Judy Baar Topinka
|Judy Baar Topinka|
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|January 10, 2011 - Present|
|January 12, 2015|
|Years in position||4|
|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|
|Date of birth||January 16, 1944|
|Place of birth||Riverside, Illinois|
Topinka and Illinois Treasurer-elect Dan Rutherford said they plan to flex their muscle as the state’s fiscal officers, with an aim at Gov. Pat Quinn’s borrowing. Quinn has 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 requires.
“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 will 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.
Topinka won election as Comptroller in the November 2, 2010 election.
|Illinois Comptroller (2010)|
|Judy Baar Topinka (R)||1,927,139||52.62%|
|David E. Miller (D)||1,497,263||40.88%|
|Julie Fox (L)||121,068||3.31%|
|R. Erika Schafer (G)||116,712||3.19%|
In 2010 Topinka collected $981,408 in donations.
Listed below are the top 5 contributors to her campaign.
|James N. Pritzker||$105,000|
|Illinois Education Association||$40,253|
|AFSCME Illinois Council 31||$30,000|
|Pan American Bank||$14,000|
|Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association||$13,000|
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 Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
- Topinka's campaign Web site
- Project Vote Smart biography
- Campaign contributions: 2010, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996
- "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
- Illinois Board of Elections, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed April 2, 2011
- 2010 Topinka Campaign Donors
- Forbes, "Watchdog questions comptroller, treasurer raises," September 26, 2011
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