State–and even if it doesn’t hold water in the LONG run, it may just cause too much “leakage” in the SHORT run for Rutherford to recover in time…!


  152. - Downstater - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Jack Ryan 2005. You have to wonder, what’s next.


  153. - Smoggie - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Formerly Known As, regarding your 2:50 comment: you may not like it, but that’s reality.

    On literally every single file I open I have to ask if I am taking a case adverse to somebody who may create problems for me, my firm, or my friends.

    There are a lot of lawyers out there. I’m not going to go after my friends if I can avoid it.


  154. - Konda Chilly - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    How can DR charge taxpayers for a special investigation when his office has an IG?


  155. - Rod - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    I listened to the raw tape that Rich posted, and Neil Olson, general counsel for the treasurer’s office by being at this press conference really makes me think that the link between Rauner and Svenson was more established than Rutherford laid out. Effectively we have a lawyer Olson supporting a public claim of a very major ethics breach by another lawyer. This is an issue that will likely have to go before the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.

    Dan I don’t think is a lawyer so the gravity of his claim against Svenson doesn’t rise to the level of Olson’s attesting to the $300,000 settlement offer made by Svenson. I have to assume Olson had links between Svenson an Rauner well researched in the last week, he wouldn’t be much of a lawyer if he didn’t. There will likely be more to come.


  156. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    To repeat what I wrote at the top, I’ve been calling around and I’m just not convinced that this Rauner/lawyer link is solid at all.

    The accuser was referred to the attorney by a Republican friend. That Republican friend has no discernible ties to Rauner.


  157. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    Does that “Republican friend” have any ties to the other camps?


  158. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    No. I just don’t see a campaign-related conspiracy here other than maybe to hugely embarrass a boss before the primary.


  159. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    @Smoggie - well said.

    People make decisions based on their own reasoning and evaluation of the facts. You clearly have some practical and logical reasons for making the decisions you do. I don’t know that I would make the same decisions as you, but that doesn’t necessarily make either of us “right” or “wrong” in my eyes. I suppose people can make different decisions in the same situation for very different and logical reasons.


  160. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    The main problem I see here is with people too quick to condemn one way or another.

    I have not been fond of Rauner’s approach to buying the mansion. My prior comments clearly show that.

    But Rauner being a powerful person does not somehow mean Rutherford is automatically innocent or a victim here. If anything, Rauner is the perfect person to cast blame on as an evil magician orchestrating conspiracies against you if you have done something wrong.

    Let’s wait to learn more before rushing to judgment one way or another. Sometimes, people make mistakes or do bad things. Even people we like or politically support.


  161. - Snucka - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    If there is no proven connection between Rauner and the lawyer/accuser, then Rutherford’s political career is, in fact, destroyed. He took a risk by going public with some very serious accusations against Rauner today, and it sounds like he bet wrong.


  162. - Dirty Red - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Why is Rutherford making a “potential lawsuit” the thing that disgusts him and not attempted blackmail?

    Why no comment from the accused attorney?


  163. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Is there any angle here for Rutherford putting this out the same day that a 3rd party goes on the air that is pro-Rauner? Perhaps I’m too cynical, but all of the theatrics of blaming Rauner, and the false statement that Rauner hid his payment to Sverson until the ISBE made him refile is pretty suspicious.

    I hope there is no truth in the accusations against Rutherford on a purely human level, but its looking like Rutherford must have a big problem here. This press conference may be the only hope he has to change the subject and blame Rauner. If Rauner is not behind this, then Rutherford looks unhinged going out on a limb like this.


  164. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Whether you call it a shakedown or a negotiated settlement, a $300k ask is awfully large. The amount suggests the alleged transgression must be potentially very embarrassing.


  165. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    @Formerly Known As -
    I think what Snoggie is getting at is lawyering isn’t as simple as client walks in and you take the case.

    And it’s not just about not wanting to hurt your friends/party but also so you can do right by your clients that you consider conflicts of interest.

    If Team Rauner truthfully had no part in this, then svenson arguably acted in conflict of the interest of the old client by taking on the new one by getting involved in this case that has led to negative Rauner stories today.


  166. - G'Kar - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    DR was interviewed on WLS by Roe Conn this afternoon. To summarize, DR explained that the initial call from Svenson was with an internal DoT lawyer and an external labor relations attorney. Two sets of documents were sent in to support the accusations and the DoT and labor relations lawyers said the documents did not support the charges. He also mentioned the connection between Svenson and Rauner.

    DR also said, and I believe it has been mentioned before, that his ads will start running during the Olympics.


  167. - IbendahlLuvsJBT - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    It will be interesting to see how fast the accuser files suit. And how fast Proft jumps on it for his little radio show.


  168. - PaulWantsACracker - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    I just don’t see it. You’re Bruce Rauner gabazillionaire. You sets your sights on this thing. You’re hiring the best media, political, organizing people. Not to mention, most of the time, you’re listening to them and staying on message. You’ve already got plenty of ammo and opp research just on issues. And you have the cash to drive the message.

    Suddenly, you pull a — Rod Blagojevich, a Jesse Jr., a, if I may, Stu Levine??? Ask some attorney to threaten an opponent to get him out of the race? Knowing the whole thing most likely would sink your campaign — when you’re crushing these guys?

    I just don’t see it. If anything, Rutherford saw a bad story coming, found a tenuous Rauner connection and figured this was his best defense.

    Honestly, if Rauner did this at this stage in the campaign I take back everything I said about him not being another Gidwitz, Hull, Cohen. It would be pure stupidity. The unions should save their money ’cause this guy would self destruct in the end anyway if he made this kind of boneheaded strategic decision.


  169. - Anon - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    This whole thing just looks bad…for Rutherford. He sounds desperate, hysterical, and somewhat pathetic. None of these are characteristics that I want in a governor or a candidate for governor.


  170. - Soccermom - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    where are the other two candidates today?


  171. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    Staying out of the way. Nothing here to be close to. It’s Friday, keep your schedule, and keep it media-free.


  172. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    This is really some melodramatic stuff. If the alleged shakedown between the accuser’s attorney and the Treasurers Office occurred last week, why did he wait to call a rushed press conference today? What have the Rutherford folks been doing for the past 8 days? What spurred he sudden sense of urgency? There’s gotta be a lot more to all of this than we know right now.


  173. - Rod - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    So Rich you talked to the accuser and you accept that the lawyer’s links to the Rauner campaign were coincidental? Because if Neil Olson was that stupid and attended that press conference clearly supporting the claims against Svenson he will himself end up before the ARDC.


  174. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    I talked to the person who referred the accuser.


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