whether the mainstream media recognize it or not. State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), chairman of the House State Government Affairs committee and a severe critic of Gov. Blagojevich, not only didnt deny but said there is a great deal of plausibility to this scenario: Many Democrats see a winning rationale for Republican Judy Baar Topinka to win over Blagojevich, raise income taxes and serve one term, turning over a state that will be in much better financial shape to the logical Democratic inheritor: Lisa Madigan. Earlier another key Democrat told me confidentially that Speaker Madigan prefers that Blagojevich lose by one point which would mean that there would be a sufficient turnout to elect Madigans troops and keep his majority while ensuring that the governorship would change to Topinka so that she could apply the magic. Topinka has never denied the possibility of a general tax increase.
Rep. Franks also allowed the possibility that, if Blagojevich wins and is indicted in his second term, forcing him to resign, his successor, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn has the ability to be a very good governor. He pointed out that one of the things Quinn may have going for him is that he is not beloved by Democratic regulars, that he had to fight hard against serious opposition in a primary to win the lieutenant governorship nomination. There is no doubt that of all the leading Democrats, Quinn is severely distrusted by regular Democrats.
They hold against him his reform of the legislature a long time ago which cut the number of lawmakers but especially the unique tripartite nature of the House which encouraged Democrats to be elected as one of three lawmakers in Republican districts and Republicans in Democratic districts. The old plan which Quinn overthrew had proved to be a net plus for the Democrats, with liberal Republicans serving in Democratic districts and liberal Democrats in Republican districts which advanced the cause of liberal legislation. Quinn demagogued the issue in a misleading way, they argue, which did not save the taxpayers money and led to the current four-leader system that took from individual lawmakers much of their power. Quinns succession to the governorship would be bad news for the Madigans. Its the estimation of this Blog that Jack Franks would be the best choice for governor the Democrats could possibly make: young, attractive, brilliant, courageous. But probably his route will be to climb the chairs via state constitutional office.
Jim Oberweis made news by saying that he will host a fund-raiser for Topinka, making moot whether he has definitively endorsed her or not. On the show he argued that she is the only alternative to Blagojevich and as such a preferable one. There is little doubt that Jim Oberweis will stay in the political game to stay. His tenor on immigration did not contradict his earlier stance but took on additional dimension. He said the great tragedy about the immigration problem was Mexicos economic mismanagement which sends the cream of the croppeople with the energy and determination to be entrepreneursto move here albeit illegally, robbing that country of priceless human resources and at the same time adding to our. Interesting.