Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Gidwitz-Rauschenberger Si, Topinka-Rauschenberger No.

Just a few months ago, maybe a few hours ago, the mainstream media would pretty much put pro-Choice Gubernatorial Republican Primary candidates businessman Ron Gidwitz and state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka in the same ideological box-- moderate Republicans, especially on the hot button issue of abortion and perhaps similar on some of the other social issues, as well. But listening to newly minted Republican Primary Lt. Gov. candidate and State Senator Steve Rauschenberger this morning, you had the impression that Topinka and Gidwitz are worlds apart and perhaps always have been, implied Steve, on what Ron and Steve view as the all important issues of Reform and Pay to Play.
State Senator Steve Rauschenberger: I served with Judy Baar Topinka in the State Senate [1992-1994]. I like Judy Baar Topinka. I think she has worked hard as a State Treasurer, [but] she’s chosen to surround herself with people that I disagree with-- that I don’t believe have the best interests of the future of the State of Illinois at heart, who are tied—connected to the Pay for Play politics that I cannot agree with, cannot endorse and cannot support. It’s not Judy. It’s what Judy represents. It was ten weeks of Governor Edgar—deciding whether he was interested. It was seven weeks of Judy Baar Topinka and it was a State Central Committee meeting which essentially said ideas don’t matter, poll numbers do.

Bill Cameron [WLS-AM Political Reporter]: …Assuming you and Rauschenberger get elected, how would you use him as your Lt. Gov.?

Ron Gidwitz: Steve has a whole wealth of experience both from a budgetary standpoint and from a legislative standpoint. I think Steve Rauschenberger would be the great, Chief Financial Officer of our state [Ed. Note, Move over Republican Comptroller candidate Carol Pankau? Isn’t the Comptroller usually thought to be the State’s CFO?], offering us really two kinds of expertise. Expertise on the budget in helping formulate a budget that would be balanced—a budget that will pay the state’s bills currently, as opposed to a kind of lag time, which currently exists and helping get that budget passed as well as other issues with the State Legislature. He’s got friends on both sides of the aisle. He’s been an enormously effective legislator. He will be invaluable to me and to my administration.
Team Gidwitz-Rauschenberger speaking at a joint Press Conference this morning [Dec. 7] at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Chicago, with Ron’s and Steve’s wives, Christiana and Betty, at their respective sides, but not engaging in a speaking role.