Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Personal Asides: Debbie Franks to Join Democrats for Topinkaa Strong Asset Oberweis Endorsement of Topinka Either Brave or Foolhardy, Depending on Who You Talk To
State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) mentioned on my WLS radio show Sunday that his wife, Debbie, has joined Democrats for Topinka. The is significant, affirming that the rupture between Gov. Blagojevich and Franks has not only not healed but Franks best, most attractive and intelligent woman campaigner, who goes door-to-door with her husband every election cycle, has volunteered to join Topinkas ground troops. Debbie Franks is probably the best woman Democratic campaigner in Illinois and with her husband comprises what is such a dynamic team that this year in Republican McHenry county, Jack Franks has no Republican opponent whatsoever! Much of the reason is because he and his wife have been ideal co-workers in the vineyard. Topinka actually has no campaign on the ground, meaning organization, and Debbie Franks will be of inestimable value to the Republicans. Dont imagine for a minute that Debbie Franks would engage in this effort if it werent consonant with Franks own wishes. So what Topinka has is, paradoxically, a campaign team that includes both Debbie Franks, armed with the silent acquiescence of Jack Franks, a rising young Democrat with a statewide future before him and conservative Republican Jim Oberweis!
The decision by Jim Oberweis to raise money for Judy Baar Topinka is also significant since it is far more than just another defeated primary opponent pledging support to the winner. The philosophical difference between Oberweis and Topinka are about as deep a chasm as it is possible to be in one party, pro-life vs. pro-choice, anti-special rights for gays and pro-gay rights, pro-tough immigration and who knows where she stands on this? Tough on spending vs. someone who has not been known as a spending-stingy stalwart.
Oberweis is a movement conservative who has pioneered some unpopular stands which ultimately have become popular. In national terms it would be equivalent to Ronald Reagan, the convention loser in 1976 campaigning for Gerald Ford. That didnt happen. Reagan made a stunning concession speech at the convention which topped Fords acceptancea speech which left many wondering if it was an endorsement of Ford or not. Then Reagan went back to California and rode his white Palomino almost daily for the extent of the campaign.
It is no secret that some of Oberweis most influential supportersfinancial and otherwiseare angry with him for supporting Topinka. Oberweis has evidently considered this and has taken the step anyhow. On the plus side, Oberweis can be viewed as less of a far-right candidate than his opponents have billed him, and thus amenable to support from so-called moderate Republicans in the next go-round, which there assuredly will be since he gives every indication of continuing to be active in Republican affairs. On the minus side, Oberweis may well sacrifice his standing as the leader of conservative Republicans in exile, a role that will be quite important for the future if, as the polls show now, Topinka loses. If you wonder where I stand on Topinka, re-read what I wrote earlier when I said all things considered, Blagojevich is preferred. But Ive had my say. Tell me what you feel about his decision in Readers Comments.