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Trib moans about guv’s ads

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006

The Tribune editorial today is entitled “194 days and counting

Here it is barely spring, and Gov. Rod Blagojevich already is resorting to the sort of negative campaigning traditionally reserved for, well, late spring.

Candidates in the last three governor campaigns have restrained themselves until at least June before launching televised attacks on their opponents. But Blagojevich, who has a lot of campaign money to spend, started slinging mud at Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka on April 20. The first of his anti-Topinka ads was taped March 25, four days after the primary. […]

There are 194 days until the election, and it’s getting tiresome already. Are we really going to have to listen to this sort of thing for six more months?

The AP has a summary of the governor’s new ads here and an article here.

esurrecting a tactic that helped him win office four years ago, Gov. Rod Blagojevich stepped up efforts Wednesday to link his Republican opponent to the failures of former governor and convicted felon George Ryan.

Blagojevich is running television ads showing Ryan side by side with Republican candidate Judy Baar Topinka. The ads accuse Topinka, the state treasurer, of letting Illinois’ budget deficits and pension debt skyrocket during Ryan’s tenure.

“Topinka didn’t do her job as treasurer and now she wants a promotion? What’s she thinking?” one ad asks.

The Blagojevich campaign also held a news conference to point out that Topinka, who now distances herself from Ryan, once described him as a “damn decent guy” whom she loved dearly.

Topinka called the strategy a sign that Blagojevich is “desperate.”

“He’s spending a great deal of money to vilify me in whatever way he can. It doesn’t hold any water,” she said, noting that the treasurer has no role in setting the state budget.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - TrueBlueandThankful - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 6:30 am:

    If Ms. Topinka does not think these campaign ads “don’t hold water,” she will learn the good ole’ fashioned way, defeat. The ads will work and her numbers will soon reflect those of her “hero” Dubya “W”. Republicans think they can sit around and complain, complain, and complain. Then, out of the not-to-distant past, there appears a reality check. She will not be allowed to get away with throwing mud while she has mud on her face and in her hair. I would like to see a commercial with her doing the “polka with Ryan (with the same type of material on the ads that are being shown now) with her smoking a cigarette at the end of the commercial (stating, Judy Baar Topinka is trying to blow smoke at Illinois but Illinois is too smart to be fooled by Karl Rove, George Bush and Judy Baar Topinka).

  2. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 6:50 am:

    Trueblue wake and smell the polls last negitive ad he done she jumped 6 points.As far as smoke that’s Blago and that is the reason voters are voting him out.JBT just hired a campaign manager yesterday everything has been running by itself.I hope they fire up this Public Offical A and the other 12 investigations on Blago.

  3. - Not him again - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 7:50 am:

    Negatives lose their power when the source is not credible. Topinka is no saint, but next to Rod’s short track record, she could be Mother Teressa.

  4. - Downstate Republican - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 7:52 am:

    The Governor is pulling a page out the campaign playbook of Ronald Reagan (80′). Reagan blasted Carter for several months before their first televised debate, via commercials. Then, for the debates, voters were expecting an angry, firebreathing monster.

    They were pleasantly suprised, when, in the debates, Reagan came across as a likeable, warm, engaging candidate.

    I think the Governor is using the same strategy.

  5. - Rick - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:05 am:

    Logic problems abound here.

    First, If the Treasurer is responsible for what the Governor does 1998-2002, does this mean Judy is responsible for what Rod does 2002-present?

    Second, I’m sure Dan Hynes is happy with this latest ad, since he claims on his official state website that he (Dan Hynes) is “the state’s chief fiscal officer.” Is Dan Hynes now complicit in what Ryan and Blagojevich have been doing?

    Is there an existing wedge here between Rod & Dan that Judy can exploit?

  6. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:09 am:

    JBT’s job is’nt despersement Dan Hynes the Comptroller is once the General Assembly and Governor signs off on it.It was Madigan and Blago that hit the Pension and will continue to rob it for thr next 5 years as it was set up.It is her that is trying to stop them from robbing all the special funds like Breast Cancer,Veterans,Motorcycle education ,etc..All she needs to do is come out with the truth.

  7. - zatoichi - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:37 am:

    On the Illinois webpages it clearly shows the Gov is in charge of the budget (rev and exp), the Comptoller cuts the checks, the Treasurer does investments. How is anyone but the Governor’s office responsible for “letting Illinois’ budget deficits and pension debt skyrocket during Ryan’s tenure” not to mention the current borrowing/debt load? Have those constitutional responsibilities changed recently?

  8. - The Hankster - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:57 am:

    Tying Topinka with Ryan is based in fact and also is a good campaign strategy. Topinka is as entrenched in the same old Illinois political crowd as anybody. Letting her lie and say she is a reformer would be a mistake for the Blagojevich campaign.

  9. - sine die - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:40 am:

    Going negative this early clearly indicates that ARods numbers are bad and trending worse. He is worried and is dumping loads of cash to ease some of his fears. I agree with the other commentors about the references to Reagan and would offer up this observation: maybe JBT should borrow this Reaganisque question- “Is our State better off today than it was 4 years ago?” Defining Arods shortcomings as the state’s chief executive will answer this question and elect JBT.

  10. - IVOTE! - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:44 am:

    Hankster — Dick Mell’s son-in-law has some nerve talking about others being entrenched in the same old poltical crowd! (Not fair to tie Rod to Mell? Not any less fair than the Judy-George tie!) Letting HER lie and say SHE is a reformer is a mistake? How about letting BLAGO lie and say HE is a reformer? No sir. . no more business as usual, that’s for sure. “Pay to play” used to be a art . . Rod has made it a science. The guy is as phony as a $3 bill! He’s talking about George (and Judy) running up the state debt? HA! Where are we now in state debt Rod has given us, $23 billion and growing?

    What Judy needs to do is make this election a referendum on Rod Blagojevich, plain and simple. If she does that, he can’t win.

  11. - The Hankster - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:41 am:

    IVOTE - I was not saying what was fair or not fair, what I said was that Blagojevich needs to attack Topinka for the lie that she claims to be a reformer. I agree, if Topinka can make it about Blagojevich she has a good chance to win, much better than if she tried to talk about her stance on issues or her own record.

  12. - UPSTATE - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:44 am:

    Bring on is your state better off now! Blagojevich wins that one.

  13. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:48 am:

    I’ve noticed that Blago is running two ads. The first one airs, followed by one to three more from other advertisers and then a follow up of another ad of Blago’s. My mute button was getting quite a workout during his two commercials until I figured out the sequence real quick, genius that I am. But now I figured out I can use my mute button 50 percent less if I just keep the sound off from the beginning of the first ad to the end of the last one. Now if I were an advertiser paying for time on radio and TV, I would insist that my ads NOT be sandwiched between Blago’s because folks, they ain’t being heard. I cannot possibly be the only one muting out Blogo or changing the stations. Nice little trick Blago has come up with or his “Kids Club” has come up with but it’s not going to work.

  14. - Ivory-Billed Woodpercker - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:10 pm:

    This from Joe Klein’s new book; the context is Alan Cranston’s re-election campaign, I think 1986, against an utter unknown:

    “[Patrick] Caddell . . . had a brainstorm during a long, panicked, conference call to the Cranston campaign. ‘It was dark,’ he later told me. ‘My office looked out over the river, and there were no lights on, and I’m on the phone, and I’m explaining very carefully that the only way we can win is to drive the vote down.’ The young moderates were marginal voters, turned off by negative campaigning. ‘By turning the campaign so ugly and dirty and vicious beyond belief, we could drive them out of the [expletive deleted, gentle reader] premises.’ The breakthrough wasn’t merely the idea that an incumbent could negatively ‘define’ a less well-known challenger — Cadell had proposed a similar strategy to [Jimmy] Carter in 1980, and H.R. Haldeman had suggested the same to Nixon in 1972. Caddell’s real insight was the perverse realization that he could make the race so obnoxious that he would merely discourage people from voting.

    “It was a diabolical thought. And it worked.”

  15. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:16 pm:

    Have they hung the sign on the side of the SS BLAGO “sinking fast send help”.

  16. - Not him again - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:52 pm:

    Seen Bernie’s column today? 15 million for campaign’s not enough, he’s hiring a new army of cameramen on state contracts to cover himself more than the folks on “Survivor” or “Big Brother”.

    And how many thousands did they spend on that Southern Illinois marathon, which was supposedly to promote tourism, but only showed footage of Blago in his Umbros? What exactly are we “touring” there?

    Please, let’s change the channel in November!

  17. - Not So Fast - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 1:12 pm:

    I think they should have “Punchin’ Judy” commercials where they have a puppet Judy hitting people with an assault rolling pin. Not only does she look like that famous puppet, she already shares the name.

  18. - sine die - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 1:29 pm:

    Note to UPSTATE: All partisan politics aside, do you really think the state is better off now than it was 4 years ago? Not if you own a business, not if you are concerned about your pension, the list goes on and on….

  19. - The original Bill - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 2:03 pm:

    better off than 4 years ago?
    Working people
    school children
    uninsured children
    organized labor
    tax payers
    Bring it on!!!We got the votes, the know how, and the best candidate
    Run, Rod, run…4 more years…the best is yet to come!

  20. - The original Bill - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 2:05 pm:

    oh and don’t forget
    B average college students
    Illinois doctors
    gun control advocates
    pro-choice voters

  21. - UPSTATE - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 2:23 pm:

    sine die: I do believe we are better off. But if that is the argument that republicans want to make for this election (remember who was Governor 4 years ago?)I believe Blagojevich will cruise to victory.

  22. - sine die - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 2:50 pm:

    Is anyone even the slightest bit concerned about how to pay for “new deal” Rods programs? Somewhere, I’m sure FDR and LBJ are very happy. Maybe Rod’s model is to have the next generation of Illinoisians pay off his program debts just like the current taxpayers are saddled with the debts of his predecessors programs. Neither party has much of a record on fiscal integrity but at least the State didn’t take out payday-lending type loans to fund pensions and other programs under the GOP.

  23. - Ethel - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 5:32 pm:

    Are we better off today? Perhaps in some areas, but the assets of the state are slowly and inexorably turning into dust. This administration does not repair leaking roofs, replace leaking windows, fix boilers or power plants that the EPA cites or do any real maintenance and repairs. We have had 4 years of no repairs to the state’s physical assest - but there is money for photographing a marathon. It appears that the crowd in GOMB has no concept of maintenance - or why it is necessary to do regular repairs. Since those type projects do not garner votes - they are not done.
    Since the inhabitants of mental health institutions, facilities for the developmentally disabled or handicapped students do not vote, their facilities are neglected.
    Is that good policy?

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 6:32 pm:

    Original Bill,

    Your list omitted:
    1.Medicaid providers who are carrying an extra $800 million in state debt since July 2003.

    2. Retired teachers and other pension dependents who have seen chronic pension underfunding.

    3. Citizens who 3 1/2 years ago thought they were voting for government that wasn’t for sale.

    4. Taxpayers who have seen general obligation bonded debt triple in the last three years.

    5. Virtually everyone south of I-80.

  25. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:29 pm:

    Original Bill,

    Could you do us poor uninformed residents of Illinois a favor. Would you please give us data on how much money has been allocated for the programs you listed. While you are at it could you please tell us how many people are managing these programs, who is in charge of them, the agencies they have been place under, the dates they began operating, how many people are enrolled, how people enroll in these programs and anything other information that may possibly give any tiny little indication that these programs exist other than in Blago’s mind and on press releases?


  26. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:18 pm:

    Blago has so many warts a new attack ad, ads that are truthful and factual, could be aired every few days. I don’t understand why people seem to think JBT won’t run attack ads of her own. Where would one begin attacking Blago. There are just too many options.

  27. - Original Bill Is An Idiot - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:16 pm:

    Original Bill:

    Why don’t you quit posting comments on state government time since it is clear that you are a political hack of the Governor.

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:25 pm:

    “B average college students”

    Sorry Bill. A proposed tuition tax credit in the fourth year of Blago’s term doesn’t make up for hundreds of millions of dollars in less higher education funding driving down the prestige of Illinois’ public universities and consequently driving down the earning power of their graduates. Not to mention his truth in tuition bill has done NOTHING to make college any cheaper for students because the schools just ask students for extra money up front during each class’s freshmen years to make sure they get theirs.

    Under Blagojevich, for the first time in the history of the University of Illinois (and other colleges I would suspect), the amount of money the university received from tuition was greater than the monetary contribution from the state. And this is supposed to be a PUBLIC university?

    Sorry Bill, Illinois college students know Blagojevich is a phony just like every other traditional Democratic constituency.

  29. - Ethel - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:31 pm:

    One constituency will certainly have it better. The house and senate chambers are being remodeled with all new woodwork, roll-top desks, stone countertops and toilet partitions, ornate plasterwork and a stained glass ceiling in the house chambers. Mr. Madigan and Mr. Jones are not only getting a nice big raise, they are having $15MM to $20MM spent on their chambers for work that is not needed - it is only to make things nicer for the few days they are actually in session.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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