Friday, February 27, 2004

More Buzz: Is Pappas ready for Prime Time?

In tonight's Public Affairs show, airing in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka at 8:30 pm on Ch. 19, we air video-clips of 13 U. S. Senate candidates at the Feb. 4, 2004, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, 91.5 FM Chicago, Republican and Democratic Senate Candidate Forums. The most interesting and disturbing clip comes early on in the Democratic Forum and in our show when the Daily Herald's Madeleine Doubek asked candidate Maria Pappas: What should the United States do to lessen its dependence on foreign oil?

Pappas, who was the only candidate who brought a binder of some significant size with her into the forum, looked intensely through the binder [as picked-up by the Public Affairs camera] before throwing out a lot of words in what appeared to be almost random groupings. Further, the binder seemed to occupy Pappas' time during other portions of the Forum.

Maria Pappas: I think that when we look at foreign oil we need basically to enter in to-- in all of our foreign trade agreements, and whatever it is that we're doing foreign-wise, look very specifically at who it is that we are working with. I know that there are several proposals on the table looking very much at what it is that we might do in Alaska and I'm not sure that that provides any cure, but we have to impose upon those countries that we're dealing with and getting the oil from restrictions in terms of how it is that they are handling not only their workers at home but their environment as well.

Doubek: Would you have voted on the bill to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge in Alaska and if so, why?

Pappas: I would have opposed that and the reason for my opposing that would have been that it would have taken at least 10 years to have gotten anything here to Americans. The congressional persons that are acting up there, in fact, looking at the oil and wanting it for China.

So we need to look at the environment, and we need to look at our seals and our air and everything in Alaska to preserve the Rotunda as the jewel that it currently exists and is. So, I would not actually be in favor of drilling there. 90% of the Coastal Lands west of the Arctic---

Steve Edwards: That's time.

Maria Pappas, Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago, Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Forum, Feb. 4, 2004, as cablecast on "Public Affairs," in 34 suburbs on Comcast Cable during the week of February 23 and as to be cablecast in the City of Chicago on Monday night, March 1 at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21, CANTV.

In addition to the garbled syntax and thoughts, there were peculiar pauses as Maria looked helplessly through her binder. When Steve Edwards, Forum and "848" WBEZ program host said "That's time," it seemed that everybody in the room breathed a sigh of relief that that moment was over. How embarrassing for all concerned. Although Maria's competitors all want to win, at the end of the day, these are all good people and nobody wants to see another candidate humiliate herself.

[For transcripts of additional portions of the WBEZ forums, See the early February archives for Eric Zorn's blog at]

And yet, at other times in Senate candidate forums, the well known ability of Pappas to connect with voters, listeners and viewers manifests itself. However, until she sits down with Berkowitz or some other tough, but fair, interviewer and responds well to a grilling on the issues, doubts will continue as to whether Pappas has the requisite command of the domestic and foreign policy issues that every senator should have. Of course, the same can be [and is being] said, albeit to a lesser extent, about Dan Hynes and some of the other senate candidates.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

More Political Buzz, A Hullabaloo about a Hulluva Senator?

On Chicago Tonight, last night, what Chicago Tribune Columnist and blogger Eric Zorn has dubbed as Shingate was discussed by the Daily Herald's Eric Krol, CBS-2's Mike Flannery and the Chicago Tribune's Bob Secter, with some gentle probing by WTTW's Phil Ponce. Shingate could be Hull's Achilles Heel. On the strength of spending more than 19 million dollars of his own money lavishly on his campaign, including big time media buys, high paid consultants, giving homeowners $75 each to stick a Hull sign in their yards [one of the few Hull manifestations, these days, of his belief in the free market] and busing seniors to Canada for drugs, he has opened a 9 point, or so, lead over his nearest rivals, State Senator Barack Obama and Comptroller Dan Hynes, in the latest polls.

But, in the last two weeks, it transpired that Hull had a pretty nasty divorce six years ago (Hull’s third), with celebrity real estate broker, Brenda Sexton—who he married and divorced twice. A police report says he hit Brenda in the shin—and now Hull is saying he can’t really elaborate because a decision to do so is somewhat controlled by and affects others—most likely controlled, in part, by ex-wife and Gov. Blagojevich’s Illinois director of film promotion (which job was apparently procured for her by Hull’s financial generosity to the Governor, and what a movie the Hullabaloo about the Hulluva Senator would make, starring Barack Obama as the Terminator?)—and, of course, affects (the saviors of all political sinners) the kids. Hull can’t or won’t elaborate, except for the barest of details, on how it came to be that the Court issued two Orders of Protection against Blair Hull.

Now, mind you, policemen are not wordsmiths, but the phrasing is quite odd—“Hull hit Brenda’s shin,” is what we are told the police report says. Normally, one kicks a shin and hits a chin. So, did the police get it wrong? Bush-like dyslexia? Could he have hit her chin? A slap, perhaps? Closed fist? Or, open fist? Or, was he lying on the ground (for reasons unknown) and took a swipe at her shin? And, hit it? With his leg? Or, his fist? Or, with something else? How hard? Hard enough for a bruise? A light bruise, we are told. Or, did Hull kick her shin? Would any of this be what NOW, for example, might characterize as a serious domestic violence incident? Or, would NOW, say, for a liberal like Hull, it is domestic violence, but not so serious. But, how could they know?

Would NOW and other liberal women’s groups want to know more of the facts before they decide who they are supporting in the Senate race? Have they already decided? Which ones, if any, are committed to Hull? Will they stay committed? We are told by Krol that, as of last Friday, the President of Illinois NOW was saying that Hull needed to give a fuller explanation. A slap to the chin? A kick to the shin? A hit to the shin? Would any of that qualify as abuse? Domestic violence? A disqualifying incident for a Senate endorsement? Or would the Women’s groups give Hull the same dispensation they gave former President Bill Clinton. After all, Hull, like Clinton, is 1000% Pro-Choice, not to mention Hull’s spoken and written support for every so-called Women’s issue.

So, with all of these unanswered questions, we take you to Monday night’s Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Forum in the old Capitol Building in Springfield. Eric Zorn’s Tuesday blog [see Eric Zorn's Tuesday blog at] nicely transcribes the relevant portions for us:

PANELIST MIKE FLANNERY: A week ago, I asked your Republican opponents -- when is the personal appropriately political? Mr. Hull, you have talked about the circumstances under which an ex-wife got an order of protection in the middle of a divorce proceeding. Why not release the underlying documents?

BLAIR HULL: Well, first of all, this is not a unilateral decision. It involves two parties, it involves our families. It is not an issue that I can solely decide on. We issued a statement a couple of days ago that thoroughly describes what happened. Unfortunately it was a contentious divorce, like most divorces. But the important thing is that Brenda supports my candidacy, we remain good friends and she thinks I'll be a very good senator.

FLANNERY: Where do the rest of you draw the line? When is the personal an issue that reflects on a candidate's character that would illuminate the behavior of public issues?

Not so fast with the question to the other candidates, Mike Flannery. Hull said, “But the important thing is that Brenda supports my candidacy, we remain good friends and she thinks I'll be a very good senator.”

But, that is not right, at all, is it, Mike? The important thing is to know what happened. Hull is running for the U. S. Senate. What if Hull did take a good slap at Brenda and hit her hard either in the chin or the shin? Why not ask him that then and there? Isn’t it possible that a lot of citizens’ votes might be affected by the answer to that question? If Brenda got a sizeable financial settlement, followed up with a job with the Governor and who knows what else, as a part of a package to keep her quiet about an act of domestic violence, wouldn’t that matter? Might the citizens want to know that before they cast their ballots? What happened to the Public's Right to Know? Only appropriate for Watergate, but not Shingate?

I am not saying any of this happened [except for the few things that Hull has stipulated to]. I am saying that it is the job of journalists to ask and ask and ask, until they get answers. I mean, I would have asked. Indeed, I interviewed Blair Hull twice on “Public Affairs.” But, unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to interview him since the above was made public. Well, not quite.

I must plead guilty to a misdemeanor, of sorts. I did have an opportunity to ask Hull a few questions at a Press Conference on February 17 in the WTTW Foyer, a few days after some aspects of the Shingate story broke in the Tribune. I chose to focus on a few other issues-- Hull, Special Interests, how he got the Cong. Rush and Cong. Gutierrez endorsements and whether he might favor a constitutional amendment to overturn Buckley v. Valeo and limit how much millionaires like Blair Hull can spend on their own political campaigns. After probing on the last item and before I could turn to Shingate, Hull's handler said "Thank You," and the Hulluva Senator was out of there [these questions and Hull answers will air next week in the suburbs, and in two weeks in the City of Chicago, on "Public Affairs.]" So, if I had prioritized differently, I could have tried a few Shingate questions last Tuesday. But, gee, I thought Flannery could handle this stuff. He sure has in the past.

I think if I had the same opportunities as Mike Flannery, Craig Dellimore and Ben Kiningham have had in the last few days, such as at the Democratic Senate Candidates' Forum, I would have asked and I am perplexed as to why Mike, Craig and Ben did not. I don't mean just one question. I mean a follow-up and a follow-up and a follow-up. And, I don't even get paid for asking.

Indeed, Mike, why not go out to Hull with a few cameras and poke them at him the same way the media do to the corporate executives who often decline to answer questions. And, if you have done so once, why not do it again, until he answers. I mean fair is fair. The Public's Right to know, remember. I mean, Blair Hull is running for the United States Senate. We only have one hundred of those guys. Is character no longer relevant to being a U. S. Senator?

But, Mike didn’t ask Hull anything further on the issue, at least not at Monday night’s forum. Instead, as indicated above, Mike turned it over to the other Democratic Senate candidates for more than seven minutes of a social worker’s heaven, led by Maria Pappas [for the transcript of much of that painful discussion, go back to Zorn’s blog].

Now, let’s go back to Tuesday’s Chicago Tonight. You would think the panel would say—we’ll dig and dig, until we get the facts. But, nope, welcome to the new world of mainstream journalism. We’re turning it over to the candidates, not the journalists.

Ponce: Bob [Secter, Chicago Tribune Metro political editor]. Why hasn’t your paper put it [the Hulluva issue] on page 1?

Secter: Well, because-- that’s a very good question, except I am not sure we know all the details, so I am a little queasy about putting it on page 1…Is this something that is just going to blow over in a few days or is it something that has a lot of legs, and I think that it is really up to the other candidates to decide whether they are going to continue to press on this, or not (emphasis supplied).

Ponce: Mike, what does he [Hull] have to do to get this behind him? What does he have to say? What does he have to do?

Flannery: As I have said, my assumption is I am not sure that it belongs on page 1. My assumption is that, as I have said, this is not the crime of the century. This is not something that disqualifies him from serving in the U. S. Senate. But, he is a man that we don’t know much about. He is a man we haven’t had a chance to see under pressure, until now, and I think the best way to deal with this is to be open and clean.

So, where are we after all of this? Well, I guess Blair Hull is glad to hear from Bob Secter that new wave journalism at the Tribune will be to economize on investigative political journalists and turn it over to Hull’s Democratic competitors to determine whether he has engaged in conduct unbecoming of a U. S. Senator. The ultimate in "outsourcing." And, Hull is probably thrilled to hear that Flannery, usually known for being a hard nosed reporter, will take a pass here and assume there is nothing much to worry about.

Of course, as was pointed out by Krol on Chicago Tonight, there are a few Republicans in the race who may have some worries about what might transpire regarding their divorces. Some are pretty certain these disclosures might be the Republican Establishment’s March surprise, the revenge of the Republican Country Club types against the Republican upstarts [Jack Ryan and Jim Oberweis] who, while probably belonging to Country Clubs, have taken the lead by talking ideas, albeit divergent conservative ideas. [See, LaHood endorsement of McKenna, below; Can Speaker Hastert be far behind in coming out for McKenna?].

However, the Republican upstarts might be glad to see how relaxed the press has become on these "personal" divorce issues with the Democrats and might expect equal treatment under the Press. And, the Rs might expect a similarly laid back approach, so to speak, from the liberal women’s groups. If I were those guys, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Remember, as Dan Hynes keeps reminding his base, Roe v. Wade is on the ballot this year-- or so the liberals think. And when it comes to abortion and the liberal women’s groups, they take their political goals very seriously, and they might just decide that domestic violence might be trumped by maintaining Roe. Or, they might just decide that Obama or Hynes would be a much safer bet to be true to the women's groups' objectives and are both more electable in November than Hull, especially in light of Shingate. But, it is hard to say No to all of that money. After all, diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Modified at 8:30 am, Feb. 25

Monday, February 23, 2004

Monday, February 23, 2004
Posted, 4:21 pm
Political buzz:

Congressman Ray Lahood (R- 18th Dist., Peoria) announced today at a City Club of Chicago lunch that he will officially endorse, this Friday, Andy McKenna, Jr. in the United States Senate Republican primary race. Does this indicate that Speaker Hastert may be close behind? Officially, LaHood said he "he had no idea," if the Speaker would endorse Andy McKenna, Jr."

However, when Jeff Berkowitz asked Cong. LaHood at the City Club of Chicago program if he disagreed with Andy McKenna, Jr.'s proposal to require the U. S. Government to purchase from U. S. Companies 65% of the total goods and services that it purchases-- Cong. LaHood said he might want to talk to McKenna about that but said that he liked Andy because "Andy has agreed and committed to working with Speaker Hastert and our delegation when he gets elected to the Senate-- we can pick up the phone and call the other side of the Rotunda and he will answer the phone and be responsive-- that is why I am supporting him. You know, we may not agree on every issue, I guess I would probably talk to him more about this [the trade issue], but I give him credit for talking about it."

The Chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee that Cong. LaHood sits on will be opening up in 2005 and Cong. LaHood will be next in line, based on seriority, for that position. Of course, the person to hold that position will be decided, essentially, by Speaker Hastert, assuming that Republicans maintain control of the House. Is LaHood running a little interference and doing a little foundation work for the Speaker by trying to give the McKenna campaign a much needed boost (8% in today's Tribune poll to Jack Ryan's 30% and Oberweis' 12%). Will the Speaker follow suit and try to throw the full weight of the establishment behind McKenna? McKenna's dad, remember, was Chairman of the Cubs and Sox Boards, and was on the Tribune Board. Of course, if the Speaker jumbs into this on McKenna's behalf, might Senator Fitzgerald then endorse another candidate-- in his continuing efforts to oppose the Republican Establishment? We discuss, you decide.

Watch tonight's Public Affairs in the City of Chicago, (8:30 pm, Ch. 21) with guest Andy McKenna, Jr. Andy leaves no doubt that he is someone who will be very responsive to President Bush and Speaker Hastert, should he win. This would be in sharp contrast to the current Junior Senator from Illinois, whose legacy will be his independence from the Establishment.

Andy also explains, tonight, his decision not to join State Sen. and U. S. Senate Candidate Steve Rauschenberger, in asking Illinois RNC member Bob Kjellander to give up his RNC position, in response to what some characterize as a reform movement, spreading, slowly, through-out the Illinois Republican Party.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Making it a hat trick, State Senator Barack Obama, picked up his third North Shore Township Organization endorsement in three weeks this afternoon when the Northfield Township Democratic Organization (Committeewoman State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (Northbrook, 57th) Presiding), meeting in Northbrook, IL, endorsed the U. S. Senate Candidacy of Barack Obama. Picking up the requisite 60% for his township endorsement, Obama got 18 of 30 votes, with the remainder split among State Comptroller Dan Hynes (8 votes) and former Chicago School Board President Gery Chico (4 votes). Obama, Hynes, Chico and Joyce Washington all spoke to the Northfield group; Hull sent his daughter Megan to speak as a surrogate and Skinner sent a semi-surrogate who stood up and complained about Nancy being excluded from the upcoming WTTW debate and possibly the WLS/ League of Women Voters Forum. Pappas, it was said, was attending a charity event in Washington, DC. Chico, interrupted by Skinner's surrogate when he was about to begin speaking to the group, indicated he agreed that Nancy should be invited to the Democratic Senate Candidate forums. For more on the Buzz re Obama-Skinner, See Suburban Edition of "Public Affairs," posting, below.

Attending the Northfield Endorsement session in support of Senate Candidate Dan Hynes, and representing portions of Northfield Township, were State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (Evanston, 9th) and State Sen. Susan Garrett (Lake Forest, 29th). Not attending, but representing portions of Northfield Township and supporting Hynes were State Rep. Karen May (Highland Park, 58th) and State Rep. Kathy Ryg (Vernon Hills, 59th).

Not attending the Endorsement session, but representing portions of Northfield Township and packing clout in support of Barack Obama was State Sen. Terry Link (Lake Bluff, 30th). Not attending the session, but also packing considerable clout in support of Barack Obama was State Rep. Julie Hamos (Evanston, 18th) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (9th Cong. Dist.), both of whom gave substantial help to Obama in his previous wins in New Trier and Evanston townships. The saying around the North Shore for Democrats running for office: The Schakowsky/Hamos support card-- Don't leave home without it. Others talk, they deliver.

BTW, Schoenberg, Garrett, Link, Hamos and Schakowsky, not to mention Obama, Hull, Chico, Skinner and Washington as U. S. Senate Candidates and Pappas as County Treasurer and Hynes as State Comptroller are all former guests of "Public Affairs," and those are acts of kindness and acts in the Public Interest that "Public Affairs," well appreciates.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

PRESS RELEASE- February 15, 2004-"Public Affairs" show
City of Chicago Edition- Monday night, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21;

Tomorrow night's guest: Republican U. S. Senate Candidate General John Borling
Contact: JEFF BERKOWITZ, 312-214-6122
Stealth Senate Candidates (Part 4)

There still are two. As we have discussed for the last month, Senate Candidates Dan Hynes and Maria Pappas are the only 2 candidates, out of 14 major Democratic and Republican U. S. Senate candidates, to decline, as of this date, to schedule a time to appear on "Public Affairs."

As to Dan Hynes, he now, according to Eric Zorn, has added a new condition to appearing at Senate Candidate Forums, i.e., he won't attend unless the whole gang goes. See Eric Zorn's Chicago Tribune Saturday (2/7) column at

Also, Dan Hynes talked about education finance on last week's "Public Affairs,":

"So you wonder why in Evanston Township and New Trier Township your property taxes are so high. It is because the Federal Government does not pay its fair share of these initiatives. We have got to get the Federal Government paying more of their share and Illinois has got to get a greater share of the national pie. I am going to fight for more dollars for No Child Left Behind, for all of these initiatives... "

Dan Hynes, Democratic Senate Candidate Forum at Northwestern University held on January 21, 2004, as cablecast in the City of Chicago on "Public Affairs," tonight at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21]

So, Dan Hynes wants a new kind of tax swap? Lower real estate property taxes and higher federal income taxes? especially to help the "needy" folks on the North Shore? Looks like it, but we don't know, as we haven't been able to ask Senate Candidate Hynes about this.

If Hynes was trying to help the North Shore, it didn't help him in the Democratic Party of Evanston's and New Trier Township Democratic Organization's endorsement sessions, with Barack Obama winning Evanston two weeks ago with 90% of the vote and New Trier Township yesterday with 78% of the vote.

As to Maria Pappas, you can read about her financial disclosures, or lack thereof, in this week's Chicago Tribune.

Notwithstanding the above comments, Hynes and Pappas, as everyone knows, have considerable political assets. And, of course, they can run, but they can't hide-- and if they can, why would do they want to?
Partial Transcripts of Berkowitz's U. S. Senate candidate interviews (Obama, Chico, Hull, Washington, Skinner, Rauschenberger, Oberweis, Kathuria, Wright and Borling) are included at

Monday, Feb. 16- General John Borling, Republican U. S. Senate Candidate debates and discusses domestic and foreign policy issues with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz.

Monday, Feb. 23- Andy McKenna, Jr., Republican U. S. Senate Candidate debates and discusses domestic and foreign policy issues with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz.

Monday, March 1- Video clips (WBEZ U. S. Senate candidate forums) and interviews of select Republican and Democratic Senate Candidates.
"Public Affairs," City of Chicago Edition Quote of the Week, Interview with General John Borling, U. S. Senate Candidate, Republican Primary

Jeff Berkowitz: ...Are you a gung-ho, as we used to use that word, supporter of President Bush, in terms of the actions he has taken to lead this country into Iraq?

General John Borling: To this point, I think that the President has done very well not only for Iraq but the region and hopefully for the world. We have got two words confused, hard and wrong. There are a lot of people who say it's wrong, it's wrong, it's wrong because it [the nation building in Iraq] is hard. It is hard, but I think that--

Berkowitz: The fact that we haven't found any weapons of mass destruction...what do you say to the Democrats who make that an issue...

Borling: I would say to the "cut and run" Democrats that they don't have realistic policy options.

Berkowitz: Well, you use that phrase but I have heard [Democratic Candidate] Nancy Skinner remind you that she is not a cut and run Democrat. Certainly [Democratic Candidate] Dan Hynes says--

Borling: She [Skinner] never would have cut, so she couldn't have run.

Berkowitz: They would say, even [Democratic Candidate] Barack Obama, who was significantly opposed to the War a year before we went into Iraq, even he has said-- Now that we are in there, we have to be responsible, we can't just leave-- that doesn't sound like "cut and run," does it?

Borling: The answer is in this case because we are a powerful nation, the leadership mantle has fallen to us. This is the course of history--

Berkowitz: And, it doesn't trouble you that we didn't find any WMD?

Borling: No, not particularly-- I think we found--

Berkowitz: It still was a good move to go in there?

Borling: Well, I don't know. Maybe if we dig up another 300,000 bodies in Killing Fields, the Democrats will think that maybe this is justified on human rights terms, alone.

Berkowitz: So, you would make that argument, the moral imperative, as [Republican candidate] Jack Ryan has called it.

Borling: There is a moral imperative.

Berkowitz: So, you agree with Jack Ryan on that?

Borling: I agree with Immanuel Kant, who came up with the moral imperative.

Berkowitz: So, both you and Jack [Ryan] agree with Immanuel Kant, I stand corrected.

Borling: The categorical imperative is what Kant came up with, but if you want to get into a philosophical discussion, we can have another show ...
********************************************************************General John Borling, "Public Affairs," as is being cablecast through-out the City of Chicago this Monday night, February 16, in the City of Chicago on Ch. 21 at 8:30 pm; recorded on January 22, 2004.
Press Release: Feb. 15, 2004.
"Public Affairs" TV Show- Suburban Edition, 34 suburbs.

This week's guest: Republican U. S. Senate Candidate Andy McKenna, Jr. (See end of this post, below, for airing schedule for specific suburbs)


Partial Transcripts of Berkowitz's U. S. Senate candidate interviews (Obama, Chico, Hull, Washington, Skinner, Rauschenberger, Oberweis, Kathuria, Wright and Borling) are included at

It could be argued that Dan Hynes acted last week to suppress competition and information for consumers in the political marketplace of ideas by joining Senator Durbin's purportedly independent effort to get the 7 Democratic senate candidates to sign on to a No Negative Ad pledge [For an enthusiastic endorsement of negative ads, see Eric Zorn's Notebook blog today at]. No Negative Ad pledges, such as the one being pushed by Senator Durbin, would tend to benefit the incumbent or candidates with strong, machine political organizations over those who look and sound good "by comparison" and who need to advertise [both positive and negative] to inform the electorate of same.

I wonder if Durbin/Hynes would similarly favor prohibiting automobile manufacturers from informing customers why their safety mechanisms are better than those of their competitors. I should hope not. Yet, wouldn't such comparison ads [You would be crushed in Car A, you wouldn't get a scratch in Car B] constitute negative ads? What's the difference? Senator Durbin thinks automobile, college and toothpaste customers are better able to understand and assess such distinctions than consumers in the political marketplace? I don't think so.

"Negative ads," especially if intended to include comparison ads, have been unfairly maligned. We think U. S. Senate Candidate Hynes should withdraw his support for the Durbin pledge. Indeed, Comptroller Hynes very well might look good by comparison to some, if not all, of the other candidates, but the voters might never know if he doesn't come forth with some comparision ads. Come on, Comptroller Hynes, don't be modest, tells the voters why, specifically, you think you are a better candidate than your competitiors; What's good about you? What's not so good about them. Competition and information, the patron saints of consumers, voters and our viewers.

Political Buzz:

Political Buzz from two weeks ago continues about Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. Although long known for her baton twirling, binder twirling is something new. U. S. Senate Candidate Pappas (D) brought a binder of information with her to the WBEZ Chicago Public Radio Democratic Senate candidate forum on February 4 and attempted to use it, apparently unsuccessfully, when questions were asked to her. For those listening to the WBEZ Dem. candidate Forum, when Maria was asked a question, they sometimes "heard" an awkward pause, which didn't seem to refresh, as Maria looked intensely through her binder. Senate Candidate Joyce Washington had what appeared to be a pamphlet in front of her, but did not appear to make use of it. The other five candidates seemed to have a page or two, perhaps, of talking points, but they seemed to make little or no use of same. The only candidate who seemed to be following the adage-- "It's a fact, you can look it up," was Senate Candidate Maria Pappas. These and other exclusive video clips of the WBEZ Democratic and Republican Senate Candidate Forums will air next week on "Public Affairs," in the Suburbs and on March 1 in the City of Chicago.

Notwithstanding the above comments, Hynes and Pappas, as everyone knows, have considerable political assets. And, of course, they can run, but they can't hide-- and if they can, why would do they want to? So why won't they come on 'Public Affairs," and demonstrate their strengths and command of the issues? We discuss, you decide.

More political buzz from the WBEZ Democratic Senate Candidate Forum stems from the compliment given/overture made at that Forum to Senate Candidate Nancy Skinner by Senate Candidate Barack Obama for Nancy's early and articulate anti-Iraq War statements made on her old Sunday WLS-AM radio program, "Ski and Skinner." Nancy must have noticed-- she said, "Thank you, Barack." What more would it take for Skinner to drop out and try to transfer her projected 2 to 3 % of the vote to the Obama column? 30% could be enough to win in the primary, making Skinner's 3% very helpful to Barack, and in effect cancelling out what many view as a spoiler 3% vote that Senate Candidate Joyce Washington may pick up. Depending on what Obama-Skinner could work out, Skinner might have even more of a forum/soapbox than her candidacy gives her now and she would have the satisfaction, perhaps, of knowing she helped elect someone with similar views, at least on a number of issues. Hard to argue with this reasoning-- unless you didn't go the University of
Suburban airing Schedule of "Public Affairs:"

Week of Feb. 16, Andy McKenna, Jr., Republican U. S. Senate Candidate, debates and discusses job growth and job losses, the economy, technology tax credits, the free market, the War, the political and policy importance, or lack thereof, of the absence of WMD in Iraq, free trade and "Buy American," Republican Party of Illinois reform, Gov. Blagojevich, whether RNC representative from Illinois Robert Kjellander should step down and tax cuts with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz.

Week of Feb. 23, Exclusive Video clips of Republican and Democratic Senate Candidates at the WBEZ, 91.5 FM Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Republican and Democratic Senate Candidate Forums, which aired live on WBEZ radio on Feb. 3 and 4, 2004, respectively, but have not been aired on television prior to airing on "Public Affairs."

The suburban edition of Public Affairs airs three times each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Winnetka, Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire and Riverwoods.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Welcome to the blogosphere!