You have surely heard of Bruce Rauner, the multi-millionaire Republican candidate for governor of Illinois as we have posted about him here, here and here. Rauner is the man we call "Mitt Romney of Illinois politics" because of the striking similarities between the two men, including their vast wealth and their ambitions to elevate themselves to bigger things.
Both Rauner and Romney are fond of saying if elected they would run things like a business. In Romney's case, that meant running things as if he were still running Bain Capital, a firm he co-founded and that made him uber rich.
In Rauner's case, it would be running things as if he were running GTCR, a firm he co-founded and that made him uber rich.
Some of the things they did were not pretty.
Today, one of Rauner's opponents, Dan Rutherford, a candidate for Governor in the Illinois Republican primary, announced that his Office of the Illinois Treasurer is launching an independent investigation into allegations made against him by an employee, according to Chicago television station NBC5.
It was a strange press conference indeed. Here is how Dan Mihalopoulos of the Chicago Sun Times described the events leading up to the press conference.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford strode confidently into the downtown hotel meeting room where he held a news conference Friday morning, smiling at reporters like he had come to announce an endorsement, unveil a policy initiative or share some other ostensibly positive news in his bid for Republican nomination for governor.
What followed was anything but a routine campaign event.
What followed was a rather defensive Dan Rutherford the press conference in Chicago and Rutherford said, "Let me make this very clear, there is absolutely no truth to the allegations. No factual support or merit."
He didn't do it, whatever it is. But he can't talk about it.
The Illinois treasurer's office retained a law firm, Ron Braver and Associates. Neil Olson, General Counsel of the Illinois Treasurer's Office, says Braver has twenty-five years of law enforcement experience and is proven in tough investigations. "Ron Braver will conduct a thorough investigation and will provide a swift and comprehensive report which will reflect all aspects of his findings."
Not only didn't Rutherford do whatever it was he couldn’t talk about, but also he pointed a finger at Bruce Rauner.
No he didn't, you say.
Yes he did.
In a long diatribe that went nowhere, Rutherford said, "Christine Svenson is an attorney making demands on behalf of the accuser and is directly linked to my opponent Bruce Rauner. Rutherford claimed that the attorney demanded a payment of 300 thousand dollars for the employee to "walk away and keep it under wraps."
The Chicago lawyer Christine Svenson, who is representing the Illinois Treasurer employee and described her client’s charges against Rutherford as "serious and real."
"This is not a matter of politics, nor is it about me. To the contrary, this matter is about my client," Svenson said, declining to identify the person making the charge.
That is where Rauner comes in.
So Rutherford says.
Whatever that is.
Rutherford pointed the finger at Rauner because he said there was a relationship between this attorney and Rauner.
It has been reported in the Springfield State Journal Register newspaper that Rauner has been quoted as saying he has "book on all the Republican candidates" and he's going to "destroy every one of them."
Rutherford emphatically stated, "No one, including Bruce Rauner, is going to destroy me."
Whatever that is.
"I’m going to turn this back on him," Rutherford said of Rauner's alleged involvement. "I find this to be very, very offensive. Illinois politics is hardball."
One thing is clear. Bruce Rauner is many things, but this one is on Dan Rutherford. If anyone is destroying Dan Rutherford, it is Dan Rutherford.
Voices, Sun Times - Shakedown
Other related pieces about Bruce Rauner by John Presta:
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