Friday, December 2, 2005

Rich Miller: Switching the Subject from the Topinka-Ryan Polka

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 Miller’s choice for the Republican gubernatorial nomination: his great and good friend Judy Baar Topinka. Stung by the Channel 7 video played at Topinka’s 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. It’s 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. (I’ve 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 Ryan’s 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 doesn’t totally disrespect the kid’s 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 Topinka’s 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 be—drum-roll, please—a “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 Topinka’s 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. That’s standard Politics 101. Miller knows this as well, but where would we be without Rich telegraphing what the liberals think?


  1. Astute observations, as usual.

  2. Jack, when will you be having Topinka on your show? I would like to know how she thinks that she can win the republican primary considering her positions on taxes, abortion, gays, and guns. She is not in line with mainstream republicans on these issues.

  3. I have commented here once before (the weekend that Sen. Brady won the 'Conservative Summit' endorsement - something that I hadn't heard about, until I checked the Blogosphere - and then, a representative of this campaign spoke at our next CR meeting)... but I haven't been back here in awhile. I should have been checking your site more frequently; thank you for providing the inside scoop, regarding this report by Rich Miller... I am glad that in addition to your regular column, you are also now blogging regularly. Please keep up the great work with that, and with your radio show.

  4. I'm beginning to see the light. Blago's attack on Topinka was really an assist. The good TV coverage of Topinka's announcement were really very effective slams. Planned Parenthood's attack on Topinka is really an endorsement. Topinka's words mean the exact opposite of what they say, except when it comes to gays, abortion, etc.

    Now I understand.

    Notice to all comprehenders: Aluminum foil on special this week at Jewell.

  5. Hi Mr. Roeser!

    This is not exactly a comment on your blog item, but I need your e-mail address so that I can send you a Photomail containing an ultrasound picture that embodies an image of Jesus crucified along with a description of its story. I received this item from Fr. Peter Mary Rookey with the request to get a copy of it into the hands of as many devout Catholics (or Christians) as possible.

    If you find it worthy, you may feel free to display it on your blog, in the Sun-Times, or in The Wanderer.

    ‘Nuff for now,


  6. Which conservative candidates for Governor share Milton Friedman's position on the commercialization of narcotics?