Illinois Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Scandal: Gay Sex, Threats and Abuse of Taxpayer Funds

1927177_10152231551862489_817912701_nOur nation is never at a loss when it comes to political scandals.  Many are nothing more than events or comments taken out of context in an attempt to slander whomever might be the opposition.  While many things might be referred to as a “political scandal,” they are definitely not all created equal.

Well, a recent one that’s developed out of Illinois is definitely a step above the rest.  Gay sex, threats, the unethical use of taxpayer money to finance lavish trips – it’s loaded.

And these are all accusations Illinois Treasurer and Gubernatorial hopeful Dan Rutherford is facing in a lawsuit that’s recently been filed.  The lawsuit claims that Mr. Rutherford lured a former employee, Ed Michalowski, to his home, touched him inappropriately and then tried to use threats and bribes when he faced rejection.

Mr. Michalowski claims these advances went on for over two years while he worked for Mr. Rutherford.  He also claims that Rutherford forced him to work on campaign events, something which he shouldn’t have been doing while he was being paid by the state.

Rutherford is claiming that Michalowski’s accusations are the work of fellow Republican Gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner, who he claims is trying to slander him ahead of the primary election on March 18.  Rutherford has stated that he believes the divorce Michalowski is currently going through is quite costly and he’s working with a lawyer that has ties to Rauner.


Another accusation made by Michalowski claims that Rutherford lured him to some kind of overnight retreat with the promise that other staffers would be there.  Except he and Rutherford were the only ones there.  But for whatever reason, Michalowski decided to stay the night.  Michalowski has claimed that sometime during that night Rutherford approached him in the guest bedroom and grabbed his genitals.

Michalowski also claims that when he rejected Rutherford’s advances he faced threats and bribes from his boss.  The claims list a story where Michalowski was talking to a group of women when Rutherford lured him away saying, “If you go home with me, you can have anything you want in the office.”  He also says that as he continued to reject Rutherford’s advances he became very angry. He pointed to another instance, this time during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, where his rejections were met with hostility as Rutherford said to him, “You just said no to the treasurer.”

Honestly I don’t know how much of this I actually believe.  I lean toward believing that these two men had some kind of relationship.  But I just can’t see a man working for another man for over 2 years, facing unwanted sexual harassment, and not doing anything about it.  Even when I look at the supposed “retreat” he attended.  If you’ve been sexually harassed by your boss, why would you then stay overnight at a place where he obviously lured you out there for less than innocent intentions.

The timing of this lawsuit also troubles me a bit.  If all of this happened in 2011 and 2012, why now?  Why just before Rutherford is set to run for governor?  I’m just not buying all of these allegations of “unwanted” advances.  It almost seems more like a jilted lover out for revenge than a sexually harassed employee wanting justice.

Again, that’s just my opinion on that part of the scandal.  But it doesn’t stop there.

Rutherford took three trips abroad that have been confirmed to have been paid for by third parties, he and his executive assistant Josh Lanning were still paid their taxpayer-funded salary during the trips – 32 days in all.  In another interesting twist to all of this, Lanning and Rutherford often shared a hotel room.

When confronted about this Rutherford said, “We double-bunk in the campaign.  We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure.”

Sure.


Photos on Rutherford’s Facebook page show he and Lanning scuba diving in Israel and posing in front of the Western Wall.  Human resource experts have also said that the room sharing was a major no-no.

As of now, Rutherford has said he intends to remain in the race.  Though I can’t see his prospects of winning being very high at this point.  Even the mere hint that Rutherford might be someone who’s engaged in some kind of homosexual behavior will most likely be enough to steer plenty of bigoted Republican voters away from him and toward other candidates.

Maybe one could dismiss Michalowski’s accusations as baseless lies.  But when you factor in questions about Rutherford and another male employee taking international trips together, sharing rooms and taking pictures together that clearly don’t seem work related – it just doesn’t seem like “random coincidences” to me.  And then if taxpayer money was involved, that should be enough right there to disqualify him from running for governor.

This scandal has all the makings of an entire season of the popular Netflix show House of Cards.  One thing is for certain – it should be interesting to see how it all plays out over the coming weeks.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • melloe

    Don’t care about his sex life, .. or lack thereof

    I do care about the public $$$ and general trust

    • I do care if sexual harassment is a key component of that sex life.

  • British Yank

    When he is part of a political party that spends an inordinate amount of time denigrating, marginalising, and judging gay people, then suddenly I am interested in his sex life. Funny that.

  • rossbro

    Geee ! Fancy that ! A Republican who fancies balls more than boobs ! Where’s all the moralizing and religious fervor????