* Pat Gauen…
Returning from lunch during a murder trial one day, I rode a Madison County Courthouse elevator with the accused killer and two guards.
The shackled fellow recognized me as a reporter, and unloaded a loud but unconvincing earful about being railroaded. He capped it with a declaration that the prosecutor was a “ho-mo-sexual.” I write it now the way he said it then.
What, I wondered, was the point. Why would it matter? A prosecutor’s sexual orientation wouldn’t make the guy in chains any less guilty.
Then I realized from the rage in his eyes that “ho-mo-sexual” was the ugliest accusation this guy could imagine. It was the kind of thing he could hope would stick. […]
I don’t know that I ever heard anyone just shout out a gay accusation like that before. But I heard plenty of whispered sexual innuendos during years of writing about politics.
It’s a heckuva column and you should go read the whole thing.
* Which brings us to this Tribune story…
Rutherford shared rooms with assistant - Treasurer says practice a way to save money
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford routinely roomed overnight in hotels and a Chicago apartment with a low-level treasurer’s office employee whom he has given a 50 percent pay hike, raising questions about the workplace judgment of the Republican candidate for governor.
Rutherford said he has shared a room with his executive assistant, Joshua Lanning, scores of times since taking office in 2011, a practice he says is a way to save money for his campaign fund.
“We double-bunk in the campaign,” Rutherford said. “We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure.”
The Trib wasn’t as juvenile as the Sun-Times has been on this, but it suits the same purpose - to spread innuendo about the candidate.
* Bill Cameron follows up with Rutherford…
The innuendo of the Tribune story is obvious, but Rutherford is not taking the bait.
“This is hardball in Illinois and I understand people will do what they feel they need to do, but we’re moving forward with the campaign and we’re getting a tremendous amount of support and feedback,” Rutherford said.
When asked if the story perhaps says more about the Tribune than about him, Rutherford replied, “Well, I’ve always learned you don’t get into an argument with someone who buys ink by the barrel or someone who has a recording device that can go in as an item, so let’s just say that they’re out there doing what they feel they need to do and I’m moving forward. I have the ball and we’re moving ahead to get the nomination for Governor of Illinois.”
Good for Bill.
…Adding… Greg Hinz is also a must read today.
* The story is turning into a feeding frenzy. Fox 32 showed up at Ed Michalowski’s workplace…
It’s the news making waves this week as State Treasurer and Gubernatorial hopeful Dan Rutherford is slapped with a federal lawsuit. Ed Michalowski, a former lawyer and director in Rutherford’s office, claims Rutherford made inappropriate sexual advances and regularly forced him to do political work on state time. In tonight’s top story Fox News Correspondent Mark Flannery caught up with Ed Michalowski to find out what he had to say.
Flannery: We’d just like to ask you why you waited for two-and-a-half years before you filed a complaint?
Edmund P. Michalowski: I’m working right now. Per my work arrangement, I’m not supposed to be talking about any of this on state — on county time.
Flannery: You’re walking in a hallway. Why did you wait 2-1/2 years before you filed these complaints, made these allegations?
Flannery: Why did you wait 2-1/2 years before filing these allegations?
Michalowski: Okay. You know what? I understand. You guys have a very important role in all of this, reporting all of these things. I’ve asked you to respect my work environment.
Security eventually had to step in. Watch the video.
* Meanwhile, tomorrow looks like it’ll be another busy day here…
A report from the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office about its internal investigation of allegations made by a former employee is expected to be released Friday.
The internal investigation has been conducted by a former IRS agent who has been paid $250 an hour in taxpayer funds to examine Michalowski’s allegations.
* Other stuff…
* Rutherford posts position papers letting public know where he stands
* Bill Brady weighs in on accusations against Rutherford: “I think those are personal attacks that shouldn’t take place in a primary. Talking about issues wins elections.”
* Editorial: Clarity hard to come by in claims against Rutherford
* Bernard Schoenburg: Rutherford’s long political climb suddenly tougher