Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Behind the scenes
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.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Amazon HQ2 site list unveiled
* Out of sight out of mind?
* Frerichs tries to use state investments to prod Facebook into cleaning up its act
* The rise of the billionaire governors
* Camelot promises to grow lottery sales by 40 percent
* Munger tries to defend Rauner veto of Debt Transparency Act
* Rauner: "I can’t comment on any business disputes"
* Question of the day
* Rauner finally takes a stand on a federal issue
* Moody's says "political backlash" against pop tax could make other tax hikes more difficult
* Report: Amazon subsidy could add up to $2 billion
* *** UPDATED x1 *** 10,800 jobs lost in a single month, but Illinois media barely notices
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* MLB open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

...............
<


Loading


* More Than $200-Million in Spending Cut from Ill.....
* Rauner outlines $200 million in cuts to Illinoi.....
* Where is Southern Illinois? What does ‘downstat.....
* State Week: Chasing Amazon, Bonding Debt..
* WASHINGTON: Illinois needs a voter revolt..
* Editorial: Who’s opposed to transparent, fiscal.....
* EDITORIAL: 3 chances for Legislature to put thi.....
* Rich Miller: Pritzker leads every region of state..
* More questions than answers in announced Illino.....
* Rauner outlines $200 million in cuts to state b.....


* Group works to reopen Civil War museum in Illinois
* Rauner outlines $200 million in cuts to Illinois budget
* Rosemont police calls Jenkins' death "sad," an accident
* 2nd school forfeits football game at Chicago due to safety
* 2nd school forfeits football game at Chicago due to safety
* Medical students in limbo as young immigrant program ends
* Federal government to keep $20K after Yellowstone drug bust
* Steelmaker moving HQ from Chicago-area to Alabama city
* Steelmaker moving HQ from Chicago-area to Alabama city
* Illinois teachers can get tax credit for buying supplies

* Illinois Lottery's new manager projects $4B in sales
* UIS students could study at newly proposed Chicago research center
* Aaron Schock attorneys contest federal claims on misstatements
* Under the Dome Podcast: Will lawmakers address gun control during the veto session?
* Chicago lawyer announces bid for Illinois attorney general
* Illinois borrows $1.5B at reduced interest to pay down debt
* Rauner cuts human services, other area in state budget
* Pritzker makes list of richest Americans; Rauner releases tax returns
* Pritzker makes list of richest Americans; Gov. Rauner doesn't
* Pritzker makes list of richest Americans, Gov. Rauner doesn't

* The biggest Chicago-area building sales
* Emanuel's challenges are far from over
* Clarification
* Outrage followed by nothing. It's a familiar cycle in Chicago.
* Boeing bets on pilotless planes


* ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’ the beginning of a dutiful friendship
* Suit: Employee at Children’s Land daycare abused, neglected kids
* Mark Wahlberg brings good vibrations to Chicago for Catholic youth
* Boy, 17, shows up at hospital a day after being shot in Austin
* Chicago’s new Apple Store opens; ‘feels like home,’ 1st customer says
* Cubs need to get better — but could’ve been a heck of a lot worse
* Theo on Cubs’ 3-year run, challenges ahead: ‘Mission not accomplished’
* Man charged with dealing drugs in northwest suburbs
* Uncharacteristically physical ‘energy line’ gives Hawks a boost
* EDITORIAL: 3 chances for Legislature to put things right


* For Cubs, once may not be enough, but twice had better hurry
* Five key questions facing the Cubs this offseason
* Many Trump voters who got hurricane relief in Texas aren't sure about helping Puerto Rico
* Dusty Baker gone as manager of Nationals after 2 NL East titles
* With hugs and cheers, Apple Store opens at site of Chicago's first settlement
* Here are the 10 sites Chicago and Illinois sent to Amazon for HQ2
* 300,000 immigrants from Haiti, Central Americans could lose protected status in U.S.
* Highland Park residents evacuate after sidewalk collapses during flash flooding
* 2nd school forfeits football game vs. Hope; 'Maybe we're not reading same Bible'
* Man wants mom's tombstone to say she 'supported priest rapist victims,' but diocese objects


» Lawmaker Says Facebook Refuses To Fact Check Ads
» State Week: Chasing Amazon, Bonding Debt
» Teaching Kids To ‘Say Something’ In An Era of School Shootings
» Illinois Issues: Cities Lose Out On Retail Tax As Online Shopping Booms
» What Could Hurt Chicago’s Bid For Amazon’s HQ2?
» At CPS, More Special Education Dollars Go To White, Wealthier Students
» Illinois Bond Sale To Help Pay $16bn Debts
» Mayor To Propose Higher Prices For Ridesharing, Big Concerts
» WBEZ Investigation: CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education At Students’ Expense
» How's The Illinois Economy? For Rauner Administration, Depends On The Audience


* Guest Column: What taxpayers should demand from next attorney general
* Ed Rogers: The Democratic Party's obsession with Hollywood celebrities was bound to blow up
* Illinois Lottery's new manager projects $4B in sales
* Counterpoint: Updating antiquated systems will open door to transparency
* Point: Taxpayers deserve a better look at the state’s bills
* Thumbs Up: To recent acts of kindness in Springfield
* Eugene Robinson: Trump's the one who didn't know 'what he was signing up for'
* UIS students could study at newly proposed Chicago research center
* Aaron Schock attorneys contest federal claims on misstatements
* Illinois Trial Lawyers Association: U.S. Chamber Poll is another attack on the rights of Illinois citizens


* High school football scoreboard: Oct. 20-21, 2017
* Eight-vehicle pileup in Southern Illinois ends with only minor injuries
* Live updates: Friday Night Tweets 2017
* Group works to reopen Civil War museum in Illinois
* 8-vehicle crash on I-57 injures 2, closes southbound lanes at Illinois 15 for 2.5 hours
* Rock Island County Clerk expands genealogical services
* Rauner administration outlines more than $200M in cuts from Illinois budget
* HS Football: Monticello vs St. Joe
* Legendary Carbondale bagel business for sale for $3,500 on Craigslist
* Five at 5: Lawmakers mull gun control bills and 4 other stories you should see


* Rosemont police: Kenneka Jenkins' death was accidental
* Boys soccer: Hampshire upsets Elgin for regional title
* Epstein: Cubs' 2017 season was in no way a bust
* No injuries reported in auto repair shop fire
* Gasoline leak into sewers causes Willowbrook explosions, house fires

* Helsinki Commission urges Erdogan to end p...
* Rival: Kinzinger not conservative - MyWebT...
* Hundreds of high school students tour Smit...
* Naperville's Lauren Underwood to run for R...
* Chicago Stock Exchange sale to Chinese inv...
* Helsinki Commission urges Erdogan to end p...
* Rival: Kinzinger not conservative - MyWebT...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Hultgren 'disappointed' about potential re...
* Democratic 14th Congressional District can...

* Rock Island gets $971183 in federal grants......

* Rock Island gets $971183 in federal grants......
* Peoria, Pekin to receive federal housing g......

* Chicago Design Week’s best events
* Illinois teacher retirees: What the hell is Walgreen’s up to?
* Raimondo and Rahm make an offer to Amazon. It’s a secret.
* Will Third Time Be The Charm For 4537 N. Clark?
* The Chicago Trib’s scab columnist John Kass calls me a fanatic.
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers episode #37. Charles Thomas.
* Live From the Green Mill... It's Saturday Night!
* Forgotten Chicago Talks About Chicago's Arcade History, Saturday At The Bezazian
* Positive Loitering At Wilson/Broadway Tonight 6PM - 7PM
* How The Florida Project works wonders with cinematic time


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Google kicks off Playtime 2017 for app developers
* Better pictures of OnePlus 5T leak with 2:1 display in clear view
* Made for Google accessory makers called out on special page
* TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Campfire Cooking, Guns Royale, Warhammer Quest 2, and More
* Apple Hires Former Amazon Studios Exec to Lead International TV Development
* Huawei Mate 10 Pro camera matches DxOMark record for stills, shy of Pixel 2 overall
* MacRumors Giveaway: Win an InvisibleShield Glass+ Screen Protector for iPhone 7/8 From Zagg

* Petricka undergoes surgery on right elbow
* Avisail sees similarities in rebuild, stellar year
* White Sox Arizona Fall League overview
* Ron Gardenhire’s second chance back in AL Central
* Jimenez among prospects in winter leagues
* The five longest White Sox home runs of 2017
* We may as well talk radical realignment


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

Archives
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
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




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