Monday, December 06, 2004

Updated Dec. 6, 2004 at 3:00 pm
Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Rutherford/ Governor Blagojevich, a trust issue? /Lt. Gov. Quinn/Sec. of State Jesse White/Bridging the Schisms in the Republican Party/Republican Gubernatorial cattle call
State Senator Dan Rutherford is on "Public Affairs," tonight, through-out the City of Chicago, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]. Next week’s guest on the City edition of Public Affairs will be Jim Durkin, 2002 Republican U. S. Senate nominee, and potential candidate in 2006 for Governor or certain other statewide offices.
Jeff Berkowitz: …Well, if you were running for Governor and they were running for Lt. Gov., could you support that [pro-choice] person?

State Sen. Dan Rutherford: I would want to know more about their position on other issues, but yes. Sure, because we as a Republican party have to go beyond. Our message has to go beyond guns and gays and abortion…Other issues are important to people. Security, good education, we need to look at the whole idea of jobs, job security, job growth, taxes, size of government- I mean those are as important—
This is perhaps the first TV cattle call for Governor and other Statewide offices for the March, 2006 Illinois Republican Primary. State Senator Dan Rutherford (R- Pontiac, 53rd District) is featured in tonight’s Chicago edition of "Public Affairs," debating and discussing public policy issues and politics with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz. A partial transcript of that show [previously published on Nov. 30, on this blog] is included, for the reader’s convenience, as a part of this blog entry.] The show airs in the City of Chicago tonight, December 6 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21[CANTV].
Jeff Berkowitz: …Does he [Gov. Rod Blagojevich] have a trust problem. That is, the [Illinois] legislature does not trust, in large part, Gov. Rod Blagojevich?

State Senator Dan Rutherford: Well, let’s just put it in perspective. After this spring session, when we went into the overtime, well into June and July, before things were finally passed …the General Assembly required the Governor to sign 50 memorandums of understanding, so it wasn’t just a law passed, but it also was an absolutely separate document that they had him [Gov. Blagojevich] sign to say this is the understanding of the agreement we have put together. First time I have ever seen that in my years of watching the process in Springfield.

Berkowitz: No precedent [for that] that you know of.

Rutherford: No precedent that I know of so let me just suggest that maybe there are those who would like to make sure they have anything in writing when they have an agreement with Rod Blagojevich.

Berkowitz: You feel that way, too?

Rutherford: I signed one of those memos.

Berkowitz: You, yourself, have some aspirations for higher office, right?

Rutherford: I think it is fair to say that we are definitely looking at some other opportunities, perhaps in 2006.

Berkowitz: Statewide, right?

Rutherford: Very likely.

Berkowitz: Could be Governor?

Rutherford: At the moment, we are not precluding any office…

Berkowitz: But, you have an on-going campaign organization taking a look at this, right?

Rutherford: Oh we do.

Berkowitz: You have a fundraiser, right?

Rutherford: We have a full time fundraiser, staff person in place for that. We have a political person that helps us with regard to field operations, and so forth.

Berkowitz: And, you have been out there speaking at the- what do we call them—the [rubber] chicken and mashed potato dinners.

Rutherford: [laughter], some places in Illinois we have a lot of pork chops, too. We have a good pork industry in Illinois.
Berkowitz: …what do you think, is Jesse White vulnerable if he stays and runs for re-election as Secretary of State?

Rutherford: I think anyone in office is vulnerable. I think there are too many unknowns that one has when we are two years away from an election. There are too many things that can happen…

Berkowitz: …On the Governor’s side…let’s start with Judy Baar Topinka, is Judy running for Governor, do you think she would do that?

Rutherford: I think she needs to consider it…

Berkowitz: …If you were to label somebody as a 1, as a moderate or a liberal in the Republican Party, 10 as a conservative- where would you put Judy Baar Topinka on that philosophical spectrum.

Rutherford: I think I would put her more toward the moderate side…

Berkowitz: Is that a problem running in the Republican Primary?...People point to Jim Edgar as a moderate [who] won, but the last time he won an election was 10 years ago. They point to Jim Thompson [as a moderate]; somebody who you worked with or worked for, but the last time he won an election was 18 years ago.

Rutherford: Sure. Sure.

Berkowitz: So, has the Republican Party become more conservative, especially for the activists in terms of the Primary-- so can a moderate come out of the Republican Primary successfully- statewide [in Illinois].

Rutherford: You are talking specifically about the office of Governor?

Berkowitz: Yes, where issues matter. You know, for Treasurer, she [Topinka] has been there now three terms, or she will have been at that time, but people don’t deal a lot with social issues when you are running for Treasurer- they don’t think about your stance on abortion, on guns- even on spending, taxes, so forth- so to some extent she is somewhat of an unknown- you label her as a moderate and people aren’t sure as to how moderate—

Rutherford: Well, I think what we need to be doing—

Berkowitz: I should say that she is not completely unknown—she [Topinka] is known as being a supporter of gay rights, I think [she is] a supporter of gun control; … she has some limitations, but [she is] a supporter of a woman’s right to choose with respect to abortion, so, as you say, pretty moderate stances for a Republican.

Rutherford: I would say moderate stances…I think we need to be sure that we don’t just have the social issues being the only thing that is discussed out there. I mean the office of Governor, with all respect, does have a good deal of matters to deal with…on the social issues, but there is a tremendous amount that has to be dealt with-- with regard to the economic issues, with regard to taxation, with regard to the size and growth and development of government.
Berkowitz: Back to the Governor’s race, so we have Judy Baar Topinka as a possible entry.

Rutherford: I think she is a possible entry.

Berkowitz: State Senator Rauschenberger, right?

Rutherford: Senator Rauschenberger is one that has been discussing it and I know Steve is a quality individual that could well have a chance—

Berkowitz: Ran in the Senate primary—

Rutherford: U. S. Senate Primary

Berkowitz: came in third with 21 % of the vote…Pat O’Malley, former State Senator, former candidate in the Republican Primary for Governor.

Rutherford: I have heard his name.

Berkowitz: Bob Schillerstrom.

Rutherford: DuPage County Board Chairman.

Berkowitz: Might be there.

Rutherford: I have heard his name.

Berkowitz: Jim Durkin, who …ran against Senator Dick Durbin [in 2002]. He might come back, right?

Rutherford: I have heard his name.

Berkowitz: Bill Brady. From Bloomington. State Senator. Do you hear his name?

Rutherford: …I have heard his name.

Berkowitz: And you, of course. Dan Rutherford.

Rutherford: I have heard his name.

Berkowitz: Jim Oberweis…, might come back?

Rutherford: Sure, Sure.

Berkowitz: Corinne Wood, former Lt. Gov.

Rutherford: Could.

Berkowitz: Christine Radogno, state senator, she might do something statewide, if not Governor.

Rutherford: Sure.

Berkowitz: Kirk Dillard, might be, right?

Rutherford: State Senator from DuPage County.

Berkowitz: Dave Syverson?

Rutherford: State Senator from the Rockford area, could be.

Berkowitz: Chris Lauzen.

Rutherford: Senator Lauzen, could be.

Berkowitz: Beth Coulson, state rep. Do you think she might?

Rutherford: In my heart of hearts, no. But, she could be- she is a definite talent…

Berkowitz: …I say that…because there is some idea of balance in gender, there aren’t many females on that list I just read for statewide office. State senator Christine Radogno, Judy Baar Topinka and Corinne Wood, those would be the only three I think I mentioned who are females [and Coulson]. Is that important? For statewide? As you look at a slate, is that important to have a female on that ticket?

Rutherford: I think it is important to look at it. I don’t think that should be the only criteria…I would hope that we do look at somewhat of a gender and geographic balance in putting our ticket together, unlike the Democratic Party who put their entire slate together from the City of Chicago.

Berkowitz: Like a seven mile radius, right?

Rutherford: Everything. Everything is from the City of Chicago.

Berkowitz: Half of those people are in State Rep. John Fritchey’s district. He was on [this show] recently and we talked about that.

Rutherford: [Laughter] Well, John is a talent.

Berkowitz: He has some powerful people in his District.

Rutherford: John [Fritchey] is a great talent on the Democrat side of the aisle.

Berkowitz: He [Fritchey] may be running himself [for statewide office]. For Attorney General. Or Treasurer, we don’t know what.

Rutherford: John Fritchey is a great talent. I just think we as a state need to look at a balance of geographic, as well as…
Berkowitz: …Schism within the Republican Primary, is there a schism between social moderates and social conservatives or is there a different kind of schism?

Rutherford: You know, I think that there is to some extent, but what I am starting to learn more about is that it is more about personalities. I think there are certain personalities that are fueling some of this… What we need to do as a Republican Party- we don’t need to give up our positions in regard to the social issues and [we can] stand proud and rightfully so on the moral side of those issues- but I think we need to broaden our message…to include and make it more known where we do stand in regard to the economic side of issues, where we do stand in regards to job creation and job growth and development—I think we have gotten our Party into this whole rabid attitude of the social issues being it and our message [is lost] that we are beyond and have broader depth of appreciation for the people of Illinois than just that.

Berkowitz: You, yourself, are Pro-Life?

Rutherford: I am Pro-Life.

Berkowitz: Would you allow any exceptions for a woman to have a right to have an abortion?

Rutherford: Rape and Incest.

Berkowitz: And, the life of the mother, of course.

Rutherford: Right, life of the mother.

Berkowitz: Those would be the only instances in which, if you had your way, a woman would be able to have an abortion?

Rutherford: That is correct.

Berkowitz: But, …you would seek and accept and work with others in the Party who differ with you on that, is that right?

Rutherford: I think we have to. I mean, if you let abortion be the issue onto which you see yourself working together as a Republican, that’s wrong.

Berkowitz: So, you could support somebody who is pro-choice, right?

Rutherford: In what?

Berkowitz: In abortion.

Rutherford: Support them for what?

Berkowitz: …Well, if you were running for Governor and they were running for Lt. Gov., could you support that [pro-choice] person?

Rutherford: I would want to know more about their position on other issues, but yes. Sure, because we as a Republican party have to go beyond. Our message has to go beyond guns and gays and abortion…Other issues are important to people. Security, good education, we need to look at the whole idea of jobs, job security, job growth, taxes, size of government- I mean those are as important—
State Senator Dan Rutherford [R- Pontiac, 53rd District], in a program that was recorded on November 20, 2004, is featured on tonight’s [Dec. 6] City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs [8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21].
Senator Rutherford debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the veto session, casinos, Republican candidates for Statewide office, Rutherford's own plans to run for statewide office, Governor Rod Blagojevich, Secretary of State Jesse White, jobs, taxes, the size of government, social issues and schisms in the Republican Party, abortion, gay rights and the Illinois Supreme Court contest between Maag and Karmeier and the issue of medical malpractice reform.
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 State Senator Rutherford will air throughout the City of Chicago tonight, Dec. 6, 2004 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at