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Guv wants 10 debates

Thursday, Mar 23, 2006

From a press release:

Chicago — Governor Rod Blagojevich challenged opponent Judy Baar Topinka today to a series of ten public debates to compare their records and discuss the important issues facing the people of Illinois. Governor Blagojevich wrote to Topinka today to extend the invitation.

“The voters of Illinois would benefit from a series of debates where they can hear our positions on important issues. The people of Illinois should see for themselves where we stand, what we’ve done and where we want to lead our state,” Blagojevich wrote.

Governor Blagojevich emphasized that he wants to begin the exchange of views early in the general election campaign.

“Today I propose to you that we have 10 public debates, beginning in April, with approximately one per month to start and with greater frequency as the election draws near. I see no reason to crowd these important debates into September or October. The voters will benefit from an exchange of views and the sooner the better,” Blagojevich wrote.

Governor Blagojevich’s campaign will contact Topinka’s campaign to discuss the details of the series of debates. The Governor hopes that Topinka will agree to the ambitious debate schedule and that they begin in April.

“From providing access to preschool for every child in Illinois to raising the minimum wage, Judy Baar Topinka and I disagree on issues that matter to working families. I believe people in every part of Illinois should hear us debate the key issues and the conversation should begin soon,” Governor Blagojevich said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:52 am:

    How many debates is G-Rod willing to have with the Green candidate? With Meeks?

  2. - anonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:53 am:

    So NOW he wants to debate?

    There, in a nutshell, is why this Democratic precinct captain voted for Eisendrath.

  3. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:05 pm:

    Another good move on Blago’s part. JBT needs to come back fast so as not to appear to be dithering.

    And, as the challenger, she will need very good coaching pre-debate from people who aren’t afraid to be critical. Blago is a dope, but he is the incumbent and has a huge advantage. And she didn’t do very well in the Republican debates. Waving your arms and saying it’s too expensive or too silly isn’t going to do it.

    Debates would be good for public because personality and charm scales aside, it IS kind of hard to tell the difference between them right now. Except that JBT is probably going to raise income taxes….not sure about Blago. So we really need to hear more about that.

  4. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:13 pm:

    She needs a list of every program he has and how much was borrowed to pay for it.

  5. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:28 pm:

    Wow ! 10 debates - big, bold move for an incumbent with $15,000,000 and an opponent with $0. Conventional thinking says the Governor should minimize - not maximize - free media opportunities for Topinka, and let his money do his talking for him on his terms. Good call, Governor - and a good call for Illinoisans who believe in more public debate of the issues. Hopefully, Topinka accepts the Governor’s invitation.

  6. - ChicagoCynic - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:32 pm:

    Very shrewd move on his part. Having this many debates this early will result in much of the negative stuff getting aired earlier in the campaign and some fatigue on the media’s part by the time the voters start to pay attention. Very smart move.

  7. - scoot - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:38 pm:

    Somebody’s a lil scared. Rod attacks Judy hours after the primary ended, and now he calls for these silly debates. Usually the challenger and not the incumbent calls for more debates. 9 months left for Rod.

  8. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:50 pm:

    Up until yesterday, he was couldn’t seem to find time for campaigning since his schedule was jammed packed with “governing.” Now that he wants to debate non-stop for 9 months, when will he find time to govern?

    Bring it on Rod……you’d better eat your Wheaties

  9. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:54 pm:

    10 more debates than he wanted last week. That should be the first question the media asks him — why the interest in debates now when you had no interest in them before? All the reasons he’s giving applied for them now applied just as well before.

  10. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 12:58 pm:

    Its only been one day, but it already appears the Governor is dictating the terms of the general election.

  11. - Wumpus - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:24 pm:

    Like her or not, Judy will cream him in a debate.

  12. - Sound Reasoning - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:34 pm:

    Now Blago finally wants to debate when it wasn’t that long ago that he refused to discuss any issues with his primary opponent in an open debate forum. I guess the Governor doesn’t take our primary election system that seriously.

    This is an obvious PR stunt on his part knowing that it isn’t likely Topinka will accept that many debates on his time schedule so he can then accuse her of ducking the issues. Besides there is no rational need for that many debates, given the fact that a single televised debate can be broadcast into thousands of homes, why is there a need for 10 separate debates?

    Three or four debate forums could be spread out across the state and that would be sufficient to discuss all possible topics facing the State of Illinois. Each of these debates could focus on a single issue that is facing Illinois today. These debates should also be scheduled closer to the actual election so the candidates answer can be fresh in the minds of the electorate when they go to cast their votes.

    This just looks like the first stunt orchestrated by the well oiled PR machine of our current Governor with many more to follow.

  13. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:39 pm:

    Another homer GRod! Now AccordianGal will demonstrate how little she knows and tries defend Brickhead The Executioner. What a nightmare.
    P.S Esquared was lucky he did not debate. GRod would have bounced him around like bball

  14. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:41 pm:

    If it were Gidwitz, he would have called for a debate daily… It’s gonna be interesting. It seems to be quite a strategy, but it could backfire… with the way this governor acts and the things he does, it is very likely to backfire….

  15. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:49 pm:

    Another blunder by Blunder Boy.Guess who one of JBT’s coaches will be.Jim Edgar.

  16. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:50 pm:

    Oh wait!!! I had a great idea!!! A debate in every county!!! There, then Rod would find his way downstate.

  17. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 1:51 pm:

    What’s gonna happen if Judy says yes???

  18. - Down in Egypt - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 2:01 pm:

    FROM: Judy Barr Topinka
    TO: Governor Elvis
    RE: Debates in the Land of Lincoln and Douglas

    I see your 10 debates and raise you five. Oh what the hell - 10! One debate every five counties.

    Oh, and no silly dark blue backdrops in television studios. Live debates at public venues. Outside on platforms where the voters can gather round. In the heat. In the rain. In the wind.

    No sissy reporters. No moderated questions. Just you and me. Back and forth. Three hours until someone either loses their breath, their speech or their sanity.

    You may think you’ve got the testicular veracity to take me on, but I’ve got a pair of brass ones that will knock you for a loop.

    So let the debates begin.

  19. - Buddy - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 2:17 pm:

    Dems who don’t debate their own don’t deserve Dem votes. Count me among the 250,000 Eisendrath supporters who will be voting for JBT.

  20. - Bubs - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    I agree that he is looking worried, regardless of the reality.

    His little blitz may backfire, as he may find Judy just a bit more nimble than he had counted on. Others have in the past.

    Go, Red Fox, Go!

  21. - Veritas - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:12 pm:

    JBT is floundering out of the gate. Yesterday on WLS she was whining that her opponents in the primary were “mean” and that it was hard on her son in the military to see his mother attacked the way she had been. Blago’s campaign see weakness and they’re looking to knock Judy off blance early.

  22. - ISU REP - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:16 pm:

    Rod’s just going to end up having a seizure on stage and just start repeating George Ryan and Polka over and over again until his head explodes…Then the people of Illinois will rejoice!

  23. - Randall Sherman - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:34 pm:

    There are still seven and a half months to go before the General Election. How many more silly stunts will Governor “One-term-ovich” come up with before the race is done to try to distract voters from his pitiful job performance?

  24. - Walking Wounded - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:37 pm:

    “Now Accordian Gal will demonstrate how little she knows”? GRod’s knowledge on how his administration, let alone how the state is being run, has been pretty pathetic. It won’t take long and more skeletons will be tumbling out of ARod’s patronage filled closet.

  25. - leigh - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:44 pm:

    Lets start with a debate on the hate crimes commission and then move on to a spirited discussion on pension raiding. Then just to add a little more fire perhaps we could discuss how many federal investigations the current administration is under.

  26. - Wumpus - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:45 pm:

    Hold the phone! When did blago become as articulate as Bill Clinton? Did I miss the announccment?

  27. - Kara - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:48 pm:

    Don’t these people have jobs? 10 debates is a crazy amount. Okay, maybe the state would run better without Blago, but I think JBT should still put in regular hours at her day job.

  28. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:49 pm:

    No, no, his job performance has not been pitiful at all. He has not raised income taxes. He has put through huge social welfare programs including almost-free health insurance for the middle class, almost free housing for illegals among others, substantial additional money for schools despite the lack of an income tax increase, and now the possibility of an increase in the minimum wage and free preschool for all including, if they want it, children of millionaires. I don’t agree with most of this because I don’t believe the middle class should viewed encouraged to live off the government like welfare recipients, with attendant loss of control over their lives, but these are very considerable achievements and they should be taken very seriously by his opponents, who should in no way be minimizing the difficulty they will have defeating him.

  29. - Walking Wounded - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:56 pm:

    Whatever you’re drinking, Cassandra, pass the bottle over. Exactly where did the funding for Blago’s glorious programs come from? I don’t believe “Smoke and mirrors” on underfunded programs is a considerable achievement; just more puffery.

  30. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 3:57 pm:

    Cassandra he has borrowed 21 BBBillion dollars since he has been in office to pay for this and the last time I checked you and I will be getting the bill.When she goes after him to prove where all this free stuff is going to be paid for he is going to say “DUH”.

  31. - ron - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:02 pm:

    smart political move by blago or his handlers. judy is not a good debater. we have all seen her performance, or lack thereof. win-win for blago. if she doesn’t debate him he wins, because he wanted to discuss the issues. if she does debate him, well, see above.

  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:02 pm:

    Topinka is so way over her head, and over 60% of Republicans were smart enough to recognize it.

    Birkett’s getting his old campaign debt paid off courtesy of Topinka. But most Republicans with a shred of decency who won’t sell their souls for 30 pieces of silver, are staying as far away from the Judy train wreck as possible

  33. - Hair and Hot Air - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:10 pm:

    As somebody who has known him for a long time, I am telling you that he will come to regret this. He is very good if he is allowed to dictate the topics and deliver canned responses. But he is godawful if he has to think on his feet. Not only will he say something majorly stupid, the deer in the headlights look that he will repeatedly get when asked a question that he is not ready for will be a priceless shot for a mailpiece.

  34. - anon - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:13 pm:

    anyone see that Judy is a terrible debater? don’t get me wrong I think she can speak well - particularly her victory speech but she everytime she debates I wonder how she got where she is. Blago is just trying to capitalize.

  35. - ISU REP - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:17 pm:

    I love these anons…they know nothing about politics or the candidate and just make assumptions…Have some testicular fortitude and create a name…:) Prediction: JBT will run circles around Rod, it’s different debating head on as opposed to 4 people…

  36. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:20 pm:

    First bit of information she needs is how many places have closed and how many people did it put out of work.

  37. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:22 pm:

    Anon 4:02 - yeah, Topinka was the one in over her head. Maybe if Oberweis had won, we could have avoided the general election campaign all together with a quick game of rock-paper-scissors.

    Judy is a seasoned campaigner who got more votes for a downticket office that most people don’t care about than Rod got for governor last time around. I’m not saying she’s a shoe-in, by a long shot. But you underestimate her at your own peril.

  38. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:32 pm:

    He’s crazy!
    Who in the world would have any interest in 10 debates? Is this how this guy thinks? If this is what passes for campaign strategies over in the Blagojevich camp, please just quit now.

    Its bad enough that he insulted his party by his lack of interest in the Democratic primary, now he thinks he should start insulting the General Election process with idiotic offers like this?

    Can someone please get an adult over to that campaign staff right away?

    Finally, lets stop with the silly pro-Blagojevich comments - the jigs up and Toto has pulled back the curtain on the “wizard”. Don’t even try to tell us how great this guys been - no one believes it - even the voters.

  39. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:34 pm:

    Blago is not a good debater. Remember his “debates” against Jim Ryan? He would sit there and smile the whole time. Jim Ryan would sit there and rip Rod’s media attacks or an idea Rod had and Blago would sit still, smiling at the audience and looking overcoached. He said nothing that held water and looked like he was more concerned about his appearance than his message.

  40. - zatoichi - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 4:39 pm:

    Debate? On what topic? $22 Billion of debt beats all topics. Say all the nice feel good stuff about helping people with insurance, day care, pre-school, not raising taxes, and special projects. Somewhere, somehow it has to be paid for. Simply pound on finances. What vital programs will get cut when the credit card has to be paid?

  41. - B Hicks - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 5:07 pm:

    Amazing! Not one of you political experts called it right for the primary, she barely got past Jim Oberweis. Now you have the general all figured out. Judy wanted to get over 40%, with a 10-12% gap between her and Jim. Give a little credit where credit is due. She failed, miserably.

    Your arrogance will be her undoing.

    When is the uniting process going to begin?

  42. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 5:12 pm:

    When I say achievement, I am not saying that I value those achievements. But he has actually
    implemented significant, high-profile programs which affect (in other words, give stuff to) a lot of citizens. And he has done so without raising income taxes. I simply don’t think that the average voter is primarily worried about future state debt when he/she enters the poll booth, especially if their own personal finances have not been affected (no tax increase) or have actually improved (cheaper housing, cheaper health care, free preschool, higher minimum wage). To simply dismiss Blago’s achievements (ok, activities) is to seriously underestimate him.

  43. - Winnerscircle - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 5:35 pm:

    The republicans are `like so in trouble’! JBT, will wilt in tears and then call Blago a `moron’. Actually, the state of Illinois is `like so in trouble!’

  44. - Jackie - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 5:55 pm:

    Cassandra — where do you get that Blagojevich has gotten “substantial additional money for schools”. What schools? Our local (downstate) schools have all suffered major funding cuts from the state. They have to get the money from somewhere and therefore raised our property taxes twice since he’s been governor. So in the real world, Blago is already responsible for increased taxes.

    Unfortunately, his “smoke and mirrors” governing approach seems to have worked on some people.

  45. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 6:07 pm:

    Funny how all you experts that were telling us how EE was going to toss Rod under the bus, and droves of anti Rod Dems. were going to send him a message, don’t remember what you said. You were wrong then, you are wrong now.

    JBT has never been pushed hard. When it starts coming at her from all directions, she will implode.

    Keep dreaming that the average Joe cares about state workers and their pensions. They do care about their own pocketbooks. Rod did not raise income or sale taxes. Yes he did raise fees. Fees which had not been adjusted in years. He never said he would not raise fees. So keep trying, keep wishing, keep thinking anyone outside of insiders and state workers care about them and their issues. JBT can suck up to AFSCME all she wants. She will tell them we need more of them. Will she tell the taxpayers I’ll raise your taxes tire hire more stateworkers?

    Maybe the GOP will run ads that state, “please vote for us, our guys are really ticked they have not been able to pig out on state contracts four last four years. We are the party of smaller govertment but please don’t ask the Sangamon County GOP what they think about smaller government because they love big government. And please vote us so we can return to the days of the Illinois Chamber and NFIB calling the shots and determining who in Illinois is worthy of healthcare and what type, because we all know that we can’t afford healthcare for children and we would never want a buisness to be forced to do anything they tell us could cost jobs even when they say that about anything they don’t like. So please, take us back to the days of George, Pate and Lee because we really miss them”.

  46. - Napoleon Dynamite - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 6:41 pm:

    Am I missing something? Isn’t this a direct result of the WGN fiasco yesterday? He had her on the ropes within three questions. Sorry GOPers, your best shot at Rod was Bill Brady.

  47. - These are our choices? - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 7:10 pm:

    Rod, the incumbent, is challenging Judy on the first day of the campaign to ten debates?!?!

    Sorry Rod, that move screams “desperate stunt” rather than than “testicular virility.”

    But it’s only a dumb move for Rod’s team if Judy’s team is smart enough to make him pay by immediately accepting Rod’s challenge but with some stipulations that throw the grenade back to Rod.

    One option is to accept 10 debates with him as long as she gets to pick the 10 debate locations…

    1. Springfield - the governor’s mansion driveway Rod spent $1 million to heat despite him not living there
    2. Quincy - the veterans home where former soldiers don’t get enough baths per AFSCME.
    3. Thomson - the site of the prison Blagojevich and Springfield Democrats have let stay empty despite overcrowding in other state jails and all the structural investments the community put into the place when the state promised jobs
    4. Champaign - Lincoln Theater, a 600-seat auditorium on the UIUC campus in a crumbling building that is a symbol of Blagojevich’s failure to fund higher education at an adequate level
    5,Marion - the stadium pork project giveaway to a Blagojevich insider that contradicts “If you build it, they will come.”
    6. McLean - Dixie Truckers Home to talk about Blagojevich’s policies’ affecting trucking industry and rest of business
    7. any tollway oasis - talk about tollway pay-to-play funny business with Rezko and Blago’s failures to pass any road construction projects
    8. any hospital - to talk about the havoc caused by delayed Medicaid payments, the flu vaccine bungling, etc.
    9. any bank - to talk about the record borrowing this administration has done and all their reckless spending, inability to fund pensions and horrible accounting that has them running afoul of the state auditor
    10. And just for fun… Dick Mell’s house.

  48. - Lincoln Logger - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 7:47 pm:

    These are our choices? - That’s a great list of debate locations. I can think of two more:
    * Outside a Chicago hair styling salon - to talk about the extreme makeover needed in the operation of State government.
    * Behind the gate on the putting-green smooth lawn of a wealthy California donor - to talk about public safety and the proper role for State troopers.

  49. - Former House Staffer - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:20 pm:

    Let’s see if I understand correctly: the self-professed “C” student in Constitutional Law, who blatently violates state laws, who turns a blind eye on state agency waste and ineffeciency, who has essentially bankrupted the state for the next 20 years with pension scams, the press-release Governor who resorts to 6th grade name calling, the same guy who is too busy governing, who holds up funerals of State Senators for hours, wants us to honestly think he’s serious now? When I read the SJ-R or Sun Times or Pantagraph on what he’s done with the state in 36 months, I’m embarassed for the State. Where are the jobs he’s talked about? Where is the “end business as usual” ethics package that would “rock” state government. He’s all hat and no cattle. The state needs more than three-election losing ice cream salesman. JBT will be a great governor as long as voters remember the objective — Rod needs to face the same music as the thousands of decent workers who are out of work now because of him. Enjoy the cameras at the debates, Rod. You wont’ see them after November.

  50. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:21 pm:

    I think that at this point Blago is going to throw anything out there. He is more worried about publicity and free media than substance. If he talks again about debating JBT 10 times, he can tag “AllKids”, universal preschool and a minimum wage hike to make people forget how silly the idea of 10 debates is. But why is he so worried about free media and pub? He has enough money, tainted or not, to make massive media buys, and you know the money will keep coming.

  51. - Former House Staffer - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:33 pm:

    I agree. Publicity is great if your running for office, but his charades smack of someone asking for the public’s trust to serve as the CEO of a $60 billion company. I run a business of $800,000 and if I pulled the budget gimmicks he does, I would be fired (and probably in jail). He’s made a mockery of the Office of the Governor. I wouldn’t be surprised if his staff didn’t steal the “J” “B” and “T” keys off the keyboards after the election.

  52. - Former House Staffer - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:39 pm:

    Need to correct something on the last comment — his charades smack of someone running for a city council seat rather than the CEO of a $60B company. Too many enchiladas tonight.. but you get the point.

  53. - Old Elephant - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:49 pm:

    Unfortunately, I have to admit I think this is potentially a smart move on Blagojevich’s part. I say “potentially” because it also carries a huge risk for him.

    No doubt they’ve studied the GOP debates and know that Judy doesn’t react well under fire. They are gambling that she’ll “open mouth and insert foot” and want to give her every opportunity to do so.

    But, it’s risky, because 10 debates means it will be impossible NOT to get down to talking substance after the first one or two. The press release programs and glib answers are designed for 30-second televison spots, not extended policy discussions.

    Topinka needs to accept quickly, and then start the negotiations on details. Pick the sites and locations carefully and be sure the ground rules are fair. In the meantime, she needs to do some homework for a change. No “off-the-cuff” remarks. This is an opportunity to look like a Governor. If she pulls that off, the advantage goes to her. If she comes off as “crazy aunt Judy,” she’s toast.

    I’m pretty perplexed as to why Blagojevich would do this. I know that he is addicted to risk and confrontation and has a large enough ego that he thinks he’ll smoke Topinka. But, it seems like this carries risks far beyond the potential rewards.

  54. - Rand McNally - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 8:54 pm:

    to round out an excellent list of debate sites just in case any of the above listed sites aren’t available:
    -In front of Chris Kelly’s mansion in Burr Ridge to show other small business persons how hard work can bring you the American Dream.

    -231 S. Dearborn, Chicago. Always plenty of cameras around.

  55. - TrueBlueandThankful - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 9:20 pm:

    10 debates are a great idea. There is a political poll in the St. Lous Post Dispatch that includes more than 5 issues that Illinoisians consider important: 1. Education Funding. 2. Balancing the State budget. 3. Providing Universal Healthcare for Children. 4. Roads and Bridges Construction. 5. Avoiding tax increases. 6. Lowering gas prices. 7. Pension reform/financing. 8. Stem-Cell Research. These are important issues that deserve an “Honest Debate.” How anyone can look themselves in the mirror and say, “we don’t need 10 debates” is beyond me. It makes “sense” to have debates about issues that people care about. I think the Governor will do exceptionally well against Ms. Topinka. I think her campaign will come up with excuses to not debate the Governor. I want to know specific details from both candidates. The state was in terrible shape 4 years ago. It is in better shape now, but there is more work to be done. Illinois is on the rebound from losing a ton of jobs (Manufacturing jobs) that were unavoidable due to “NAFTA” and “CHEAP” foreign labor. Republicans are complaining about the Governor, etc., etc., because that is what they do best. And to be honest, I give them their “props” because they are good at complaining, yelling, and raising cain. These are the same folk’s that said “Clintonomics” will destroy our country. What? The Republican’s still say that the “22 million” jobs that were created in the mid-90’s were from Ronald Reagan’s “Trickle-down-economic theory.” Remember those years, the 80’s. Remember those very, very long lines outside of that new hotel in Chicago (people looking for a job). I just have one thing to say to those who believe the economic boom of the 90’s was a result of Reaganomics, ie.
    Trickle-down-economics.” If it takes over 15 years and more than 3 Trillion dollars in debt to work, we don’t want it. In Illinois, Republicans are mad because they are “out of power.” Aint that a shame. I do not have any sympathy for them. When the Republican’s were in charge of the state, the only people who got promotion’s was Republican’s. Republican’s with GED’s were promoted over Veterans with degrees. The hooplah we hear about and see in the press about cronyism, etc., is just a bunch of “hooplah.” The people complaining are the same ones who had state contracts, state jobs, etc., for the last 26 years. They, the Republicans, cannot stand to see someone who is not “one-of-them” in power. The fact of the matter is, numbers don’t lie, people do! I love hearing right wing conservatives tell Democrats what they think. I have been hearing right wingers talk about how the Governor was going to get beat in the primary for months. Well, as we now know, “that just isn’t the case.” This is a solid “Blue” state. The very same people who voted George W. (dubya) Bush President are the ones claiming they can make our state better. I respectfully disagree! To use our most honored and esteemed President’s own words, “Bring it on!” No disrespect intended to the brave young men and women who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq for those rediculous words. As a Military veteran, I find those words from “dubya” pathetic. Maybe Bush should have read “The Art of War” written by Sun Tzu. But then again, Bush didn’t have time to learn about the military while he was in the military because he was “AWOL,” working for a Senate campaign in Alabama. I apologize for the tangent, back to the issue at hand. Debate, Debate, Debate. Let the better person win. Health Care for Children is a must; it is based on the “WORD.” For all who believe in “God, our Most Wonderful Counselor, the Lord said that we should care for children. He did not say if, unless, or anything else in that sense. Does not the scripture read, When I was sick, you healed me? I do not condider myself religious, I just love the Lord. Let not the conservatives “act” like they are for family values. Health Care for Children is a “Family Value” and we Democrats have them. Democrats “Value” education. That too is a family value. If the education funding is inadequate, which I believe it is, “Debate the issue in an open an Public forum.” Issue after issue, let the better ideas win the day. In closing, I would like to offer an Olive branch to my Democratic brother’s and sister’s. The primary is over; come home and let’s move forward together with Independents and open minded Republicans. If, as a party we didn’t squable, we wouldn’t be Democrats. We would be George “dubya’s.” We are not they’s. We are “US.” Governor Blagojevich has done a good job, considering the difficult tasks that were and are in front of him. Can he do better? I think he can and will. Like the Governor said a couple days ago about his critics, when you live in a glass house, you probably shouldn’t throw rocks. Most important is what the Lord said, he who has “no sin” cast the first stone. Are the Governors priorities right for working people? I think so. Let the ideas go forth, not personal attacks, ie., “character assassination.”

  56. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 9:35 pm:

    I think JBT took her perceived “advantage” as the party favorite to the exteme during the primary. She didn’t really prepare or campaign because she never thought she would be in trouble vs. her opponents. Which she wasn’t. She will be ready for the uncoming battle. She has been playing the “I’m just a weak woman” card to lull dopes into thinking she is weak. I think someone bit on that one - POA Rod. If GRod has the lead/control of the message he is debating, he sounds very good. If you get him off his scripted message and you get another Daily Show performance. Keep him off balance with non-scripted debates and all of a sudden he will too busy “governing” to do all 10 debates.

  57. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 9:48 pm:

    TrueBlueandThankful - It was Reagan’s economic policies that worked and created all of those jobs. That and the beginning of the Tech. Sector artificially bloating the economy. You give credit to Clinton for the job creation? Someone should check your house for carbon monoxide. Of course it will take years for the US economy to turn around after new iniatives are implemented. Its huge. You can’t turn around an aircraft carrier on a dime either. It takes a little time to do that too.

  58. - Budget Watcher - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:06 pm:

    Why not say yes, agree to 8-10 debates with 60% of them in downstate counties that either went Eisendrath or were overwhelmingly pro-Topinka? And while agreeing, stake your claim as a fiscal conservative who looks forward to debating his reckless borrowing and underfunded Medicaid problem. Throw in your willingness to discuss ethics, pay-for-play, and federal investigations.

    On the playground, when someone throws a ball in your face, you throw it right back and then talk a little smack.

  59. - TrueBlueandThankful - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:09 pm:

    Having served on an Aircraft Carrier and a member of a Strike Fight squadron (F/A 18’s), I can assure you that an Aircraft Carrier can turn on the drop of a dime. Furthermore, it can exceed speeds of over 60 MPH. As for “Trickle-down-economics,” the name speaks for itself. The rich got richer, and whatever fell off the table (scraps), the rest of us got. Nonetheless, “Clintonomics” worked; therefore, I prefer the 8 years of the Clinton Administration that included tolerance and progress.

  60. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:11 pm:

    True Blue,

    For the most part, I agree with you.

    But, maybe you shouldn’t drink so much coffee this late in the day?

  61. - Winnerscircle - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    Napolean, Brady is a plastic idiot. Didn’t you see the primary debates? If he wasn’t standing with that blank look and stupid grin, he was saying “me too” after Obie or Gidwitz made a point. If he weren’t in a `safe’ seat, he wouldn’t be able to talk his way out of a paper bag.

  62. - Old Elephant - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:33 pm:

    I’m going to throw out a wildly controversial idea. This seems like a good place to do it.

    Everyone assumes Sen/Rev Meeks would be a “spoiler” in the race, but given the Governor’s weakness among Dems I wonder if there isn’t a scenario that could puts Meeks on top.

    Suppose he got 95% of the African-American vote, 80-90% of the Hispanic vote, the IEA, IFT and AFSCME endorse him (because he is the only candidate willing to consider a tax hike). Liberal white Dems go for him and he makes some inroads with the Christian pro-life, pro-family voters. Would the numbers work?

    I really don’t know. Maybe I’m just up past my bedtime.

  63. - TrueBlueandThankful - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 10:43 pm:

    Old Elephant, not too unrealistic; of course, I hope it remains just a good old fashioned conspiracy. Nevertheless, just for the sake of throwing ideas out, those numbers would be almost impossible to beat if that scenario played out like you suggested.

  64. - Gregor Samsa - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:09 pm:

    Typical Rod, he thinks the debates will be conducted thru press releases.

    I have seen the man in the field and I have to say the press has been too easy on him: once he runs out of his prepared remarks, he truly is lost, utterly. Watching him try to ad-lib is painful: he relies on run-on sentences with no punctuation, grammar from hell, and incomplete and ill-formed thoughts, which never come to a conclusion, but continue painfully dragging first this way, then that, towards something that looks like he might come to an eventual point and yet, he never does, he just tries to run out the clock on your attention span… (like that sentence, only worse).

    That trick can work for a 30-second bite on the news, but in a real debate, it’s going to be a flaming car wreck. Judy gets to the point in a short, straight line; and you may not like the answer, but by God it IS an answer.

    I’m voting straight Dem but crossing over to Judy for my governor vote because we need a grownup in charge of the state.

  65. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:13 pm:

    TrueBlueandThankful — I say “Hallelujah!” to one of the best tirades I ever read — love how you slipped “Art of War” in there; but you forgot one thing. Sadly, it is NAFTA that helped get us where we are today, and we have ourselves in part to blame for that.

    Dick Gebhardt was right.

    And Old Elephant, sadly, I still do not believe our state is ready to elect an African-American Governor, unless maybe the last name is Obama. There are parts of this state where people still fly the Confederate Flag in front of their homes. And they live closer to you than you think.

  66. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:27 pm:

    By the way, you guys think Rod is going to get clobbered? You are crazy. Rod will destroy Judy. Rod has one of the best qualities you can have in a candidate: discipline.

    Someone once told me an eerie story about how then-State Representative Rod Blagojevich had stated bluntly that he was going to be elected governor in 2002 — a prediction. And then mapped out how he was going to do it. And then did it.

    That guy knows how to stay on message.

    Topinka looks like a flailing, staring, deer-caught-in-the-headlights up there. You just never know what is going to come out of her mouth. I mean, do you want your relatives to think of this not as The Land of Lincoln, but as the Land of The Accordion-Playing Chain-Smoking Salvation Army Redhead? I DON’T think so.

    We should have been building schools, not hotels for our friends.

  67. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Mar 23, 06 @ 11:52 pm:

    Here is the one thing to remember is that Judy now has one opponent, not three. She was the front runner and the concentration of three men. Now, she is the concentration of one nice haircut. She will clean house if there are many debates. You will definately see a different Judy Baar Topinka

  68. - These are our choices? - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 12:12 am:

    YDD, the candidate you describe plotting out his run for governor sure sounds calculating, but I’m not quite so sure where you are getting this amazing discipline stuff from.

    Sure he makes a good parrot when speaking in 30-second soundbites and when his handlers are doing their usual good job at preventing him from speaking too long, but on the campaign trail and in debates they can’t do as much to cut him off and shelter him.

    I’m not claiming Judy is a disciplined candidate by any means and I would agree with YDD that Blagojevich is more discliplined. The thing is… Judy shooting from the hip doesn’t carry as much risk as Blagojevich attempting it. She’s less likely to shoot herself in the foot when shooting from the hip.

    Blago needs the discipline or else he’ll inevitably say something like “testicular virility” or “Are these guys legit?” or share that he got a C in constitutional law or complain about being “forced to live in a democracy” or claim he got an 18 on the ACTs.

  69. - Metro East Voter - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 4:13 am:


  70. - Ex-Newfie - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 4:51 am:

    As long as JBT keeps asking him how he’s going to pay for all of these lollipops he’s proposing, he’s going to have to reply sometime. And no debates in Chicago. Public forum, around the state with questions open to the public during some part of the program. The real public, not their hand-picked supporters. And have good political reporters there to record it all. No television because people will not watch (despite what they tell you - it’s not American Idol)and Hairdo thrives on the camera, so don’t feed it to him. He and his posse sure are a devious bunch, with nerves of steel because I wouldn’t want to have to answer in court for some of the shinanigans they have pulled in bankrupting this

  71. - DOWNSTATE - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 5:23 am:

    TRUEBLUE under Blago we have lost a ton of jobs in this area 4 factories in less than a year.Illinois is 21 BBBillion farther in debt.Stae agencies are cutting services and on ang on.So trueblue you need to take off your Blago-focals and take a hsrd look at reality.Hey buddy he had us fooled 4 years ago so admitting the true is o.k.

  72. - T.J. - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 5:40 am:

    I thought Judy didn’t do debates. And it’s Baar, not Barr.

  73. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 9:18 am:

    I guess we’ll just have to hope Topinka takes him up on the challenge, and then the debate debate will be settled.

    And Choices, parroting a 30 second soundbite is exactly what you want out of a good candidate. One of the things that made Obama great was his stump speech, and no matter what question he was asked, he could almost always lead you back to his stump.

    Of course, Obama can speak extemporaneously too, but repeating your message over and over again is what gets it done.

  74. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 24, 06 @ 9:24 am:

    This thread is now closed. Please go here for more.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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