Sunday, June 27, 2004

Dated June 27, 1:30 am.,revised June 27, at 8:25 pm.

Cook county GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka and RNC Illinois Rep. Robert Kjellander, answering questions from the Press on Friday afternoon, June 25, 2004, soon after Jack Ryan announced, by email, his withdrawal from the U. S. Senate Race, and prior to Senator Peter Fitzgerald suggesting that Jack Ryan could have survived the disclosure of the child custody file if the "Republican Party Brass," had not engaged in a stoning of Jack Ryan. To hear Senator Fitzgerald's clip on the Party Brass' stoning, as well as an excellent summary of this week's events regarding the demise of Jack Ryan's candidacy, listen to Craig Dellimore's "At Issue," radio show, tonight [Sunday], at 9:30 pm on WBBM, 780 AM Radio.

Excerpts from the Press Conference:

State GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka: I don’t want to hog all of this, so let Bob [Kjellander] talk.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, then, let me ask Bob Kjellander. In light of the fact that four of the top [Republican U. S. Senate] primary vote getters were strongly pro-life, do either or both of you think that it would be inappropriate for the selection [of a Jack Ryan replacement] by the State Central Committee to be someone who is pro-choice on the issue of abortion.

Topinka: We are going to consider everyone. There are no litmus tests in this Party.

RNC representative from ILlinois Robert Kjellander: And, I think that is an important point to make. If there were litmus tests in the Republican Party, Judy and I would not be here today. I happen to be Pro-Life; she happens to be pro-choice. The Republican Party is open to all and I think we just have to assess who the strongest candidate to fill the slot on the ticket would be.

Berkowitz: Has [14 year former Governor] Jim Thompson said no to you?

Another Reporter: What is the likelihood that the names that we already know that were running against Mr. Ryan in the Primary will be back again?

Topinka: I am sure they will be in the mix… Some have called; Others I am quite sure would be quite willing to stand. I mean we have former candidates, like Jim Durkin who was great. We have had [former Chicago Bears place kicker and now Illinois Justice] Bob Thomas’ name tossed out at us. We have had lots of names tossed to us already…

Another reporter: Do you feel betrayed by Jack Ryan in any way that he should have disclosed everything to you before this all—

Topinka: I think we are beyond that point. We are moving ahead.

Another Reporter: What about Jim Edgar? Have you spoken to Jim Edgar about his possible candidacy?

Topinka: Yes, Jim Edgar has more than enough to deal with [at this time regarding] the President’s campaign. He will not be a candidate.

Reporter: Are you ruling yourself out?

Topinka: Yes, I like Illinois. I wouldn’t like to commute.

Another Reporter: You didn’t answer the Jim Thompson question.

Kjellander: I’ll answer the question about Jim Thompson. All right. What’s the question?

Berkowitz: Is he still a possibility [to replace Jack Ryan]?

Kjellander: No, I spoke to the Governor and he indicated that he is still absorbed with the 9/11 Commission activities and he—

Berkowitz: He would not accept it if offered, is that what you are saying?

Kjellander: He just said, I am busy- doing the business of the people with the 9/11 commission.

Topinka: All right, thank you very much. Thanks for your help.
Press Confernence, Hard Rock Hotel at Wacker/Michigan Avenue in the Chicago Loop, Illinois GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka and the ubiquitous RNC member and lobbyist Robert Kjellander, June 25, 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm.