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Republicans Beat Up On Topinka

By Amy Hart in News on Feb 21, 2006 2:00PM


Yesterday’s GOP gubernatorial debate between candidates Bill Brady, Ron Gidwitz, Andy Martin, Jim Oberweis, and Judy Baar Topinka on Chicago Public Radio’s Eight Forty-Eight seemed like any other debate—Republicans good, Blago bad. You can listen to the debate online. However, if you really want to be entertained, skip forward to the last few minutes when the debate was officially over and the candidates took questions from the media, or watch the video here or here.

Topinka left the room right after the debate, and her fellow candidates were not happy that she was not present to answer questions about her new ethics plan, so they decided to behave like twelve year old boys. The Tribune sets the scene:

"Judy should answer these questions," Brady said. "Where is she?"

In a surreal scene, the three hovered just a few feet from the door of the side room and waited for her to come out. A fourth candidate, perennial contender Andy Martin, began mockingly singing Topinka's name in an effort to draw her out. Gidwitz laughed to those standing around him that the Republican race had reached "a new low.”

"If she's afraid of us, how is she going to handle [Gov. Rod] Blagojevich?" Oberweis yelled…

Once she came out, Topinka said, “The boys have had enough time to beat up on me behind my back.” She then defended her plan, which her opponents believe does not go far enough to end contributions from companies doing business with the state. Topinka said it is the best she can do because, unlike her very wealthy opponents, her estimated worth is less than $1 million, and she needs campaign dollars from a variety of donors.

Chicagoist thinks the Republican boys have a responsibility to demand answers from Topinka, but the way in which they did it was rather arrogant and immature. They must be feeling a bit emasculated since they are probably going to lose to a woman.

Photo via CBS 2