Friday, December 09, 2005

Come on Joe, never kid a kidder. It’s Final.

This just in from DuPage.Looks like DuPage County is mobilizing to take control, once again, of the Republican Party. Uncle Joe [DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett] wants your help w/ Lt. Gov. Petitions. Sure, Da boys were circulating them before, but tonight, Joe has come out of the closet, so to speak, and he is doing it online. No backsies, now.

Notice a pattern here? Edgar, Topinka and now Birkett. These folks seem to cherish indecision. Not usually the mark of a good trial lawyer. To be fair, the Jim and Judy show may have been a calculated stall, not indecision at all. The political version of a four corners offense, with no one shooting and the competition frozen out of fund raising, as funders watched and waited. Quite effective.

As to Joe, reliable sources tell me it was more about money than indecision. Before this week, no one would "show him the money." Indeed, they may not have shown him all of the money yet; Thus the coyness and lack of finality.

Money, the mother's milk of politics. It can explain a lot: Kjellander and his $809,000 fee, the State GOP Establishment and Control, the Daley Ryan Combine, the growth of team Blagojevich, the two odd couples now in the Republican Primary, the reluctance of Sen. Brady to criticize National Republican Committeeman Kjellander, the reluctance of Prosecutor Birkett to criticise Committeeman Kjellander and the growth of Team Oberweis. I wouldn't say it is all about money. But, in politics, it is far ahead of what is in second place.

Jumping Joe, Jumping Jack Flash, has jumped on the Topinka Bandwagon. And, I tell you this: Speaker Mike doesn’t like this news at all. It’s bad enough to have Blago screwing up the Governorship for which Speaker Mike Madigan has groomed the Attorney General since she was ten years old.

In the Speaker’s mind, it would be a catastrophe to have a guy who came within three points of beating his daughter only a heartbeat away from being the incumbent Governor. That’s not what Speaker Mike has in mind for his daughter’s gubernatorial general election contest. Speaker Mike won’t be sleeping a wink until Joe is disposed of, one way or the other.

From an email circulated to his faithful this evening, included, below, is Joe’s request and explanation for his flip flop about not running for Governor because being State’s Attorney and a candidate for office were just more than he could handle [see here]. Now, it is “duty calls and who can say no to Edgar and LaHood.” Not Joe, that’s who. That down home, Country Club Republican charm works every time.
Dear Friends,

As you may have read, I am giving serious consideration to joining the statewide ticket as running mate to state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

I had decided earlier not to run for Governor. In the last 36 hours, prominent Republicans such as former Governor Jim Edgar and Congressman Ray LaHood have called and urged me to make the run and I've had positive discussions with the Treasurer. They all believe that I can play an important role in helping to defeat Rod Blagojevich.

Although the decision is not final, time is short to circulate petitions should I decide to enter the race. Please help me circulate these petitions for Lt. Governor and stay tuned for more definitive word on this decision soon. Thanks for your help.

Joe Birkett
State’s Attorney
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at