Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Judy Judy Judy

Well, now things are going to get interesting. Judy's all but in, and the resulting buzz has been fast and furious. Personally, I think that the most interesting story right now is what happens to the rest of the Republican ticket. One would think that they would be smart enough to craft a slate out of the people still standing in order to put together a unified ticket. But on the other hand, there may be enough ego and animosity to keep it from happening.

Assuming that JBT comes out of a primary relatively unscathed, there will be more twists and turns next summer and fall than in a David Mamet story. There are so many unforeseeable variables that it is almost futile to try to predict how things are going to spin out.

The national perspective is going to be interesting as well. Jake at Cross' blog found this tidbit on SwingStateProject.com:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) is not an especially popular guy. Among other things, he ranks in the bottom tier in gubernatorial approval, a poll in early October gave him just a 35-42 re-election number, and by most accounts, he hasn't had a very successful first term in office.

So it's not much of a surprise that the most popular - only popular? - Republican in the state, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, has decided to toss her hat into the Republican primary ring. There are five guys already in the race, but they are mostly low name-rec nobodies, with the possible exception of uber-conservative Jim Oberweis, best known for losing in the IL Senate primary last year to disgraced ultra-loser Jack Ryan. Topinka stands at 81% name recognition and holds an impressive lead (31-15 over her nearest challenger) in a hypothetical primary matchup.

However, don't fret too much. Blago has somehow managed to amass an enormous warchest - $14 million and counting.That's some serious Hillary-level scrilla. Plus, IL has become very blue of late, so that's a natural advantage - plus, as I need remind no one, the national GOP is imploding, which is yet another natural advantage for us. Nonetheless, this race probably just got moved into the "interesting" category thanks to Topinka.

Interesting could be the tamest thing that this race gets called going forward.

The other aspect of note is what happens to the Dem slot for Treasurer. With the office now way in play, it is hard to believe that Paul Mangieri is going to be the best that the Dems put forward. And I mean that with absolutely nothing against Mr. Mangieri, whom I've never met. It's just that I think that in a blue state, with an open statewide seat up for grabs, the race is now begging for somebody with legislative experience and a broader perspective of state issues than one would get in his present position.

Plus, having successfully navigated the med mal bill through the Legislature, the Speaker is likely not as concerned as he once was about the vulnerability of some of his downstate members. As such, the Dems best bet is to put the most qualified candidate forward regardless of geographic or other considerations. And that means that there are now a lot of people that are going to give this race a fresh look.


At November 8, 2005 at 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, did you just announce for Treasurer?

At November 8, 2005 at 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, well put... Mangieri is a good guy (with lots and lots of kids so he could use the job), but I hardly think he is going to get a free pass. Too many ambitious Dems out there to give Mangieri a free ride. John, you would be a natural fit, but understandable if its not your time or office of choice. I've heard the Hispanics want to run somebody, specifically Manny Flores. On the Republican side, I think Ron Gidwitz would be a natural choice -- pull him out of the Gub primary so he doesn't split votes with Judy and gives him a real shot at a statewide office. Nonetheless, the right would be pissed if they had Judy and Ron (moderates) heading the ticket.

At November 8, 2005 at 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, I hope that you will put the geographical issue that you have previously raised aside and get into the race for Treasurer. We need a candidate who will bring excitment and energy to this race, and someone who the party will be excited to get behind. You are indeed a modest fellow, John, but I hope that you know that you are that candidate. If statewide office is a goal for you, and you honestly believe (as I do) that you have something to offer the state of Illinois that other candidates for this office do not (like fresh ideas, energy, and an ability to successfully and articulately challenge bad ideas), how can you not get into this race? The desire to help make this a stronger, healthier, and even an enviable state is the reason that you got into politics in the first place, isn't it? Taking this next step is the natural choice to fulfilling this course, John. I hope that you do it.

At November 8, 2005 at 7:16 PM, Anonymous Bluto said...

Jay Hoffman for Treasurer!

John, I enjoyed listening to you on Wilson's show. This is my first time on your blog, but it won't be the last.

Say what you will, but I think that Judy just bit off a little too big of a bite.

At November 9, 2005 at 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Democratic victories in the races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. George W is creating a significant drag on the party and we've seen the first fatalities of his unpopularity. W was in Virginia, a solid red state, campaigning with the republican candidate the day before the election.

Now Judy Baar has claimed that her decieion will be based on help from the national republicans and a visit from the president. Bad strategy Judy -- I hope that you are watching the results of these elections and are taking note. There isnt one positive thing I can see that Judy gets from the national republicans right now. W is less popular here than he was in either of the two states that just had elections, so a visit from him will be less like a lift to her campaign and more like somebody came and hung an anchor around her neck.

Maybe Carl Rove and his buddy KJ will head up her fundraising operation. Thats great -- they can bring a whole new group of feds to watch over her and her campaign buddies.

Judy, this is a bad decision. Unless you demonstrate a serious fire in the belly, and come up with a better strategy for victory other than support from the national republicans, we will have the same governor in one year and a new treasurer.

At November 9, 2005 at 8:03 AM, Blogger Rich Miller said...

Anon had a good question, John. Are you in?

At November 9, 2005 at 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, the silence. In or what? You cant ignore Rich Miller's query? In or out?

At November 9, 2005 at 8:40 AM, Blogger Bill said...

I am not sure what legislative experience has to do with the treasurers office. If anyone was interested in this office they could have submitted their credentiaals to the slating committee. Now that the state committee has slated candidates it is up to all of us to support that slate and win all of the constitutional offices. Paul is honest, hard working, and a great campaigner who has been actively working the state since his slating. He is going to win and we don't need a primary fight right now.
The White Sox won because they were A TEAM who sacrificed personal statistics to benefit the team. we can all learn a lesson from them.

At November 9, 2005 at 10:54 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Bill, one could argue that the White Sox won by putting their best players on the field.

As I said, I don't know Mangieri and have tried to make clear that my comments are not a reflection on him whatsoever.

Rich, I do not want this to get prematurely carried away, but let me just say that at this point, I am not out. Nor are a couple of other folks.

My decision will be based on a number of things, but not upon who else is in the primary.

At November 9, 2005 at 11:47 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Spoken like a true Cubs fan. The Sox won in part because of contributions from their bench players...Blum, Harris,Widger,Hernandez,etc...Guys who only played once or twice a month but came through big time when they were neeeded.

I wonder if you and the "others" will feel the same way if Judy comes to her senses and decides to run for re-election. We need you in the GA.

At November 9, 2005 at 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, people can say what they want, but you have proven to be a good and hardworking Democrat which is much more important than being blindly loyal to party leadership. We have a solid chance to pick up this seat and must take our best shot. That is you. As a downstater, I will not only support you, but campaign for you as well. Should you get in the race, I will contact you personally to follow up on this sincere offer.

At November 12, 2005 at 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you have any skeletons in your closet? That is what worries me about a Fritchey run for higher office.

At November 13, 2005 at 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:07: Do you work for Mangieri or Flores?

At November 13, 2005 at 10:32 PM, Anonymous Former Minion said...

Odds are that John, like most elected officials, and like most everybody you or I know, has had issues. But if an election is based on commitment to the job, and results, he will formidable in any race.
The threat of nasty politics is what keeps so many great potential candidates from running. Human beings are fallible in any profession. But if it has nothing to do with their job performance, so what? I'd rather have a great elected official with faults than a choirboy who can't govern.

At November 14, 2005 at 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a low blow to Mr. Jack Ryan, come on now.

At November 14, 2005 at 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(chuckle) Someone has to point out how funny "low blow" and "Jack Ryan" in the same sentence is ...

At November 18, 2005 at 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard of Alexi Giannoulias? Can he beat Mangieri?

At November 18, 2005 at 7:37 AM, Blogger The Dude said...

John, the filing deadline is in about a month. If you're going to run, you will need to start circulating petitions soon. So, will you give us, your loyal readers the scoop, or will you continue to hem and haw? In or out, John. Are you running for Treasurer?

Also, when will you reopen comments on the other threads? Are you going to let that stupid story about your alleged involvement in zoning violations keep you from posting? Whats the story?


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