Politics is a mean, nasty business. Allegations that Illinois State Treasurer and Republican Governor Candidate Dan Rutherford engaged in "official misconduct" have lead to revelations about Rutherford's relationship with a male employee of the Treasury Department.
The Chicago Suntimes is reporting that Dan Rutherford has taken multiple overseas trips with his 28 old year male personal assistant, Josh Lanning. Dan and the young Josh have taken trips to Australia, Israel, China and South Korea.
During each trip, Rutherford received his taxpayer-funded salary, as did his executive assistant, Josh Lanning. The Chinese People’s Institute for Foreign Affairs paid for Rutherford’s trip to China. The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago paid for the trip to Israel, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, paid for Rutherford’s trip to Korea.
The previous Treasury Secretary Republican Judy Baar Topinka, who served 12 years as claims she never travelled overseas, nor has she as Illinois State Comptroller.
Rutherford denied the trips were vacations saying they served educational purposes.
There are numerous photos of Rutherford and Lanning relaxing and taking interesting day trips and the two repeatedly shared a room on all of these unusual overseas excursions.
Personally, I hate this. Dan Rutherford has always denied being gay. I hate that Dan Rutherford is going to go down because of his personal life choices. If he is or is not gay shouldn't matter. But, being gay is a terrible sin to conservatives. To me the only way that Rutherford's sex life is at all relevant is if he made political decisions against equality or used his political offices to support homophobic positions.
Rutherford is opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds, although he was the only Illinois Republican to vote for civil unions. So, I could understand people whom Rutherford has harmed by virtue of his office being okay with his outing.
Of importance is what kind of quid pro quo Rutherford promised these foreign governments, who paid for these trips, if he became the next Governor of Illinois? Sweetheart trade deals? Taxpayer assistance and infrastructure to any foreign business which moves an operation here? Passage of Right-to-Work-for-Less Legislation?
Whatever the outcome, Rutherford's gubernatorial aspirations are most likely done.