SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Behind the scenes

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

One of the reasons why people near Treasurer Dan Rutherford are so nervous these days is because of the possibility that other employees might come out of the woodwork with even more allegations.

As I write this, the publicly revealed facts are still quite thin. A now former employee of Rutherford’s has claimed, without producing any hard evidence as of this writing, that he was sexually harassed and told to do political fundraising work. Rutherford has flatly denied the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated and part of a shakedown attempt that’s being pushed by his Republican gubernatorial primary opponent Bruce Rauner. The former employee, Rutherford claims, demanded $300,000 through his attorney to remain quiet. Rauner has denied any involvement.

The treasurer’s office has negotiated two previous severance agreements, a fact that the accuser’s lawyer alluded to last week when she told WLS Radio’s Dan Proft “Their standard MO [mode of operation] is to work out standard severance agreements. That’s what they do, and they’ve been doing that the last two or three years with employees.”

But a top Rutherford aide completely and adamantly denied last week that the prior severance agreements had anything to do with any sort of allegations of misconduct by Rutherford whatsoever. So, Rutherford’s allies can probably rest easy on that potential problem because it likely doesn’t exist.

Rutherford has a reputation among his friends and acquaintances as being a pleasant, positive, somewhat quirky, but almost always upbeat guy. You can’t help but like the man. He’s one of the truly nice guys in this state’s political world.

Working for Rutherford, however, is sometimes anything but a pleasant experience. He is, like many in politics, a man driven by ambition who has long aimed his sights at a higher office. He works almost nonstop, and he doesn’t care for those who can’t keep up with him or don’t meet his standards.

For instance, several weeks ago, Rutherford, an aide and a driver were on the road. Rutherford was not happy with the driver’s performance at an event. As punishment, Rutherford ordered the driver to remain in the car while he and the other aide went into a restaurant. Rutherford also reportedly took the car keys with him into the restaurant. The devastated young man called his sister and had her pick him up and quit on the spot.

A top aide to Rutherford confirmed the story the other day, but brushed it off, explaining that everybody has their bad moments. We all do, indeed, have our bad moments which shouldn’t wind up being used to judge our complete character.

While admittedly on the extreme end of his personality spectrum, it’s that sort of behavior which has Rutherford’s allies worried about what some other employees might say to a lawyer or a reporter. And there are a dozen or more stories of a similar nature. The treasurer, to put it bluntly, has more than a few disgruntled people in his office.

But potential trouble from revenge-minded employees represents only a small part of the storm facing the treasurer. Word from inside is that the folks who say they can corroborate allegations of sexual harassment and pressure to raise campaign funds by Treasurer Dan Rutherford were telling their full stories last week to the independent investigator appointed by Rutherford to get to the bottom of the story. We’ll see if those stories hold up to scrutiny.

The very real possibility of a Rutherford political collapse has not yet completely deterred labor groups from pushing ahead with their plan to attack Bruce Rauner via negative TV ads. However, they don’t seem as confident as they were a month ago that the strategy will work.

One top labor official said last week that he never thought they had more than a 25 percent chance of defeating Rauner in the Republican primary, even though a month ago he appeared quite confident they could throw a knockout punch.

The fallback plan appears to be to tarnish Rauner enough in the next month or so that he doesn’t start off with a huge and insurmountable lead over Gov. Pat Quinn after the primary ends. Quinn is already trailing all four of his Republican opponents by eight to ten points, so, barring a knockout, they want to stop any further Quinn erosion and knock Rauner back on his heels a bit.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Anon - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    “The devastated young man called his sister and had her pick him up and quit on the spot.”

    How did Rutherford ever get home without a driver???


  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Rutherford had the car keys.


  3. - Justsayin' - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    It is interesting that the media is covering this - but not Rauner’s many, many conflicts. Those have generally been a one day story. Two at most.


  4. - Percival - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    The nasty boss stuff won’t stick, the pressure to raise money bit no one will understand even if true, but additional harassment allegations that are more than office chatter will be devastating.


  5. - PoolGuy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    i know that was a one-off incident, but that’s seems harsh to not allow the guy to eat lunch or dinner because he wasn’t perfect. if my boss said i couldn’t eat lunch because i goofed up I might have a problem with that.


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Hope that didn’t happen in the last couple of months. It’s been cold out there.

    Doesn’t it count as animal cruelty to leave a living creature in the car during extreme temperatures, lol? Good for the kid though. It takes guts to do that.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    - Perry Noya -, Rutherford is “quirky”, he is many things, and running for the Big Chair, and being a Statewide causes “strain”.

    Good candidates know having good people working for you is important, Great Candidates know its even better to keep those good people happy.

    To the Post,

    The Rutherford “damage control” is only going to highlight more the corroborated instances of Dan Rutherford infect the mindset of those looking at this with an open mind. “You hear one, then you hear two …” is Rutherford’s biggest political problem. The lawsuit is either his biggest personal tragedy, or Rutherford’s biggest disappointment to those he may have let down.

    We will all know soon enough.


  8. - VictorNorth - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Punishes his driver, takes car keys and leaves him in the car? Grabbing genitals? Rutherford sounds unhinged. I would have quit on the spot as well. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.


  9. - William j Kelly - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Has anyone asked how iPi may or may not receive money from rauner allegedly. And still sponsor a debate that may or may not be moderated by Proft allegedly.


  10. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Sometimes, you can needlessly put down, harass or ridicule the right (or wrong) employee, resulting in a vindictive act months or years later. Be careful of whom you may disparage.


  11. - hawksfan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    “Quirky” = throwing a childlike tantrum to embarrass and denigrate a staffer?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    - hawksfan -,

    I am pretty sure I put the word in quotes for Irony, and to mock the idea that serious charges like these are not to be looked at as “quirky” while some close to Mr. Rutherford might hope.

    Yeah. I am pretty sure I was going for that.


  13. - Anon - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    == Rutherford had the car keys. ==

    Yeah, but he didn’t have a driver…


  14. - Levois - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    So there’s a chance that, this could get worse before it gets better.


  15. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Or get bad before it gets even worse.


  16. - SAP - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    I’ve always subscribed to the notion that character is defined by what you do when you don’t think anyone is watching. The “truly nice guys in the political world” doesn’t cut it for me with the driver story out there, and I was someone who thought that Rutherford was the only viable Republican alternative to Rauner. Not anymore. Rutherford is nothing but a fake good guy.


  17. - Rod - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    So Rich your article does not indicate that Rutherford’s Chief of Staff has been killing sexual harassment claims against Rutherford. This was a claim made in the accuser’s resignation letter that appeared on the blog. Are those claims still being made?

    The fund raising allegation is to put it simple, devastating, if it is substantiated. How many times do we have to go through this in Illinois, squeezing money from staff for campaigns is an old and universal illness shared by Republicans and Democrats.


  18. - Catrike - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    It is possible to be a member of an oppressed minority and a bully at the same time. This guy is apparently both. I can understand using clout to get your daughter into a good school, but this kind of petty viciousness not so much.


  19. - shore - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    If I were an Illinois democrat the last 12 years easily obama winning in 2008 would be the highlight but watching republicans flail like this would frankly be so much more enjoyable. From Jack Ryan to dur(k)in to the awkward bush-george ryan rallies, alan keyes, brady’s goofiness, the congressional castration known as the 2012 reapportionment it’s like being a cardinals fan watching the cubs the last 100 years. Forget Letterman’s top 10, or the dirty dozen, we need a worst 100 for our follies.

    Oh and the formerly most popular republican candidate for 2016 in the country comes tomorrow disgraced hat in hand while the metro areas own Hillary gets set to sail into the white house in 2017.


  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Since it’s confirmed, the incident with the driver is disturbing.

    Rutherford’s actions were bush-league, to say the least. Big shots who abuse “the help” are the lowest-of-the-low.


  21. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Rutherford took in 26K over the weekend. Odd that his fundraising would pick up now of all times.


  22. - DuPage Rep - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Let’s not forget that Rutherford insists that he be referred to as “The Treasurer” at all times. A little ego problem?


  23. - curmudgeon - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    = “he doesn’t care for those who can’t keep up with him or don’t meet his standards. …was not happy with the driver’s performance … ordered the driver to remain in the car while he and the other aide went into a restaurant. Rutherford also reportedly took the car keys with him into the restaurant.”

    Sheesh! Apparently Rutherford learned nothing from seeing that sort of behaviour in the DCCA management team (Peter B. Fox & his successors) when he was on the Marketing staff (international business). And, yes, there were rumors about his preferences back then, too.


  24. - A modest proposal - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    IMHO, if working as a low level staffer was that bad, then the driver was probably more relieved than devastated…

    Devastating would probably fall under the category of being groped in the Treasurer’s home with no witnesses.


  25. - using common sense - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    - Anon - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 11:23 am:== Rutherford had the car keys. == Yeah, but he didn’t have a driver…

    I’m pretty sure the treasurer knows how to drive, Rich also said that another staffer was with him. They probably got demoted to driver for the rest of the day…


  26. - Anonymous in Aurora - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    I respect your wisdom, Rich, but the incident with the driver is pretty awful. Yes, we all have “bad moments,” but what we do when we have them is very telling.

    And, from the WLS article, what’s with the overnight retreat at Rutherford’s house? That’s just incredibly odd - if true.


  27. - Anon. - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==I’ve always subscribed to the notion that character is defined by what you do when you don’t think anyone is watching. The “truly nice guys in the political world” doesn’t cut it for me with the driver story out there, and I was someone who thought that Rutherford was the only viable Republican alternative to Rauner. Not anymore. Rutherford is nothing but a fake good guy.==

    How you treat the “little” people is very telling. As Dave Barry liked to say, “A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person.”


  28. - ZC - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    So as a hypothetical, let’s say Rutherford does drop out.

    This has to open up a small opportunity for Senator Bill Brady, I’m thinking. But I don’t know how much his campaign can seize it.


  29. - Statesman - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 5:50 pm:

    Inquiring minds wonder if Pongee the wunderkar will show up to rescue DR!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: McKinney, cable TV buys, polling report, new TV ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Oberweis now for gay marriage
* The patented Pat Quinn close has begun
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Papers, Please creator's new game invokes Mac Plus era
        * Yahoo updates Mail app with travel, event notifications
        * Is your Lumia your better half?
        * Apple ending SSL 3.0 push notifications in wake of severe POODLE vulnerability
        * Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition, available on Verizon
        * Twitter weaves Fabric, but will developers be drawn in?
        * Nova Launcher adapts Lollipop design in latest update

        * Desktop Sintratec SLS 3D Printer Unveiled For $3,999
        * Apple Removing Support For SSL 3.0 On Push Notifications
        * Etsy Introduces Credit Card Reader to Go Beyond the Web
        * OverDrive Review: A Free E-Book Lending Service That Requires Some Patience
        * Ello Raises $5.5 Million to Grow Its Ad-Free Social Network
        * Treat Starting, Not Finishing, As Your Greatest Success
        * Huawei Ships 16.8 Million Smartphones In Q3

        * Nori Aoki: The White Sox Killer of 2014
        * World Series Game 2: Notes and discussion
        * 23 potential MLB free agents as SkyMall items
        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Cowra Jockey Club names former local trainer Vi.....
        * Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effec.....
        * Democrat Pat Quinn Dealt Ethics Blow by Court..
        * Illinois Republican Governor Candidate Visits M.....
        * Union shells out big bucks to defeat Rauner..
        * IDOT Hiring Will Be Monitored..
        * Making his comeback..
        * Did Bazillionaire Bruce Rauner Bully A Reporter.....
        * Zells donate $10 million to Ounce of Prevention..
        * Reporter quits Chicago newspaper, says governor.....


        * Chicago jail escapee sentenced to 36 years
        * Durbin, Oberweis face off in 1st US Senate debate
        * Biden in Illinois: Each vote for Democrats crucial
        * Indiana killings case prompts Illinois searches
        * Reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Illinois adding press-box medical staffer
        * VP says Democrats working to protect middle class
        * Former Illini coaches speak at McClain's funeral
        * Editor defends Sun-Times after reporter quits
        * Court-appointed monitor ordered for IDOT hiring

        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears

        *
        * Major convention bolting Chicago in hotel room rate dispute
        * Major convention bolting Chicago in room rate dispute
        * The cool chemistry of flame-resistant clothing
        * 10 Things to Do


        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Scandal or not, Bring on that  federal monitor
        * ‘Narcissistic’ bank robber and jail breaker sentenced to 36 years
        * New archbishop chooses modest rectory over traditional mansion
        * Federal monitor will oversee hiring at Illinois Department of Transportation
        * Critics on Emanuel’s choice for city treasurer: Good person, flawed process
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state says 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85


        * Skokie school remains closed as police continue threat investigation
        * Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney quits, cites possible retaliation over Rauner article
        * Tribune poll: Rauner, Quinn in dead heat
        * West Town man killed, another wounded in Richton Park shooting
        * Jefferson Park woman reported missing
        * Woman, 33, shot in East Garfield Park
        * Durbin, Oberweis clash on immigration, health care in debate
        * Aldermen question speed cameras
        * Man charged with arson in Logan Square fire
        * 17-year-old charged in West Side man's slaying


        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin
        * Real estate and religion: The tale of Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
        * Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment
        * Judge Orders Court Appointed Monitor For IDOT Hiring
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Attorneys Due In Court For Quinn Hiring Lawsuit
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion


        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Local Rauner ad leaves out ‘everything Springfield isn’t’ line
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * George Will: In Kentucky, a constitutional moment
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant


        * Men with assault rifles rob, kidnap strip club customers
        * Mace-wielding thieves attack clerk, rob Sports Authority
        * East St. Louis woman charged with possession of gun by a felon
        * Nicor neighbors concerned about coal tar
        * Krannert has big addition for play
        * Tolono firefighters hold prevention festival
        * On the money, Oct. 23, 2014
        * Jim Dey: Fatal shooting moves to trial for damages to family of victim
        * Going gray for homecoming at UI
        * First Busey income up for quarter


        * Villa Park police look for man accused of indecent exposure
        * Ted Melfi takes questions about 'St. Vincent'
        * Dawn Patrol: Joe Biden in Vernon Hills; Batavia police seek cop attacker
        * Kane sheriff hopefuls explain why each deserves your vote
        * Schaumburg convention center to start $11.6 million renovation

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Ad nauseam...
        * Oberweis now backs same-sex marriage...
        * EXCLUSIVE: Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly ......
        * EXCLUSIVE: Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly ......
        * EXCLUSIVE: Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly ......

        * Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk Warn John Kerry on ......
        * Officials continue push for funds to clean......

        * The 84th House Race Kifowit vs. Bansal...
        * Glen Brown. Colorado Supreme Court rules against pension rights. It’s not Illinois.
        * The latest from the Blue State Cowboys: Plutocrat: The Ballad of Bruce Rauner.
        * Guidelines And Tricks To Get You By way of Higher education
        * Mayor Looks To Squeeze Motorists More In 2015 Budget
        * City Clerk Announces New Push To Nab City Sticker Scofflaws
        * Poll: Illinois Governor's Race A 'Statistical Tie'
        * Report Examines Big-Money Influence In IL Guv's Race, Congressional Primaries
        * Dozen more days of anti-Quinn rhetoric
        * The True North Strong and Free...


        * TV Breaking News: Ethics blow for Pat Quinn
        * Federal judge deals Quinn ethics blow on IDOT patronage hiring
        * Rauner Statement on Federal Hiring Monitor at IDOT
        * Governor Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force - Group of Healthcare Experts to Advise State on Ebola Response Efforts
        * New TV Ad: Endorsed




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller