Bad Metrics: Dan Rutherford’s Missed Opportunity on Illinois’ Death Spiral

-By Warner Todd Huston

This week Texas Governor Rick Perry came to Illinois to make an attempt to steal away some of the Land of Lincoln’s businesses. Naturally our left-wing Governor, Democrat Pat Quinn, slammed Perry for his endeavor. But our only statewide elected Republican official, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, also chimed in. Unfortunately his mild reply was a missed opportunity for the man who thinks he wants to run for Governor.

With his public statements, it appears that Rutherford won’t have the stomach for a hard-fought campaign for governor. If he can’t even come out with a forceful and definitive critique of the failures of the Democrats when given a perfect opportunity to do so, what can one say of his assertiveness? Rutherford had that chance with this Rick Perry situation but he let it pass with but a meek reply.

Rutherford did note that Perry’s visit should send an alarm bell ringing for Illinois officials. But if this alarm bell wasn’t ringing until Perry got here, someone isn’t paying attention.

Perry, of course, has been slamming Illinois as a bad place to do business. The Texan is 100% right. Illinois consistently ranks at the bottom of nearly ever list of metrics for business and economic health. This is easily laid at the feet of our failed Governor and our failed legislative leadership all controlled by the criminal racket we call the Illinois Democrat Party.

In reply Rutherford offered a tip-toeing, line-straddling message that reeked of being careful instead of offering a bold, clear contrast to the failures of the Democrats.

First Rutherford offered some softened criticism of Illinois’ business climate.

“We have the worst credit rating in the country, a broken pension system and taxes have increased in recent years on businesses and individuals,” Rutherford said.

“We need to improve our business climate so we can better retain and attract businesses. We have some issues now, as highlighted by Gov. Perry, and we should make every effort to create a better environment where businesses can thrive right here in Illinois,” Rutherford said.

But he also insisted that Illinois is still a great place for business.

“I’m standing up and saying Illinois is a good place to have a business,” Rutherford said. “We need to go out there and highlight the attributes of Illinois.”

That is tosh. “Highlighting attributes,” will neither fix our problems nor improve our business climate. This is a weak line.

Illinois is not a great place to do business.

Rutherford had a great opportunity to launch a broadside against Quinn and Democrat House leader Michael Madigan and he let it slip through his hands. If Rutherford can’t take a gifted situation presented to him free of charge and make political hay out of it… will he have the stones to campaign for governor?

About Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's and,,,,, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. Warner is also the editor of the Midwest Editor for He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. "The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson
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