When I was running for Illinois State Comptroller in 1982, incumbent Roland Burris and I debated before a group of reporters-publishers. I think the Champaign or Urbana debate was sponsored by the Illinois Press Association, but I’m not sure.
One of the suggestions brought up was combining the two financial offices in Illinois state government. Perhaps a questioner brought up the topic.
The response from both Burris and me was, “Sure, why not?”
After giving Burris the ability to brag about having carried the State of Illinois by over a million votes, Burris, of course, did nothing to move the idea forward.
Subsequently, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka advanced the idea. It even came to a vote, but didn’t get enough to be placed on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Now Northwest Herald Editor Dan Caleb has written an article on the topic. He says Republican candidates for State Comptroller Topinka and for State Treasurer Dan Rutherford favor the combination idea this year.
And, to his credit, Caleb also includes Harvard resident and Green Party candidate for State Treasurer Scott Summers’ favorable opinion as well.
Having run as a third party candidate for governor against Rod Blagojevich and Jim Ryan in 2002, it seems appropriate that local candidates be included in stories about issues. Otherwise local newspapers are delivering the message that the third party candidates are not worth consideration.
Caleb probably wrote his column before learning that former Dundee Township Library Board member Julie Fox had been certified for the fall ballot as the Libertarian Party candidate for State Comptroller.
As the only CPA on the ballot, one could reasonably argue that she is the most qualified candidate for the office.
Her opponents are Topinka and Democratic Party State Rep. David Miller, who attended Democrat Mike Mahon’s fundraiser in Huntley last month.
Maybe the next article on the “boring” financial offices will have quotes from four candidates.
No one had commented on Caleb’s column by the time I wrote this article last yesterday afternoon, perhaps indicating how little attention is paid to their campaigns.