Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Updated November 24, 2004 at 11:40 am.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of the friends, readers and viewers of “Public Affairs.” And, come on back, as fresh blog entries will appear later today and throughout the weekend.
Democratic Political Consultant and Partner, Strategy Group, Pete Giangreco, is tonight’s guest on the suburban edition of Public Affairs [See blog entry, below, dated Nov. 22 at 12:30 am, for a detailed airing schedule in the suburbs] and Giangreco is this coming Monday night’s guest on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs [Nov. 29 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21].
Ducking and dodging with State GOP Chairman Topinka and her Communications Director/Flak Catcher, Jason Gerwig.

Some of our viewers and readers have inquired as to why we haven’t had State Republican Party Chairman Judy Baar Topinka on our show, “Public Affairs,” so she can have an opportunity to respond to some of the comments that have been made about her on our show and on this blog, such as those of former Lt. Gov., Corinne Wood [See, blog entry, immediately below this entry]. Well, like Round Robin, who ate and ate and ate-- we have tried and tried and tried and Chairman Topinka has declined and declined and declined.

State Treasurer Topinka appeared on our show twice in her role as Treasurer about four years ago. And, we have given Chairman Topinka many opportunities during the last few years to appear on “Public Affairs,” to answer tough, but fair, substantive questions regarding her State GOP leadership and state public policy issues. In addition to learning more about her role as State GOP chairman, inquiring minds want to know if Treasurer Topinka will make a run at the Governor’s nomination or another statewide office, seek re-election as Treasurer or simply fade from the political scene-- and what her positions on the issues might be. Generally her press people have responded she was busy, etc., but she would try to fit our show into her busy schedule. Inevitably, they would get back to me with a variety of explanations for her inability to do the show.

Earlier this month, her Communications Director and flak catcher, Jason Gerwig, gave us a streamlined “duck and dodge,” taking only four minutes to compose his eight word response. Our email correspondence is included, below. Our last email [Nov. 2, 2004] to Gerwig apparently did not warrant a response on his part. Of course, should Chairman Topinka/Pressman Gerwig have a change of heart, Chairman Topinka has a standing invitation to come on “Public Affairs.” What can I say, fair and balanced.
Nov. 2, 2004, 1:50 pm

To: Jason Gerwig,

Could you please advise if GOP State Chairman Judy Baar Topinka is ready to come on our show-- now that the campaign is over and she is stepping down-- perhaps her schedule will be a little less demanding than it has been over the last two years, which is about how long we have been extending an invitation to her to be a guest on our show. How about this Sunday, Nov. 7 at 12:00 pm?


Jeff Berkowitz
Host and Producer, "Public Affairs."
Nov. 2, 2004, 1:54: PM

To: Jeff Berkowitz

No, she won't be coming on your show.
Jason Gerwig
Communications Director
Illinois Republican Party
Nov. 2, 2004, 2:00 pm

To: Jason Gerwig

That was quick.
Now, why won't Chairman Topinka be coming on my show?

Jeff Berkowitz,

Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing legal search, can be reached at