Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Updated Tuesday, June 8, 9:50 pm.

Antonio Davis-Fairman (R) takes on Cong. Danny Davis (D).
A Choice, not an Echo? Does Antonio offer Hope, Growth and Opportunity to the constituents of the 7th Cong. Dist., a district with a 25% poverty rate and a $40,000 median income?

Antonio Davis-Fairman, Republican candidate for the 7th Cong. Dist. accuses eight year incumbent Cong. Danny Davis of insulting his constituents regarding the issue that Antonio Davis-Fairman, Jack Ryan and a growing number of Republicans call the major civil rights issue of the 21st Century. Is it the major civil rights issue of the 21st Century? Have the 7th CD constituents been insulted by Cong. Davis? We discuss, you decide.

We invited Cong. Davis to join Antonio Davis- Fairman on our show and we we were told that his schedule did not permit that. We have offered Cong. Davis' office various dates to appear on our show and we are waiting for his response.

A partial transcript of the "Public Affairs," show featuring Antonio Davis-Fairman is included below. The show is airing in the suburbs this week and will air through-out the City of Chicago this coming Monday night, June 14, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.

For more details regarding the show and the suburban airing schedule, please see the blog entry immediately following the below partial transript of the show.
Jeff Berkowitz: ...some people have proposed school choice, school vouchers.

Antonio Davis-Fairman: Right, Right.

Berkowitz: Especially for the Chicago Public Schools ("CPS")...how many of your constituents have kids in the CPS, about half-- would you say?

Fairman: Yes, probably. One thing I will tell you as far as school choice is concerned. We were in Maywood, Illinois,[which is included in the 7th CD]. We did internal research: we went to 468 homes and 98% of the folks said they were for school choice.

Berkowitz: So, you think your constituents are heavily
for school choice? school vouchers? Let's distinguish that from just charter schools.

Fairman: Vouchers. They support [school] vouchers, school choice.

Berkowitz: You support school vouchers?

Fairman: I support them.

Berkowitz: ...this is what we spend in the Chicago Public Schools, on an operating basis, per kid, per year--$10,000, on average. In fact, if you count capital costs, it is over $11,000...I am saying keep the [revenue that supports] capital costs [for the public schools, leaving each parent who receives a voucher with]$10,000 per kid, per year. This is the backpack; this is going to your constituents, your typical family in your district and you say-- here, if you have two kids, you get two backpacks-so this family [in your district] gets two backpacks: $10,000 in this backpack [to spend on education] , $10,000 in this backpack [to spend on education]. You take both of those backpacks proudly?

Fairman: Yes

Berkowitz: You would want to give them to the constituents in your (7th Cong.] District?

Fairman: Absolutely, they deserve it.

Berkowitz: And, if there are 435,000 kids [in failing public schools], you would give them 435,000 backpacks?

Fairman: Right.

Berkowitz: Everybody should have a chance to go to a quality school?

Fairman: Everyone deserves to have a chance and education is a civil right. It is more than a civil right.

Berkowitz: Jack Ryan [Republican U. S. Senate Candidate] says that. He says that it is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st Century.

Fairman: Well, everyone in the country says that.

Berkowitz: Does Barack Obama [Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate] say that?

Fairman: Most of the conservatives say that or folks who believe--

Berkowitz: You know Barack Obama? He is a state senator. He is running for the United States Senate. He is a Democrat.

Fairman: I have heard about him.

Berkowitz: Do you think he supports school choice/school vouchers?

Fairman: I am not too sure.

Berkowitz: Do you think he thinks it is the major civil rights issue?

Fairman: Well, I know that there are 12,000 kids in his area that are suffering because they do not have a [school] choice.

Berkowitz: In his [senate] district?

Fairman: In his district.

Berkowitz: All right, well, we will have State Senator Barack Obama on and we hope he will talk about that. We have had Jack Ryan on because we are fair and balanced.
All right, so you support school choice/school vouchers. Cong. Danny--

Fairman: School choice/School vouchers [and] I support something called the Human Capital Cooperative Education Act which will provide internships for kids. You know, there are some folks in the 7th Cong. Dist. that have asked Cong. Davis-- would he support a program where kids would have internships. If they are not going to have internships, they are not going to be exposed to opportunities and they are going to continue to slang and bang on the streets and this is appalling--

Berkowitz: So, what did he say?

Fairman: He [Cong. Danny Davis] didn't say anything, I mean-

Berkowitz: Has he been asked specifically about school vouchers and school choice?

Fairman: Yes, he has been asked actually--

Berkowitz: You have heard him asked about that?

Fairman: Right, he was on John Cox's radio show.

Berkowitz: [the show that is called] the Progressive Conservative.

Fairman: The Progressive Conservative.

Berkowitz: What is the station number [for the Progressive Conservative?] Do you know?

Fairman: I believe it is 1530 AM

Berkowitz: As John says, it comes in better if you are driving around, but you can listen to it when you are not [as well]. All right, so he was asked by John Cox, Cong. Davis was, about school vouchers/ school choice and what did he say?

Fairman: And he[Cong. Davis] said that would be absolute chaos because-- and these are three insults, ladies and gentlemen-- he said that you have to have a level of sophistication, education and understanding, that was his first insult. And, John [Cox] said, well, the only thing folks are doing, advocates are doing, is asking for a chance, a choice. And, he carried on and said that would be absolute chaos, that would be chaos.

Berkowitz: Just as people say, "All we are saying is-- give peace a chance." You are saying, "All we are saying is-- give choice a chance."

Fairman: Right. He said that would be absolute chaos. And, he continued on and he said to John [Cox], and you have to have a level of sophistication and understanding. John asked-- are you saying the parents-- the parents, this is what he said-- are you saying that the parents are too stupid? Cong. Danny Davis said absolutely, well, yes. Second insult--

Berkowitz: You have that, you sure you have that right?

Fairman: We have that on tape.

Berkowitz: You have it on tape?

Fairman: He [Cong. Danny Davis] said that the parents were too stupid. He believes that you are too stupid--

Berkowitz: Too stupid for what?

Fairman: To make choices for yourself.

Berkowitz: To have school choice, school vouchers?

Fairman: To have school choice. He has a low expectation of the kids [the Parents?].

Berkowitz: Well, we are going to have Cong. Danny Davis on [this show], we hope-- and he is going to have a chance to respond to that.

Fairman: Great. Have him on.

Berkowitz: He'll have a chance to tell us whether you got that right. That is your statement.

Fairman: I have a tape.

Berkowitz: We can't say it is right. I can't vouch for it. Next time bring the tape--

Fairman: Sure.

Berkowitz: And then we can play it and people can determine whether you got that right.

Fairman: You will hear it in the district, ladies and gentleman:

Berkowitz: Let's go quickly over to foreign policy. You would have voted in the fall of 2002 if you had been in the Congress-- in the fall of 2002, the President asked the House and the Senate to authorize him to take military action in Iraq. I think Cong. Danny Davis opposed that. You would have voted for it.

Fairman: He did [oppose the authorization of the President to take military action in Iraq].

Berkowitz: You would have voted for it.

Fairman: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: You support the War in Iraq?

Fairman: I support security for this country.

Berkowitz: But, do you support the military action taken in Iraq?

Fairman: Yes, I do.

Berkowitz: Do you think it is going to turn out well?

Fairman: I hope so.

Berkowitz: I didn't ask you whether you hoped so, I said do you think it will turn out well?

Fairman: I hope so. I am not there.

Berkowitz: You are not there. You don't know but you continue to support, we are taping this show on May 27th, 2004. As we sit here today, you continue to support the military effort in Iraq.

Fairman: Right.

Berkowitz: You continue to think the President did the right thing.

Fairman: I believe he did the right thing to secure freedom.
Antonio Davis-Fairman, Republican Candidate for the 7th Cong. Dist. in Illinois, interviewed on "Public Affairs," taped on May 27, 2004 and airing on the North Shore, North and Northwestern Metropolitan Chicago suburbs this week [Week of June 7], and airing through-out the City of Chicago on Monday, June 14, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of "Public Affairs," can be reached at JBCG@aol.com