Judy Baar Topinka
|Judy Baar Topinka|
|January 10, 2011 - Present|
|January 12, 2015|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Daniel Hynes (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|1994 - 2006|
|Illinois State Senate|
|1984 - 1994|
|Illinois House of Representatives|
|1980 - 1984|
|High school||Ferry Hall High School (1962)|
|Bachelor's||Northwestern University (1966)|
|Date of birth||January 16, 1944|
|Place of birth||Riverside, Illinois|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Issues
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Topinka's current term will expire January 12, 2015 and she is up for re-election in 2014. On September 17, 2013, Topinka announced that she ran for a second term as state comptroller.
By the time Topinka launched her 2014 re-election campaign, she had already drawn a prominent challenge from Democratic Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon. Both Topinka and Simon are their party's presumptive nominees in the March 18 primary and will likely face off in the general election on November 4, 2014.
Topinka was born in Riverside, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
Topinka has worked as a journalist, founded a public relations firm, served as Public Affairs Executive for the American Medical Association, and has been a public relations advisor to a number of political candidates and organizations.
- BS, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, 1966
Illinois Comptroller (2011-Present)
Topinka and Illinois Treasurer-elect Dan Rutherford said they planned to flex their muscle as the state’s fiscal officers, with an aim at Gov. Pat Quinn’s borrowing. Quinn had called borrowing one of his “budget pillars,” yet the state treasurer and comptroller must sign-off on short term borrowing, according to Illinois state law.
“I have a number of questions about any type of short term borrowing,” Topinka said. “What will the money be used for, how long will it be out, and is there money for the state to pay it back?”
Topinka said she would not issue blank checks to the governor. Rutherford thinks he has a mandate to be tough and that voters picked Republicans to hold the fiscal offices of the state for a reason.
“[One] thing that I think is going to be impactful is to have people who are willing to articulate what may be a differing opinion on the finances of the state.”
Rutherford said that not all borrowing is bad, but he does worry about Illinois’ mounting debt and the state’s ability to repay what it borrows.
Eric Madiar, chief legal counsel to Senate President John Cullerton, sent a letter to Baar Topinka in early January 2011, pointing out that 38 gubernatorial nominations expired with the closing of the previous General Assembly, and therefore should not be paid a salary or expenses.
Fifteen salaried and 23 unsalaried positions were up in the air in January 2011, including those of interim Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken and interim Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Manuel Flores.
“We in the new Senate cannot take action on that old paperwork. There is no paperwork supporting those individuals to be in office today,” said Madiar.
Criticism for raises
Topinka, along with Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, came under criticism in September 2011 for giving pay raises during a fiscal crisis. Topinka gave 56 employees raises of at least 3 percent and several employees raises up to 15 percent. Rutherford gave out 19 raises, averaging 16 percent increases. The issue came to light by an analysis of payroll records by the Better Government Association, a Chicago nonprofit group.
Illinois Treasurer (1994-2007)
Illinois State Senate (1984–1994)
Illinois House of Representatives (1980-1984)
Topinka won election as Comptroller in the November 2, 2010 election.
|Illinois State Comptroller, General Election, 2010|
|Republican||Judy Baar Topinka||52.6%||1,927,139|
|Democratic||David E. Miller||40.9%||1,497,263|
|Green||R. Erika Schafer||3.2%||116,712|
|Election Results via Follow the Money|
On her 2010 campaign website, Topinka listed three main issues:
- Taxpayer Advocacy and Protection
- "Create a “whistle-blower hotline” for concerned taxpayers and state employees to call and report abuse and waste."
- "Enhance the contract and grant review process to stop wasteful spending before it occurs, ensuring that all state contracts are properly bid and awarded."
- "Provide more checks and balances on state spending by establishing a process to more thoroughly review contracts and grants before they are approved and payments are made."
- Transparency and Accountability:
- "Be a tireless fiscal watchdog and taxpayer advocate as keeper of the public checkbook."
- "Ensure transparency about state spending and finances through redesigned and more user-friendly public website."
- "Publish contractual procurement and grant award information, including the descriptions of deliverables, so the public can review how state money is being spent."
- A Renewed Commitment to Service:
- "Provide enhanced services to constituents through the creation of a constituent services hotline."
- "Assist small businesses, minority and women-owed businesses and businesses that pay a prevailing wage obtain state contracting opportunities by making information about the contract process available free of charge; thereby encouraging greater competition for public contracts to reduce costs and ensure that taxpayers get the highest quality service at the lowest possible price."
- "Work to re-establish a rainy day fund to have for use in tough economic times like today."
Comprehensive donor information for Topinka is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Topinka raised a total of $18,011,584 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 10, 2013.
2002 and 2010
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Judy Baar Topinka's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Judy Baar Topinka's Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$1,212,661 (Democratic)|
|Top 5 contributors||James N. Pritzker||$105,000||National Republican Congressional Committee||$50,000|
|Illinois Education Association||$40,253||Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association||$40,700|
|AFSCME Illinois Council 31||$30,000||Kompac State Victory Fund||$35,000|
|Pan American Bank||$14,000||Frederick Krehbiel||$31,500|
|Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association||$13,000||Operating Engineers Local 150||$28,000|
State of the State response
In January 2014, Topinka gave a response to Governor Pat Quinn's 2014 State of the State address and Quinn's agenda for a new building program for Illinois, new early childhood education initiatives, and a higher minimum wage. Topinka responded that Quinn would have to give further detail on how to pay for his proposed programs. “If (the 2011 temporary income tax increase) does not hold, that’s like a $5 billion hit on the budget,” Topinka said. “There really has to be some attention paid to the finances of the state.”
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Judy + Topinka + Illinois + Comptroller"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
- Judy Baar Topinka for Comptroller 2014 Official Campaign Website
- Social media:
- Summary, biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Profile at Wikipedia
- Campaign contributions at Follow The Money
- Works by or about Judy Baar Topinka in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Collected news and commentary at CBS Chicago
- Collected news and commentary at the Chicago Tribune
- Collected news and commentary at Crain's Chicago
- Collected news and commentary at the Huffington Post
- State of Illinois Comptroller, "Comptrollers Biography," accessed September 15, 2012
- Judy Baar Topinka 2014 Official campaign website, "Press release:TOPINKA DELIVERS ‘COMMON SENSE’ TO MT. VERNON, LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN," September 17, 2013
- CBS Local - Chicago, "2014 Governor Candidates To Choose Running Mates," August 24, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's Biography," accessed September 19, 2012
- "New Ill. GOP comptroller, treasurer: no blank checks for Dem gov’s borrowing," Illinois Statehouse News, November 10, 2010
- "Senate looks to clear out expired nominations," Illinois Statehouse News, January 18, 2011
- Forbes, "Watchdog questions comptroller, treasurer raises," September 26, 2011
- Illinois Board of Elections, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed April 2, 2011
- Citizens for Judy Baar Topinka, "Issues," accessed September 19, 2012
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Judy Baar Topinka," accessed July 10, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
- WatchDog.org "Illinois governor lays out ambitious agenda, forgets to mention how to pay for it," Accessed February 6, 2014
Daniel Hynes (D)
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