The latest ad criticizing Treasurer Topinka's financial stewardship is likely to be around a long, long time. The 15 second spot leads by reminding viewers that George Ryan left the state with a $5 billion budget deficit. It then asks voters to decide whether Topinka was complicit in the runaway spending or just asleep at the wheel.
The tagline: "And now she wants a promotion?"
Earlier charges that Topinka merely stood by while Ryan stole everything that wasn't nailed down went to her character. I thought the charges were a little off-base because few elected officials ever criticize someone from their own party--unless they are primary opponents--so it hardly disqualifies someone. Since Illinois voters don't really trust anybody in politics these days unless their name ends with "Obama," I'm betting the ethics charges will just muddy the waters.
But this latest ad goes right to the heart of Topinka's competence by pointing out that our state's top fiscal officer was co-piloting the state while it ran into the red. Picture Topinka as "Gilligan" and George Ryan as "Skipper" in charge of the Exxon Valdez.
The ad's message is simple, credible and relevant. I just wish they'd change the ads up a little bit so they don't all have the same look to them, so voters don't just lump all the ads in together. Still, this ad is a bullseye, and I hope the campaign will post it at TopinkaWatch.com soon.
Still, I really, really can't wait to hear Topinka's response to this one.