Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Does Her Accordion Have One More Squeeze?

The rumor mill was swirling today, carrying hints that State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka will not run for the Republican nominee for governor. If she doesn’t, it will serve notice that the bad gamble she made years ago has finally turned up snake-eyes. Contagiously comedic, an expert at quick repartee, a quick study on budget issues, irrepressibly adroit with superb contacts in the media due to her feminist connections (a former reporter herself) normally she would be considered to be a comer—even nationally—through force of personality. She’s the GOP’s best ethnic politician, a Czech in a state that has rewarded Czechs before: Anton Cermak for mayor, Otto Kerner for governor. And she crosses over. Not for nothing does Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) declare that he helped pull her through her last tough campaign against Tom Dart by pitching black votes for her. He’s right and he did.

The one-time pro-lifer has bet the ranch on the fact that she could reach into the liberal constituencies and bring them home while holding her conservative base by playing exclusively to the economic side (talking spending cuts, even tax cuts) while playing her accordion for the pro-aborts and pro-gay rights lobby, two major elements of the Democratic base. Every time you look at Judy you see someone who single-handedly kept the Republicans from winning an Illinois congressional seat. Some years ago, conservative Jim Nalepa ran for Congress against a severely weakened incumbent Democrat Bill Lipinski who was the recipient of a new district. Nalepa was within an ace of winning until the Riverside GOP committeeman distributed sample ballots marked for Lipinski. The margin of victory was determined by that decision. The committeeman: Judy Baar Topinka.

The whisper today was that Judy talked to Jim Edgar who wished she would get in the race but that, on the other hand, she has been disappointed by lack of money. One of her major contributors, Ron Gidwitz, is in the race for governor and as a scion of great wealth is determined to make himself known by TV commercials to make up for all those years in the backroom when others took the bows. His TV commercials ought to get an award for honesty of presentation. They show a grim, humorless, balding guy with the warmth of a new arrival at Graceland Cemetery.

If Judy doesn’t get in the race, the liberals’ only hope is former Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood. She’s got money of her own and isn’t bad on TV.


  1. "[His TV commercials] show a grim, humorless, balding guy with the warmth of a new arrival at Graceland Cemetery."

    I shouldn't read your blog while drinking coffee. I'll send you my cleaning bill.

  2. Judy is toooo liberal for governor

  3. Judy is a member of the conbine but a lower level
    The Celleni Hotel deals, her support and defense of George Ryan, and her workers doing politics on state time.
    Plus more damaging revelations of her personal life and criminal staff.

  4. Sorry for the horrific pun-ditry...

    Judy can't beat Rod, and everyone know it. Republicans don't win issueless races, and the only issue in Judy's race would be which one was farther to the left (socially & fiscally)

    I'm a pretty darn conservative guy, and I will actively endorse Rod if Judy is the nominee.

    If I can't get an honest reformer for a Candidate, I want a Democrat in the Gov. Mansion when the pension poop hits the fan.

    BTW - check out the Extreme Wisdom Plan for an Illinois Renaissance.