GOP candidates for governor asked to sign code of conduct
December 2, 2005 (WLS) -- Republican candidates for Illinois governor are being asked to sign a code of conduct that promises they will avoid political mudslinging within their own party. But the inner-party trash talking is already underway.
Republican candidates for Illinois governor are being asked to sign a code of conduct that promises they will avoid political mudslinging within their own party. But the inner-party trash talking is already underway.
The Illinois Republican party is worried about the candidates for governor slinging so much mud and talking so much trash that whoever wins the GOP primary will be so politically contaminated they won't have a chance against Democrat Rod Blagojevich.
The problem is that Judy Baar Topinka is so far ahead of the pack in the polls, the only way to knock her down may be with mud and trash, and it's already happening despite a plea for civility and a code of conduct.
"For us to be successful we need to be very conscious of the fact that too much scarring and too much blood will be detrimental to whoever the nominee is," said Illinois Representative Tom Cross, (R)-House minority leader.
The leaders of the Illinois Republican party say they will never beat Democrat Rod Blagojevich next year if their own candidates trash one another during the GOP primary. Republican candidates are being asked to sign a code of conduct that compels them to avoid misrepresentations, distortions and malicious untruths.
But at least one candidate says he won't sign the pledge because it is an insult.
"I don't need to sign a code of conduct. My conduct has been exemplary for the last forty years. I expect it will continue that way," said Ron Gidwitz, (R)-candidate for governor.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Rauschenberger is not signing the pledge either. In fact, he is intensifying his attack on the frontrunner, Judy Baar Topinka, saying that she represents the corrupt GOP politics of the past as a longtime ally of discredited former governor George Ryan and all of his indicted and convicted friends and cronies.
"Judy is surrounded by people who are more interested in defeating reform than they are in defeating Rod Blagojevich. She is surrounded by people who make money with the status quo. Until Republicans talk the truth about ethical reford and changing the culture of our party, there isn't a future for us in the next election," Rauschenberger said.
Topinka, who is leading the GOP field by 18 points in the latest poll, says Rauschenberger is getting desperate.
"When people get desperate and their campaigns aren't going as they wish, they have to start demonizing someone else. I am not going to put somebody else down so I look better. I'm gonna run on my record. My record's good," said Topinka.
The leaders of the Republican party are hoping that some of the candidates for governor will decide, after looking at the poll numbers, to run for different offices and rally behind Judy Baar Topinka. No one is dropping out at this point.
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