Monday, August 30, 2004

Updated August 30, 2004 at 1:00 am

Melissa Bean, a lunch bucket Democrat? The Crane-Bean Congressional race heats up. Senate Candidate Keyes factors into the race, too? Milton Friedman, Mike Noonan, Tom Roeser, Bill from Wheaton, a pregnant AG Lisa Madigan, Greenberg Traurig and Frank Penn. All of those folks in this blog and Bean on “Public Affairs.”

TANSTAAFL, taught to us by University of Chicago Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Milton Friedman, stands for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Is Melissa Bean arguing Uncle Milty is wrong.” Does she have a free lunch for voters. Can she beat Cong. Crane? We discuss, you decide.

Tonight’s [Monday, Aug. 30] City edition of the “Public Affairs,” show features 8th Cong. Dist. Candidate Melissa Bean [D- Barrington], appearing in the show’s regular time slot at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] through-out the City of Chicago.

Bean is running hard to try to upset 35 year incumbent Cong. Phil Crane [R- Wauconda]. Conservative Tom Roeser, on his Sunday night WLS radio show, “Political Shoot-out,” in response to a question from caller Bill in Wheaton, said, “I think she [Bean] stands, unfortunately from my viewpoint, a pretty good chance [of winning].”

Mike Noonan, formerly a campaign manager for AG Lisa Madigan and currently a government relations and lobbying Director working from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, said on the Roeser show that “…the Keyes campaign gives her [Bean] a terrific chance to win.” Frank Penn [AKA Larry from the South Side], appearing by phone on the Roeser show as a last minute fill in guest to represent the Keyes Senate Campaign, countered by asking Noonan if he thought that, “the voters of Illinois were afraid that Alan Keyes might make some moves that might allow them to keep 100% of their…income as take home pay.”

Don't have cable? Don’t live in the city. Try a city bar tonight with cable and make them turn on "Public Affairs," at 8:30 pm [Cable Ch. 21]. If the bar refuses to turn on the show, please complain to the Mayor, the mob and me. After all, it is a Democratic town. What are the folks at the bar going to be doing? Watching the Republican Convention?

Republican U. S. Senate Candidate Alan Keyes is featured on the City edition of "Public Affairs," next Monday night at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21 and on the suburban edition of the show this week:

A partial transcript of the Melissa Bean show, including a previously unpublished segment regarding whether there is such a thing as a free lunch, and is it called a college loan, is included, directly below, as a part of this blog entry. That segment is followed by transcript segments that have been published on this blog previously, over the course of the last week.
Melissa Bean: …I would not support a federally unfunded mandate. So, Leave No Child Left Behind, for instance--

Jeff Berkowitz: Do you think that is a federally unfunded mandate?

Bean: Well, it wasn’t intended to be. At the time it was voted on, the funds were supposed to follow, but then they didn’t.

Berkowitz: But… federal aid to education has gone up dramatically if …you take the long haul, [if you] look at the last 20 years.

Bean: Um, uh

Berkowitz: If you look at the last four years of the Bush Administration, it [federal education spending] has also gone up significantly, right?

Bean: Um, uh

Berkowitz: So, do you really suggest that federal aid to education should go up at an even higher rate?

Bean: No, absolutely not. I think it should be handled at the state level. As it is.

Berkowitz: So, you would not have put out [imposed] some mandates from the federal government?

Bean: Absolutely. I think the state control is where it should be and leave it to the local school boards to run the schools.

Berkowitz: So, on the whole, would you have voted yes or no on “No Child Left Behind.”

Bean: At the time

Berkowitz: At the time you were voting.

Bean: where there was accountability standards and it looked like there would be some funding on that, I was inclined to have supported that and again, I wasn’t there so it is a rhetorical question. In retrospect, if the dollars aren’t going to be there, then you say no, you are not going to support that.

Berkowitz: Okay, but voting at the time you—

Bean: One of the things I wouldn’t have done is vote to cut college loan funding. Because, that is not really federal funding, that is just making those loans available so we have a broader access to college. [Cong. Phil] Crane did vote against college loan funding.

Berkowitz: It depends on what [interest] rate at which you lend that money, or the [rate] at which the Federal Government does—

Bean: He [Crane] voted against locking in an [interest] rate so that kids could better plan. He also voted against making the loans available.

Berkowitz: Where does that subsidy come from?

Bean: Well, it is not a subsidy. Remember, it gets paid back. It is an investment in our children’s future.

Berkowitz: Well, is it a below market [interest rate] loan? Or, is it a market rate loan?

Bean: I would have to go back and look at it. But I think it was just to lock in a rate.

Berkowitz: If it is a market rate loan, then why is the government doing it? The free market can handle that. So, I am presuming the argument would be—no, we should have less than market rates from the government.

Bean: Well, my understanding is what the college loan funding does—is by providing some guarantee and back up—it just has broader access to loans for those who may not have the credit to get college loans.

Berkowitz: Well, it lowers, if the government guarantees and even if it is funneled through, as it sometimes has been, the private market—that [the guarantee] lowers the risk, that essentially is the same thing as a subsidized interest rate? Right? You are in business. You understand that.

Bean: Well, it gets paid back.

Berkowitz: Some times. Some of those loans don’t get paid back. Right?

Bean: Um um.

Berkowitz: …School choice, does that come up much? School choice, school vouchers, as you go around the district, people talk about it?

Bean: No, college loan funding and the cost of college loans going up and people are concerned right now as some are unemployed, some are not finding new jobs at the same income that they had and they are seeing college prices going up. I think that is a big issue and actually, access to the college loans is a big issue that I hear from people. But, we have a lot of colleges in the district, too.

Berkowitz: So, you think that, on the federal level, you as a congressman would do more than Cong. Phil Crane has to have the federal government try to lower what the financing cost of education for colleges was, right? Did I get that right?

Bean: Yeah, I think making loans available is a good thing.

Berkowitz: Yes, but you realize it has to come from somewhere- when you say making it available?

Bean: Yes.

Berkowitz: And, so who are you taxing to pay for this?

Bean: We are not taxing. It is a loan. It is not a give-away program.

Berkowitz: But, we come back to- if it is not going to require a subsidy, why isn’t it being done simply in the free market?

Bean: Well, it did get done. It happened, even though [Cong.] Crane voted against it. The funding is still there. But, he just didn’t support it.
More Partial Transcripts of the Melissa bean show, below:
Jeff Berkowitz: Tax cuts were a big deal. Big issue. [Your opponent, incumbent Cong.] Phil Crane has been known as a big tax cutter. Right?

Melissa Bean: Well, he claims to be a big tax cutter.

Berkowitz: Well, he has supported unequivocally President Bush’s program to cut taxes in 2001 and again in 2003. That’s correct, right?

Bean: Correct.

Berkowitz: Now, a good portion of that [program] was cuts across the board on marginal rates of taxation, right?

Bean: Hm, um.

Berkowitz: Now, how would you have voted on that? Would you have voted for either of those [tax cut] packages, if you had been the... Congressman from the 8th Cong. Dist. If you were the Cong. From the 8th Cong. Dist., if you were that person in 2001 and 2003, would you have voted yes or no on those tax cut proposals.

Bean: I liked a lot of the tax cut proposals.

Berkowitz: But, you have to vote yes or no.

Bean: My challenges with Crane have not been on the tax cuts but on the tax code, in general.
Berkowitz: Don’t you, at the end of the Day, when you are a congressman- you have to vote yes or no on what is being proposed, right?

Bean: Hm, um.

Berkowitz: The tax cut legislation that passed came before the Congress. If you were there, would you have supported it. Would you have been a yes or no on that vote?

Bean: I’d have to go back and look at it. I wasn’t there. It is a rhetorical question. I don’t have the documents in front of me.
Jeff Berkowitz: The national Democratic Party’s platform, I believe, supports the Patriot Act.

Melissa Bean: Um- Hmm.

Berkowitz: A lot of Democrats don’t realize that. No.1, Are you aware of that and No. 2, do you agree with that position?

Bean: The Patriot Act, I think, was a reasonable response to the events of 9/11.

Berkowitz: So, you would have voted to support it?

Bean: And, we absolutely need to do some of that. There was some merit in the border control issues; in shared intelligence between different agencies. But, I think, wisely, Congress chose to put a sunset provision in it so we could go back and really evaluate what was working—where maybe we overstretched--so that we can balance civil liberties

Berkowitz: Are there things specifically that you would change-- that you know now that you would want changed before you [would] vote to continue [to keep] it [the Patriot Act].

Bean: Well, certainly I think people are a little uncomfortable with their library records, you know, being investigated for no purpose.

Berkowitz: Are they? We are going to interrupt just to say that we are going to continue to speak as the credits roll but I very much want to thank Melissa Bean—she is the Democratic candidate in the 8th Cong. District. She is challenging Cong. Phil Crane, this is his 35th year.

Berkowitz: I should say to our viewers that we have invited Cong. Crane [to come] on this show. We told his press person a month ago—let us know dates that he can do it and we will try to accommodate him. That was in July. I thought there would be some day between then and November 2 [that Cong. Crane could tape our show, “Public Affairs,” and we were told there were no days. So, I say that although we don’t endorse candidates; we do endorse the notion that everybody should do what Melissa Bean is doing --- in coming here and subjecting herself to some tough questions. And, being a good sport about that—but seriously, in educating the viewers and her voters.

Bean: It is important.

Berkowitz: And, [Cong.] Phil Crane should do it. He has done it before [he has taped our show twice in the last few years] but we are having trouble getting him on now and he should come on with Melissa Bean—I have extended that invitation to Cong. Crane’s staff [for Cong. Crane to appear for more of a real debate on my show; they said they would get back to me, but have not yet done so]. You would be happy to appear with Cong. Crane?

Bean: I would be happy to come out and [appear on the program with him]. We have been trying to get Phil Crane to come out for three years.

Berkowitz: There are debates [candidate forums] coming up. Those things should be videotaped [and televised]. We understand there has been some concern [objection expressed by the Crane campaign to video-taping of these forums by non-media members] but I have been told by the Crane campaign that it has no objection to the press coming and videotaping [these candidate forums]. There is a debate [candidate forum] this Wednesday [Aug. 18]. Right?

Bean: And, we are hoping he is going to be there, in Round Lake…

Bean: Right. And, you can go to and we will get you some information.

Jeff Berkowitz: Social issues, very quickly. You are 1000% pro-choice, right? in terms of abortion?

Melissa Bean: I don’t know exactly what that means.

Berkowitz: Well, would you oppose a ban on partial birth abortion?

Bean: I support the laws as they exist as defined by Roe v. Wade, which limits any late term abortion or at least allows the states—

Berkowitz: There was a proposal to ban partial birth abortion. Would you have opposed that proposal?

Bean: Because it did not take into account the woman’s life and health, I would have opposed it.

Berkowitz: If it took [into account] a woman’s life and health, you would have supported it?

Bean: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: Parental notice. I know that is a state issue, but do you oppose parental notice.

Bean: That is a state issue and I would support how the state has handled it.

Berkowitz: Which is not to require parental notice [of an upcoming abortion by a minor female]

Bean: Not yet, but I know they are working on trying to find some kind of-

Berkowitz: What is your position on the Assault Weapon ban? [show ends].
Melissa Bean, 8th Cong. Dist. Candidate [D- Barrington], interviewed on “Public Affairs,” recorded on August 14, 2003, in a show that is being cablecast tonight [Monday, Aug. 30] through-out the City of Chicago, at its usual time slot in the City, 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of "Public Affairs," can be reached at