Thursday's vote on a special election to fill the second half of what would have been Judy Baar Topinka's second term as Illinois State Comptroller was such a perfect storm of Illinois political forces that my head is spinning.
After weeks of discussion about what to do with the now-vacant Illinois comptroller's seat, House Speaker Michael Madigan has now said he supports the idea of a special election. This opinion comes after he previously stated he would support a four-year appointment by Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner.
Illinois is famous for its corrupt politicians, exemplified by its long list of former governors who went on to serve jail sentences. But the state also has plenty of political corruption that's perfectly legal.
Please bear with me as I make a long wind-up for a simple pitch. The pitch is: I've always thought Pat Quinn was a pretty decent guy. Honest, sincere, well-meaning and not self-aggrandizing. Lately, though, Quinn has given me reason to wonder.
While the identity of her successor remains a mystery, Illinois continues to remember the life and governmental career of state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Recollections came in from prominent political figures, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and even President Obama.
Eliot Spitzer as Comptroller will bury the past in a pile of papers, lose himself in reports on the city's economy, and he'll come out the other side of this public service cleansed and processed, stamped and sealed.