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Rutherford dances around questions, admits he has no proof of Rauner involvement

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014

* The four GOP gubernatorial candidates debated last night. We’ll have more coverage today. If you missed the debate, you can watch it by clicking here.

This post will focus on Treasurer Rutherford’s response to questions about why he won’t release his internal investigation report. Fox Chicago

Rutherford complained in Tuesday’s debate that Illinois politics is a “blood sport.”

He then danced around his previous promise to release a taxpayer-funded report on the sexual harassment and other allegations against him.

“In fact, when I made the announcement that we were going to release it, that was totally the intent. There was a federal lawsuit filed. Right now, advice of counsel is because there’s a federal lawsuit going on. I’m working it through.

“I want to get that out there. Believe me.

“And I’ve seen Illinois now, at the worst blood sport I’ve ever seen it. This is not easy to stand up here and run in the State of Illinois,” Rutherford said.

OK, first of all, his lawyers were meeting with the accuser’s lawyers. Rutherford had to know a lawsuit was imminent after he broke off talks. And if he wants to get that out there, all he has to do is overrule his attorney and release it.

* Tribune

Rutherford’s office had said the probe was tentatively scheduled to be discussed at a news conference last Friday. But that briefing was canceled the day before after Rutherford hired a Chicago attorney who said he now represents Rutherford personally and advised his client not to release any information about the case.

The former IRS agent would not discuss the specifics of his work — including who or how many people he interviewed — beyond saying he had conducted and “completed” an investigation. He referred specific inquiries to the treasurer’s office, which on Friday refused to answer questions about how or when the investigation was conducted.

On Tuesday, Rutherford called the campaign the “worst bloodsport” he has ever seen.

“This is not easy to stand up and run,” said Rutherford, who has indicated he’s not getting out of the contest.

But Rutherford’s campaign announced it had suspended future contracted TV advertising time. Documents show Rutherford had reserved 118 spots at WLS Ch. 7 starting March 3 that would have cost $147,100. Over roughly that same time period, Rauner has reserved 98 spots costing $132,350 on Ch. 7, documents show.

* And then there was this from the Sun-Times

Rutherford also undercut his earlier claims that Rauner somehow was behind the sexual-harassment allegations.

“I do not have direct proof of that,” Rutherford said.

Ugh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    Is it also “bloodsport” when you shoot yourself in the foot repeatedly, Dan Rutherford?

    What were you thinking when you hired Ed Michalowski? Was there no qualified Republican employment candidate available for the job?


  2. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    Seeing the hand writing on the wall he’s salvaging what he can for the future, IMO…


  3. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    This is hard to watch.


  4. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    David Bowie….Lets Dance!

    Rutherford needs to gracefully bow out, if that is possible. He needs to move on to being Treasurer, and defending the Treasurer’s office against the allegations.

    As it stands now, he will simply be pouring money down the drain.


  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    Can Rutherford explain what was the point of the “independent” investigation? The one he hasn’t read? The one taxpayers financed but he won’t let them see?

    What was the point?


  6. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    I wish Rutherford would stop trying to play the victim in this. Any “blood” spilled was the result of his actions.

    If he wants to save his credibility, release the report. Now!


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Releasing the report at this point would do very little positive good. Whatever is in there will come out during the trial anyhow.

    The damage has been done and now we’re just watching the drama play itself out over these next months.


  8. - Whatever - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    There is no doubt that Rutherford and his “team” have handled this terribly. Yet, it does seem like quite a coincidence that the Rauner campaign used the same lawyer for a REAL ESTATE matter who also is representing the Rutherford accuser in a WORKPLACE HARASSMENT matter. She must be quite a legal generalist. However, to be fair, there’s no obvious connection or smoking gun, but it’s curious that the media just dismisses the likelihood of a connection without doing any real probing.


  9. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Rutherford is not in control of his own campaign, which has been hijacked beyond his ability to regain it. It is now pointless for him to continue.

    He is just wasting everyone’s time hoping for a miracle or for someone else to get hit by a scandal - or for us to forget what every dirty journalist is enjoying digging into and rubbing our noses into.


  10. - x ace - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Just Guessing:

    Guessing investigation was expected to defuse these allegations, but in its course another rock got turned over. So release it and you have to increase the number and volume of the denials.So decision made to nor disclose and compound the problem.

    Guessing based on the Plaintiff’s Lawyer’s affiliation that the word ” conservative” is found somewhere in the CV of the Ultimate perpetrators.
    Rauner , however , may very well be a most willing Third Party Beneficiary of this torpedo attack.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    ===curious that the media just dismisses the likelihood of a connection without doing any real probing. ===

    Yet another candidate for urgent treatment in the Rauner Derangement Syndrome program.


  12. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    DR could come out at some point and claim his goat ate the report - that’s why he can’t release it. He could ask for a “Mulligan” and hope everyone just forgets the past 2 months. He could hope his dog, Mr Peabody, will rescue him from the horrible future he found himself in.

    All of that is quite fantastical - just like DRs future as a politician in this state.

    Please go away.


  13. - Tom Joad - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    The longer Rutherford hides behind his lawyer’s advice, the more time he can pretend like he is the victim. His comments in the debates show a vein of self pity. First Rauner is behind everything. Then ‘Lard asks an appropriate question about other Plaintiffs coming forward and DR acts indignant even though it is the most pertinent question to date. Now he would just love to reveal the report but the mean lawyer told him he can’t. And now he just discovered after 20 years in politics that it is a “blood sport.” Everyone is against poor old Dan.
    Enough already. No one feels sorry for you.


  14. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Good questions Word. Problem is that we’ll probably never receive answers. One can speculate that the investigation was to provide cover and withheld when the cover failed to be the desired fig leaf.


  15. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Dan can’t catch a break. Even the moderator last night went to break by saying something about “when we come back, we’re going to ask the candidates if they have any skeletons in their closets.”


  16. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Rutherford is toast. Quit Dan while , you still have some creditability.


  17. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    AA: “Dan” doesn’t deserve a break. “Dan” scheduled the Friday presser to announce “I am innocent of charges I won’t talk about.” “Dan” used taxpayer money to pay for an investigation that he won’t release due to his personal attorney telling him so–an attorney he hired arguably to give him that advice.

    Dan is reaping what he has sowed.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    The “skeleton” remark was Bad Form.

    That being said, to the Post,

    Rich laid it out all too well in his column and allowing us to respond yesterday. I stand by my entire comment of yesterday, but adding this from last night;

    The Rutherford narrative to deflect has no substance in fact, and such, really puts into question the leadership of Dan Rutherford, and the crisis management of the Rutherford Crew and Dan Rutherford.

    It has been bungled since the “Friday Fiasco” and not one time, including the Dopey travel voucher and texts, in retrospect, has the Rutherford Crew been ahead of this.

    Not once.

    Yesterday reminded me of that all too well.


  19. - DuPage Rep - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    ==but it’s curious that the media just dismisses the likelihood of a connection without doing any real probing.==

    I think the media including the host of this blog did do some real probing, and came up with information to prove that the accuser was referred to Svenson by a non Rauner supporter that was aware of Svenson’s prior work representing state employees.

    Rutherford is his own worse enemy, and did not need any help from Rauner for his demise.


  20. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    “..This is not easy to stand up here and run in the State of Illinois,” Rutherford said. ”

    Rutherford, with this quote, proves he is part of the Illinois ruling “rules don’t apply to me, yo” elite.

    Your problems are your own making, brother.


  21. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    === Dan can’t catch a break. Even the moderator last night went to break by saying something about “when we come back, we’re going to ask the candidates if they have any skeletons in their closets.” ===

    This touches on the amateurish handling of the debate by our hometown media joke WICS news. Besides the skeleton comment you had the aggressive news anchor pushing for answers on moving state jobs back to Springfield.


  22. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Dan, if you truly care about Illinois, you will drop out so the dialogue can continue on policy and not on you.


  23. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    === Enough already. No one feels sorry for you. ===

    I do. I’m neutral on the accusations — obviously I have no insight if they are true or not — but regardless, I do feel sorry for DR, especially if the accusations are false.


  24. - A guy... - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    I’ve always liked Dan. But, I recognize that he’s an utter control freak who won’t allow experts to ply their expertise. The only professional he’s listened to has been the attorney who advised him to do the opposite of what he promised to do. Yikes. If Dan didn’t have lousy instincts this time around and even lousier timing, he wouldn’t have any instincts or timing at all. A mess of his own making.


  25. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    I’ve talked with a few people in the office & universally the word they are using is awkward. One of the common complaints has been the Treasurers office has always had an issue with leaks & misinformation, and apparently that has only gotten worse. People are pointing fingers both ways and everyone is scrambling to get out. I feel for everyone in there.


  26. - truthteller - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    You don’t go on the attack by saying Rauner is behind it without substantial proof of that being the case. You can’t go on the attack against multiple accusations by singling out a couple and using submitted expense forms as proof of innocence when everyone knows those are far from indisputable.
    Rutherford was burnt toast as soon as the lawsuit was filed, and in every likelihood a draft of that lawsuit was in his hands before he decided to do the ill fated press conference (that some here lauded as a great performance).

    Setting everything in his career aside as well as the allegations, his “handling” of this matter disqualifies him as a competent manager. I would love the tick tock as to how this all unfolded and how much notice he had and his own timeline for dealing with it, but given the lawsuit allegations it seems his COS had early warning that this employee was trouble years ago and instead of handling the issue and nipping it in the bud, additional bad behavior was heaped on.

    Get out yesterday Dan.


  27. - IbendahlLuvsJBT - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Faithless… True, staff are scrambling to get out. Many not so quietly have feelers out. Several have met with attorneys. The fallout will be much bigger than the demise of the campaign.


  28. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    True that, Norseman. I was waiting for him to ask a question about his favorite subject, shredding, but the state jobs was right up there too.


  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Lot of weirdness in the air today.

    Rutherford has an “independent” investigation into a charge that can end his career but doesn’t bother to read it. Not interested.

    Just heard Tom Ricketts on the radio saying the pieces are falling into place and the Cubs will be a playoff contender this year.

    Just weird.


  30. - Lennie Jarratt - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    You can watch the full press conference previsoulsy where Rutherford stated he have “any direct facts” http://www.championnews.net/?p=107033


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    - wordslinger -,

    It is lost on those requiring blame of others fur being outworked, out hustled, out maneuvered, and refused for months and months the idea a man who can write and can get tens of millions of dollars would do just that, and in going so, redefine his own existence uninhibited, and I stopped, all the while destroying every Democrat, “…and some Republicans too…”, through the fallacy of being an outsider with the biggest insider credentials used for such personal gain and reward.

    Not surprised at all at the update, - wordslinger -, but then again, who should be who has been paying attention?


  32. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 19, 14 @ 5:59 pm:

    Roeserbot at 4:23, please try again in English. Thanks.


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