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Of raises and Rutherford

“As a former state legislator and successful businessman in the private sector, Treasurer Rutherford understands the fiscal challenges facing Illinois. He believes the Treasurer’s Office must continuously evaluate its statutory responsibilities and monitor its programs to ensure that services provided are necessary and a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

– Illinois Treasurer’s website

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford always talked a good game about being a financial watchdog for the taxpayers of Illinois. But on his way out of office, he has shown that he’s just another pol who spends like crazy when it suits his purposes.

He gave 8 percent to 36 percent raises to 25 top administrators – after rank-and-file union workers agreed to a contract with about 2 percent annual raises. He also gave a total of $88,966 in one-time payments to 35 nonunion employees. The union is not happy, as you can imagine. Negotiations will be strained the next time around, but what does Rutherford care? He won’t be there.

A Rutherford spokesman said the raises were justified and given for good job performance and increased responsibilities. That’s always the official line when politicians are trying to explain raises that can’t be justified.

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