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An examination of the he said/he said

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* I thought Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s performance at yesterday’s press conference was pretty good. But not all of his claims totally hold up.

For instance, this is from Rutherford’s press release

Michalowski claims that he was harassed at “an overnight retreat” at the Treasurer’s home in Chenoa on April 2, 2011. However, a travel voucher submitted and signed by Michalowski for the date of April 2, 2011 shows he traveled home from Pontiac (not Chenoa) at 2 in the afternoon. Most importantly, contrary to his claim that he planned to stay the night and that he was harassed in the evening, the voucher indicates Michalowski returned to his residence in Chicago by 4 in the afternoon that day. An email written by Michalowski to another co-worker confirms that he traveled to Pontiac and returned home the same day.

* But

In an interview with the Tribune, Michalowski acknowledged what the travel voucher showed but said he filled it out inaccurately at the time because he was embarrassed about what happened and Rutherford told him not to expense an overnight trip because they were going to be discussing politics.

Not expensing an overnight trip because of campaign work is common practice in government.

* Then again, some of the claims made by the accuser just seem bizarre. This is from Ed Michalowski’s lawsuit

The stress and anxiety suffered by Plaintiff from Defendants’ conduct has manifested itself physically.

In November 2012, Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital with severe headaches. After numerous hospitalizations and tests, Plaintiff was diagnosed with leakage of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain for which he has undergone four blood patches and one occipital nerve block as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Plaintiff has missed time from work for these hospitalizations throughout 2013 as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Plaintiff has incurred over $100,000.00 in medical bills related to these hospital stays as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Really? Dan Rutherford caused “leakage of cerebral spinal fluid”? I really find that hard to believe without any solid evidence.

* Back to Rutherford’s press release

Michalowski has never suffered any demotion or decrease in salary, which was substantial; his $99,000 annual salary placed him among the six highest salaries at the treasurer’s office. He was never promised any promotion or position. The text messages produced to our office by Michalowski show continual civility, camaraderie, appreciation, and support from the treasurer and other co-workers for Michalowski and from Michalowski to the treasurer and other co-workers. This is true both pre- and post- the alleged harassment.

* But

Michalowski also claims he was promoted twice – first from deputy director to director of community affairs and later to director of the merged community affairs and marketing departments – with no pay increase. His lawsuit claims his salary stayed the same throughout his tenure at the treasurer’s office.

Rutherford is pretty cheap, so that might explain it.

* Timing is also an issue. From Rutherford’s press release

The alleged incidents of harassment started in 2011 and 2012, well beyond the statutes of limitations provided under state law and federal law for Equal Employment Opportunity claims. Only today does Michalowski raise incidents occurring in 2013 as a way to make these allegations seem timely. Like the timing of the claims, this is very convenient for Michalowski.

Likewise, the political activity is alleged to have primarily occurred in 2011 and 2012. Michalowski, like every Illinois State Treasurer’s Office employee, receives Ethics Training annually, and employees are instructed to report any allegations of prohibited political activity or other misconduct to the Office of Executive Inspector General. However, there is a one-year statute of limitations for the Office of Executive Inspector General to open investigations. These allegations were never reported to the Executive Inspector General at the tim

Sometimes, victims of these sorts of things just don’t act or speak up right away. It happens.

* And there’s the money angle

Public records show that Michalowski is in the midst of an on-going bankruptcy proceeding in which Michalowski is delinquent in making payments as of May 2013, with a hearing scheduled on the delinquency for January 23, 2014—the date his attorney first contacted the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. His home was foreclosed upon in April 2013. In October 2013, Michalowski filed for divorce.

Lots of people have had financial troubles, particularly those who go through divorces. That doesn’t make them dishonest.

* Finally, this allegation may have looked salacious at first

On July 24, 2011, Treasurer’s Office employee and Rutherford political Chief of Staff Curt Conrad texted Plaintiff the following: “The treasurer specifically asked that you wear a tank top. Totally your decision if you want to ignore. I am just a messenger.”

* Rutherford’s response

Details such as a July 24, 2011 text from a staffer that the treasurer asked that Michalowski wear a “tank top” are deliberately taken out of context. Michalowski provided to the treasurer’s office what he claims to be the entire string of texts, which shows that Michalowski was engaging in light-hearted conversation with the staffer about appropriate dress.

* The full exchange

Curt: No coat and tie required tomorrow. Business casual fine.

Ed: What about my toupee, should I bring my business casual one?

Curt: The treasurer specifically asked that you wear a tank top. Totally your decision if you want to ignore. I am just a messenger.

Ed: OK. Sounds like a plan.

This is clearly all a joke. They don’t call Conrad “Monkey” for nothing.

However, there is most definitely a noticeable undercurrent here. Yes, this was in fun, but you don’t need a compass to know that the joke points in a definite direction.

* And this more than implies that Michalowski has a witness

In December 2013, Rutherford allegedly went over to Michalowski at an office party, rubbed his shoulders and said to him, “You need a full body massage.”

“That was creepy,” said another person who witnessed what happened, according to the lawsuit.

* Related…

* Dan Rutherford: ‘I’m going to continue on’

* Rutherford fires back at allegations of sexual harassment, political pressure

* Rutherford denies sex harassment charges: ‘This thing smells of politics’

* Rutherford Responds to Sexual Harassment Suit

* Former employee alleges Illinois treasurer sexually harassed him

* Rutherford denies sexual harassment, political coercion allegations in lawsuit filed by ex-employee

- Posted by Rich Miller        


54 Comments
  1. - dave - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    **Plaintiff has incurred over $100,000.00 in medical bills related to these hospital stays as a result of Defendants’ conduct.**

    Someone that knows the state employee health insurance plan better than I will have to explain how a state employee, with a good health insurance plan, could have incurred $100,000 in medical bills. Is that really possible under the state employee health insurance?


  2. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    If Rutherford were less scrupulous he should use his ability to make other peoples spinal fluid leak on his opponents and force them to withdraw from the race.


  3. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Well don’t see stress as a cause of a fluid leak.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_cerebrospinal_fluid_leak#Causes


  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    the more the talk is about this, the less the talk is about anything else, specifically, whatever Rutherford thinks his positive message is. never good in a campaign.


  5. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    I must say, I have absolutely no idea what to believe about these allegations. If I’m reading the media correctly, however, Rutherford, an ambitious Republican pol, hired this individual for a fluffy high-level state job despite presumably knowing that he was a Democrat who had worked for Democrats in the past. I know bipartisanship is in vogue, but this is Illinois,
    where Democrats have a huge patronage advantage already. Couldn’t he find a Republican for this nice, highly paid job?

    It just seems dumb. Really dumb. I can’t vote for dumb.


  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Dave - NO, not possible. From personal experience we incurred nowhere near that in out-of-pocket for similar size medical bill.


  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    I’m so tired of this ridiculous lack of responsibility. The accuser is a bald middle aged guy acting like he’s an Amish college intern. When are we going to say - hey - what you said Rutherford did was not cool, but dude - what are you getting all worked up over? You are supposedly an adult. You couldn’t work it out after apologies all around?

    The accuser is out to play the victim and my empathy can’t stretch big enough to feel sorry for him. This isn’t 1962 where we put this kind of behavior behind bars. Good grief dude - you are so out of touch no one should ever touch you again.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    - VanillaMan -,

    So a balding middle-aged guy can’t be harassed?

    Further, IF you are harassed, just shake hands and be done with it?

    ===…what are you getting all worked up over? You are supposedly an adult. You couldn’t work it out after apologies all around?===

    Just. Wow.


  9. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Who pulled strings to get the plaintiff another government job at the Cook County Recorder’s office? Why would Recorder Karen Yarbrough want such a distraction in her office?


  10. - anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    The allegations re: campaign work on state time and pressure to fundraise are believable. Not saying it’s true, but having worked in politics…..it happens.

    The statements attributed to Rutherford re: the sexual harassment , however, sound like dialogue from a bad tv show. “You just said no to the Treasurer” Really? Who talks like that?

    I also had the same thoughts regarding the $100K in medical expenses. The state, despite it’s many woes, has good health insurance.


  11. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    I was wondering about the accuser’s new job myself. Is the Recorder’s Office job a patronage appointment?


  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    ===“You just said no to the Treasurer” Really? Who talks like that?===

    Dan does.


  13. - walker - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    VanillaMan: You cannot be serious! We can just shake on it and everything’s cool?

    If true: You are sexually harassed in a direct and unambiguous way, knowing you have to shut up about it, seeing your harassing boss every day at work, knowing he has the power and ability to fire you and take away your income. And getting no relief, apologies, or any support from his senior staff?

    You don’t get that?

    Shaking my head.


  14. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    The guy doesn’t want to be pressured to do political work - so he takes a job in the Cook County Recorder’s Office.

    Yeah, that makes sense.


  15. - Levois - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    I saw on his twitter that he’s going to be on Chicago Tonight. What would he say there that’s different than what he’s said already?


  16. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Yeah - there is a point when a mature male understands a harmless pass or two from someone else. What is he a hot-house orchid?

    Harassment? You have to be a victim first - and he was not. One punch to a nether region usually is enough for one dude to get a message to another.

    Middle aged guys aren’t supposed to be whiney babies over crap like this. Stuff happens. Get over it.


  17. - anonymous 11:24 a.m. - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Rich: You would be in a better position to know, so I stand corrected. But you have to admit, it does sound like cheesy dialogue from a tv show.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    - VanillaMan -,

    Wow.

    “Only by the Grace of …”

    Maybe it’s you in the 1960s - VanillaMan -, who thinks how people look, what should be done, how it should be handled at the time and after, and how possible victims should be treated.

    “Only by the Grace of …”


  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Divorce, foreclosure, bankruptcy, harassment suit, and now he’s all over the media.

    The guy has a lot on his plate about now…..


  20. - SG8prl - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Are we sure that Mr. Michalowski had state insurance? I believe you can opt out if you can prove that you have other insurance. Maybe he had a cheaper insurance plan that wasn’t through the state and it had less coverage.


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    ==Not expensing an overnight trip because of campaign work is common practice in government. ==

    I think that’s why the Treasurer’s office pointed out that there was a corroborating email to a coworker. The other piece of this puzzle would be any other folks who were on that excursion. Was Ed invited to Dan’s house solo, or were others present on this “retreat”?


  22. - dave - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    **I’m so tired of this ridiculous lack of responsibility. The accuser is a bald middle aged guy acting like he’s an Amish college intern. When are we going to say - hey - what you said Rutherford did was not cool, but dude - what are you getting all worked up over? You are supposedly an adult. You couldn’t work it out after apologies all around?**

    WOW! Vanillaman — I kinda’ missed you around here, but saying this? I don’t even know how to respond.

    If what the accuser has said is true - there are HUGE problems for Rutherford. This isn’t about whether or not Rutherford is gay — this is about sexual harassment and abuse of power.


  23. - Original Rambler - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Upon Further Review…

    You really can’t figure that one out? The more this guy’s past gets scrutinized, the shakier his claims will look. This will truly end up a fascinating tale when done. I just hope it doesn’t end soon.


  24. - Westward - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Vanilla, got your back. I have gay friends. I can tell you that I’m secure with myself and we can joke around, send charged texts without either of us being offended. If he ever made an unwanted pass at me, I assure I would deal with it. My friend is in a position which he would not want me going to his boss with texts I could save or emails. I wouldn’t do that because I was a party to those exchanges. That’s where I see this issue. You have a bitter (and fiscally needy) employee using what all parties thought were trusted exchanges that would never get to this level. I think it’s a sad move by the victim. Obviously, DR, think about your position before you think you can trust someone to be your friend. Like I said, I could ruin my friend because of the way society is geared now. But I’m old school and no matter how bitter things could get, I would never do that to a friend out of spite and personal gain.


  25. - anonymous 11:24 a.m. - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    SG8prl: I supposed you could opt out of state insurance, but as a former state employee, state health insurance was a very good option and less expensive than what I had in the private sector.


  26. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Vanilla, so you are saying Ed should have punched Dan down below if Dan said some inappropriate things to him? that’s your solution? we all need to man up and use violence to solve our problems in the “adult world”. this isn’t a schoolyard fight in 1955. jeesh.


  27. - dave - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    **I have gay friends. I can tell you that I’m secure with myself and we can joke around, send charged texts without either of us being offended. If he ever made an unwanted pass at me, I assure I would deal with it. **

    Again — this has NOTHING to do with being “secure with yourself”. And this isn’t about two friends joking around.

    This is about, if true, a boss sexually harassing an employee and a boss abusing his position of authority. If what Ed has said is true, there was a pattern of inappropriate comments/actions that, isolated by themselves, may not have been big problems. But the pattern becomes a bigger and bigger problem.

    And no, the response isn’t to just “deal with it” or hit the guy. That isn’t how you deal with a situation in the workplace (or, for that matter, anywhere).


  28. - SG8prl - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    anonymous 11:24 a.m: Thanks for the verification. I was just trying to make the point that the costs may not be as outlandish as they seem at first glance because he may not have the best insurance coverage. (I agree that most people would probably pick the state employee coverage option; however, it seems that it is possible to choose a riskier plan.)


  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    Note to reporters: If you’re going to ask “THE QUESTION”, you have to ask it correctly.

    “Are you gay?” just doesn’t cover it. You have to ask “Are you gay or bisexual?”

    Big difference.


  30. - Anon1 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    This plays into the bigger issue about how he treats his employees which many have known about for years and is becoming more common knowledge, even recently with stories on here. He has a public persona which is quite opposite as to how he treats his staff. It is about character and that is a legitimate concern.


  31. - anonymous 11:24 a.m. - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Agree with you Anon1. The story about leaving the driver in the car shared here was troubling and says a lot about character.


  32. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Just looking at Mr. M does not suggest him as a Boys Town favorite…


  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    - D.P.Gumby -,

    What does that mean? The look is not agreeable to certain people? I don’t understand …


  34. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Maybe his lawyer helped him see a way he could get money out of a job he was leaving, anyway. Then the whole thing blew up into something larger when Rutherford refused the severance pay and went public. All of a sudden new and more serious charges were coming out everyday.

    Someone’s lying; I can’t tell who at this point.
    But, the political ramifications play an important part and can’t be discounted.


  35. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    OW I know what he is saying and its crude and unnecessary.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    - PoolGuy -,

    I wanted to see if - D.P.Gumby - could “clarify”.

    You know, so we all can understand, without all the inuendo or double talk …”wink-wink”… or a “nod-nod”… and then answer that an alleged victim could be looked at that way.

    Any. Alleged. Victim. Period.

    You understand, - PoolGuy -…


  37. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    Just like VanillaMan, DP obviously believes that only “good looking” people are sexually attractive, and they both have a damn narrow view of what makes a person “good looking.” Glad I don’t have that kind of tunnel vision.

    And there’s LOTS more to sexual attractiveness than physical looks, unless all you’ve known are bar pickups.


  38. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    ok Willy i figured you did. i’m just shocked to see the kind of purposely vague and ‘phobic comments the past couple days. i know this is a blog but it appears there are plenty of people on this site who are fine with the Sun-Times articles.


  39. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    http://obituaries.mysuburbanlife.com/obituaries/chicagosuburbannews/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=142482665


  40. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Calm down; deep breath. Simply another basis to question the credibility of the allegation. What makes this guy think someone who has never been accused of such conduct would suddenly engage in this conduct over him? Sarcasm aimed at every middle aged guy who thinks he is God’s gift to the other (or the same) sex!


  41. - Marie - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Dave - if he was treated “out of network” he could rack up huge charges - the insurance and the provider have not agreed upon rates and the provider can charge what they want - however the insurance coverage will not pay that - In 2009 I was treated for 5 days out of network - billed $16,000 - insurance paid less than $8,000 - I am paying the rest


  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    I’m pretty calm.

    ===Simply another basis to question the credibility of the allegation. What makes this guy think someone who has never been accused of such conduct would suddenly engage in this conduct over him?===

    So …

    If you have low self-esteem, you never would have thought you could have been sexually harassed? If you have esteem higher than “low”, you could think anyone/everyone is sexually harassing you at any time?

    ===Sarcasm aimed at every middle aged guy who thinks he is God’s gift to the other (or the same) sex!===

    So…

    Sarcasm. at a person, who files a not so comical federal court case, claiming sexual harassment, from another man, should be the tool used to teach middle aged men a lesson on vainity?

    …if I am wrong, please…


  43. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Thanks for the objective analysis, Rich. Very thoughtful and insightful. Although I believe Dan is guilty of all this and other stuff, I do think the staffer waited until the time was ripe (shortly before the biggest election of Dan’s life) to try to cash out. This isn’t illegal, but it does seem to be the case.


  44. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    how you use looks as a basis for whether the accusations are credible or not. so if a woman who was not attractive in your eyes was raped her claims would be less credible. that’s basically what you are saying here. please tell me i’m wrong.


  45. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    So–if you believe the allegations are credible OW, then fine, I will concede you are going to analyze my comment pejoratively. If you find the allegation incredible, then you will accept my comment as it was intended. Your choice. I see this as a political distraction from Rauner’s business misconduct which resulted in elderly people dying in bed. The phobia that exists here is the repulsiveness of those political forces who are running the whisper/legal campaign against Rutherford and comes from the same place as the fools in Indiana.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    - D. P. Gumby -,

    Understand. You know I am with you on Rauner.

    You can’t discredit an accuser based on “looks”, or “appearance of nothing credible in the person” bit. It is no different than those who are victims, and then those off-handedly say, “well, they deserve it, look how they dress”.

    You, I know are better than that, even if Rauner frustrates you.

    I refuse to discredit an alleged victim based on any/all appearances, or the thoughts about how the appearance factors in the alleged crime(s).

    That is where I am coming from. If anyone stakes the credibility on an alleged victim on the “appearances” and mkaes that the basis everything else in fact of the case is swirling around, then we might as well have Beauty Contests that appear like trials, with talent and evening wear as part of “discovery”.

    Don’t go down the “appearance” road, - D. P. Gumby -, it the lowest demoninator, with the least of fact, ususally based on no facts.

    As for our crusade against Rauner, there is still 5 weeks…


  47. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    I said “another” reason. But, more importantly, I think what I didn’t express will is the male homophobic idea that is presented in the “gay panic” defense and the Michael Sam sports paranoia “OMG, a gay man in the locker room!”–this irrational fear among hetero men that all gay men are after them. Great article in Slate–http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/01/30/what_is_homophobia_why_straight_men_are_right_to_be_afraid_of_homosexuality.html


  48. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    - D. P. Gumby -,

    It should never… be ANY type of reason, “another” or otherwise. Period.

    This is not the “P.C. police”, this is a victim issue, and “appearance” should never be “another” reason.

    Ever.


  49. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    OW…you still miss the point.
    It was not about “appearance”, but about context. But I surrender.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Can’t see how I missed it …

    But, it is what it is at this point.


  51. - Odysseus - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 6:57 pm:

    “If what the accuser has said is true - there are HUGE problems for Rutherford. This isn’t about whether or not Rutherford is gay — this is about sexual harassment and abuse of power. - dave”

    That’s a big IF.
    I don’t see anything at all here that’s a smoking gun.


  52. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    Overnight retreats and allegations of fondling, timing of the suit, BIG money demanded when the guy’s already makin’ almost a HUNDRED Grand (!), tank tops requested by DR who then also supposedly says the man needs a full BODY massage–huh?!–and then, to boot, inferences about B. r’s directing some of the movement of this story to Major Daily Newspapers…!?

    Sheez–the whole thing just sorta turns your stomach inside out, and now has the enTIRE GOP Race under a dark cloud–THAT much is for sure. And you’re right: some of these DR early “explanations” are pretty lame, given the SERIOUSness of the accusAtion (and I doubt very much will ameliorate those GOP Voters still in doubt or unSURE about the Treasurer now…!


  53. - highspeed - Wednesday, Feb 12, 14 @ 8:43 am:

    The timing of this doesnt pass my smell test. if all of this occurred, why would you wait until now to bring all of this up? I predict that if Dan loses the lawsuit goes away.


  54. - Looking In - Wednesday, Feb 12, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    After the primary, it will be interesting to see if the press will focus on the plaintiff and his attorney. Both, I believe, have risked their law licenses with this political escapade.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Moose Jaw Warriors coach remembers Pat Quinn as.....
        * Former Canucks remember Quinn as man who change.....
        * Mistress accuses billionaire of tricking her in.....
        * Oil Drops: Tulsa Oilers Weekly Report..
        * Pat Quinn put the Vancouver Canucks on the map..
        * Bright Side: New lottery ticket to benefit vete.....
        * Pete Peeters loved playing for the big Irishman.....
        * Illinois universities asked to explore budget cuts..
        * Rauner tells state universities to prepare for .....


        * Chicago mayor's race takes form on last filing day
        * Son says Mexican trafficker dad not a 'monster'
        * US judge sentences cartel lieutenant to 22 years
        * FAA chief: Disaster response depends on funding
        * New Mexico State names new athletics director
        * FAA chief: Disaster response depends on funding
        * Wintry weather complicates Illinois duck hunting
        * Ex-owner of defunct arena football team arrested
        * Illinois AG to ask high court to consider pensions
        * Ex-owner of defunct arena football team arrested

        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court likely
        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * Judge: Pension ruling to come Friday
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances, wants Quinn to freeze hiring
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances

        * CFTC knocks CME for lack of enforcement staff
        * FAA outlines emergency-response plans for air traffic-control sites
        * How the FAA plans to prevent a repeat of this fall’s air traffic meltdown
        * Constellation Brands hunts new ad agency for Corona Light, Modelo beer brands
        * Redbox raising DVD rental rates by 25%


        * Tom Leach was a master of public information and private secrets
        * A perfect 10: All in for Chicago mayor race
        * Obama honors recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
        * Business owners seeking pot shop licenses in Illinois faced lawsuits elsewhere
        * As prisons swell, Illinois needs wiser policies
        * Out-of-power comet lander deserves praise
        * Chicago on cusp of election that matters
        * NFL passes 1st big test
        * Let gov’s veto on ride sharing rules stand
        * The Watchdogs: Rauner adviser Poshard's pension bonanza


        * Abner Mikva given nation's highest civilian honor
        * High-level cartel figure sentenced to 22 years in prison in Chicago
        * Arson not suspected in deadly horse barn blaze
        * Two crashes in same site on Grand Avenue near I-94 in Gurnee
        * U of C: Facebook threat incident was not hacking
        * FAA outlines strategy to recover from air-traffic control outages
        * Cause of building collapse that injured 2 women under investigation
        * Teen shot during weekend dispute in La Grange
        * Judge: Illinois fracking rules can be published
        * Police: Man attempted to lure girl into car in Glenview


        * Who Will Work In A Rauner Administration?
        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Transmission Line Meetings Planned; More Space For Senior Living
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Midwest Travel: Starved Rock In The Winter
        * Ears Turn To Supreme Court For Next Pensions Cue
        * Listen to State Week - November 21, 2014
        * State To Refund Retiree Health Care Money
        * Labor unions celebrate judge's ruling against Illinois pension law
        * Judge Finds Reductions In Pension Benefits Unconstitutional
        * Pension Ruling Imminent


        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 24, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Illiana project too risky for tapped-out Illinois
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Sen. Manar backs aide Watson over Cahnman, Proctor in Ward 5
        * Karen Cox: Shop for a cause
        * Andy Shaw: Protect Illinois’ FOIA law from unnecessary tinkering
        * Quote of the Day: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * Deckle McLean: Plagiarism comes with a price


        * Answers to questions about the Ferguson grand jury
        * Brown Pregame 11-24-14
        * Ferguson live updates: BND reporters cover reaction to grand jury decision
        * News-Gazette SportsPage 11-24-14
        * Street closures listing
        * LIVE! vs. Brown
        * Clinton working to keep its Target store
        * DAVENPORT CHURCHES TO SERVE FREE TURKEY DAY DINNER
        * Frerichs replacement may be named next week
        * Monticello council to vote on wide-ranging city plans


        * Storm on menu for some Thanksgiving travelers
        * Schwantz taps nominee for temporary Palatine council seat
        * U-46 monitors elementary students' heart rates in gym class
        * Elgin mayor draws challenger, 11 file for city council
        * Nominees for Palatine Chamber awards announced

        * Rep. Davis needs to get up to date on Obam...
        * After his defeat, Illinois Congressman Bil...
        * Lipinski Hoping for Restraint after Israel...
        * Congresswoman Robin Kelly Elected Regional...
        * Medicare Open Enrollment - Newton Press Me...
        * Peter Roskam Defeats Michael Mason In Illi...
        * Congressmen Plan House Speech on Chicago's...
        * Raasch: Enyart on loss, experience, and humor
        * Randy Hultgren, Candidate for U.S. Congres...
        * Adam Kinzinger chosen to represent Illinoi...

        * Durbin Releases Statement On EPA Decision ......

        * A Bad Deal with Iran in the Nuclear Talks ......
        * The Killeen Daily Herald...
        * FAA chief: Disaster response depends on fu......
        * US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talk......

        * Chicago Elected School Board Referendum Signatures To Be Filed Monday
        * Aldermanic Hopefuls Challenging Mitts, O'Connor File Nominating Petitions
        * Chicago robber shot bringing a toy gun to a bakery stickup
        * Hagel forced to resign
        * Fioretti, Garcia To Submit Signatures For Mayor Monday
        * Obama Announces Immigration Executive Actions, Durbin: 'History Is Being Made' (VIDEO)
        * Lame Duck Congress Faces Tight Budget Deadline To Avert Government Shutdown
        * Durbin On Immigration Reform Executive Orders: 'History Is Being Made' (VIDEO)
        * Workers Claim Wage Theft, Unfair Retaliation At CD One Price Cleaners (VIDEO)
        * Durbin speaks about immigration reform at Casa Michoacan


        * Governor Quinn Launches Newest Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket - Program Has Raised More Than $11.7 Million for Illinois Veterans Since 2006
        * Liquor Control Commission October Underage Compliance Report
        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President




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