LIVE session coverage...
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Topinka earned it

Monday, Jan 27, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

I don’t think I’ve seen a Republican - or just about any candidate of any stripe - work as hard for an AFL-CIO endorsement than Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka did.

She assiduously courted the unions who represent workers in her office, worked to help the Teamsters pass a bill important to the union that jabbed at a non-union cemetery owner (the comptroller’s office regulates some cemeteries), built strong relationships with some labor union leaders and attended tons of their events and even endorsed the union-backed pension reform bill.

In other words, she went above and beyond her Democratic rival Sheila Simon on pretty much all counts. The Simon family has long enjoyed union support. Except for his successful US Senate primary bid in 1984, union leaders and members almost always backed her father Paul.

And the daughter would’ve likely had organized labor’s backing this year if she’d run for the open state treasurer slot instead of for comptroller against Topinka. So it was little surprise when Topinka received the Illinois AFL-CIO endorsement this month

It’s no secret that Illinois voters have tended to lean Democratic for quite a number of years, so successful Republican candidates have to prove they are not completely hostile to the prevailing state winds.

Voters know Topinka well, and many probably still kick themselves for voting for Rod Blagojevich instead of her. Blagojevich defeated Topinka by 10 points in 2006. You’d be hard pressed to find many people who were proud of that pro-Rod vote today.

And even though Topinka is well-known to voters, Simon’s family name still carries quite a bit of cachet, so Topinka has not rested on her laurels. Instead, she’s worked hard to outflank Simon on her left, and not just with the unions.

Topinka has long been aggressively outspoken on gay rights issues, and she upped her credibility on the issue with the gay marriage proposal, working the bill hard and then receiving a huge roar of applause when, during the gay marriage signing ceremony, she offered to serve as a “flower girl” for any couple who is married under the new law.

The state Federation of Labor will make fall election endorsements this summer, so I suppose it’s possible that they could go in a different direction. But Simon probably didn’t help her case any when she blasted the Topinka endorsement by “insiders” acting “behind closed doors.” The AFL-CIO always meets privately to discuss these endorsements, and it’s doubtful Simon would’ve been so concerned about the process if she’d received the nod.

Simon sent out a press yesterday shortly before the labor endorsement was announced praising herself for raising a mere $132,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Topinka raised even less, but her campaign claims she back-loaded her fundraising for this quarter. We’ll see. Either way, Topinka has $914,000 tucked away in her campaign bank account compared to $379,000 for Simon, and Simon now won’t be getting much if any major union contributions in the near future.

Topinka also endeared herself to many state legislators who don’t have second jobs when she immediately cut legislative paychecks after a Cook County judge ruled last year that Quinn’s veto of member salaries was unconstitutional. Quite a few of those legislators are African-Americans and Latinos, so Simon didn’t help herself with them when she criticized Topinka for her fast action and said she would’ve waited to see if the judge stayed his order.

And even Gov. Pat Quinn, who often nurses grudges, has seemed to brush off Topinka’s paycheck move. Quinn told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed this month that he “can’t praise State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka enough” for her work on animal welfare issues. Quinn is still reportedly not happy with his lieutenant governor for the way she abruptly jumped off the ticket a year ago when Lisa Madigan loomed large as a potential challenger, and for when Simon refused to endorse him last summer when it looked like he faced a difficult primary against Bill Daley.

Despite everything, Illinois is Illinois, so this campaign isn’t a slam dunk for the incumbent comptroller by any means. And that’s a big reason why Topinka worked so hard to win the state Fed’s endorsement this month. Very smart politics.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - x ace - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Excellent Column


  2. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    === Quinn is still reportedly not happy with his lieutenant governor for the way she abruptly jumped off the ticket a year ago ===

    As well he should. Quinn raised Simon up and then she abandoned him when he looked to be at his most vulnerable. Then she kicked him when he was down by declining to support him in any way.

    It’s like the old Kodak commercial: “I see your true colors shining through.”

    We see your true colors, Sheila. And they’re not pretty.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    I really have little to add to an outstanding explanation of the raw politics at play, and why the argument…isn’t much of an argument; Comptroller Topinka is arguably the most popular republican in Illinois politics, and Comptroller Topinka is a top governmental force, with a Crew that aids her in both facets very ably.

    I say it often, for me, ” You dance with the one who bring ya”. While that is a very strong reason to not support Sheila Simon, but I feel Rich’s article gives the real reason, beyond the Dopey politics of Sheila, to rally behind and support Judy Basr Topinka.

    Good on the article, but outstanding work by Topinka and get Crew.

    If someone actually sees… the current LG, ask her if she like apples…


  4. - anon - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Great work, JBT. I really enjoyed watching her get beat in the governor’s race in 06, but I feel that she’s been vindicated. Im happy for her, and happy that Sheila Simon is getting embarrassed. Simon — what a joke.


  5. - Joan P. - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    JBT is one of those office holders whose job performance trumps politics. I generally vote Democratic, but I’ve also always been a fan of hers. The only reason I voted for Rich Whitney instead was because she chose Joe Birkett as her running mate. I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the lever (oops, sorry, punch the ballot -yes, I’m old) for him.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    I wish JBT ran for governor this year.


  7. - Conservative Republican - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ==Simon’s family name still carries quite a bit of cachet==

    I don’t disagree with this. But, you know, I really think it’s getting to the point where Paul Simon has been largely forgotten by the voters. Certainly by voters who are either Republican or independent. I think being the child of Paul Simon means very little politically. Moreover, whatever political touch Paul Simon had, Sheila seems to have inherited very little of it.


  8. - Buster - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Good column!
    I wonder if people will ever stop underestimating Judy. We’re lucky to have her in Illinois. There’s unfortunately not very office holders that can be said about.


  9. - k3 - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    I have no love for Simon. You can’t point to anything she has actually accomplished in public life, so I’ll be splitting my ticket to vote for Judy.


  10. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Great column, Rich.

    Well said, Willy, and to add just one point, JBT is a Republican leader that all in our Party, young and old, can point to with pride. Don’t have too many of those, sadly.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    - AA -, of course, good add, too true.


  12. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Taxpayers get their money’s worth from JBT.


  13. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    JBT was one of the only Republicans (if not the only one) on the stage when Quinn signed marriage equality into law. For this I commend her.


  14. - State Worker - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I’m a Dem….but always proud of Judy’s ability to do the right thing. She’s always had my vote.


  15. - Marie - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Way to go Judy


  16. - Ghost - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Simon who?

    This article misses all the key jbt facts…. Which are she raffles off Harley’s and owns dogs… What’s not to like?


  17. - walker - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    And she earned it by being a non-political, transparent, informative, honest state office holder.

    To agree with OW’s comment about some Dems on this site:

    “We love us some Judy.”


  18. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:06 pm:

    I also wonder if the Governor wasn’t taking a little swipe at Sheila last week when he appointed former Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole (R) to the state Human Rights Commission ($47,000). Cole beat Sheila when she ran for Mayor,


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* War of words escalates between Rauner, Emanuel
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - "End of May" party update
* "Working together will never happen"
* Illinois' connection to Memorial Day
* *** LIVE *** Session Coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* AT&T GoPhone ZTE Zmax 2 with 2GB RAM is on sale at Best Buy for only $60
* ASUS announces a family of ZenFone 3 devices at Computex 2016
* Sony’s Xperia X, Xperia XA launch in India, but consumers probably aren’t interested
* Super-sketchy new Surface Phone render crops up, along with word on specs
* HTC’s smartwatch has been delayed until fall, rumor says
* Asus VR headset makes inconspicuous Computex debut with leather straps
* $175 Microsoft Band 2 deal might as well become permanent

* Podcast: K.C. Meltdown
* White Sox Minor League Update: May 29-June 4
* Stephens, Coats among top prospect performers Sunday
* Quintana draws Harvey in Citi Field series opener
* Sale's effort goes for naught as Sox fall in KC
* Tough series for White Sox bullpen in KC
* Sale's effort goes for naught as Sox fall in KC

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* IDOT wants express toll lane on I-55..
* Illinois Governor Vetoes Plan to Reduce Chicago.....
* It's crunch time for Illinois lawmakers - Bloom.....
* Medical marijuana advocates cheer Rauner's abou.....
* Illinois Policy | Illinois' comeback story star.....
* Election-year politics dim hopes of Illinois bu.....
* Where Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program Stands..
* Illinois abortion 'referral' bill heads to Gov .....
* Rauner Would Veto House Budget Plan ... All Of .....


* Garland gives commencement address at old high school
* Chicago, private company to turn wastewater into fertilizer
* Police promise more West Side patrols as shootings erupt
* Medical pot advocates cheer Illinois governor's about-face
* Ex-fire chief gets jail time for stealing from department
* 15-year-old girl shot dead on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive
* State warns of toxic algae forming on Illinois lakes, rivers
* Illinois budget chief: 2nd year without deal 'devastating'
* 7-year-old Chicago girl dies in tractor accident
* Illinois budget negotiations appear to be going nowhere

* Daily fantasy sports betting bill shelved amid lobbying accusation
* Rep. Butler: Should have been in session Saturday, too
* Madigan polling House members to determine support for Rauner's 'turnaround agenda'
* Butler: Should have been in session Saturday, too
* Automatic voter registration measure delayed for changes
* Election-year politics dim hopes of Illinois budget deal
* Madigan polling House members to determine support for Rauner's turnaround agenda
* Illinois legislature meets in rare Sunday session
* Medical marijuana advocates cheer Illinois governor's expansion of pilot program
* GOP accuses Dems of pulling plug on negotiations; state budget approval chances seem slim

* Women's work? Nonprofit CFO
* West Loop transformation
* Helping Exelon's at-risk nukes helps everybody
* Here's your chance to buy that empty prison
* Can millennials revive Walter E. Smithe?


* Man wounded in South Side shooting
* ‘Me Before You’ a moving endeavor for Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin
* 5 hurt in Portage Park crash
* Police search for 21-year-old woman missing from Jefferson Park
* Two men shot in Humboldt Park
* Man shot during attempted robbery in Park Manor
* Man wounded in Austin drive-by shooting
* Man shot in Englewood
* Andy Shaw: Navy Pier should quit hiding how it spends tax money
* Man shot in Oakland


* Memorial Day weekend shootings leave 4 dead, at least 49 wounded
* Where shootings have occurred Memorial Day weekend in Chicago
* Expect the Warriors-Thunder clash to go down among the great Game 7s in history
* Chicago police contracts: An untenable bargain
* Pau Gasol considering skipping Olympics because of Zika virus
* Charges filed against woman who fired warning shots after fiance fatally shot
* Series preview: Dodgers at Cubs
* As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 5/30/16
* Man sets himself on fire at festival; 2 officers injured


* Daily fantasy sports betting bill shelved amid lobbying accusation
* Rep. Butler: Should have been in session Saturday, too
* Madigan polling House members to determine support for Rauner's 'turnaround agenda'
* Butler: Should have been in session Saturday, too
* Automatic voter registration measure delayed for changes
* Election-year politics dim hopes of Illinois budget deal
* Illinois legislature meets in rare Sunday session
* Our View: CWLP should focus on stability, not minor rebate
* Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner stresses state's problems, but there is some good news
* Statehouse Insider: Do you believe in miracles? In a word, no


* Podcast: Ann Rhoton 05/30/16
* Those Who Served: UI student who spent 2 tours in Afghanistan would 'do it all over again'
* State trooper performs taps out of sense of service, honor
* Top of the morning, May 30, 2016
* Chuck's Classics: "Arsenic and Old Lace" (1944)
* IDOT planning upgrade for I-57/I-74 interchange
* Unborn children feel abortion pain
* Clinton's career of poor performance
* The ax is mightier than the hammer
* Congress should OK life-saving bill


* Images: The week in pictures
* IDOT wants express toll lane on I-55
* Lester: New Sox announcer gives hope to others with cerebral palsy
* Memorial Day duty: Remember sacrifices, dedication
* Former Naperville Mayor George Pradel battling cancer

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Senator Durbin Statement on TSA Security D......

* Defence sales: US Senate may vote to bring......

* What is a supermajority for?
* Friday’s school funding and special education legislative update. Five days to go.
* Halabi looks at the UFT numbers. “Didn’t show up” won.
* Live From The Drive
* Biking The Drive This Morning
* The Claypool rule.
* “The high school win is a crack in the glass ceiling that keeps Unity caucus in power.”
* “As educators, rather than raising your voices Over the rustling of our chains, Take them off. Un-cuff us. Unencumbered by the lumbering weight Of poverty and privilege, Policy and ignorance.”
* Sunday Times.
* Job / Recruitment Fair On Friday, June 3rd


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS -- CapitolFax.com Privacy Policy -- SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax -- Advertise Here -- Mobile Version -- Contact Rich Miller