Wednesday, March 10, 2004

More Senate Primaries Buzz: What a difference a few call letters make. Compare and contrast the below "Public Affairs," clips of the senate candidate discussion held on Feb. 27 with discussion host Cliff Kelly at WVON, 1450 AM with the "Public Affairs," clips of the Feb. 3 and 4 senate candidate discussions held with discussion host Steve Edwards at WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, 91.5 FM.

Republican Senate Candidate Jack Ryan supports Israel and its fence unequivocally; Do Democratic Senate Candidates Obama, Chico, Pappas and Washington? a sleeper issue for the General Election? for the Primaries? Senate Candidates Hynes and Hull don't make it to Cliff Kelly's candidate discussion on WVON, What else is new? Skinner is not invited, What else is new? Jack Ryan and Barack Obama frame the issues; Gery Chico and Barack Obama discuss Haiti. Republican Senate Candidate Steve Rauschenberger discusses Andy McKenna's Buy American proposal with host Jeff Berkowitz. Senate Candidate Pappas discusses judicial appointments with host Jeff Berkowitz.

The below is a partial transcript of this week's suburban edition of "Public Affairs." which includes the topics described above. See the March 1, 2004, entry below for the suburban airing schedule. The same show will air through-out the City of Chicago on Monday night, March 15 at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21. We will add, later today, to this site a partial transcript of the Berkowitz interview of candidate Pappas.

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Jeff Berkowitz: We are standing here on February 29th at the AIPAC conference with Jack Ryan…Jack, what did you think of the Conference?

Jack Ryan: I thought it was a really good conference, you saw so many people…coming together to support Israel, which, as you know, is our only true ally, only democracy in the middle east…

Berkowitz: The Jewish population has generally gone in the past heavily Democratic, can you make inroads across the state of Illinois with the Jewish population [in November] if you are the Republican nominee for the U. S. Senate.

Ryan: I think I can, because as you know, a lot of our race is appealing for those voters who don’t always vote Republican, some who usually vote Democratic, and my experience with the Jewish community is very, very good. I went to Israel on my own in 1999. I have been very supportive of their issues and their policies and so, No. 1, they have a lot of confidence in me and second, President Bush has done a great job of standing up for Israel. I think the combination of those two things gives me great hope that come November, we will get a lot of help from the Jewish Community.

Berkowitz: Let me ask you about the fence that Israel is constructing, do you think that is an appropriate thing for it to be doing in protecting its own security.

Ryan: Well, I think whatever it takes to make Israel safe and secure- we need to support them in doing. Now, I don’t think Israel is the creator of the fence. I think it is the terrorists who are creating that fence. There wouldn’t be a fence going up if it weren’t for all the attacks, every single week, by the terrorists, trying to kill Israeli children, Israeli mothers and dads- it is absolutely horrible and you can imagine if they were coming across the border to blow up people in Chicago, we’d have fences and security around Chicago, so I think it makes a lot of sense to have that fence.
Berkowitz: If it comes down to a race in the general election between you and Barack Obama, what do you think the big issues would be as you campaign statewide?

Ryan: Well, the first issue will be jobs. Who can provide the best plan to bring jobs to Illinois. We have lost a lot of jobs, here, in Illinois- so No. 1 is jobs. No. 2 is education. We talk about this all the time, about this being the biggest civil rights issue of our generation—and you talk about this, too. The biggest social justice issue of our generation is making children go to SCHOOLS that we KNOW are going to FAIL them. I think the last issue, too, is health care, in addition to what we just talked about today at lunch, which is making sure we keep our country and our allies safe from harm. I think those are the big issues.

Berkowitz: How do you differentiate yourself on the issue of jobs from Barack Obama?

Jack Ryan: I think, in my vision, jobs can now go anywhere in the globe. They will always move to the best place, wherever they get the highest return for their effort. So, we have to make sure that America is the very best place for jobs, not by penalizing companies, not by penalizing employees, but by making incentives to lower tax rates, less regulation, a better civil justice system, so companies will want to grow here, start a company here, expand, hire people—all those things happen when you have a good, healthy business environment.
Jack Ryan, interviewed by Jeff Berkowitz on February 29, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, standing outside the America Israel Political Action Committee conference, and as is being cablecast this week in the suburbs on “Public Affairs.”
Steve Rauschenberger: Does he [McKenna] believe that the procurement process in government ought to go to the lowest bidder or does he say, “I get to pick favored people.”

Jeff Berkowitz: I think he says we should give a priority to United States companies.

Rauschenberger: I want American companies to be competitive and I want them to win the bids, but I don’t want—

Berkowitz: So, that’s a difference, that’s a difference between you and Andy?

Rauschenberger: No, that’s not a real difference. Andy does not know what else to talk about.

Interview of State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger on “”Public Affairs,” which was taped on Jan. 8, 2004 and the above clip is airing this week in the suburbs and next Monday night, March 15, in the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21 on “Public Affairs.” See, below, March 1 entry for suburban airing schedule of “Public Affairs.”

(WVON 1450 AM Radio’s) Cliff Kelly: …Barack… give me, in your opinion and prioritize them by importance, the three major issues you would like to address as a member of that august body, only 100 people in the country are sitting in the
U. S. Senate-

Barack Obama: The No. 1 priority is jobs and job loss and that is something that is hitting communities downstate as well as here in Chicago. Everywhere I go people are out of work or they are insecure with the jobs that they have. The whole issue of outsourcing is enormously important. Not only are blue collar jobs being exported now, but you have got white collar jobs going to India and Singapore, and so people feel enormous economic insecurity and that has to be priority No. 1. A companion to that is the issue of health care, Joyce [Washington] already mentioned—there is a health care crisis all across the state…and the third issue, which Gery [Chico] obviously has done terrific work on is the issue of education, that is something that, at the federal level, we have got to do a better job of providing the resources that have been promised by the various mandates that have been issued by the federal government.

Cliff Kelly: What would you do if you were in the Senate relative to Haiti?

Gery Chico: I would probably use American diplomacy to call for a National Referendum on Aristide’s fate. The United States propped up Aristide before. One half of the country is held by rebels. Things are very, very unstable there. Colin Powell, today, in fact, is talking about the United States suggesting that Aristide step down. I would like to see the nation itself take its own position. The French I see want Aristide gone. I would call for a national referendum immediately, as quick as practicably possible, to determine what to do about Aristide. Maybe, it is something along the lines of what you saw on the California Governor’s ballot: Should he [Aristide] stay or not? If not, then who?
Cliff Kelly: So, as far as what is happening right now. There are people being killed. Aristide is saying- if you don’t send help, we are going to have a massacre and you are going to get boat people, so what do we do?

Barack Obama: …And I think that we need to send help [into Haiti]. The United States has enough leverage to say to the UN we have to send some troops in [to Haiti]

Cliff Kelly: But, not do it alone.

Obama: But, don’t do it alone. Don’t do it alone primarily because of the legitimacy of the UN compared to the legitimacy of the US going in unilaterally.

Joyce Washington: Absolutely, go in- support them as we always have done, but again, like you- don’t do it alone. I think that needs to be our strategy when we look at what we do with countries around this world. Again, we don’t have the cowboy approach. I think we can just go in.

Cliff Kelly: You know, we restored him [Aristide] alone.

Washington: Absolutely, but

Cliff Kelly: So, I am just asking, what is the difference now, we didn’t do anything in Rwanda and 500,000 people were slaughtered…We drugged this character in England into Iraq; the UN said, No, don’t go and we did it anyway.

Barack Obama: Cliff, I think a part of what you are pointing at is that the United States has to have consistency in its foreign policy

Cliff Kelly: Right

Barack Obama: And, the reason that we have such problems with our allies all across the world and the number of allies is declining is they look at a situation like Rwanda and they look at a situation like Iraq and they look at a situation like Sierra Leone and they say if in fact the reason why you now say you are going into Iraq, since there are no WMD, is because you wanted to save the Iraqi people from a vicious tyrant—why is it that you stood by when half a million people were being slaughtered in Rwanda and why is it you weren’t doing anything in Sierra Leone. That isn’t to say that each situation in each country is not going to be different. It is to say that the United States has to formulate a set of policies that says we are going to look after our national interests and we are going to work with the United Nations to make sure that human rights are also observed in places where people can potentially--

Cliff Kelly: Let me ask you, why do you think we went into Iraq? Gery?

Gery Chico: I think we went into Iraq for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, and this is very cynical, but I think we wanted to open up a front to take our attention off of our tremendous domestic problems with the economy.

Kelly: Okay.

Chico: Why did we do it? You cannot equate the war on terror with the move that we made in Iraq. There is no justifiable basis for the action in Iraq… The fact of the matter is it took our eye tremendously off the ball of apprehending Osama Bin Laden. Instead of having 140,000 troops in Afghanistan or in the border region with Pakistan looking for this criminal, we have diluted our forces and put them into Iraq.
Cliff Kelly: I want the others to respond to that, too, but let me ask you this, also, Gery, while you are discussing it and then we will have to take a break and we’ll come back. There are many people who think that one of the major reasons [to attack Iraq], of course, was also to take the pressure off of Israel. We know that [Saddam] Hussein was never a threat to the United States, even if he did have weapons of mass destruction, he had no delivery system.

Chico: Right.

Kelly: He might have been a threat to Israel. Of course, we have carte blanche support to Israel. And, as you answer that, how- as we continue to support Israel and lose what little credibility we have in the Muslim World and particularly the Arab world-

Chico: Right.

Kelly: What do we do relative to Israel/Palestine?

Chico: There is no doubt about it that Hussein showed the capability to launch Scud missiles into Israel.

Kelly: Right.

Chico: 10 years earlier. But, the fact of the matter is we need multilateral diplomacy. You can’t deal with just one party. I have called for a World Forum with largely the Muslim world to talk about the issues that are affecting them. Look, Islam is a good religion. There is a sector within that religion that has become very, very fundamental and very, very hostile toward Western interests. If we don’t sit down at the table and start to talk these issues through, we are going to be on constant threat for the next two decades.

Cliff Kelly: We will have Barack and Maria and Joyce respond to that, also, when we come back…we are in the midst of our Illinois Senate conversation with four of the candidates and they are doing a great job.., let’s go to Sharon now and get the latest on the Traffic and weather.
Clips from Clliff Kelly’s show on WVON- 1450 AM Radio, February 27, 2004 and as is being cablecast this week in the suburbs on “Public Affairs.”
What follows was "Off the air" for the Cliff Kelly show but is "On the air" for “Public Affairs.” Senate Candidate Barack Obama left the room as Cliff Kelly began to speak with senate candidates Chico, Pappas and Obama during a WVON program break. Obama did not return to the room until the discussion held during the break, described below, was completed.

Cliff Kelly: You have got Israel getting more money from this government than all 54 of the African nations combined.

Maria Pappas: I have lived in Israel. I have worked with the Arabs and the Israelis in Israel. I want to speak on that.

Kelly: I have been there 12 times…

Pappas: The vast majority of Israelis and Arabs don’t want this to continue… this is the extreme right and the extreme left

Kelly: Well, what the Israelis ought to do then is kick the Likud out.

Pappas: How do you do it? You are outnumbered.

Kelly: Who is outnumbered?

Pappas: In terms of fighting with the Likud.

Kelly: Well, they weren’t. Labor has been in power in Israel much longer than the Likud has. And, they almost had a chance with Rabin. You know, when Rabin was there, they would have had peace—that is why he was assassinated. And, you know who killed him: A Jew.

Gery Chico: Oh yeah.

Kelly: A Jew. A Jew killed him. Rabin. They would have had peace because he had the capacity to do that. Having been a soldier and an engineer of the velvet glove. I mean this guy was a-

Pappas: I think you need a President who is as close to the personality of Clinton to put the deal together.

Chico: Yeah,

Pappas: That’s what I think

Chico: [President] Carter?

Pappas: But, this administration is not on that track.

Chico: Clinton was working on it until the day he left office.

Kelly: This administration is totally for Israel. I mean they don’t give a sh_ _ about Palestinians.

Joyce Washington: [Laughter]

Chico: Well, actually, they took the first year off.

Kelly: That’s right. And [they] condemned Clinton for spending all that time on it. They didn’t do anything. So, what is going on now? They are building that damn fence. With your money. With your money.

Washington: It doesn’t make any sense.

Kelly: It makes sense to the Likud.

Washington: The farmers can’t even get over to their land. They split this fence right down the middle.

Kelly: Sharon’s idea of – Listen, [pointing at Maria Pappas], have you ever been in the Knesset? Have you ever been in the Knesset? Okay, well, did you see on the wall? Did you see on the wall what it says?

Pappas: No, what?

Chico: What does it say?

Kelly: From the Nile to the Euphrates. The Israel constitution is the only one I know of that has no boundaries. One of the first things you do in a constitution is you describe what the boundaries of the jurisdiction is. They don’t have –- from the Nile to the Euphrates. What the Fu_ _does that mean?
Sh _ _!

Washington: [Laughter] We got him on tape. We got him on tape. We got him on tape again.

Pappas: Excuse me. Excuse me. Is that one of those bleeps, like that Globe—

Kelly: There ain’t no bleeps on this show.
A discussion during a break in Cliff Kelly’s show on WVON- 1450 AM Radio, February 27, 2004 and as is being cablecast this week in the suburbs on “Public Affairs.”