Monday, April 11, 2005

More Sunday Funnies: What are they smoking?

This is really rich. Judy Baar Topinka does a really soft poll that cannot withstand any real scrutiny, so she gives it, sort of, to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet and Rich Miller of Capitolfax, but apparently to nobody else. As is well known, Rich is no lover of Blago, so he can’t wait to shout out to everybody how the poll shows Blago is in trouble and Judy Baar, who he seems to like quite a bit, is in good shape, notwithstanding what those conservatives think about Judy having a tough time in the Republican Primary.

I’ll come back to this in future blog entries, but the poll questions, as far as Miller discloses, are shallow and the analysis by Miller and Sweet even more so. And, of course, what is disclosed of the poll focuses on abortion, to the exclusion of gays, guns, God, reform, jobs, George Ryan, taxes, spending and much, much more.

As for Sweet, she says she “had run into her [Judy Baar’s Chief of Staff/political adviser] [See, Chicago Week, below].” Maybe so, but the handling of the press when Topinka released the polls via Sweet and Miller seemed awfully well orchestrated. Excuse me for being cynical but I don’t think anybody just runs into anybody on this sort of thing. And, I suppose Kimme just ran into Miller, who just happens to like to write very nice things about Judy.

And, I suppose Lynn Sweet just ran into Joel Weisman, who I suppose just put Sweet on Chicago Week in Review [See, below] so Sweet could throw out more—“Judy sure is great,” stuff and get this—Topinka’s big problem is raising money and not getting the Republican base to vote for her—says Lynn Sweet.

On Chicago Week, Russo—there to talk about education, pointed out to Lynn, in case she forgot, that Topinka might have trouble making it out of a primary. Now that would be the understatement of the year—“Judy might have trouble.” Yes, Virginia, she might have a little trouble with that.

And Lipke, there to do sports, says Topinka might have a little trouble downstate with her Pro-Choice views. Well, yes, Jim, she might have trouble with that downstate—and in the Primary, she will have trouble with that upstate, and in the center of the state. And, in the Primary, she will have trouble with guns, gays, God, taxes, spending, George Ryan, reform, just to pick a few topics.

But, hey, if Kimme runs this only by Rich Miller, Lynn Sweet [who might have been Obama’s Ahab, but, on this, is acting like Topinka’s kitten] and Chicago Week in Review—she should have this Primary sewn up by August [if those folks were the only Republican Primary voters, that is].
Lynn Sweet: I had run into her [Judy Baar Topinka’s] Chief of Staff [Nancy Kimme] in Washington, DC which tipped me off that something was up and that led me to getting the story…a few months ago people thought that the State Treasurer [Topinka] …didn’t have the fire in her belly…but she was emboldened by a poll that she took, she commissioned, that showed that she is in pretty good shape from her point of view…and her big hurdle is raising millions and millions of dollars…
Alexander Russo [free lance education writer]: She is by far the most familiar face [of the Republican candidates]. You see her on the news all of the time, she is a very comfortable presence [not to the Republican base, Alex] in front of the media. She might have trouble making it out of a primary, it’s true and …
Jim Lipke [AP national sports columnist]: But, you know what, Judy Baar Topinka is Pro-Choice, which won’t help her downstate either…

Lynn Sweet: No, and that’s a big issue, and a big, big issue in the Demo—in the Republican Primary…she’ll have to get votes, she’ll have to work harder with the Republicans but, for whom either that is not an issue or they support her position.
WTTW’s Chicago Week in Review, March 25, 2005.

Of course, putting the polls aside, Topinka very well could win the Republican Primary if she faces at least two closely matched conservatives, and would have a very good chance if she faces three closely matched conservatives.

Sweet, in her Chicago Week discussion, threw Topinka, Gidwitz and LaHood together, suggesting their “politics… on some issues aren’t all that far away from Topinka’s.” Putting LaHood in that mix with Judy and Ron could raise some eyebrows, but Lynn might have a point, so let’s say Sweet is right and Ron and Ray decide “it’s not Judy’s turn to cry,” but instead that Judy is their girl, or should I say woman.

That leaves the conservatives with Sen. Brady, DuPage State’s Attorney Joe Birkett, two time U. S. Senate primary candidate Jim Oberweis, former State Senator and Guv Primary candidate Pat O’Malley and State Sen. Rauschenberger as possible choices, as of now. I could see Brady and Birkett staying out. I could see Oberweis, O’Malley and Rauschenberger staying in. If that happens, Judy has a very good chance of winning. If any two of those three conservatives stay in, she has a shot. If only one stays in, she’s dead meat.

And, you know what, you don’t need to know any poll results, or even how to work with the quadratic formula, to figure that out.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at