* 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.
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.