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Posted: 3/21/2006 5:25:18 PM EDT
The Chicago Tribune
March 20, 2006

Campaign 2006: Is this all there is?
by Dennis Byrne

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0603200114mar20,0,7944562.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed

If you want to discover how a perfectly healthy pink state turns into a lasting blue one, look no further than Illinois.

For years, Republicans often won statewide and federal elective offices. But thanks to a bungling party "leadership" way out of touch with its constituency, Tuesday's primary election to select a GOP nominee for governor presents voters with indecision, disappointment or disgust. Among the candidates, "I don't know" has made a strong showing.

We columnists have raked this field of candidates to the point of tedium, but why not? Why should Republicans be forced to choose among marginal, inexperienced, unqualified or downright deplorable candidates?

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is a nice lady, which is exactly what corrupt Illinois government doesn't need right now. I had expected more, but she has done nothing in the campaign to demonstrate that she won't be eaten alive by the greedy pals of both parties who constitute what Tribune columnist John Kass calls the "combine."

Ron Gidwitz, Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside, has been an insider for years, but now vows reform and independence. Judging by his low poll numbers, voters don't buy it, despite an expensive, lengthy TV ad campaign. Sad for him, OK for us.

Conservatives, of course, are engaged in their usual dance of death. They can't agree on a single candidate, so they're forced to choose between two and dilute their strength as a voting bloc. Jim Oberweis, as usual, is running second, but still has the best chance of beating Topinka. For me, he's also best on the issues. Bill Brady, a younger and attractive candidate, can wait his turn.

Mention must be made of another candidate, the scary Andy Martin (a.k.a. Anthony R. Martin-Trigona), because if I don't he'll probably sue. So, I've mentioned him.

A certain number of dissatisfied Republicans will reject them all and pick up a Democratic primary ballot, motivated by the knowledge that they can get better government by voting for two challengers, Forrest Claypool for Cook County Board president and Edwin Eisendrath for governor. The Claypool vote is especially important because a comatose county Republican Party makes the election of a Democrat nearly certain.

And Republicans in the west suburban 6th Congressional District can do a service by crossing into the Democratic primary to vote for Christine Cegelis, the more likely of two candidates to beat a shameless interloper, Tammy Duckworth. In an incredible act of arrogance, she was imposed on the district by Democratic money man Rahm Emanuel and outsiders who think they know better than the voters who should represent them.

But why should Republicans be forced to play in someone else's sandbox? Why do loyal Republicans have to choose among second stringers? Where are the candidates who stand out because of their superb leadership, integrity, experience and wisdom?

The answer is to be found in a party establishment that is more interested in feathering its nest. The GOP leadership would rather see a Democratic ("someone we can work with") win than an independent Republican.

It wasn't Republican Peter Fitzgerald's conservatism that caused his party's establishment to nix his second term as a U.S. senator. It was his determined independence. He represented his constituents and their interests, and not the interwoven and lucrative interests of Illinois' unitary establishment party. It's why the party opposed him in his 1998 primary race against Loleta Didrickson and tried to undermine his nomination of the fiercely independent Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney. Peter Fitzgerald, of course, enjoys lasting revenge as Patrick Fitzgerald tracks corruption all the way to the offices of the governor and mayor.

The GOP "leadership" (the ones with the money and power) wants us to believe that they back "moderates" on principle. Hogwash. They don't care about principles, only about keeping power. They'd back Larry, Curly and Moe if they thought they'd win. They need to be reminded that our last Republican senator was a conservative. They'll respond that Fitzgerald "lucked out" because his Democratic opponent was the underqualified and ethically challenged incumbent, Carol Moseley Braun. The GOP establishment will say that the next candidate won't be so lucky in the run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.

Oh, no? Independent and conservative Republicans will have a better chance of winning--if they start planning together now--against the most extreme and obnoxious senator of them all, Dick the Lip.

----------

E-mail: dennis@dennisbyrne.net
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:45:43 PM EDT
Sad but true,

Moral to the story is that this state sucks and will continue to suck even harder for those of us that are hard working conservative gun owners!
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:12:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jm03:
Sad but true,

Moral to the story is that this state sucks and will continue to suck even harder for those of us that are hard working conservative gun owners!



+1 I just saw that Blagobitch said that "we are working to ban assualt weapons in IL" to cheers of "4 more years..." and Topinka is winning the R primary... these are going to be four trying years.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 11:18:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 11:18:45 PM EDT by Tim84K10]
Topinka or Blago....

Turd sandwich or Giant Douche?

Either way, hold on to your AR's tight, boys.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:42:46 AM EDT
Well it looks like we got Topinka. Wish the Republican voters would have turned out more to support Oberweis or Brady. Scary to think what could happen with her in Government for us if she beats Blago.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:53:19 AM EDT
So is Judy Topinka rabidly anti gun?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:23:29 AM EDT
is she any worse than blago?

i saw a clip where she said we have enough gun laws we dont need more?

i know saying and doing are 2 diff things...
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:00:06 AM EDT
A prelude....

Get ready for four more years!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:49:56 AM EDT
Better to have a lukewarm friend in office than a known devil. I guess we need to stop bitching and get behind Topinky....cause I sure as hell want Blago out.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:10:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CosmicOne-Der:
Better to have a lukewarm friend in office than a known devil. I guess we need to stop bitching and get behind Topinky....cause I sure as hell want Blago out.




Turd sammich all around.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:26:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By woodbutcher223308:

Originally Posted By CosmicOne-Der:
Better to have a lukewarm friend in office than a known devil. I guess we need to stop bitching and get behind Topinky....cause I sure as hell want Blago out.




Turd sammich all around.



Rather have to eat a Sh!t-sammich than get my a$$ ruined by a big douchebag. This is a case of going with the lesser of two weasles.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:11:42 AM EDT
I think we're really fucked this time. There really is no hope for this state until the Democratic party is completely removed from power on a national level.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:06:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 11:06:56 AM EDT by deej86]

Originally Posted By CosmicOne-Der:
This is a case of going with the lesser of two weasles.


Absolutely right Cosmic. I'll either vote for Topinka next time around or write someone in. Does Topinka even CARE about gun owners?

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:
I think we're really fucked this time. There really is no hope for this state until the Democratic party is completely removed from power on a national level.


+1 and quickly.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:20:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:
I think we're really fucked this time. There really is no hope for this state until the Democratic party is completely removed from power on a national level.



This country has always had two parties. (Whigs and Tories if you remember your histroy) I don't forsee the disoloving of one party happening in the near future. Two parties serves a purpose of keeping some level of moderation, keeping the government from swinging too far to the left or right. I think the better way of stating your point would be "Until the Democratic Party moves back more towards the center and BOTH parties fully uphold our Constitution." There are different breeds of Democrats, such as the southern dem, which still not nearly as liberal as the party has been appearing mroe and more lately. Think of what big business has done to many farms in this country during the latter half of the last century, like I stated, I believe the two parties serve as checks and balances for each other, but we have gotten more into a mentality of us Vs them instead of we all need to protect and uphold our constitution and rights.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:30:04 AM EDT
WOW!!!

I think that is Cosmic's most eloquent post ever!!!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:52:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:53:00 PM EDT by 45Ron]
I posted this in another forum and it speaks to my thoughts on how I voted in the primary. It also speaks about voting third party in close elections.


This was a good experiment for me.

I have argued against voting third party on this board frequently.

The Brady/Oberweis dilemma mirrors the third party effect perfectly.

I voted my conscience as did many conservatives and voted for Brady.

What did this get us? Judy Bar Topinka

We could have had the less than ideal Oberweis, but in our zeal to send a message or in the rigidness of our philosophy we have helped the worst of the candidates get nominated.

Not voting for Oberweis was wrong. I would have preffered Brady but the reality is our votes for Brady were in effect votes for JBT.

My votes for President Bush were the right votes in spite of his administrations flaws.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:06:03 PM EDT
I shave some times, look in the mirror. I hope we can re- inforce the folks down state in our Legislate to ...Brady mostly ... kepp up the good work.


Not a shot at you Ron , keep on calling .... like we always have , and support our supporters.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:02:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 45Ron:
I posted this in another forum and it speaks to my thoughts on how I voted in the primary. It also speaks about voting third party in close elections.


This was a good experiment for me.

I have argued against voting third party on this board frequently.

The Brady/Oberweis dilemma mirrors the third party effect perfectly.

I voted my conscience as did many conservatives and voted for Brady.

What did this get us? Judy Bar Topinka

We could have had the less than ideal Oberweis, but in our zeal to send a message or in the rigidness of our philosophy we have helped the worst of the candidates get nominated.

Not voting for Oberweis was wrong. I would have preffered Brady but the reality is our votes for Brady were in effect votes for JBT.

My votes for President Bush were the right votes in spite of his administrations flaws.




I understand your logic, but frankly, I completely disagree with this type of thinking, i.e. the "only winning votes count" theory. Following this logic, you end up with something like this:

In any election, the winner is the one who gets more votes than the loser. 1 vote is enough to win. For the sake of argument, lets say 100 people vote for the winner and 50 people vote for the loser. We all know that TimK8410 voted libertarian , so there's 1 third party vote (tongue firmly in cheek, Tim).

Most voters believe that Tim wasted his vote. But following that logic, all of the people who voted for the loser, and 50 of the people who voted for the winner wasted their votes, because they offset each other. Above and beyond that, 49 of the winners' votes were wasted because they weren't needed for the win. In essence, it all comes down to a single vote--a viewpoint that, to me, is far too simplistic.

In reality, a lot more comes out of an election than a winner and a loser. Every election has hot button issues that are seen as being a major contributor to victory or defeat, which helps define political direction. Voter turnout is a barometer of the importance of an election to the voters. There's a lot more to it than winning or losing.

The whole point of a primary is to give the people a chance to have their voices heard on what direction the election should take, both in candidates and issues. A few points got made and heard yesterday, like:

--Blago got a great big heads up that he has popularity problems. Consider that Eisendrath got almost as great a percentage as Oberweis did, against a well funded incumbent. The Dems are not looking too faithful. Why do you think he went immediately on the warpath? Damage control.

--JBT got a heads-up that she's not the favorite either. Oberweis and Brady both put up very respectable numbers against a political insider. She's got work to do.

I supported Brady because he represents the ideals I would like to see in a governor. Plenty of others agreed. JBT won, and she will be our candidate. If we had voted for Oberweis, wouldn't we have compromised from the outset?

Much to my dismay, JBT has the best chance to beat Blago. He has lots of money, the backing of the Chicago machine, and the dead vote. While I don't care for JBT's politics on a number of issues, my greatest concern is the defeat of Blago. Poll after poll has confirmed that JBT has the best odds, and I believe it. To beat Blago, it is going to take a united Republican party, downstate support, and plenty of fed up Dems willing to flip sides to a moderate Republican due to their dislike of Blago. Those Dems are key--they'd never jump ship for a pro lifer, anymore than you'd vote for a gun ban--it's an important core value that they hold.

The lesser of 2 evils isn't even a valid comparison--we're talking about the difference between the fight for our lives or political support (at this point, JBT hasn't said anything negative to my knowledge, though I'm as skeptical as the rest of you). Wouldn't it be great if King Dick's rants were confined to WGN and the Trib, instead of the State of the State address?

Barring a catastrophic fuckup, JBT will have my complete support, if for no other reason than Blago must go.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:25:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mw365:

Much to my dismay, JBT has the best chance to beat Blago. He has lots of money, the backing of the Chicago machine, and the dead vote. While I don't care for JBT's politics on a number of issues, my greatest concern is the defeat of Blago. Poll after poll has confirmed that JBT has the best odds, and I believe it. To beat Blago, it is going to take a united Republican party, downstate support, and plenty of fed up Dems willing to flip sides to a moderate Republican due to their dislike of Blago. Those Dems are key--they'd never jump ship for a pro lifer, anymore than you'd vote for a gun ban--it's an important core value that they hold.

The lesser of 2 evils isn't even a valid comparison--we're talking about the difference between the fight for our lives or political support (at this point, JBT hasn't said anything negative to my knowledge, though I'm as skeptical as the rest of you). Wouldn't it be great if King Dick's rants were confined to WGN and the Trib, instead of the State of the State address?

Barring a catastrophic fuckup, JBT will have my complete support, if for no other reason than Blago must go.



Don't assume that the "down south dems" are all pro choice. Lots of farmers down there who are pro life yet fall into the dem catagory. Just like "all dems are rabid anti-gun.", not. I think blago has screwed them so much during his term we will see more vote for JBT. As republicans, we need to stand behind our current candidate and not throw votes away for a third party or a write in. C'mon already with the write ins...if you have to write them in, they are not gonna have the votes it takes. We need to drum up as much support for JBT with everyone we meet. Rmember Billy Boy took became president, because he was a "moderate Dem". This can be done and IT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:27:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CosmicOne-Der:
This country has always had two parties. (Whigs and Tories if you remember your histroy) I don't forsee the disoloving of one party happening in the near future. Two parties serves a purpose of keeping some level of moderation, keeping the government from swinging too far to the left or right. I think the better way of stating your point would be "Until the Democratic Party moves back more towards the center and BOTH parties fully uphold our Constitution." There are different breeds of Democrats, such as the southern dem, which still not nearly as liberal as the party has been appearing mroe and more lately. Think of what big business has done to many farms in this country during the latter half of the last century, like I stated, I believe the two parties serve as checks and balances for each other, but we have gotten more into a mentality of us Vs them instead of we all need to protect and uphold our constitution and rights.



Uh, no. The Dems are too far gone to ever be in power again.

There have always been two parties, just not the two we have now.

Time to replace one of them with something useful.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:17:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CosmicOne-Der:

Originally Posted By mw365:

Much to my dismay, JBT has the best chance to beat Blago. He has lots of money, the backing of the Chicago machine, and the dead vote. While I don't care for JBT's politics on a number of issues, my greatest concern is the defeat of Blago. Poll after poll has confirmed that JBT has the best odds, and I believe it. To beat Blago, it is going to take a united Republican party, downstate support, and plenty of fed up Dems willing to flip sides to a moderate Republican due to their dislike of Blago. Those Dems are key--they'd never jump ship for a pro lifer, anymore than you'd vote for a gun ban--it's an important core value that they hold.

The lesser of 2 evils isn't even a valid comparison--we're talking about the difference between the fight for our lives or political support (at this point, JBT hasn't said anything negative to my knowledge, though I'm as skeptical as the rest of you). Wouldn't it be great if King Dick's rants were confined to WGN and the Trib, instead of the State of the State address?

Barring a catastrophic fuckup, JBT will have my complete support, if for no other reason than Blago must go.



Don't assume that the "down south dems" are all pro choice. Lots of farmers down there who are pro life yet fall into the dem catagory. Just like "all dems are rabid anti-gun.", not. I think blago has screwed them so much during his term we will see more vote for JBT. As republicans, we need to stand behind our current candidate and not throw votes away for a third party or a write in. C'mon already with the write ins...if you have to write them in, they are not gonna have the votes it takes. We need to drum up as much support for JBT with everyone we meet. Rmember Billy Boy took became president, because he was a "moderate Dem". This can be done and IT NEEDS TO BE DONE.



Agreed. Although JBT wasn't my choice, now that she is the contender against Blago, I'm going to support her to remoive Blago, who I know does not have my interests in mind.
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