a Blagojevich versus Topinka two-way race, we would have been comfortable endorsing Topinka.
That would not have been like choosing "the lesser of two
evils." Topinka is not evil. In fact, it will be no disaster if she is elected.
We know she would improve Illinois policy in many very
important ways, and gambling opponents can block her expansion
in the choice between Topinka and Whitney, it is the Carbondale lawyer
who has earned our endorsement.
has shown his grasp of the
issues and has offered enlightened and reasoned positions to
address them. He has an understanding of the state policy process far beyond what would be expected of a candidate who has
never held a public office, and far beyond that of most who have.
Whitney has emerged as the class of the field.
Blagojevich and Topinka bickered about who is the more corrupt or
about debates and how to avoid them, as they pandered
shamelessly, Whitney stayed on point with reasonable, workable
positions on important issues. Most importantly, he has remained
honest and has adhered to his principles.
Can Whitney win?
The odds are long. But
with the major party candidates destroying each other daily and half the voters now saying they don't like either
of them, and with Whitney rising in the polls from about zero to
double-digit numbers with three weeks to go, his goal no longer appears
completely beyond the fringe.
an example? In 1992, the popular U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon was opposed
in the Democrat primary by Alfred Holfeld, a wealthy lawyer who
wanted to buy himself a Senate seat, and by Cook County Recorder
of Deeds Carol Mosely Braun, a former state legislator who was
angry at Dixon for his vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Braun was the throw-away candidate. She had "no chance."
But she campaigned steadily and seemed reasonable, while Dixon and
Holfeld ignored her and hurled venom at each other. The final
vote was split almost evenly, three ways, but Carol got about 37%
- and won. (True, she was a disappointment as a Senator, but
that's another story.)
lesson: In a three-way race, when the "favorites" take
each other down, the "throw-away" has a chance.
we expect Whitney to win? No. Preferences are not the same as
predictions. If you want a prediction, here it is: We believe
Blagojevich will finish 4 or 5 percentage points ahead of Topinka
- without regard to what percentage the governor winds up getting
- with Whitney getting whatever votes are left.
if Blagojevich gets 41%, Topinka will get 36% or 37% and Whitney
22% or 23%. That's about what we think is likely. But if we're as
far as seven points off on Blagojevich (and federal court actions
before the elections could make that happen), Blagojevich gets
34%, Topinka gets 29% or 30% and Whitney 35% or 36%. You see? It's
winning is unimportant. Unless a voter is so twisted in his
view of democracy that bragging that he "voted for the
winner" is his top priority, a vote for Whitney is the only
honorable thing. Since Topinka can't win (her vote total is fixed
by the dynamics of this contest at some figure below Blagojevich's
- click here to see why),
there is no benefit to voting for her. If you think the governor
is wonderful, any many misguided souls apparently do, then vote
for the winner.
if you want to be proud of how you voted - and have even an
outside chance of voting for a winner - Whitney is the only choice
for you. He's not likely to win, but unlike Topinka, he has a
chance. In any case, your vote will be a message (not a bad thing)
and it will help establish the Green Party to compete for our
votes in the future.
a rare and pleasant thing when a choice that's forced upon us is
also one we can be proud of.
strongly endorse Green Party candidate Rich Whitney for Governor
of Illinois on November 7, 2006.