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RR-Star goes Green

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006

The Rockford Register-Star endorses Rich Whitney, thereby guaranteeing the Green Party candidate lots of press coverage and hurting Topinka’s chances of winning back those voters who may have temporarily parked their support with a protest candidate.

Only in the surreal realm of Illinois politics could red and blue combine to produce green.

The blue party candidate, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has danced as fast as he can on the campaign trail in a vain attempt to stay ahead of allegations of personal corruption and fiscal irresponsibility.

The red party’s pick, Republican state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, has conducted a negative and unfocused campaign that doesn’t inspire confidence she could lead the state. Her main qualification is having a lower indictment potential than the incumbent.

There is a choice, and this Editorial Board is making it by endorsing Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate, for Illinois governor.

We believe Whitney, a 51-year-old attorney from Carbondale, could clean up state government while leading Illinois toward school finance reform, job growth, environmental responsibility and social justice. […]

Some readers will perceive this endorsement as quixotic. We view it as pragmatic rather than foolishly idealistic. This endorsement is our battle cry: Illinois voters deserve better options.

Whitney is a serious candidate who could do the job. He might not win, but we hope he gets enough votes so Illinoisans have more of a choice when they go to the polls in the future.

This attitude that Topinka’s “main qualification is having a lower indictment potential than the incumbent” is precisely the sort of thinking that Zorn warned against in this morning’s column. The paper has bought into the governor’s TV ad blitz, as Zorn did until, he claims, last week, when…

But let me ask you, as I finally stopped to ask myself late last week: What, exactly, is so evil about Judy Baar Topinka? What is so objectionable about the idea of her as governor?

OK, she’s got a zany streak and speaks more in quips than in quotes. She’s been a little too cozy with the oily bipartisan crowd of insiders who have helped disgrace our state.

But she’s refreshingly blunt, socially moderate and honest enough not to pander to voters with promises she can’t keep without saddling future generations with staggering debts. […]

She was not “George Ryan’s treasurer,” as Blagojevich’s snide commercials said, any more than she was Jim Edgar’s treasurer or Blagojevich’s treasurer. She was your treasurer. You voted for her. Because she did a good job and avoided the sort of scandal that’s crept awfully close to Blagojevich.

I’m not here to tell you Topinka has had a blameless career, would be a great governor or even that I’m planning to vote for her (full disclosure, I nearly always vote Democratic). I’m here to tell you Judy Baar Topinka is not a phony, a nitwit or a crook.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


61 Comments
  1. - Jacques Strappe - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:23 pm:

    Genius. The people in Rockford must be a little touched, as they say. Voting for a third-party candidate, even as a protest move, is always electorally dumb. In this particular case, every vote for Mr. Greenie is a vote that Judy Bear doesn’t get.


  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:24 pm:

    Wow. All I can say is “Wow,” and what a role model for the Chicago Tribune and all of the other high-and-mighty editorial boards accross the state, who have framed this election as a choice between Dumb and Dumber.

    Kudos to the Register-Star.


  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:26 pm:

    Strappe -

    Casting a protest vote makes more sense than casting a vote for a candidate who most believe will be indicted if elected, or another that has failed to advance a credible platform of alternative ideas that is destined to lose.


  4. - Pat Hickey - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:32 pm:

    Once again, shopping main street - is the way to go. This, will do nothing, however, to shame the Medill Swill and the Limey Times into integrity; shameless lives up to expectation.


  5. - Wumpus the Free - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:35 pm:

    Good for them, good for Whitney, good for democracy, bad for IL if Blago wins, but heh, they followed their conscience. I am voting for JBT and they took a courageous step. If only the Sun Crimes had the..Testicular Verility to do such a bold move.


  6. - Curt - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:35 pm:

    I’m voting Green, and couldn’t be prouder of the Rockford paper.


  7. - North of I-80 - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:50 pm:

    It was a minor protest by the RRstar staff; they are supportive of Governor Blagojevich but don’t want to endorse him due to allegations of corruption. The thought of RRstar staff endorsing a Republican makes them too nauseous so they made this gesture. It sends a message AND keeps Blagojevich in power. RRstar paints JBT as the same as Blagojevich, just wearing a different colored shirt. This is embarrassing and as disappointing as watching what the votes for Ross Perot did.


  8. - Angie - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:54 pm:

    No vegetarian is going to run the state of Illinois in the age of the War on Terror at the national level.

    Sorry, folks. Ain’t gonna happen.


  9. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:58 pm:

    I haven’t seen where a third party candidate winning an election, has made a difference once of office. And this comment comes from a guy who voted for Anderson and Perot. I like third-party candidates, but they are eaten if they make it into the offices they seek.

    Blagojevich proves that even with a strong state party, an arrogant governor can do an end run around the common sense and guidance provided by a large experienced team in government. The Democrats really didn’t want a corrupted hack alderman’s son-in-law for governor. They didn’t want a slew of scandals and embarrassments bombarding this election. Blagojevich didn’t respect what the professionals wanted. He only listened to himself and his pets.

    A third party candidate doesn’t even get the support of anyone to run the state. Ventura was a caretaker, at best. And that was in Minnesota, which Illinois could never clean itself up to even come close to regarding government ethics of that state. Even in Minnesota, a third party governor fizzled. I’d hate to imagine what would happen here.

    If Blagojevich is re-elected, Quinn will be eaten alive when Blagojevich is removed from office. Do-gooders are fish food in Illinois, and he doesn’t have a chance.

    So the Rockford paper is pretty dumb. Their recommendation isn’t a good one. Realistically, there isn’t any evidence that a Whitney in office would rid the state of anything. It takes a junk-yard dog to protect the junk-yard this state has become under Blagojevich. Whitney is a yorkie and would find himself lodged in Madigan’s throat.


  10. - sam - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:03 pm:

    Yes… because a central front in the war on terror is our stomachs.

    If we stop eating hamburgers, the terrorists have already won.

    *chomp*


  11. - Guy Fawkes - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:12 pm:

    What happens on Novemeber 1st?
    There’s been several references to that date.


  12. - Roomie - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:13 pm:

    I understand where Zorn is coming from.

    However, until Blago gets indicted I am sticking by him. I honestly believe that he was not involved - partly because I know him and he is an honest man.

    When choosing who to vote for you can either vote to move Illinois forward and build upon Blago’s impressive list of accomplishments or vote for Topinka who will take us back to the corrupt, good ol boy Republican regime.

    Blago has raised the minimum wage and made Illinois the #1 state for health care in the nation. On these two issues alone, I would support him.

    Dont vote to take a step backward with Topinka. Judy would repeal All Kids and repeal the minimum wage increase. All this not to mention, that she is a puppet for Haster, Kjellender, and the White House.


  13. - Lovie's Leather - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:14 pm:

    I think the RR-Star made a bad decision. I am in total agreement with Zorn… Even though all along I was always planning on voting for Topinka, for a while a felt discouraged about her and her plans for the state. Then I went to her website and looked at what she wanted to do. And there are obvious differences between her and Blago. There is a huge PDF document called “Four-year Budget Rescue Plan.” Some how, this isn’t a vision for Illinois? Please, for god sake, don’t fall for this gov’s tricks. I know many have already decided and many have already voted, but think about what four more years of this governor is going to bring. It will bring the disgrace that George Ryan brought.


  14. - Citizen A - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:15 pm:

    The wool they are trying on pulling over our eyes is so full of moth holes we can surely see through it to the real truth - The only true alternative to proven (plead guilty Levine and Cari) corruption in RB’s INNER circle IS in fact the very electable Judy Barr Topinka. It doesn’t take a lot of campaign money from dubious sources to come to that decision.In voting for Topinka your vote may make a difference - voting green is a wasted opportunity to participate in rejecting RB’s sphere of corruption!


  15. - Roomie - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:16 pm:

    BTW, my opinion of the Rockford paper just sunk lower than I thought was even possible.

    For them to ignore Blago’s strong set of accomplishments and projects that he has brought to Rockford is despicable.

    Instead, the endorse a guy who supports conceal and carry. the legalization of marijuana. Give me a break.


  16. - North of I-80 - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:25 pm:

    Roomie;
    What did he bring to Rockford? He froze all capitl development funds approved and appropriated to expand the IL173 corridor… in 2003. Numerous developers are still waiting. He doubled the tolls for Big Trucks / trailers so now the Rockford area gets all of the big heavy trucks on non-I-90 roads, attempting to evade the toll booths. Major service cuts in IDOT means more crashes each snow and state police that are no longer 24 hours. Yeah, thanks for all he’s done here.


  17. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:27 pm:

    The only wasted vote is a vote for someone who you don’t like.


  18. - Lovie's Leather - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:27 pm:

    I thought Whitney supported open carry???


  19. - ChiCountryGuy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:39 pm:

    The RR-Star’s endorsement of Whitney defies logic, commonsense and anything that defines rationality. This endorsement was moronic, plain and simple.

    The people of Rockford should be embarrassed by this paper. If I lived there I know I would be.


  20. - Tessa - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 5:47 pm:

    Dumbstruck. Didn’t see this one coming and I read that paper every day. Surprised they chose Whitney. Almost surprised they just didn’t take a pass.

    And I’m still in shock from reading “Blagojevich” and “he’s an honest man” in the same sentence. I just can’t seem to grasp that concept, nor do I think he could.


  21. - Hilarious - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:08 pm:

    Remember, Rockford voters did buck the two-party system in the last mayoral election. The voters in that city did choose an independent to lead the city over a Democratic incumbent who was previously a state representative and had the strong backing of Mike Madigan as well as Blagojevich. Maybe the paper finally gets what the voters are saying - the two-party system is broken.


  22. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:23 pm:

    Dog,
    I rarely disagree with you so absolutely as I do today on this post. One of the (maybe THE) most important things I learned in Springfield is that choices are literally never between good and evil, between absolutely black and pure white. They are between the outcomes that are available to us. We can be as creative as possible in developing the outcomes to choose from, but at that point they ARE the choices.

    Whitney is not going to be the next Governor of Illinois. Virtually everyone who posts or comments here knows that. So, the choices that are available to us for our next governor are Blagojevich and Topinka.

    I’ve come to believe that in the end, all choices are “compared to who or what”. The “who” choices are Rod and Judy; not Rod compared to Whitney, or Whitney compared to Judy, but Rod compared to Judy. Those who leave the choice to others abandon, in my opinion, their responsibility as citizens and their right to complain about whoever wins and governs for the next four years.


  23. - Peachy - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:27 pm:

    I’m not sure how well Zorn’s promise on these 3 criteria re Topinka would stand up to real scrutiny:

    “I’m here to tell you Judy Baar Topinka is not a phony, a nitwit or a crook.”

    But kudos to the Rockford paper with: “This endorsement is our battle cry: Illinois voters deserve better options.”

    Finally, a newspaper that gets it!


  24. - Casey Jones - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:30 pm:

    Hilarious: I’ve been trying to remember for certain, maybe you do - Didn’t the RR-Star actually endorse Larry Morrissey’s independent candidacy for Mayor last year? Maybe that got them over-impressed with their own influence…

    I do recall that former Mayor Scott didn’t have much of a career interruption after he got tossed by the voters; Blagojevich promptly gave him a sweet, well paying gig as the Director of the Illinois EPA. I wonder if Doug ever gave Amy a birthday present?


  25. - Someone has to take the first step... - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:33 pm:

    Too bad the RR Star endorsement didn’t come out sooner. The paper sent its political columnist throughout the state to get the pulse of the electorate. And based on that this made sense to them.

    The folks said neither major party candidate was acceptable.

    The independent mayor there is turning things upside down from the police, truancy, beautification, trash (even near his own backyard), the housing authority and a long list.

    What is new in Rockford is change is getting support, a former military officer to run the troubled schools and an independent mayor.

    The Rockford area electorate most likely will support turning over the incumbents (Waite, Syverson etc.)in the area also.

    Remember Rockford is famous for more than just the Rockford Peaches baseball team. It also brought you John Anderson, Lynne Martin, Zeke Giorgi, and now maybe Whitney……..


  26. - B Hicks - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:50 pm:

    She is “honest enough”?

    She is adequately truthful, hmmmm.


  27. - Phil Huckelberry - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:55 pm:

    As a native Rockfordian, I feel a rare sense of pride in the Forest City tonight. It’s almost the same feeling as the one that overcomes me when I hear “I Want You To Want Me”.

    The Register Star actually made a decision based on an honest, even evaluation of the three candidates. The Sun-Times didn’t do that when they spinelessly gave Blago the nod, and the Tribune didn’t do that when they torched the good name of journalism with this bizarre endorsement of Judy.

    “Someone” has it right. Chuck Sweeney has gone all over Illinois. If you’ve followed his reports, and if you’ve followed other things that the Register Star has reported on, you’d know that they were practically begging Blagojevich or Topinka to give them one good reason not to endorse Whitney. But on issue after issue, they couldn’t match Whitney’s positions - and the Register Star says as much.

    The real story here is that one major newspaper in the state has now had the courage to jettison the conventional wisdom and to recognize this race for what it is. All of the others who have downplayed Whitney’s chances were making self-fulfilling statements. Look at the polls and wake up, people: the State School News Service had it right weeks ago when they said Topinka can’t win this race, and the only way Blago goes down is if Rich Whitney knocks him off. If the rest of the media elite had one-tenth the spine the Register Star showed today and had been giving Whitney fair coverage all along, he’d be in the 30s right now, and the establishment would be going berserk.

    There’s still time to go berserk, of course…


  28. - Ready for a change - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:05 pm:

    Whitney can easily be elected governor if everyone got off their “I don’t want to waste my vote” soapbox and voted for the BEST candidate. The hardest part of change is the procrastination.
    Also because he has a grassroots campaign, Whitney has plans to make things happen in our government and will either get the democrats and republicans to work with him or watch them get voted out next time.


  29. - Citizen A - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:11 pm:

    I agree, you’d have to be berserk to waste your protest vote on Whitney. If you really want to meaningfully protest Corruption vote for Topinka - she can actually get elected !!


  30. - disappointed supporter - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:38 pm:

    All the years that JBT has been State Treasurer, how many Federal investigations has she had? All the years that Blagojevich has been Governor, how many Federal investigations has he had?


  31. - Don Quixote - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:47 pm:

    Tilting at windmills, am I? Yes, I support Rich Whitney and the Green Party! In fact, I suported abolition of slavery, woman’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, ecological wisdom, and I’ve opposed most wars. Eventually, those caught in the trap of consensus trace woke up and saw that I was right. We are on the verge of a powerful progressive movement, like this country has not seen in decades. It’s time for people to stand up for their values, organize, and vote their consciences. I defy anyone to examine Rich Whitney’s platform and argue that his positions are not the best ones for the majority of Illinois citizens. Got to go now. I hear a windmill creaking!


  32. - Citizen A - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:54 pm:

    - disappointed supporter - Not to mention subpoenas that go un disclosed - what are they for, how many, etc. Unanswered Freedom of Info Act requests re: Personnel hiring activities, Indictments and guilty pleas of people who are your closest advisors and inner circle AKA Kitchen Cabinet. Credibility = None !!


  33. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:01 pm:

    Reasons to vote for Whitney:
    1. If he gets more than 5%, the Greens don’t have to get 25,000 signatures in 2010 for Governor.
    Reasons not to vote for JBT:
    1. Kjellander.
    2. Gary Fears and his hotel.
    3. Bill Cellini and his hotel.
    4. Bill Cellini and everything else but his hotel.
    Reasons not to vote for RB:
    1. Read the archives here.


  34. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:05 pm:

    Ahh yes, the Steve Schnorf type of logic also presented us with these incredible choices throughout our history; vote for a candidate that wants slavery everywhere versus a candidate that wants to limit slavery to the states where it is legal already; vote for a candidate that doesn’t want women voting versus a candidate that would allow them to vote but not run for office or own property; vote for a candidate that wants to keep interracial marriage and co-habitation illegal versus a candidate that would allow interracial co-habitation but not interracial marriage.

    That exact type of logic prolonged slavery, prolonged bigotry, prolonged sexism, and today prolongs political discrimination and power partu monopolies.

    Good for the Register Star and congratulations to Whitney for EARNING their nod. Our votes do not belong to Topinka or Blago, they belong to us to do with what is right for ourselves. The same goes for newspaper endorsements.

    Saying Whitney won’t win so voting for him or endorsing him is a waste and even considering him is useless, is about the same as someone saying slavery won’t be ended so you might as well shut up about it and vote for one of the two slavery supporting candidates.

    Topinka and Blagojevich both support the abuse of power and at the very least have no problem looking the other way and not doing anything about it. By all means, vote for one of them if you want politicians to continue abusing their power just like the people that voted for candidates who didn’t want as much slavery or as much racism or as much sexism. I think it’s pretty pathetic for voters to give up their responsibility as citizens to not elect more corruption enabling politicians.

    I don’t care what the polls say or how many voters have been fooled into defeating logic, I take my responsibility not to vote for continued corruption seriously and I suggest everyone else does the same. If you are holding your nose in the voting booth you are voting wrong by passing along the bad smell to eveyrone else and you are not taking your responsibility as a citizen seriously. The nose holders are the ones who can’t complain.


  35. - Citizen A - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:06 pm:

    Reasons to vote for Whitney: Not good enough to sell out the state to Blago for the next four years or however much the feds allow him. I AM voting Topinka - You work the next four years to make your guy a VIABLE candidate. Thanks


  36. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:27 pm:

    Roomie - do you know anyone who works for the state of Illinois? If you do, just ask them to tell you what is really going on in the offices. If not, try to find out. It’s not pretty. Employees are told to break the law on a regular basis.

    Someone back a few days ago said that they though Blago was a closet Republican because he reappointed so many of their crooks to state boards. After see the negativity of his campaign ads, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think Karl Rove was his campaign manager. God help us all on 11/7.


  37. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:40 pm:

    Jeff, please feel free to not vote at all, or vote Whitney. Just don’t complain about the state of the State for the next 4 years, since you will done your own little piece of electing whoever is Governor.

    That will be a shame in a way, since not complaining would appear to eliminate much of the pleasure in your life.


  38. - M.V. - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:43 pm:

    “I haven’t seen where a third party candidate winning an election, has made a difference once of office.”

    How could someone from the Land of Lincoln say such a thing!


  39. - Go Green Party - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:56 pm:

    As long as political operatives like Cellini and Levine can flourish under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Green Party is the best choice for those who are tired of the political combine that runs this state.


  40. - Truth - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:06 pm:

    RR Star editorial said “Illinois voters deserve better options.” Note to RR Star: Illinois voters picked these options.

    The RR Star, a paper that is endlessly complaining that their city doesn’t get the respect it deserves has just guaranteed another 4 years of being ignored by the next Governor of Illinois.

    Don’t whine about it Chuck!


  41. - Stone among Rocks - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:30 pm:

    “Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has danced as fast as he can on the campaign trail in a vain attempt to stay ahead of allegations of personal corruption and fiscal irresponsibility.”

    The irony of it all is except for the occasional Aaron Chambers anti-Blago piece you would never know anything bad was going on with this governor if all you did was read the Register Star. Here is a great recent example: Tony Rezko. Not one story. Nada. Look in the RRStar.com search engine if you must. How can you consider yourself a respectable rag if you can’t even run an AP story on the subject? Totally a free pass. And yet they spend half a dozen articles on the state senate races commercials. “Svyerson using Dems in ads” “Lewandowski using Harlem school property without premission.” Who cares!?!


  42. - Tessa - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:47 pm:

    Stone Among Rocks - You’re correct on that. No story on the Gov that makes it into the Rockford paper makes it onto page 1, let alone the first section. It’ll be buried in the Local & State section, most frequently on the last three pages, near the Obits. I’ve always found that interesting, very telling for that paper (my house is a daily subscriber).

    Still glad they didn’t go with Blago, because he’s pretty much ignored this part of the state. Northern IL, outside of Chicagoland area, except for the opening of Thomson prison recently, pretty much ignored. I’m surprised he’s managed to find it during the campaign.


  43. - ZC - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:51 pm:

    Newspapers obviously have the right to endorse anybody they choose. As do voters.

    And nothing against Whitney. But anybody living in the Bean-McSweeney district: a vote for a third party candidate there truly IS a vote for McSweeney. Just sayin’.


  44. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:56 pm:

    Only those that voted to prolong slavery had the right to complain when slavery wasn’t ended yet. Brilliant, that way slaves couldn’t complain. Only those (men) that voted to continue oppressing women had the right to complain when women weren’t given equal rights yet. Women are idiots and don’t know what they are talking about so they have no right to complain either.

    Steve Schnorf takes the slave-owner and wife-beater view on who has a right to complain. It’s a good thing the world had people like me who didn’t just shut up and take it. Martin Luther King Jr. had no right to complain. Susan B. Anthony had no right to complain. Ghandi has no right to complain. Jesus Christ had no right to complain. Somehow, I think we are all better off since they rejected Mr. Schnorf’s type of logic and complained about discrimination and injustice and oppression and corruption anyway.


  45. - Citizen A - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 10:00 pm:

    Newspapers, much like politicians, seem much more impressed with themselves than the populace is impressed with them. Come to think of it - not too much difference - they both seem to try to get us to set aside our commonsense and believe in their pompous and arrogant positions.


  46. - Diversity of Thought - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 11:17 pm:

    Steve Schnorf wrote:

    “Whitney is not going to be the next Governor of Illinois. Virtually everyone who posts or comments here knows that. So, the choices that are available to us for our next governor are Blagojevich and Topinka.”

    I want to extend your logic even further Steve.

    Topinka is not going to be the next Governor of Illinois. Virtually everyone who posts or comments here knows that. So, the choices that are available to us for our next governor are Blagojevich, Blagojevich, or Blagojevich.

    I do NOT understand the logic of hundreds of people I’ve encountered that casually say they’re going to refuse to vote in this election, and in the same breath condemn anyone who would consider voting for a third party candidate as a wasted vote.

    This isn’t a revolution folks, this is how democracy is supposed to work. Is it so hard to find an ounce of courage to walk into a voting booth and vote G?

    The Rockford Register Star took a bold and well reasoned stand. They make it clear that Whitney earned their endorsement. Hopefully it’ll give a few other people the courage to vote Whitney instead of getting sucked into blind ideology.


  47. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 11:34 pm:

    Brilliant again, Jeff; unlike you, slaves and women had no right to vote, and every right to complain. How did you do in your logic class?


  48. - IL Voter - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 11:34 pm:

    The RRStar endorsement of Whitney is an encouraging sign of change. Our state desperately needs a paradigm shift from the corrupt “lesser of two evils” system that has served us so poorly to voting for the best candidate.

    I’m voting for Whitney, because he has the most well thought out platform of the three candidates. Blagojevich’s and Topinka’s proposals for fixing our broken education system are complete farces. Gambling isn’t going to solve the school funding problem, nor will selling the lottery (nor will any of the name calling that Topinka and Blagojevich are so obsessed with). Whitney on the other hand actually has a very well developed plan for reforming our tax system in Illinois in order to make it more fair and in order to be able to adequately fund important programs like education and healthcare. Take a look at Whitney’s platform (whitneyforgov.org), because you’ll be surprised to find that he truly is the most serious candidate of the three. The RRStar did right by endorsing him.


  49. - Sporty 41 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 5:50 am:

    Just proves how horribly bad the paper is and how brutal Aaron Chambers and Chuck Sweeney really are.

    Here is a tip, cover the news without inserting your opinion into every story.


  50. - Fooled once, your fault, fooled many times, my fault - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 7:04 am:

    I thought seriously about voting for Topinka. I even thought about helping out. But–as a Christian conservative–she did nothing to show an interest in votes like mine. To vote Republican at a time like this would be proving that our votes can be taken for granted. That we can be ignored or even ridiculed without fear of our not showing up on election day and casting a reliably Republican vote.

    I’m not sure whether this was intentional or simply a function of a campaign that was legendarily inept from promising start to poor finish, but the Topinka campaign did not noticeably reach out to people like me. Her gambling proposal didn’t help either.

    On the issues that we care about: Topinka isn’t much better of a deal than Blagojevich or Whitney. She’s not corrupt, so it comes down to her or Whitney. But she is part of the Republican machine that got Fitzgerald not to run and then couldn’t find anyone in Illinois to run on the GOP ticket. It has taken her this long to distance herself from the Republicans in the Levine-Rezko-Official A scandal. No matter how personally upright she is (and I really think she probably is), she has not stuck her neck out to attack corruption within her own party, and if she’s elected there will be a whole political army standing in line for the same patronage jobs they vacated four years ago…just because she’s a Republican. Forget it. Ever wonder what state government would be like if we did things right?

    Meanwhile, Whitney opposes gambling and offers a reasonable solution to our budget crisis.

    If it were close, I might consider coming back to the Topinka camp as part of the “anyone but Blago” crowd. But she’s down by double digits.

    I may as well vote as much of my conscience as I can. Disillusioned Democrats may vote for Whitney; they won’t vote for Topinka. Disillusioned Republicans (like me) may vote for Whitney; they DEFINITELY won’t vote for Blagojevich. With negative candidate ratings running at all-time highs, I’m not sure that Whitney ISN’T a viable candidate.


  51. - Shallow Pharnyx - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 7:37 am:

    Has everyone forgotten Nader’s help in re-electing Bush???


  52. - Beowulf - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 7:42 am:

    Fooled Me Once @ 7:04 AM has said everything that I and many others are thinking. I could not have put it any better but he/she has “hit the nail on the head”.

    None of us question Judy’s candor, intelligence, or honesty. We didn’t question those qualities of former Illinois Attorney-General Jim Ryan either, when he ran for Governor of Illinois. What we do question (actually there is no question involved as we already know the answer) is their ability to lead the people of Illinois due to their lack of courage and their failure to speak out against improprieties by members within their own Republican Party.

    Judy has finally made a luke-warm or tepid statement regarding others such as George Ryan and Bob Kjellander (or shall we refer to him as “Individual K”?). Judy only recently decided to do so because she is in such dire straits with her low polling numbers. It was “Desperation Strategy #39″. Sorry Judy. It is “too little & too late”. The party is over and “It’s Judy’s Turn To Cry”.

    Take heed, Lisa Madigan. When you choose to remain silent as crimes committed by members of your own Party take place around you, the members of society take note of your lack of courage and leadership qualities. Learn from Judy’s mistakes.


  53. - Milorad - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 7:50 am:

    I for one will not vote for socialist Whitney. He’s a member of the ACLU and NAACP. Thats all that needs to be said.


  54. - Fooled once, your fault, fooled many times, my fault - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 7:51 am:

    Shallow Pharynx -

    Nader didn’t help to re-elect Bush. Kerry did.


  55. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:00 am:

    Shallow wrote, “Has everyone forgotten Nader’s help in re-electing Bush???”

    Democrats have known about the solution to the so-called “spoiler” problem for years, but they refuse to do anything about it. That solution is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). IRV saves taxpayer money, ensures majority winners, and reduces negative campaigning.

    Several IRV bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly over the past couple of years; however, despite support from across the political spectrum, the Democratic majority on the House Rules committee will not allow these bills to be debated, and as a result, they never get voted upon by the House.

    With a Democratic Governor, House, and Senate in Illinois, there is no reason that we couldn’t have already had IRV in Illinois for several years. Democrats are the only ones with the power to fix the problem, but they stubbornly refuse to do so.

    I don’t know about you; but I’m not going to be manipulated by their refusal to address this issue, as it’s just a tool that they’re using to limit their own competition in our political marketplace of ideas. The responsibility for any “spoiled” votes in Illinois lies squarely at the feet of Democrats, so take it up with them.


  56. - train111 - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 8:31 am:

    Kudos to the Rockford Register Star for actually standing up for change in ‘politics as usual’ in Illinois–unlike a whole lot of papers in the state that carp about it year after year and then like lemmings running for the cliff endorse that same thing they were complaining so loudly about come election time. While Whitney is not a perfect candidate, he has much less baggage than either of the other choices.

    train111


  57. - Justice - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 9:03 am:

    Good for the Rockford Register-Star. As someone put it, it’s all about choices and outcomes and Whitney is a good choice, with a good outcome. The outcome is the message sent, the momentum gained, and the building of a base for future choices and outcomes. It allows the Green Party to be on the ballot in 2008 and hopefully beyond. Call it a protest vote if you may, which it isn’t, because I believe it is the best choice. I for one am disgusted with the one party system under two names. My vote is for Whitney, win or lose. And I do not under any circumstances see it as throwing away my vote. I see it as making a sound decision to reshape our state’s politics toward the right direction. Good logic, great choice!!


  58. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 10:53 am:

    Jeff and others… Are you really comparing the Libertarian Party to the anti-slavery Republican Party? Is there an issue right now as big as slavery that a third party, and only a third party, is trumpeting?


  59. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 1:16 pm:

    Rich, I didn’t mention the Libertarian Party actually. They aren’t doing anything in Illinois worth mentioning.

    In this state, in this election and for the foreseeable future a huge issue is the voters lack of choice. Zippy the squirrel has more confidence than Topinka or Blago.

    Why does lack of choice matter? Corruption and politicians abusing their power. While not nearly as far down the scale as slavery or women’s right to vote or segregation or racism, people are getting sick of politicians abusing their power.

    Telling those people who oppose corruption and politicians abuse of power to shut up, not endorse “others”, and vote for one of two evils anyway is just beyond silly. Right now in Illinois, third parties and independents have every right to complain about these issues, endorse candidates who aren’t Topinka or Blago, and certainly vote for candidates that look the other way.

    The severity of the issue really isn’t entirely relevant. The arguments being used to try to shut out “other” political voices are what is more relevant and are the same arguments that were used against the then third party Republicans.

    If you ever wonder why ballot access requirements are so severe for “others” look at when they started cropping up. After the Prohibition Party started “costing” Rs and Ds votes to the point where they both supported prohibition. After the Progressive and many other parties started “costing” Rs and Ds votes on the issue of women’s right to vote and other women’s rights. Then we get to the point of civil rights in the 50s and 60s but the Rs and Ds had already locked down the ballot choices for themselves making it harder for those reforms to take place.

    So in the 50s were blacks that could vote just suppose to hold their nose and vote for one of two candidates that still supported segregation and racism? According to Steve Schnorf, yes. I say that line of logic is dispicable. If that logic doesn’t work with segregation or whatever else, is shouldn’t work with abuse of power and corruption either.

    The issues of choices on the ballot, corruption, and politicians abuse of power shouldn’t be swept under the rug using the same logic they used to try to sweep slavery and segregation and sexism and racism and everything else under the rug. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.

    When faced with two candidates that still supported segregation should a black man or woman have voted for the least evil of the two, and if they didn’t vote should they still have a right to complain? Schnorf says yes they should have voted for a segregation supporter and if they didn’t they had no right to complain.

    For this Governor’s election, the issue is different but still important. Abuse of power, corruption and political choice. The vast majority of voters agree with me that neither Blago or Topinka can be trusted on those issues and I say they have every right to complain even if they don’t vote for one of two. ESPECIALLY if they don’t vote to prolong any reforms. And voting for one of those two is to ignore those issues and prolong what has been happening in Illinois way too long and way too much.


  60. - Truth - Wednesday, Nov 1, 06 @ 5:28 pm:

    Regarding Trigg at 9:56 yesterday:
    Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony, Ghandi, Jesus Christ and, and, Jeff Trigg? Mighty high opinion of yourself there, Jeff. You forgot Nelson Mandela. Wow.


  61. - Jeff Trigg - Saturday, Nov 4, 06 @ 1:48 am:

    Nice try “Truth” but your accuracy is lacking. I never put myself on that level, you tried to do it for me in a less-than “truthful” effort at discreditation. Don’t forget that those impactful leaders had oodles of “followers” who agreed with them whole-heartedly on the issues/causes they are associated with. And to this day they all still have individuals like me that agree with them. Those “little” people that “simply” agreed to with them and did something to buch conventional wisdom of the day are the ones who made those efforts successful.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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