Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Further Analysis: Topinka, the More Liberal Candidate for Governor, Cannot be Believed. Her Lack of Veracity Cannot be Denied
Not long ago this Blog published an analysis that maintained Judy Baar Topinka is the more liberal candidate for governor, largely on the basis that she has not foreclosed the possibility of raising taxes. Many conservatives and Republicans responded favorably. Those who didnt and who call themselves conservatives maintain that Topinka has three things going for her: opposition to partial birth abortion, support for parental notification and 2nd amendment. Normally that should decide the matter in her favor. But--.
In exactly fifty-one years of either reporting or participating in campaigns in two statesand in two fairly long sessions in Washington, D. C.I have not until now met anyone running for office whose word is as bad as Topinkas except one. She easily exceeds Richard Nixon, Vito Marcantonio, Emanuel Cellar, both Daleys, Jim Thompson, Rahm Emanuel, Jan Schakowsky, Dick Durbin and a host of major and minor, local and state charlatans in both parties. (I exclude George Ryan who truly holds the World Cup for duplicity.) That is an impressive statement to make given all that history and I am sure you will ask what distinguishes Topinka from that crowd. Easy.
None of the aforementioned would have had the crass duplicity to appear on a radio program broadcast by a 50,000-watt station, take a position that was heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners, and then when the heat came flatly deny what was said to this huge audience. Shortly after her election as state Republican chair, she had appeared and when asked if she would endorse Peter Fitzgerald for reelection refused to within the hearing range of the entire audience. Fitzgerald was then considered to be a candidate for reelection and she was the Republican chair.
As she bobbed and weaved through my questioning, she repeatedly refused to endorse him as state chairman. She said (a) perhaps she could as a township committeeman, (b) perhaps she could as even as state treasurer but (c) she could never, ever as state chairman. The questioning and the answers droned on so long and with such clarity that my producer in her glass booth waved me off and said enough! enough! Then later when the heat came on to her for not endorsing him as state chair, she said she as a matter of fact she did, and that the host of the radio show should take the wax out of his ears. The brazen effrontery of that performance was and still is stunning. It is a replay of the man interrupted by his wife in an act of adultery shouts, Are you going to believe me or your own eyes?
We laugh at John Kerrys statement that before he voted against the war he voted for it. Bad as it sounded, that was literally the truth. A guest on my e program, Steve Brown, press secretary for Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, was as stunned as I when she later denied that she refused to endorse Fitzgerald as state chairman. Our radio audience well remembers the occasion which she denies. No one of the above names would have the temerity to deny history in that way. None. That truly means, ladies and gentlemen, that the truth isnt in her. Accordingly, speaking for myself, I can take nothing she pledges or promises to conservatives that she will do as worth anything.
Thus I cannot conclude that she can be trusted. And I wont be assuaged by those who say, well the other side cant be trusted either. That is a weak way to rationalize. Any recitation of the failings of the present governor to justify a vote for her is stale, flat, dull and unconvincing. For the entirety of my life I have been a Republican and expect to continue as such for the remainderbut I crossed over when necessity warranted. I voted for Glenn Poshard for governor over George Ryan. Ryan claimed he would be a pro-life governor but I felt good reason to distrust him as one a number of other issues. It was a Democratic vote I am proud of in retrospect.
Thus I can say that of the two candidates running, I support neither but prefer that the governor win because (a) I cannot believe Ms. Topinka will take anything but the most opportunistic course which would involve the speedy selling-out of any stands to which she has earlier adhered and (b) most important, believe that were she to win, she would consign the Republican partyusing all the levers of the governorship at her whimto further demobilize its ability to act as an independent vehicle for change in government, serving the Combine to which she has been so faithful a steward. Which would mean affecting its positions for the next four years and choosing a candidate to oppose Dick Durbin in 2008 which would duplicate the sorry choice we have today. I dont think responsible Republicans should allow that to happen.