Nov. 7 endorsements

‘‘To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.’’

—Abraham Lincoln

Governor and Lt. Governor (Vote for ) 1






No endorsement. I’ve said this race is between “surrounded by scum and really appears dumb, plus the good guy who has no chance of winning.”

Blago has several federal investigations under way into his administration. His fund-raiser Stuart Levine has pleaded guilty to federal kickbacks charges—involving both Democrats and Republicans. Another fund-raiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko has been indicted. Friend and fund-raiser Christopher Kelly may also be caught up in the Levine web, according to the Chicago Tribune, which also noted links to Republicans William Cellini and Robert Kjellander. Then there’s the $1,500 “birthday check” for his daughter. Blago has told Attorney General Lisa Madigan to go scratch when she asked for specifics on the federal investigations.

On the other hand, Blago has raised the minimum wage, and provided senior and children’s health benefits.

Another substantial achievement, largely ignored by mainstream press, has been his commitment to renewable energy. He has provided substantial support to solar and wind projects, but he did raid that fund. However, he has mandated state vehicles use renewable fuels, and he has been a friend to new ethanol plants in the state.

Local critics have complained many times about the increase in state fees on the restaurant and transportation industry, and those increases have strained those industries and driven some out of state. Yet, the state income tax has not gone up, and he is fighting the ComEd rate hike, thank God. Also, Blago did give financially troubled Rockford College a $500,000 grant.

Topinka was given the ComEd issue on a plate by Mike Leifheit and friends, when she held a fundraiser at the Irish Rose. She didn’t get it, but Rod sure has run with it.

Topinka also didn’t get it that you can’t say you’re against gambling one day and then propose a casino for Chicago. A blatant grasp at the Democratic vote in the Windy City, she was blown away in the commercials showing side-by-side clips of her against and then for gambling. Dumb. Blago’s attack ads are brilliant, asking, “What was she thinking?”

Her long-time association with convicted ex-Gov. George Ryan aside, Topinka and the Republicans are going to have a hard time casting off the corruption image long associated with Democrats in the state of Illinois. Things are pretty bad when New Jersey and Louisiana can say, “Hey, we’re not so bad. Look at Illinois!”

Topinka’s snapping at Blagojevich for being surrounded by corruption may splatter into the pot calling the kettle dirty. The Chicago Tribune report about how both parties are affected by Levine’s deal with prosecutors said, “The plea agreement also alleges that a key Topinka ally, Robert Kjellander, the state’s Republican national committeeman and treasurer of the Republican National Committee, earned a finder’s fee for pension investment after he had been paid by Levine to lobby for a Levine company.” Kjellander did not return calls for comment to that paper, which noted Blago “pointed out that Birkett accepted campaign donations from Levine; Birkett said he was donating them to charity.” Joseph Birkett is Topinka’s running mate.

Here’s a scenario to pass around the breakfast table. Vote for Blago, and he wins. If he gets indicted or resigns, his running mate Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, becomes governor. Talk about “Snap, Crackle, Pop!” Quinn has always been an advocate for consumers and campaign finance reform. He’s been pretty quiet at the table right now, but the kitchen would sure heat up in a very interesting and good way if he became governor.

Then we have the long shots—Rich Whitney and Julie Samuels of the Green Party. For all you folks of an independent nature, who are fed up with the Demos and Repubs, this slate’s for you. As of Oct. 31, Whitney was polling around 13 to 15 percent of the vote. This is significant because if the Green Party gets 5 percent of the vote for any state office, they’re on the next election’s ballot without having to collect 25,000 signatures again. According to the Rockford Board of Elections, Demos and Repubs only have to collect 5,000 to 10,000 petition signatures to run for state offices. This time around, the Green Party collected 39,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Not so oddly, the Demos filed a protest of 4,000 pages, and the Green Party’s petitions filled 4,000 pages.

Yes, the very person writing these endorsements signed one of those petitions, and my signature was protested. I have lived at my address (with a 10-year absence) since I was 3 years old. I was in good company. Jack and Colleen Holmbeck’s signatures were also protested; they’ve lived at their address for 35 years.

Politics as usual dictates the machine runs the show. Go to the Green Party web site and see what their approach is, and maybe you’ll vote Green. If you do, you’ll give voters a better chance at having another choice besides “politics as usual.” Reportedly, after the WGN debate among Blagojevich, Topinka and Whitney, Whitney won the debate with more than 60 percent of callers. He also won the debate within the Rockford Register Star. Amazingly, they endorsed him.

I just love this race! All the weasels are scrambling. Get out and vote.

Attorney General (Vote for 1)




Madigan has stood up to the governor of her own party on several issues. She has fought the selling of the Thompson Center, fought the selling of Illinois student loans and asked for federal indictment records from Blago. She has kept better track of sex offenders, fought the utilities, and fought the Emerald casino license.

We just wish she’d fight for us here in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson and JoDaviess counties a little more. Come on up! Two of our state’s attorneys have refused to prosecute some very interesting cases dealing with development sprawl, public officials and election issues. We need some help, but we keep hearing from her office that she can’t second-guess or challenge the local authority. She seems to be doing exactly that with Blago. Some point out a $25,000 contribution by local developer Sunil Puri to her campaign. Nevertheless, she receives this paper’s endorsement.

On the other hand, maybe you’d like to give our local David Black a chance.

Black says he’s against capital punishment, and he says Madigan waffles on the issue. Black also says he has a great deal of experience representing the consumer and would be a great consumer advocate.

“While she’s good, she’s still part of the climate of corruption,” Black said. “Look at the money she raised. Look at the money her father, Mike Madigan, raised as Speaker of House. I am not and will not be part of that climate.”

Black did admit Madigan was one of our better attorneys general and is an activist.

The reality of her overall good record stands out. She’s a star to watch in the future. Umholtz isn’t even on the radar, and from what we’ve seen of Republican state’s attorneys around here, Madigan’s the one.

Secretary of State (Vote for 1)




Jesse White’s Inspector General James B. Burns actually came to our office to talk to us and others. He was here to inform the area about White’s new efforts to make sure the kind of abuses that occurred under George Ryan’s tenure do not occur under his. This outreach is very laudable. Burns listened to everything we had to say, and seems to be the man for the job, as is White.

To file a complaint about the local operations of the Secretary of State facilities or personnel, go to this Web site:

White’s efforts on behalf of organ donations, teaching kids how to be responsible with credit cards, and his tumbling team for kids are also very laudable. Remember, you can sign the back of your driver’s license to become an organ donor, today!

Since he is the librarian of the state, we’d like to see more efforts similar to Jim Edgar’s Read Illinois Program. And, yes, White’s challenger, Dan Rutherford, is right about the impropriety of White having so many relatives working for his office.

However, his faults can’t compare to White’s record. Despite Rutherford’s and others’ criticism, customer service is much better under White than it was under Ryan. The lines move quicker, and the state employees have much better attitudes.



For State of Illinois Comptroller, Treasurer and the Winnebago County Board Seats, vote for the Democrat. The only two exceptions are Winnebago County Board members Pete MacKay (R-5) and Mary Anne Aiello (R-9). They actually represent their constituents, listen to them and cannot be bought by the developers that seem bent on paving the entire county with more gas-guzzling four-lane highways, architecturally ugly strip malls and McMansions that you can break into with a utility knife because you can cut through the walls. If the developers can’t buy the zoning, they pitch a Planned Community Development (PCD) that ruins the rural communities they invade, ignore and insult.

PCDs were developed for the birth of small towns, not corruption and heavy-hammered clout on the county board, its committees and in the courts. You get about as much justice as you can afford around here, and very deep pockets are required. Enough.

Most of this culture of corruption is controlled by the Republican party, particularly in the county. However, like Bill Clinton, many of the Democrats and others around here are the best puppets the Republicans ever had.

Add up the cost and upcoming increases in your taxes, natural gas, electric, water, sewer, mortgages and your gasoline bill! My, how convenient the oil moguls gave us a break to try to help their corporately-owned cronies get elected. Don’t say, “Thanks.” Look at the oil companies outrageous, gouging profits. They don’t trickle down; they pump us down. The economy is not improving! You are not any more secure under Republicans than Democrats. Don’t fall for the pitch. With globalization and every cost we have rising, the middle class is being eliminated, and the poor are getting poorer. Global warming is real, and our butts are on the hot seat. Push the Republicans out into the cold on the local, state and national level. Undervote (don’t vote in that race) the unopposed Republicans. Send a real message.

On the Winnebago County Board, Wendy Schneider (1), Mary Osbone (1), Doug Aurand (3), Paul Gorski (5), Barbara Hildreth (7), Karen Elyea (11), Karen Hoffman (11) George Anne Duckett (12) and Marjorie “Marge” Veitch (14) are heartily endorsed. Again, vote the Republicans out before they pave the county! Except MacKay and Aiello, of course.

The Rock River Times has no endorsement for Winnebago County Sheriff or Winnebago County Clerk. We wish somebody else were running. Come on, Green Party and Independents, go for the county races!

In the race for Ill. House Rep. in 69th Dist., the endorsement goes to GREG TUITE (DEM). RONALD A. WAIT (REP) has been there long enough, and many of his constituents say he’s out of touch. He’s grown complacent. He doesn’t use an office in the Zeke Giorgi building; and while he’s fine for golfing with the pros, the amateurs would like to see him, too. Tuite was very impressive at the candidates’ forum held by the League of Women Voters at RVC. He may have been the best speaker on the platform. His campaign is well run, and he has garnered the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune. Let’s see if he’ll deliver for the “little people,” vote for Tuite.

In the race for 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, the endorsement goes to GWYN GULLEY (DEM). ED PROCHASKA (REP) was a probate judge and gave a pretty good ruling in the infamous Licari case. Then, he was sentenced to Boone County, and now he’s back. Many of his other rulings in the probate era were criticized as being unquestioning of lawyers and guardian ad litem fees. He’s in the Republican mold. We need more Democratic judges, and Rep. Chuck Jefferson was right. Yes, we need an African-American judge. Gulley is a competent woman. Not a single lawyer I know will say anything bad about her. The good ol’ boys and gals in the Republican courthouse club need another cultural perspective for their, our and her growth. The population should be reflected in the courts for everyone’s inspiration. David Taylor’s op-ed in the daily was right on!

In the two questions of retention for 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, vote “YES” for both TIMOTHY R. GILL and FREDERICK KAPALA. Both received an average of 98 percent ranking in the Winnebago County Bar poll. Kapala ranked slightly higher than Gill, and he should be our next federal judge when Reinhard retires.

On the referendums, vote “No” on the Proposition To Eliminate Second-Hand Smoke in all public places in Winnebago County. Our freedoms and our economic well-being are under enough attacks as it is. This will really hurt the restaurant industry. No smoking areas and establishments are available already. Sorry, Doug Aurand.

Aurand’s other advisory Proposition For A Capital Construction Program lobby to get our road, mass transit, and other infrastructure from downstate is a surefire vote “Yes.” You gotta admit Aurand is creative and wants to know what the voters want.

On the advisory Proposition On The Size Of The County Board, vote “No.” The more representatives we have for the rural and minority areas, the better. With less, they’ll get less. Doug, Doug, Doug.

On the Proposition For Open Primary Law, vote “Yes.” We should be able to vote in a primary without declaring a party. Our privacy is almost gone as it is. Hey, Doug, how about an advisory referendum on Big Brother cameras on our intersections, in our housing complexes and in our business districts, brother?

On the Proposition To Issue $10,000,000 School Building Bonds in North Boone County, vote “Yes.” They might as well join Rockford School District 205 in the high cost-per-student category. It’s catch-up time for all the development that was caused by white flight from Rockford during the Deseg-Taxation-Without-Representation-Mahoney-Tyranny. Then there’s all the Chicago people heading out there. The schools need the money. Impact fees! Impact fees! Let the developers pay a bit more for the sprawl.

On the Educational Purposes Tax Rate for Rockford School District 205, vote “No!” Enough is enough. Many teachers tell me of the inflated salaries and unnecessary levels of bureaucracy on Madison Street. The posse Superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson brought with him from Tennessee is just one example. Many of the double layers of administration ordered by Mahoney still exist. Plus, thank God for School Board Member Mike Williams blowing the whistle on the $21 million surplus. It’s time to pare down the administration and overhead, and really go to site-base managed neighborhood schools. By the way, whatever happened to the FBI investigation into the purchasing practices and privacy invasion by the computer department at District 205?


U. S. Rep. 16th Congress Dist. (Vote for ) 1





Ill. State Senator 34th Leg. Dist. (Vote for ) 1





From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, i


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