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 partyâ€™s pick, Republican state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, has conducted a negative and unfocused campaign that doesnâ€™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.