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Republicans Debate in Bad Lighting

By Amy Hart in News on Jan 26, 2006 3:15PM


Last night was the big Republican debate between gubernatorial candidates Judy Baar Topinka, Bill Brady, Ron Gidwitz, and Jim Oberweis. We were entertained, mostly by the horrible lighting that made the candidates look tired and haggard, but not enlightened. Too bad the earlier run-in between Brady and Oberweis was not televised.

The debate focused on jobs, the economy, and the business climate in Illinois. The candidates agreed on most of the topics—the need to stop corruption and pay-to-play politics, restructuring the funding and decreasing the bureaucracy of the educational system, not raising taxes, fostering job growth, and limiting government’s role in business. And they were definitely all united in their disdain for Blago.

Chicagoist started taking notes, but we stopped when it looked like we were writing down the same thing for nearly every candidate. Nobody was overly impressive, yet nobody fell flat on their face.

Click here for in-depth analysis, or keep reading for each candidate’s most memorable moment.

Topinka: Said her experience in state government makes her the best candidate, and that it is time for maturity in the governor’s office… like Jim Edgar offered.

Brady: In rebuttal to Oberweis’ well received complaint that government is giving illegal immigrants a free ride, said illegal immigration was a problem, but that the answer was not to dump them all in Soldier Field.

Gidwitz: When asked what he would do with tort reform, said he wants to turn Illinois back to the Land of Lincoln instead of The Land of Jackpot Justice.

Oberweis: Admitted his dairy company is thriving in Illinois, but said it would do better without Blago in office. Also said he would attack corruption just like Patrick Fitzgerald.

All in all, the candidates talked a lot, but they didn't say much of anything.

Photo courtesy of CBS 2