Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This Blog Picks: Joe Birkett for Lieutenant Governor.

Whenever he calls my house for me and gets my wife on the phone, Joe Birkett says “The West Side’s the best side.” That’s because he knows she was reared in Austin, his neighborhood. That’s not why I’m picking him—but it doesn’t hurt, his being from the West Side where she’s from. I’ve been a fan of Joe’s for many years, was the only participant in the Conservative Summit to vote for him for governor. For a while that afternoon it seemed I was standing off the whole crowd. I’ve been impressed with his background: one of 10 kids whose father died early, his tough but compassionate views on crime, his up-from-the-streets moxy, his social conservatism, his average guy qualities encased in superb intellectual grasp of the law and original intent. He’s undeniably a strong asset to Judy Baar Topinka as her choice for lieutenant governor; undoubtedly the only thing she’s done that I agree with.

Not to take anything away from Steve Rauschenberger who has been cited so often as an expert on state government and is Ron Gidwitz’s good choice—but I’ve seen well qualified candidates like Steve before who somehow don’t seem to either get the financial support or the emotional “click” with the voters. Steve’s undoubtedly the one most Republicans would hire for governor. His communications skills are great and he has the root honesty that is required in this business. I look upon Steve as the same kind of icon who towered over the legislative branch in my youth who was the rank-and-file Republicans’ first choice for the presidency: Bob Taft. Blunt and honest, both men have similar characteristics. If Steve gets nominated instead of Joe I’ll not be disconsolate—but for me it’s Joe.

As you know, Lieutenant Governor runs solo on the March 21st ballot, not as a running mate, so you can vote for whatever gubernatorial choice you want and also for Joe. I’m going to be voting for Jim Oberweis and Joe Birkett. I haven’t been bothered one iota by this stuff concerning Rolando Cruz; it was Jim Ryan’s baby. Joe is known as an outstanding prosecutor with a toughness that I like. It tells you something that Democratic strategist Mike Noonan, who’s been on my show with Joe (and who managed Lisa Madigan’s campaign for AG that defeated Joe) ends up liking Birkett and telling me so, there’s a flinty quality in Birkett that is a winning attribute.


  1. Here at the capital city's College Republican chapter [one of the fastest growing and most active in the state], we have "Students for..." Committees, for several of the candidates for Governor. We had someone who was waiting to start a "Students for Joe Birkett" (once Mr. Birkett officially entered the race); this student is strongly pro-life, and admired Mr. Birkett's advocacy of the parental notification policies.

    As it got closer to filing time, and candidates were making their last-minute decisions, his support for Mr. Birkett ended. It ended when he formed an alliance with you-know-who. I think that many of Mr. Birkett's admirers were extremely disappointed, with that decision.


    (There were similar sentiments expressed with regard to Sen. Rauschenberger's decision, but I don't think that was viewed as badly as the aforesaid one.)

  2. Birkett and Judy sittin' in a tree, K I S S I N G... first comes love, then comes marriage then comes another RINO in the baby carriage.

    Birkett should get a job at Walmart cleaning toilets! How DARE you Tom suggest such an inept person!?

    I am getting damn sick of these "attorneys" who play the political game with people's lives inorder to build a resume for a "public office".


    If Noonan likes JOE then something is wrong! OR is it wrong with YOU TOM!