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Email: For Dan Rutherford's birthday — please donate

An email sent from Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s campaign notes that “politics can be VERY dirty” in Illinois, then goes on to ask for a donation to make Rutherford’s 59th birthday “twice as nice.”

How? By digging into the pocketbook.

The email, signed by Rutherford’s sister, links to a page asking for different levels of donations to celebrate Rutherford’s birthday, which is May 26.

It struck at least one GOP operative as “out of touch,” with what was ultimately an unsuccessful primary campaign for governor.

Earlier this year, Rutherford’s campaign for governor was sidetracked by a federal lawsuit filed by an employee of his office. Rutherford finished fourth out of four Republican candidates. He has held a low-profile since.

The email doesn’t specifically mention the allegations or Rutherford’s dust-up with Bruce Rauner, except saying politics can be dirty. Rutherford received the harshest criticism after he ordered an internal probe into the allegations, then refused to release the results.

“He is an advanced, certified scuba diver and says the sharks in the ocean are different than those that infest the waters of politics,” the email says. “He prefers the ocean variety! Politics can be VERY dirty as Illinois has seen first hand.”

The email says Rutherford will remain politically active, even as his tenure as a constitutional officer is to expire next year.

“Dan is the State Treasurer through mid-January, 2015. He is staying politically active and plans to continue doing so, helping to bring diversity into the system. Dan’s political infrastructure is going to be maintained. He asks for your continued support.”

Here’s the text of the email:

Subject: State Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s birthday

Dear ,

This email is about a person you already know. He is our Illinois State Treasurer who is adventurous, energetic, caring and lives life to the fullest. He is my brother, Dan Rutherford. It’s his birthday and, as many of you know, as his “Sis”, this is my time to share a few personal things you may not yet know about him.

After you read some of the amazing things he has done, you will have a greater understanding of his personality, from the real life side, the businessman and public servant. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Dan’s values are those of a small town and someone who cares about others. He would never hurt someone to gain. Our mom and dad started a pizza restaurant in the early 1960’s. Having a small family business was a challenge and the entire family pitched in to work. Dan’s first responsibility was as a waiter for one booth; he was in third grade. In sixth grade he was tall enough to reach into the pizza ovens and he started baking pizzas. The two of us would stand on wooden Coke crates to reach into the commercial sink to do the dishes.

Perhaps that is why, to this day, pizza is our favorite food. Dan is a fantastic cook and can make some awesome soups and casseroles. He learned the importance of hard work at an early age. He believes if you want something in life, you work hard for it and don’t expect it to be handed to you. Dan graduated from Illinois State University and went on to learn global business in the private sector as an executive with the ServiceMaster Company. For 25 years he expanded businesses overseas. He believes in a balanced approach, politically and geographically. Dan knows how large and diverse Illinois is; he has not missed visiting any of the 102 counties! Dan is environmentally sensitive and is big into recycling at his home as well as at his state and personal offices. He has planted thousands of trees and shrubs on his property over a number of years as well as doing stream bank stabilization on his creek. Dan is a true adventurer, enjoying camping and fishing. He has climbed mountains, sailed oceans, flown and jumped out of airplanes.

He is an advanced, certified scuba diver and says the sharks in the ocean are different than those that infest the waters of politics. He prefers the ocean variety! Politics can be VERY dirty as Illinois has seen first hand. Dan’s family, friends and supporters are proud of all he has accomplished in his years representing Illinois. Dan is not a politician. He is an elected official and a true statesman who does not cave when things are tough because he knows the truth is on his side. I know when my brother believes in something that he will continue to work hard for it. He will not back down. Drawing fair legislative maps during redistricting and getting the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot and adopted are just a couple of things I know he is very interested in. I, along with hundreds of supporters, will never forget Dan’s remarks to the crowd on Primary Election night. With fire in his belly and a strong voice he addressed the crowd, “I will be back, and we will be stronger than ever. This is not the end but the beginning of a new chapter.” This Rutherford Team and all of his supporters, will not back down. We can’t wait to see what Dan’s next chapter brings. We will continue to stand tall and proud beside him and support his efforts. Dan is the State Treasurer through mid-January, 2015. He is staying politically active and plans to continue doing so, helping to bring diversity into the system. Dan’s political infrastructure is going to be maintained. He asks for your continued support. To make a birthday gift to support his ongoing political efforts, please go to: http://danrutherford.org/calendar/event/43/EventDetails.aspx Thank you. I know my brother appreciates you!

Sincerely, Debi (Rutherford) Fornero Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s ‘Sis’