Monday, November 28, 2005

Judy Baah Topinka: What Can She Do for the GOP?

State Treasurer Judy Baah Topinka has sent word through her faithful courier, Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times, that Baah Topinka will announce for governor on Wednesday. Prevailing political wisdom has it that Baah Topinka will win in November, 2006 because of Democratic crossovers. Which leads to the question: what crossovers? If you’re a liberal Democrat—which is just about the only kind there is these days—you will support Rod Blagojevich. True, there has been friction early in his term but now what’s not to like for liberals?

He can point to his plan to give health coverage to 250,000 children, not raise taxes and has implemented a plan to spur embryonic stem cell research with an executive order. Why would liberals go elsewhere since they support these programs? He is for abortion rights and gay rights. Why would liberals go elsewhere on these items? Judy Baah Topinka supports abortion rights and gay rights: why would one who wants a governor to espouse these things support Baah Topinka when Blagojevich already supports them? The only Democrat I know who has said that there will be crossovers for Baah Topinka is my friend Frank Coconate, the rebel leader of the Northwest Side Democratic Organization. But Coconate won’t support Baah Topinka since his future is rooted in independent Democratic politics and by his own admission he has never voted for a Republican in his life.

Liberals won’t cross over in the primary to support Baah Topinka because they will be busy either supporting Blagojevich or Eisendrath in the primary. Baah Topinka is a folksy, colorful campaigner but she will have to compete with Jim Oberweis for conservative Republican primary voters, Oberweis ranking higher in the polls than any other GOPer right now and who can beat Baah Topinka . Whether Oberweis can be Blagojevich head to head I don’t know (I think Bill Brady could) but I think he’s got a shot. You won’t find this analysis from Sweet but you can take it to the bank that Baah Topinka will not win the primary. Liberal Republicans are like High Church Unitarians: self-contradictory.


  1. Tom, you're repeating and not thinking here. Your fallacy is thinking that just because Topinka is not conservative, she is a "liberal". This is what the "Milk Dud" and other primary competitors are putting out. A simple-minded argument, but wrong.

    The truth is that Topinka is against gay marriage; is for a partial-birth abortion ban, and for parental consent (not merely notification); and Rich Pearson of ISRA says that we'll have concealed carry under a Governor Topinka.

    These positions may not be conservative, but they are certainly not liberal. They are in fact moderate. To call her otherwise is to shill for her primary opponents.

  2. "Moderate" is another name for wishy-washy (read liberal) and a vote for Judy Barr Topinka is a vote to continue business as usual. Let us not forget her lack of support for Peter Fitzgerald. The support of Jim Kjellander and her previous relationship with George Ryan makes her the true "combine" candidate (to borrow a term from John Kass).

    The fact that the national party thinks they need someone to run to the left to capture this state shows how little they know our needs. A return to fiscal sanity and conservative ideals of less governmental interference and limited taxation could staunch the flow of jobs leaving our state. We need a candidate with integrity and an independent streak, I believe that candiate is Steve Rauschenburger.