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The story the Rauner campaign was actually pushing

Monday, Feb 3, 2014

* The Sun-Times has a story today that other reporters were tipped to by the Bruce Rauner campaign. The lede

In his three years as Illinois treasurer, Dan Rutherford has demonstrated a penchant for globe-trotting unlike any of his predecessors over the past quarter century.

* But there’s a hidden agenda behind the desire to get Rutherford’s travel schedule under a microscope. Take a deep breath first and remember that it’s high campaign season.

OK? Are you ready?

I’m really not, and I do this with great trepidation and anxiety, but here we go

During each trip, Rutherford received his taxpayer-funded salary, as did his executive assistant, Josh Lanning. Lanning often travels with the treasurer, including on a personal excursion to Australia in 2011, which Rutherford has described as a “few weeks” in length in June of that year.

Fewer than two months later, Rutherford was in flight again, traveling to China, where he and his executive assistant spent 15 days. […]

“Most constitutional officers that are invited by another country, they have staffing that goes with them. Josh travels with the treasurer a lot, day in, day out,” Bragiel said. “He just works alongside the treasurer. He is an executive assistant to the treasurer and helps out with the day-to-day responsibilities with Treasurer Rutherford. I don’t think it’s unusual; most constitutional officers have staff with them.”

Photos on Rutherford’s Facebook page show the treasurer diving in the Red Sea, posing with Lanning next to the Wailing Wall in Israel as well as trekking through remote regions of the nation. […]

Lanning was not on work time but on “benefit time,” during the Australia trip, Olson said. Olson explained that as time given to newly hired employees who were allowed to transfer in previously earned vacation, sick or comp time on state time. […]

The office said two taxpayer-funded trips — on March 25-27, 2011, to Washington, D.C., and Sept. 15, 2011 to New York — are examples of Rutherford being so cognizant of travel expenses he shared hotel rooms with Lanning.

“As you know, anytime you go to New York or D.C., hotel rooms are outrageous,” said Kyle Ham, Rutherford’s chief of staff. “So decisions were deliberately made for Dan and his executive assistant, Josh, to double occupy.”

Ugly. Just freaking ugly.

Ugh.

* I’ve been thinking about this topic all weekend, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with it is head-on. The Rauner campaign was clearly trying to back-door some salacious allegations about Rutherford with that travel story. While I remain unconvinced that Rauner was behind the Cristine Svenson matter, I do believe he was at least partly behind the revelations in that Sun-Times story.

The thing is, knowing him as I do, I’m not sure that Rutherford really thought much of this stuff.

Constitutional officers really do travel with staff. And Rutherford is, indeed, quite cheap. And, for just about any other male candidate, bunking in the same room with another guy is absolutely no big deal.

* Plus, from all I know (and I’ve known about this “hotel story” for months), the travel aide is most definitely not having any sort of inappropriate or unprofessional relationship with Rutherford. Period. End of story. To even suggest otherwise is just way over the line. There is no there there.

Rutherford is an unmarried man, so that gives certain people license to spread lies about him. And in this case, at least, these are most definitely lies.

Move along.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


103 Comments
  1. - William j Kelly - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Everyone knows rauner was a part owner of the suntimes, right? Please connect the dots. Like 2 dots.


  2. - phocion - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    I hope your words take root, Rich. Good advice to all to “stay classy.”


  3. - Jimbo - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Of course if they didn’t double occupy, the story would be about booking multiple palatial accomodations.


  4. - Another $3500? - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    I wonder how much Rauner paid for this high-level opposition research known to anyone who follows Dan Rutherford on Facebook? He also fixed his own toilet and watches old movies while he jogs on the treadmill. You can have those for free, Bruce. The pongee stuff will cost you though.


  5. - walker - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    ===The Rauner campaign was clearly trying to back-door some salacious allegations about Rutherford with that travel story.===

    Well, that’s what we know so far. And it’s despicable on Rauner’s part.

    I hope no campaign was involved in the other charge in any way. That would be even uglier, IMO.


  6. - Chicago Publius - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Bravo, Rich. I don’t know how Korecki could put her name next to that muck-raking innuendo in the Sun-Times. I suppose Rauner has enough clout with the Sun-Times to peddle his smut — but Natasha as the hitman? What a come down for her.


  7. - sad - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    well said


  8. - Stones - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    As I recall, the question at hand regarding Rutherford has been asked and answered.


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    I think the real story is…What happened to Pongee? Pongee has been missing and no one discusses it.

    Seriously, though, I think that whether Svenson is in direct contact with the Rainer folks or not, she appears to be doing what she thinks the Rauner folks would want her to do. And, it works well with the sotry they dropped into the ST

    I think this is the innuendo attack many of us expected would happen in some form or another, and it stinks. I hope it backfires on Rauner.


  10. - Roadiepig - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    With the Baron having the best people money can buy running his campaign there is no way there will be a direct connection to spreading sleazy innuendos about Rutherford to the Rauner campaign. That would be a rookie mistake, and the folks surrounding the Baron are not rookies. That said, it’s easy for those supporting Rauner ( but not actually on his campaign) to get the sleaze out there via other means, either with or without the Baron’s knowledge. Politics is a full contact sport, those who want to play flag football (Rutherford) are going to look like the Denver Broncos offense after yesterday’s (pathetic) Super Bowl ( sorry, had to tie the two together).

    Btw- the only mention of the allegations against Rutherford in the Decatur “newspaper” was a wire story about his campaign moving on in Sunday’s edition. There was nothing about the Friday presser or the Baron’s denial on Saturday. Unless you are a political junkie the Sunday article made no sense, and the average person doesn’t even know yet what is happening or what has been alleged. Strange…


  11. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    There is nothing inappropriate here. It is a bit low-class and “dirty” by Rauner and reflects poorly on them. They clearly aren’t as confident as it first appeared with this new round of mud-slinging.

    The other story, however, is cause for pause.


  12. - Toure's Latte - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    So if a guy snores so bad no one can share a bunk that is wasting money? But if he does not snore, and can split the room, that is salacious? Because make no mistake, snoring is the decider when it comes to guys sharing rooms on business trips.

    Sun Times soils itself putting ink to this.


  13. - FrenchVanilla - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Adults, especially those in the public eye, don’t share a room. Ever. At best, Rutherford is ignorant of how this looks. And that speaks volumes about his decision making abilities, or lack thereof.


  14. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    This is completely sleazy. If Rauner is behind this he should be absolutely ashamed of himself.

    And, sharing a hotel room isn’t some big bombshell. I’ve had to do it on work trips and I have a friend that travels all the time for work and they are required to share hotel rooms.

    As for the travel stuff, that is more nonsense. People pull out these sorts of things all the time in politics. The Treasurer’s office has international connections. We don’t live in a bubble.

    Rauner shows me more and more everyday why I will never vote for him. He’s disingenuous.


  15. - Levois - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Rauner must be really worried about Rutherford


  16. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    @FrenchVanilla:

    Um, yeah they do share a room. I know plenty of places where this is done. Apparently there are some that buy into this garbage that Rauner is peddling.


  17. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    1) Rich may be the only person in Illinois politics who can tell me “there’s no there there” and I believe him.

    2) We’ve apparently underestimated Bruce Rauner’s capacity for villainy. Can someone please explain how any Republican voter could ever trust this self-serving, cruel and unethical narcissist?

    – MrJM


  18. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    The key to all of this is how Dan responds to it. As you’ve stated, his MO has always been to be very visible and visibly cheap. Save the taxpayers money wherever and whenever he can. There are tons of examples of guys sharing living expenses and traveling expenses in political office, in Springfield and in DC. If he can produce some results as a result of his travel and just shrug off the whole rooming issue as another in a continuing series of being a miser, he’ll be OK. I suggest he not overreact. There are plenty of witnesses to his cheapness- it’s legendary.


  19. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Rauner may have the best people that money can buy, and they may not be rookies, but they aren’t the *best* people - they actually can’t be bought.

    Anyway, the story is disgusting regardless. I have zero doubt the Baron has peddled this through intermediaries. It’s morally reprehensible, but then, this clearly isn’t the first case in which the Baron has abandoned morals.


  20. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Many businesses have it in their personnel policies that employees have to share rooms to keep costs down if they are of the same gender and traveling together.

    No win situation as someone pointed out - either open to allegations of impropriety or open to allegations of wasteful spending.

    This hit piece indicates to me that Rauner is apparently taking Rutherford seriously.


  21. - Roadiepig - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    - MrJM - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    2) We’ve apparently underestimated Bruce Rauner’s capacity for villainy. Can someone please explain how any Republican voter could ever trust this self-serving, cruel and unethical

    I have thinking about the same thing, and I’ve come to the conclusion they the Baron’s campaign is basing their route to victory on elderly voters (a large percentage of primary voters) , and the fact that they still get most of their news from the half hour local news at 6pm and what they read in newspapers. The Baron has what appears to be all of this states newspapers in his camp, and the nightly news barely covers the primary campaign. So his route to victory is paved with 30 second cutesy ads filled with anger and key words (government union bosses anyone?) and glowing “reporting” by fawning reporters and editorial boards. It just might work in in the primary, but doesn’t stand a chance in the fall election ( unless they have photos of Squeezy in compromising positions, which I could see the Baron’s campaign searching for as I type this).

    In other words, the dreaded ” low information voters”. That’s how we were stuck with 6 + years of Blago. It could happen again.


  22. - Snucka - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Still not sure why Rauner thinks that winning ugly is going to endear him to swing voters in November. Maybe he just figures he’ll spend so much money that people won’t notice how he wins.


  23. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    So are people saying that the travel story is somehow beyond the pale or just the allegations around the male staffer? If it’s the former, I don’t get it. This is a totally legitimate story worth investigating. Why did the treasurer have so much travel?

    In terms of the other story, we all knew this was coming. Just surprised that people here are so outraged.


  24. - lake county democrat - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Rich, I think you’re doing as much as anyone to push the inuendo factor here by putting a spotlight on it here on capitolfax? I consider myself relatively well informed on state politics and I’d never heard of anything like that with Rutherford until last week (from reading this blog), and probably wouldn’t have noticed the “stayed in the same thing” line or made anything of it. Unless the Sun-Times is editing the comments, everyone there who read the piece is discussing the merits of the story - whether copious amounts of special-interest funded travel is proper for a state treasurer or if it’s just IL business as usual. And if the Sun-Times is in on it, as some suggest here, why would they edit the comments? If Natasha Korecki was out to assist Raunner in what’s being hinted at here, she did a lousy job.


  25. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    So are people saying that the travel story is somehow beyond the pale or just the allegations around the male staffer? If it’s the former, I don’t get it. This is a totally legitimate story worth investigating. Why did the treasurer have so much travel?

    In terms of the other story, we all knew this was coming. Just surprised that people here are so outraged.


  26. - John Boch - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Rich, good piece.

    We have how many weeks left before the primary?

    John


  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    I’m not surprised by the Rauner crew peddling homophobia. They said they have “book” on everyone, right, and will destroy them.

    In the Rauner crew mind, the suggestion that a dude is gay will “destroy” him. Such warped little people, what they must think of us.

    I’m disgusted by the Sun-Times for being a part of it. I can’t believe it. I’m sick about it. I thought they were better than that. I was wrong.

    Check out how the story is written, the smarmy innuendo. Oh, me-so-stupid, but now I get it. Two dudes shared a hotel room. So they’re popping, right?

    And even if true, that is the Sun-Times business and real journalism……… how?

    Such a progressive little paper.

    I wish Ebert was around to put the wood to them. And he would, too, believe me. The shame of it all.

    The Sun-Times, the little-engine-that-could, which spends half of its time, every day, patting itself on the back for even being in business, is now the state’s official bedroom-window-peeper.

    We’re going to have follow-ups on how the rest of the political class gets down, right? Because that’s journalism. Enquiring minds want to know, Bright One.

    Rich, thanks for having the guts to call them out on this prurient trash. I know you felt you had to do it, and I admire the hell out of you for it.

    Carol, Mark, Mary, McNamee, et. al., once you’re done with your seemingly never-ending victory laps on the Vanecko case, I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you on this important issue.

    And if you care to defend this garbage as journalism, please show us how this was an “issue” back in the day for a certain globe-trotting governor.

    I don’t remember reading those stories.


  28. - FrenchVanilla - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    @Demoralized…yeah, it happens in private / corporate situations. Even happens on the campaign trail…however it ends when in public office. Well, for smart people it does.


  29. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    ==Just surprised that people here are so outraged. ==

    So you’re ok with the insinuation? Everybody should be outraged.

    ==Why did the treasurer have so much travel?==

    Probably because it’s part of his job. That would be my guess. The travel is fair game but it’s not a big deal to me. People get far too bent out of shape about travel in my opinion.


  30. - Hmmm - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    I feel like the main issue here is not Rutherford’s possible relationship with his male assistant (I mean if they are single so who cares) or about how Rutherford likes to jetset around the country while making claims about how well off Rauner is; the real issue he is about Rutherford’s harassment of employees and forcing those to do campaign work on state time. Sun Times is saying more people are coming forward… We’ll see…


  31. - too obvious - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Rauner has people around his campaign with a documented history of exactly these kinds of sleazy games designed to assassinate the character of an opposing candidate.

    If they have something to say about Rutherford, they should put on their big boy pants and say it directly. But they don’t have the guts to do that. Instead Rauner has chosen people who love to work in the shadows and they use various pawns to do the dirty work. The instigators hope to keep their fingerprints off while they laugh about it all.

    This is a major insight into the kind of man Bruce Rauner really is and it SHOULD be one of the biggest stories of this campaign. Unfortunately too many reporters in this state are too gullible to realize when they’re being played like cheap violins. And I’m of course not talking about CapFax.


  32. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    This shows my ignorance about Rauner; but is he seriously pursuing the Governorship or is he just trying to eliminate the GOP candidates via the primary? The reason I ask is that he has aligned with the Democrat candidates many times in the past and he seems intent on knocking off his primary rivals at the cost of alienating potential supporters in the general. If he keeps this up, he may win the primary; but get blown out in the general.


  33. - Cincinnatus - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    The Tribune has a chance to really elevate itself at the Editorial Board this afternoon with all four candidates.

    Watch this space…


  34. - ZC - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    The weird thing is I bet Rauner himself is charming and personable and friendly and has a good word for everyone. You come away from him thinking, “Oh, what a nice man.”

    But wow he’s got some wicked middle management, and he must tacitly be giving them the thumbs up and the all-clear - with the understanding of course he could ditch them over the side, if they ever became too “hot” for him.

    Why do I suspect this is not an unusual arrangement, for a man from Rauner’s background?


  35. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    FrenchVanilla said:

    “Adults, especially those in the public eye, don’t share a room. Ever.”

    Then FrenchVanilla said:

    “yeah, it happens in private / corporate situations. Even happens on the campaign trail…however it ends when in public office.”

    So which is it? Is it never as you said previously, “especially for people in the public eye.” (which presumably includes people other than electeds). Or is as you said later that lots of folks do it, just not electeds?

    My advice: grow up…you’re trying to perpetuate some nastiness. I doubt it is beneath you to do so, but try to show at least a little more class than the Baron’s operation.


  36. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Rutherford’s counterattack will be to stage a Monty Python type of skit with Canadian Mounted Police singing “Bruce’s a lumberjack and he okay…”


  37. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    So you’re ok with the insinuation? Everybody should be outraged.

    Geez, this is the worst kept secret in springfield. I absolutely take Rich at his word that there’s nothing to this particular relationship and that this is simply a product of his being cheap. And yes, it’s sleazy to use this to raise “the issue.” But my goodness, why is “the issue” even an issue in 2014? It’s not like anyone’s accusing him of being a criminal.


  38. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Oh for heaven’s sake.


  39. - susiejones - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    despicable on the part of Rauner…yet another reason not to vote for him. good grief, people, Dan has said he is not gay; it is a known fact he pinches pennies; just because two people of the same sex share a hotel room does not mean they share a bed. hotels have two beds in a room, for crying out loud. I’ve shared hotel rooms with other women, even shared a bed once because there was a mix up on the reservation…didn’t make me gay. I hate dirty politics.


  40. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    It makes me wonder if Rauner still talks to Rahm as to strategies.

    Publicly, Emanuel is pro gay, except when he can score points politically. As head of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, US Representative Mark Foley (a Florida Republican) was “outed” by the publication of some naughty emails — which had lots of smoke, but no actual fire in terms of sexual misconduct beyond inappropriate flirtation, but the “outing” worked and Pelosi and Emanuel picked up another Congressional seat.

    This is a an ugly tactic to say the least. It reflects badly upon the Rauner campaign as much as it hurts Rutherford.


  41. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Can we now safely assume that the Tribune and the Sun-Times have both already prepared their ‘RAUNER ELECTED!’ and ‘FRAUD AT THE POLLS!’ headlines?

    – MrJM


  42. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Good Citizen Kane riffs!


  43. - Anon - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    I’ve heard the whispers about Rutherford for several years. I don’t know that he’s ever answered the question. Maybe he doesn’t feel that he needs to. Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t believe his record makes him a good candidate for governor. With regards to the allegations, I’ll trust Rich’s advice from Friday:

    ===This will have to play itself out quite a bit more. Be patient.===


  44. - too obvious - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Calling someone “gay” is not a slur, no more than calling someone “straight” is a slur. Being gay is not something to apologize for. Not in 2014. We need not even get into specific rumors about Rutherford or whoever.

    What is dirty and shameful are the Rauner operatives who are trying to gin up the rumor mill in the shadows, a narrative which they think will resonate with the hard core gop base, for the specific purpose of destroying a leading competitor.

    Bruce Rauner, you’re a bad man.


  45. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Here’s the thing, Rauner — Unless you have somebody who will stand in front of a microphone and say that he and Rutherford were more than good friends, then this whispering thing isn’t likely to do you much good with the GOP base.

    The Sun-Times doesn’t reach very far into GOP territory, and these particular dog whistles don’t resonate much with your voters. (My beloved Republican grandmother once asked me if I thought Liberace might really be gay.) So all you’ve done is reveal even more of your incredible nastiness to people like me, who would never vote for you anyway. But the result is, I am leaning ever close to that GOP primary ballot…


  46. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Re sharing a room; I don’t see a story here.

    When I worked for the State and traveled on business, we were sometimes ORDERED to share rooms just to save the State money. Remember it was kind of funny the one time when someone crossed hands and one member of each sex ended up assigned to the same room; had a bit of a scramble to straighten that out in a fully booked hotel.

    The travel may require a bit of a closer look but it doesn’t sound out of line for that level of office.


  47. - E Man - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    After continued reading, my question is now: why cannot the Republican Party get its act together and rally around one candidate? Really? 3 mainstream, elected candidates and one newcomer. But oh no, let’s duke it out. It’s a good thing PQ isn’t exactly very re-electable right now, or the republican primary would be a mere freak show for entertainment purposes only. The elephant leaders resemble Justin Bieber at his point. Zero cred.


  48. - Ex-Illinois Floridian - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Makes me determined not to vote for Rauner - oh, wait, I live in Florida now. We have a balanced budget and no income tax.


  49. - flea - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    I thought anything was fair game in war and politics


  50. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Yhis is why I am naive. I don’t know why Rauner would want any part of pushing this? They have a possibly HUGE issue that came out on Friday. Why would they want that out of the news? Again, because I believe the Treasurer a good man, I will not dump on Rauner the same unless there’s proof either way. I think the wait and see approach Rich said about the other topic may be appropriate here. What if it was another camp that started this? No matter, Rutherford is guilty. He’s too cheap to get two rooms… And to buy a dvd player…He is clearly evil, he uses the treadmill to NOT hang clothes from! How dare he. I for one applaud the cheapness!That’s all I read into it…


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    - MrJM -,

    I have been asking the same thing, lol

    To the Post,

    Sometimes a Friday presser, to explain nothing, but to get ahead of something, that no one is claer about anything, leads to UGLY.

    The only, only thing I know about this is that I wouldn’t, even if I knew the Press had a story, try to get ahead of a story unless I could get so far ahead of it, it was old when reported fresh.

    I get “it”, I understand the rationale behind doing it, but the Friday presser, I am fearing more and more, opens more doors, more windows, and might as well knock down walls with the mud oozing all over the room.

    Embarrassing work by the Sun-Times.


  52. - langhorne - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    two things bother me in this story:

    1. Lanning often travels with the treasurer, including on a personal excursion to Australia in 2011, which Rutherford has described as a “few weeks” in length in June of that year.

    2. Lanning was not on work time but on “benefit time,” during the Australia trip, Olson said. Olson explained that as time given to newly hired employees who were allowed to transfer in previously earned vacation, sick or comp time on state time. […]

    what does “a few weeks” mean, exactly? does “few” mean 3? 6? more? are lannings attendance records FOIA-able? how can a constitutional officer be on another continent for weeks, yet have us believe all is ok, bec, we have the internet, email, skype, etc. was it a personal excursion, or telecommuting? just not smart.

    lanning transferred in (from where?) vacation and sick time. standard practice, tho if the numbers start to get large, i would ask the person to cash at least some of it out at the other agency, to avoid taking the hit on my budget. new hires also usually get a raise, so that inflates the value of the transferred time.

    but i have never heard of transferring in comp time. same budget issues apply. but comp time can be subject to wide discretion and abuse. if you are a professional, and the job requires overtime, that comes with the territory. it is also an incentive to get the job done within regular hours. if you are a professional, but cannot control the demands on your time, comp time might be justified. but it should be carefully documented. i have never heard of allowing someone to transfer in comp time, much less enough to cover “a few weeks” in australia.


  53. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    No doubt about it, Rutherford will have his mandate one way or another.


  54. - Hey There - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Is it just me or are Rauner and his crew using campaign hardball tactics and villainy not seen here since the hey day of the Blagojevich crew? Seriously.


  55. - Chi - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Abraham Lincoln used to share the same bed with a man. Pretty sure he turned out to be a good GOP candidate.


  56. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Rauner’s going negative by trying to go negative without his name being attached to it. It’s probably going to work. This is very sad.


  57. - Think About It - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    If anyone on the campaign trail has noticed, Mr. Rutherford barely brings people with to events. Mr. Rauner, on the other hand, brings at least 3-4 on most occasions, and sometimes upward of 8. I’ll take Mr. Rutherford’s taxpayer frugality over Mr. Rauner’s money throwing, in our face, style politics. And, someone said it earlier….Rauner’s campaign doesn’t have rookies….we should be ashamed of them for their role in this. Stick to the issues. Stop the cannibalization of the party.


  58. - Statesman - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Like many- still unconvinced that Rauner would pull this stunt (check yourself all your froth mouthers). It has the potential to backfire on BR. What is interesting is the cast of characters in BR’s camp- one specifically - “Jungle” Jack Roeser who might be capable of skullduggery of this caliber if my recollection of history is correct. All that being said- all is fair in love and war. Rutherford has left his right flank completely exposed with his incessant FB posts and tweets so I’m sure there is some fire where that smoke is coming from regarding running political errands on State time. He’s left an e-trail as wide as the Mississippi.


  59. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    I’m with Soccermom on pulling a GOP primary ballot. I don’t want sleaze like Rauner anywhere near the governor’s mansion.


  60. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    I might pull a Republican ballot, myself, for the first time ever.


  61. - Rod - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    I suspect the ARDC case history for conflicts of interest is being searched in relation to Cristine Svenson taking the case to begin with regardless of whether there is a deeper ethics violation. There are hundreds of cases in relation to the conflict of interest provisions of ethics rules for members of the Illinois Bar. To see some go to http://www.iardc.org/rd_database/rulesdecisions.html

    While I generally believe that this internal Republican warfare is good for lucky Pat, I am not very sure it is good for our State. I hate to admit this, being a good Democrat, there is a certain balance to having a functional Republican Party in this state. Elsewise how could I ever get a bill before a committee that may have merit but the Democrat leadership is opposed to because I have been out gunned in campaign contributions to key Democrats?


  62. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    - Chavez-respecting Obamist -, Weniscia -, and - Soccermom -,

    I want you all to pull a GOP Ballot, and I will even write you the “excused” note in doing so, but make sure when you pull that GOP ballot, as you vote against Rauner, you are indeed voting for one of the “3″ that can get the highest percentage to be Rauner.

    Adding a ballot to add plurality, will help Rauner in an uncontrolled voting bloc, even if its against Rauner in a 4-way race.

    I will leave it up to you all to determine your impact.

    Tell your friends too! lol


  63. - VictorNorth - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Hello other reporters. NBC Chicago and WLS both have new articles about Rutherford today. You’re welcome.


  64. - Challengerrt - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Did we expect anything less of Rauner or the Sun-Times? I could care less who Rutherford has sharing his hotel room. It’s all about being the best candidate for governor, not about who they sleep with.


  65. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    The real issue is simple: What is Rutherford doing in any other country but our own. It looks like he was traveling the world on the taxpayer’s dime.


  66. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    OW — the problem is the judges ballot. and a single vote counts a lot in those races.


  67. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Victor, maybe you and your alien overlords need to figure out the difference between news and opinion.


  68. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    I think we underestimate Rauner’s ability to bring people together. I never thought I would stand beside William Kelly — at least not if I saw him first. But now, we are united in our hatred of Rauner. It’s a beautiful thing…


  69. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    - Soccermom -,

    Yep, the judges portion, one vote can be fatal.

    Anything you can do to help…I do like the United Front…


  70. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===The real issue is simple: What is Rutherford doing in any other country but our own. It looks like he was traveling the world on the taxpayer’s dime. ===

    I’m not sure if it’s in the Constitution per se, but I suspect one of the job requirements for Treasurer is to be a cheerleader for Illinois business. With that in mind, do you happen to think that there just might be a role for traveling abroad in the modern globalized economy?


  71. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Yeah, St. Mitchell of Daniels spent a lot of time “traveling the world on the taxpayer’s dime.” Seems to have paid off fairly well for the Hoosiers…

    http://in.gov/governorhistory/mitchdaniels/3300.htm


  72. - Try-4-Truth - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    I hate this innuendo crap. If you’re going to say something, say it and have the evidence to back it up.

    And these are the people who want to be Governor because “Mike Madigan and the Democrats are too corrupt”???? Come on, this is really pond scum stuff.


  73. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    Obtuse is an angle not a response. The Guv is responsible for bringing in business not the treasurer.


  74. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===Obtuse is an angle not a response. The Guv is responsible for bringing in business not the treasurer.===

    Cite for the requisite Constitutional passage. Otherwise I’m going to stick with my point that the Treasurer will work in a pinch for Illinois business.

    Although….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_Treasurer

    The Treasurer is required by the State Constitution (Section 18 of Article V) to hold responsibility for the safekeeping and investment of the monies and securities deposited in the public funds of Illinois.

    The Raunerbots would know better than I, but I suspect we do have public monies invested abroad. Apparently this isn’t Brucey’s practice, but I believe that some people like to take an in-person look at what they are investing their money in. So there’s your travel rationale.


  75. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    CollegeStudent…Really, that is your best answer. Some of my money is invested in a mutual fund that invests in foreign companies, that doesn’t mean I visit each country. Thank you for playing, please come back


  76. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===CollegeStudent…Really, that is your best answer. Some of my money is invested in a mutual fund that invests in foreign companies, that doesn’t mean I visit each country. Thank you for playing, please come back ===

    Look Raunerbot. You may not take a look at what is specifically being invested in, but the fund manager (or at least a trustworthy proxy) should be.

    Considering how he holds responsibility (oh gosh, there’s that “r” word that Brucey keeps running from) for everything here, he’s more in the manager position rather than the individual investor position. Which means, yes, he should be checking out what Illinois’ moneys are being invested in.


  77. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    You are definitely a college student, please spell monies not “moneys.” In addition, did he visit every company that states money is invested. No, but sunny Australia and Israel works fine. Please


  78. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    @SonofSuperAbe2014:

    I have zero problem with the travel. Travel is part of the job, even international travel. And I believe the story says that he was invited to some of them.


  79. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    That was me above


  80. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===You are definitely a college student, please spell monies not “moneys.” In addition, did he visit every company that states money is invested. No, but sunny Australia and Israel works fine. Please ===

    1. “moneys” is an acceptable spelling. Thanks!

    2. He also went to China, which is neither sunny nor a garden spot, although it is certainly an important component of the global economy and certainly one place when Illinois money (public AND private) is invested. Granted this runs contrary to your paymaster’s narrative, so you seem to have forgotten that.


  81. - horse with no name - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    I don’t think this kind of discussion is productive or helpful, but there have been rumors about Rutherford’s sexuality since he was a State Senator. Did anyone in their right mind think that something like this wasn’t coming? I’m not just saying “oh, he’s not married”, many, many people around the rail believe him to be gay, and have zero problem with that. But it’s still a Republican primary with a lot at stake and a lot of conservative voters to win over. To me it was not “if” but when and how these issues came about. Now we know the answer to that.


  82. - K3 - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    This makes Rauner look more like a jerk. Blago 2.0. It looks like things are over for Rutherford so Rauner may walk away with it


  83. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    I wonder if Rauner and Rahm stayed in the same Chateau? http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/October-2013/Rahm-Rauner/


  84. - Try-4-Truth - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    ——- Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    I wonder if Rauner and Rahm stayed in the same Chateau? http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/October-2013/Rahm-Rauner/————

    Bwaaaaaahahahahahahaha!!!!

    I literally spit my afternoon coffee out laughing with that one.


  85. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Frankly, I could care less whether there is anything there there. I’ll vote for who I believe would do the best job as Governor. I am currently about 99.9% convinced that is Rutherford.


  86. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Carhartt wearing BFFs. Is Rahm aping his venture capital mentor Rauner with the Carhartt look?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-suburbs-in-road-salt-shortage-chicago-ok-20140201,0,4241026.story


  87. - steve schnorf - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    I pull a GOP primary ballot EVERY time, and remember, Rich, that now fewer than half of us now believe in evolution, so Rauner may have a target audience in an R primary


  88. - LincolnLounger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Isn’t it remarkable that the Rauner campaign is full of Mark Kirk people, and this is the same garbage they have been hurling at Mark for years.


  89. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    –I pull a GOP primary ballot EVERY time, and remember, Rich, that now fewer than half of us now believe in evolution, so Rauner may have a target audience in an R primary –

    Schnorf, the shock to me is that every GOP buck in the world is guying to Rauner, as if the other three guys were fringe players in the GOP.

    Make no mistake about it, Rauner is the GOP money boy candidate, from Gidwitz to Roeser and all points in-between. That’s weird and scary.


  90. - Loop Lady - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Lincoln: Kirk was married…at one time…as if that means anything…


  91. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    –To me it was not “if” but when and how these issues came about. Now we know the answer to that.–

    Yes, we do.

    It’s not a shock that Rauner was peddling prurience and homophobia. He’ll do anything.

    The shock was that the Sun-Times and that reporter put it on the front page.

    You expect that hateful trash from Jack Roeser and Champion News. I held the Sun-Times to a higher standard.

    I don’t anymore.


  92. - walker - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    The more the Treasurer, the Governor, the Speaker, and the heads of DCEO travel the world when invited by trade groups, working to encourage investment in Illinois, and to increase our balance of trade (which they have), the better off we all are.

    Of course there could be abuse, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.

    Raunerbots above — this is a loser and you need to get on to something of substance.

    Pretending that your attack on Rutherford was about money, doesn’t pass the smell test.


  93. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    I just want to make sure I understand why everyone is going OTT against Rauner and the Sun-Times here so let’s see if I have my facts straight.

    Rauner’s folks pitched a story about how Rutherford travels out of country…a lot. More than other constitutional officers including the governor. Both the Trib and Sun-times were looking into the story and the Sun-Times beat the Trib to the punch. It’s a legitimate story with or without the sexuality component.

    Sorry people, this isn’t Rod-level tactics. It’s garden variety earned media campaigning. From knowing some of the people here, I can say with 100% certainty that I’m not the only former (or current) campaign operative who has pitched a negative story about a rival campaign.

    I just think this room is so frothed up over hating Rauner that tactics that would be kosher to you in another context are being viewed as out of bounds here.

    Am I missing something?


  94. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    - Chicago Cynic -,

    With respect,

    Let’s both be very cautious here … You can read the direct I am also quoting here …

    ===…(Employee) often travels with the treasurer, including on a personal excursion to Australia in 2011, which Rutherford has described as a “few weeks” in length in June of that year.

    Fewer than two months later, Rutherford was in flight again, traveling to China, where he and his executive assistant spent 15 days. […]===

    If you can’t read the underpinning of making a point on the travel and the Treasurer not traveling alone, then I can’t help you on reading the words, and reading what is “there” to be comprehended.

    Go read above, with the clearest of minds, with what you know.

    It was written for 2 audiences, one who wil read it, and one who is being lead to where the story would like you to take it.


  95. - All is fair - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    So many questions.

    First, so reporters are talking about what Rauner has told them on this? I’m a little confused here. I guess if you go to enough people with the story, your “background” info gets attributed. That would seem to be a rookie mistake. You find one friendly to talk to, not a slew of reporters.

    Second, those who say they don’t care about whether there is a a there there. :) Do you really believe that bosses/elected officials/adminstrators in state government should act with impunity in such things? This would likely get you fired in the corp world. There are conventional workplace rules and laws regarding these matters. do they apply to politicians?

    Lastly, it seems that a bunch of people benefit in this matter. So if the tie to Rauner is indeed attributable, so be it. But if it’s speculation, I’m not sure why the other GOPers and Quinn get a pass.

    Personally, I believe Rutherford is our best general election candidate so I can see Dems going after him.

    And yes, ugly. wish it wasn’t happening.


  96. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    @Chicago Cynic:

    It’s not the fact that they are pointing out the travel. It’s fair game. It’s the nonsense about sharing a room. It’s pretty clear what the insinuation is. That is absolutely disgraceful in my opinion.


  97. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    –Am I missing something?–

    Plenty.

    Context. Subtext. Malice. Prurience. Homophobia.

    Give it another read.

    If you think this story is about excessive travel on the state dime, where’s the cost estimate?


  98. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    ==This would likely get you fired in the corp world.==

    What would get you fired?


  99. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==Do you really believe that bosses/elected officials/adminstrators in state government should act with impunity in such things? This would likely get you fired in the corp world. There are conventional workplace rules and laws regarding these matters. do they apply to politicians?==

    I have been on many trips paid for by fed, state, & local gov’t funds. They typically REQUIRE people to share rooms, including with supervisors. This is to avoid wasting money, and is travel POLICY at many levels of government. And, it looks hypocritical if the brass does not follow policy.

    This story is NOT about trips, which state officials often take. This story is NOT about staff going along, which they often do. This story is NOT about staying a few extra days on one’s own dime, which business travelers often do (to save themselves money AND sometimes save the employer money). SO, what does that leave? Innuendo. Simple as that.

    Personally, I find the timing very convenient in that it just happens to coincide with a big outside ad purchase and a lawsuit going public.


  100. - All is fair - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 5:20 pm:

    Just to be clear, I agree with those who say that sharing a room is often even required and isn’t an issue. My point was address to this comment. “Frankly, I could care less whether there is anything there there. ” But going through, I don’t think anyone else really expressed that sentiment.


  101. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 5:46 pm:

    No - I get the point of the “travel with male staffer” part of the story. But it’s not like the Sun-Times has never done slimy stories before. It’s a tabloid and it often acts that way - yes, even Natasha.

    Do I approve of the innuendo? No.
    Do I think this was inevitable, either from Rauner or from someone in the media? You bet.
    Do I think these tactics are even remotely unprecendented? Hardly.

    As the saying goes, politics ain’t beanbag. I promise that Dan Rutherford has known for a very long time that the campaign was going to “go there.” I’m just surprised by the weird and in my mind counter-productive press conference of last Friday.


  102. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:02 pm:

    lol So you did cover this one.

    I just assumed that the bunking story was a distraction to the 32 days of necessary overseas training that everyone else seemed to indicate they did not need for the post. (BTW, next time you’re going to talk about being able to do state work remotely, consider that some might think you should also then be able to do “training” remotely. Just saying.)


  103. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    ===That would seem to be a rookie mistake. You find one friendly to talk to, not a slew of reporters.===

    Yeah, but what happens when you get turned down? You don’t think that CS-T story was put together Friday do you?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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