Thursday, March 23, 2006

Election Observations: The Topinka-Brady TV Kiss and Her Whispered Musings in His Ear. His Call to Topinka to Get Her to Claim Victory Before the Cook county Returns Were In. Interesting, Huh?

Not all was disappointing to this blog on election night. David McSweeney won handily as GOP nominee in the 8th CD—and let it be known that Kathy Salvi, my former student, was a class act…calling McSweeney not just for concession but to pledge her support…and the fact that she gave him a $1,000 check for his campaign. That’s what I call true sportsmanship…Joe Birkett for the Republican Lieutenant Governorship a favorite of this blog (though not running-mate Judy Baar Topinka)…

Other optimistic things: the nomination of conservative, pro-lifer Matt Murphy over supposed icon Rita Mullins, the liberal Republican mayor of Palatine, in Senate 27. The defeat of 87-year-old Republican Adeline Geo-Karis, ally of Big Jimbo Thompson, feisty and all that, somewhat endearing but garrulous and tedious as well as cross-eye-edly liberal to Suzanne Simpson in Senate 21…the loss of Pamela Mitroff, Personal PACs darling in House 95 (I hope she made him spend it all)…

The so-called Unity Breakfast started on a downer, with Judy being a bad winner (as she was a bad debater), shucking off any attempt to ditch Bob Kjellander which would at least have been a unity pretext. The fact that conservatives—Oberweis and Brady—polled 51 percent compared to social liberals Topinka and Gidwitz’s 49 percent shows that the GOP is almost evenly split: which after the successive terms of Thompson, Edgar and G. Ryan, indicates some growth. Also this undeniable truth:

After Bill Brady won the Conservative Summit endorsement, there was a supposed unity meeting which attempted to build a unified ticket. Neither Oberweis or Brady agreed to a reshuffle. All well and good. But the meeting seemed to be an impetus for Brady to raise money to become in fact as in theory the conservative choice. He did not or could not produce the money and during the summer and early Fall he rejected steadily either the need for raising money or the fact that he could not, proclaiming he could win anyhow. His inability to raise requisite funds would normally lead him to pull out in favor of Oberweis. In fact I tried to raise money for him since at the Summit after supporting Birkett, I agreed to endorse Brady. I failed. Nevertheless, Brady decided to wing it, shucked off any implication that he would be a spoiler.

But then he became one—in fact as in deed: using his candidacy to attack the other conservative in the race, Oberweis. Why he was hitting Oberweis rather than his liberal opponents mystified me. How could he hope to get conservative votes by assailing the only other conservative. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to go after either Gidwitz or Topinka? I still don’t have the answer to that one.

His growing closeness to Topinka as the campaign unfolded became clear. I don’t imply a deal and conspiracy theories aren’t my bag, but it was a strange strategy if strategy it was. On election night, while the Cook county returns were still out, Brady called Topinka and convinced her to proclaim victory following which Brady made his concession. Then at the Unity Breakfast there was this magical kiss between Topinka and Brady with Topinka whispering something in Brady’s ear. Ve-r-y in-t-er-es-ting.


  1. Tossing Bob Kjellander as a step for unity? Politics is a game of addition not subtraction. Yes it would be good for Kjellander to go quietly before the election but that is hardly the step for a unity gathering. Oberweis was certainly not a class act at the meeting since he refused to endorse Topinka. Maybe he wants to go down the same road Pat O'Malley has.

  2. From what I gather in the news reports, it wasn't exactly a unity breakfast with Oberweis not willing to give his support to Topinka. Plus, I suspect, but can't verify that Topinka insisted upon metal detectors and paper plates and plastic utensils given her suspicions of a certain Republican. And by the way, did I mention that no one was allowed to drink milk. All joking aside, I don't think that we'll have real unity until the last of the Republicrats is out of the GOP in Illinois.