Veteran liberal newsletter-and-blog writer Rich Miller is trying today to switch the subject from the ill-fated Topinka-George Ryan polka. So today Miller seeks to link Jim Oberweis with George Ryan, to detonate Oberweis in order to make way for Democrat Millers choice for the Republican gubernatorial nomination: his great and good friend Judy Baar Topinka. Stung by the Channel 7 video played at Topinkas announcement showing the State Treasurer doing the polka with Ryan, Miller recycles an old story, quoting an unnamed source who says Oberweis met not once but twice with George Ryan in 2003 and heaped praise on the former governor, asking him for fund-raising and grassroots help. Its a typical thumb-in-the-eye tactic for Miller whose distaste for candidates who are pro-life comes down to an obsession. The Miller piece carries a trademark observation about Oberweis that has been identified with Bob Kjellander. (Ive defended Kjellander in the past against Oberweis but the words used by Miller have been used by the National Committeeman who is a firm ally of Topinka).
Yes, as the Tribune reported years ago, Oberweis was in Kankakee on 2003 when he was accosted by Ryans son who invited him to meet his father, which Oberweis did. No plea for help from the ex-governor was made, Oberweis having the good sense to appreciate that requesting assistance from Ryan was akin to hugging and kissing a resident of the island of Molakai, the leper colony in the early 19th century. Showing a kid that he doesnt totally disrespect the kids father is what Oberweis gets for being nice enough to meet the old man: a shot from Miller.
On another front and in the same issue, Miller points out that Gov. Blagojevich is answering Topinkas charges with rejoinders where he has not responded to any of the other GOP challengers attacks. Miller reasons the reason is that Blagojevich fears Topinka and is trying to take her out so that the primary victor will bedrum-roll, pleasea hard right opponent which would allow him to change the subject from corruption and competence to ideology. Now who would that be? Oberweis, purportedly. Thus in one newsletter issue, Miller is slugging Oberweis in preference to Topinka.
The real reason Blagojevich is publicly answering Topinka is that by giving her more attention, he hopes she will be his opponent where he can switch the subject from corruption to Topinkas association with Ryan (watch the TV clip being processed for a Blagojevich commercial) and her attempt to get Bill Cellini off the hook for paying the state the full bill he owes on the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel (the former Renaissance) in Springfield. Whenever an incumbent governor takes the time to focus on an opponent, he does so for the express purpose of giving the opponent visibility so as to affect the primary outcome. Thats standard Politics 101. Miller knows this as well, but where would we be without Rich telegraphing what the liberals think?