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.


* HGOPs fight back against Dem messaging on Rauner budget
* The appearance of access
* Today's number: $12,401,195,168.60
* It's just a bill
* Question of the day
* STI death rates on the rise here, but we're way down the list
* Local reaction to new immigration order
* *** LIVE *** House session coverage
* Is a sales tax on food really regressive?
* *** UPDATED x1 *** 14 of 16 CPS Latino Advisory Committee members resign in protest
* Not surprisingly, local governments hate permanent property tax freeze idea
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SIU's Dunn: "We need to acknowledge that FY16 is now lost"
* Mystery solved on Rauner's whereabouts
* Would term limits make much of a difference?
* Study looks at how race of prez delegates may influence GOP primary voters here
* Kennedy fundraises off of proposed budget cuts
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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

...............
<


Loading


* Letters: Profiteering drives up workers' comp c.....
* Governor brings call for business-friendly budg.....
* Governor Addresses State Board of Education to .....
* Governor Addresses State Board of Education to .....
* Kadner: New education head in Illinois defends .....
* Obama Expressway? Part Of I-55 Could Be Named F.....
* Delays won’t decrease state budget pain..
* Rauner delivers pro-business message in Normal..
* Rauner delivers pro-business message in Normal .....


* Republicans who won after rowdy town halls now avoiding them
* Experts: Science behind 'abortion reversal' is flawed
* Immigrants change up their routines, brace for arrest
* Immigrants change up their routines, brace for arrest
* Illinois education board vote settles 2008 funding lawsuit
* Hoopeston dealer gets life for cocaine and meth distribution
* Central Illinois woman gets 3-year term for baby's death
* Principals to bar immigration agents from Chicago schools
* Rockford man going back to prison after murder acquittal
* Cameras OKed for ex-Illinois prosecutor's 2nd murder trial

* Luciano: State lawmakers fiddling while Illinois burns
* Illinois education board vote settles 2008 funding lawsuit
* Municipal League opposed to permanent property tax freeze
* Illinois State University seeks public input on its future
* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week
* Cheri Bustos won't run for Illinois governor
* Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes' worker comp claims
* GOP criticizes Illinois comptroller for buying used $32K SUV
* Effort to privatize economic development questioned
* State budget impasse still hurting schools

* Many Fed officials see rate hike 'fairly soon'
* Is Warren Buffett going to buy an airline? ​
* Is Warren Buffett going to buy an airline? ​
* Trump reaffirms ethanol support amid its fight with Icahn


* Police release audio clip of suspect in Indiana girls’ deaths
* Ruth L. Ratny dies; journalist covered Chicago’s film business
* Person shot in Austin
* Dog dies in Buffalo Grove house fire
* Lyons: Follow the money to learn Trump’s ties to Russia
* McDonald’s to offer $1 sodas after customer visits decline
* Todd Frazier out with sore left side
* Kadner: New education head in Illinois defends teachers, parents
* Byline Bank branch robbed in Wicker Park
* NW Indiana deputy under investigation for relationship with teen


* Man shot dead in Roseland: 'Typical. It's everyday life'
* Chicago home sales, prices caught fire in January
* Man accused of killing mother said, 'She made me do it,' cop testifies
* Emails detail new EPA chief Scott Pruitt's close ties to fossil fuel industry
* Many Dakota pipeline protesters leave as remnants of camp go up in flames
* 911 calls from fatal Gary fire: 'Little babies ... Oh my God'
* MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks
* HBO 'Real Sports' climbs inside Joe Maddon's mind — and his RV
* Additional burglary charges filed against real estate agent, cops say
* Republicans suddenly realize destroying the health-care system might be a bad idea


» Immigrants Change Up Their Routines, Brace For Arrest
» State Board Of Education To Adjust How It Distributes Money
» New Immigration Enforcement Policies Worry Some Chicago Attorneys
» Top Cop Defends His Promotion Of Commander With 90 Complaints
» How CPS’ Lawsuit Against Rauner Could Play Out
» Memos Clarify Travel Ban Executive Order
» Principals Told Not To Allow Immigration Agent In Schools
» Principals To Bar Immigration Agents From Chicago Schools
» City Council To Vote On Emanuel's Pick For Top Lawyer
» CHA Approves Mixed-Use Development In Rogers Park


* Luciano: State lawmakers fiddling while Illinois burns
* Illinois education board vote settles 2008 funding lawsuit
* Municipal League opposed to permanent property tax freeze
* E.J. Dionne: The death of a hero
* Michael Gerson: America’s sacred fire must not be doused
* Esther J. Cepeda: Betsy DeVos may be the least of public education’s worries
* Their View: Editorial: Remembering Bob Michel
* Illinois State University seeks public input on its future
* Kathleen Parker: Meet Rick. Meet the football. Hike!
* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week


* Annual Eva A. McDonald Women’s History Coalition breakfast set for March 4 in Alton
* Madison County committee expresses concerns about locks and keys
* Madison County Child Advocacy Center improvement plans move forward
* 8 places to find great margaritas in the metro-east
* Chicago parolee charged with sandwich shop holdup
* Two-year fight over O’Fallon closed session tape yields no surprises
* Gallatin County basketball coach, former police chief Robert 'Radar' Patton dies at 60
* Blight affecting boxwood shrubs detected in Clinton County
* Early voting for April election begins Thursday
* After a couple returns, O’Fallon council buys in on Dollar General


* Budapest to withdraw bid to host 2024 Summer Olympics
* Video shows Harrison Ford's plane mistakenly fly over jet
* The Latest: Rag 'n' Bone Man wins British breakthrough act
* Remnants of pipeline protest camp go up in flames
* Suspect in killing of T-Pain's niece is found dead

* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...
* US Representative Randy Hultgren visits ne...
* Hultgren to participate in veterans forum ...
* Hultgren criticizes immigration ban, Roska...
* Hultgren guides STEM scholars through pres...
* US Congressman tours new Aurora Specialty ...
* Majority of IL Congressional Delegation Op...
* Group upset with Trump wants Town Hall mee...
* Voters Shame Cowardly Reps with Town Halls...
* Federal hiring freeze puts chill on Yorkvi...

* Two US Lawmakers Back Lethal Weapons For U......
* Medical, dental schools encouraged to impl......
* Interview: US Lawmakers Call For Lethal We......

* Illinois Senators vocally oppose Trump on ......

* CPS sues Illinois over ‘unequal’ and ‘separate’ school funding, and other Chicago news
* Buzzfeed media editor Craig Silverman on the impact of fake news, what’s next for it, and what, exactly, it even is
* A Q&A with filmmaker Jamal Joseph on Chapter & Verse and the prison industrial complex
* Dead Writers Collective now dead after allegations of harassment and abuse
* Gutierrez condemns Trump Admin for wielding "meat axe" to community trust
* Sheridan & Wilson Proposal Goes Taller & More Modern
* For Sweden.
* Milo Trump.
* Can we forgive athletes who stiff the president?
* Meat Wave return with the brash, self-loathing ‘Bad Man’


* Governor Addresses State Board of Education to Emphasize Importance of Strong Accountability Standards
* Stars and Legends to Perform at 2017 Illinois State Fair - First Round of Grandstand Headliners Announced for Springfield Fair
* Earthquake Education Kiosk Unveiled at University Mall in Carbondale - IEMA, Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium project will help southern Illinois residents reduce damage, injuries from earthquakes
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* 2017 Budget Address

  
* Evan Blass shows Verizon’s Moto G5 Plus launching soon
* Packing photos and videos into one Instagram post is now possible
* Apple SIM Partner AlwaysOnline Wireless Drops Data Prices for UK Users
* This is the best look yet at the LG G6 from all angles
* The LG G6 has a hidden face, and it’s impossible to unsee
* Wattpad debuts Tap, an app for reading chat-style short stories
* Microsoft’s fastest and smallest ever Android app is Skype Lite for India

* Geo Soto, Gio Soto share bond beyond name
* Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp
* White Sox earn praise for reshaping club
* Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp
* White Sox content with group of catchers entering 2017
* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP
* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP


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

Archives
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
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




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller