Candidates in Their Own Words: Dan RutherfordAs part of WJBD's commitment to the local community, WJBD News is presenting a series of informative stories on the positions of each candidate for governor on the ballot for the 2014 primary election, scheduled for March 18th. These stories are presented as objectively as possible, and as such we will attempt to use the candidates own words as much as possible.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has over 20 years of experience in Illinois Politics, acting first as a State Representative and then a State Senator before becoming State Treasurer in 2010. Rutherford is a native of Pontiac and holds the distinction of being one of the two Republicans who hold state-level office in Illinois.
2014 marks the first attempt at the Governor's Mansion for Rutherford.
Rutherford says that cumbersome bureaucratic barriers stunt job growth and keep unemployment high in Illinois. As Governor, he says he would reform the bureaucracy.
"I will be appointing directors of state agencies that are going to be creating jobs and retaining jobs, not letting their bureaucracies become part of the barrier for doing that" said Rutherford in an exclusive interview with WJBD.
Rutherford believes that the fracking rules currently being drafted in Illinois need to go through the public hearing process and be refined in order to be fair to everyone. He supports fracking overall.
Rutherford opposes the closure of the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, and says that a long-term, strategic plan is required for all state facilities.
"My intention as Governor would be to have long-range strategic plans for each of our state assets, and Murray would be a part of that." Rutherford said, "We would go through every facility and figure out how to best meet the needs of the public."
Rutherford opposed the closure of the Pontiac Correctional Facility, and says he "knows the impact" state facility closures can have on local communities.
As Illinois Treasurer, Rutherford has unique insight on Senate Bill 1, the Pension Reform Bill of 2013.
"I believe that the bill that was passed by the general assembly will not be supported by the supreme court. I do not believe it is constitutional. It's going to have to be litigated, and I hope they do it quickly" said Rutherford.
Rutherford says he has the history of winning statewide races that his opponents universally lack, and thinks he's the only man capable of taking on Governor Quinn in November.
Rutherford's campaign has been marred by accusations of sexual misconduct with male staff members and forcing staff members to do campaign work on state time. Rutherford admits that the accusations have seriously damaged his campaign, and as such he has fallen to last in statewide polls, behind Bill Brady. Rutherford remains, however, a very popular candidate in Marion County and surrounding areas.
Rutherford's running mate is South-Korean born economist and attorney Steve Kim, of Skokie.
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