Monday, November 15, 2004

Updated on November 15, 2004 at 4:30 pm; Included below is a partial transcript of Tonight's City of Chicago edition of "Public Affairs," featuring Cong. Ray Lahood. The transcript supplements the transcript of the show included in the blog entry immediately below this one.
Cong. Ray LaHood on the Fitzgeralds [Patrick and Peter], Topinka, McKenna, Crane, Republican Gubernatorial candidates, the 8th CD, trade, Rutherford, Bean and much, much more.
Tonight’s City Edition [Nov. 15, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21] of “Public Affairs,” features ten year Congressman Ray LaHood [R- Peoria, 18th Dist.] debating and discussing politics and public policy with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz.
Jeff Berkowitz: What is the most important thing that he [Cong. Phil Crane] has done for his district? Over the years, or more recently-- whatever comes to mind.

Cong. LaHood: I think the fact that his service on the [House] Ways and Means Committee has been extraordinarily helpful to the State of Illinois in terms of trade policy, in terms of tax policy and frankly in terms of really setting the policy for our country and in following the lead of President Bush, in particular for the last three and one-half years on tax policy, whether it is the tax cuts, whether it is trade policy, this session of Congress- we passed three major trade agreements and Phil was the leader of that. Our state is, if not the No. 1 trading state in the country, it is one of them. And, uh, one of the top ones. And, it is because of Phil Crane’s leadership.

Berkowitz: So, trade is important to the Country, you are saying.

LaHood: Trade is important to Illinois.

Berkowitz: Trade is important to your district. The 18th in Illinois?

LaHood: Caterpillar is the top exporter in Illinois and we employ a lot of people in central Illinois and around the state and they benefit mightily from these trade agreements, as well as companies like Boeing and Motorola.

Berkowitz: Are you a free trader?

Cong. LaHood: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: When you say these trade agreements, they are generally agreements in which tariffs are reduced on a mutual basis?

LaHood: Reduced or eliminated. Absolutely.

Berkowitz: You would like to continue to do more.

LaHood: Absolutely. I mean it is the lifeblood for our state. I mean, for our farmers, who produce a lot of the food and fiber for the world, for companies like Caterpillar. 50% of what they manufacture in Illinois goes somewhere else in the world. Goes to South America. Mexico. Canada. The Far East. For companies like Motorola. And, certainly for companies like Boeing.

Berkowitz: And by that what you are saying is that that opens up markets, companies like Caterpillar, companies like Abbott, Baxter and Motorola up in the 8th Cong. District or surrounding areas are all companies that do a fair amount of exporting—

LaHood: And, they provide jobs. If they can produce a product that can be exported, it means there are jobs to manufacture the products that are exported.

Berkowitz: Now, Melissa Bean, Democrat [Candidate] in the 8th Cong. District [and newly elected Congresswoman in the 8th CD], as have others, has raised the issue of off shore sourcing- that is, sending jobs overseas, that is exporting not products but exporting jobs…is that a fair criticism to somebody like yourself and Phil Crane who are free traders?

LaHood: My response to people who say to me what are you going to do about all the jobs that are leaving the country is to first of all ask people what kind of car they drive. I saw in the business section of the Tribune a list of the 10 most popular cars as purchased by Americans, and the first 8 were foreign made. And, I also ask people where do you buy your goods and services? Particularly your goods. When you go into your Wal-Mart store, which a lot of Americans do, a lot of people in Illinois do- it is pretty difficult to find anything made in America…
Cong. Ray LaHood [R- Peoria, 18th Dist.], recorded on Oct. 30, 2004 and as is airing on “Public Affairs,” throughout the City of Chicago tonight, Nov. 15 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
The City edition of Public Affairs airs throughout the City of Chicago every Monday night at 8:30 on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].

The “Public Affairs,” show with Cong. Ray LaHood will air throughout the City of Chicago tonight, Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.