The Ron Gidwitz campaign had a stark warning for Judy Baar Topinka last week. "If you think this ad is tough, just wait." Gidwitz, who is running for governor as a Republican, aired the first negative ad of the campaign last week, then dismissed Topinka's rebuttals as mere whining and vowed he would ignore any attempt by the Illinois Republican Party to browbeat him into pulling the spot.
The latest Chicago Tribune poll appears to track closely with recent polls conducted by two Republican statewide contenders. The Tribune poll found Judy Baar Topinka leading the GOP governor's race with 38 percent, followed by Jim Oberweis at 17 percent, Ron Gidwitz finally breaking into double digits with 11 percent, and Bill Brady bringing up the rear at 8 percent.
For years, the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois (ABDI) has been one of the most successful lobbies at the Illinois statehouse. The victory that comes immediately to mind was when ABDI teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to prevent direct sales of out-of-state wine to consumers.
There are plenty of ways to look at who won or lost last week's gubernatorial debate between the four Republican candidates. On pure style points, I think Jim Oberweis won big. His performance was positively Reagan-esque.
Democratic gubernatorial challenger Edwin Eisendrath has been using some startling poll results to recruit his top staff, and the numbers appear encouraging. But the big question - how much money he will spend - is still not known.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that John Wyma is lobbing for GTECH. The Illinois Lottery's contractor will most likely operate the state's proposed keno network. Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to put electronic keno gambling games in 2,000 taverns and restaurants to help fund a construction plan for schools.
We've been seeing a lot of news reports lately that the governor thinks he can pass a massive $3-billion road-and-school-construction plan this year. But Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson is throwing some cold water on an article that jump-started much of this speculation.
Democrat Christine Cegelis lost to longtime Republican U.S. Representative Henry Hyde last year 56 percent to 44 percent. Since then, she has argued that the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) ought to back her this time around in an open-seat contest against Republican Peter Roskam.
I was told a few weeks ago by a very good source that Governor Rod Blagojevich's campaign had assigned people to monitor my blog. You may know that besides this weekly newspaper column I publish a daily political newsletter called Capitol Fax.
The fact that Ron Gidwitz and Steve Rauschenberger have teamed up to run as a ticket may seem a bit odd at first. But it makes sense in more ways than one, and it's probably their best shot at winning next spring.