Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Updated December 1, 2004 at 1:20 pm
The cattle call for March, 2006, heats up: Jim Durkin gives some thought to running statewide again, but he nixes a possible bid for Governor by “DuPager,” Joe Birkett or any future run for office by “think tanker,” Alan Keyes-- at least as a Republican.
Rich Miller, in today’s Capitolfax, reports that Joe Birkett has sent a letter to Republican leaders telling them he is looking forward to being on the statewide ticket in 2006, but that Birkett did not specify which office he covets. Miller refers to Birkett’s loss to Lisa Madigan for Attorney General in November, 2002, as “narrow.” And, I suppose 50 to 47 is narrow. But, then would Jim Ryan’s loss to Governor Blagojevich at 52 to 45 be just normal, or wide? Ah, the problems of line drawing. Perhaps Rich should have gone to law school- he appears to draw lines so easily.

Last Saturday, Birkett got some unsolicited advice from Jim Durkin, who topped the Republican ticket in November, 2002, running for the U. S. Senate against Illinois’ senior senator, Dick Durbin. Durkin won in large part the editorial board endorsements, but was outspent about 7 to 1 by Senator Durbin, and Durkin ended up losing to Durbin by what could be called a large margin, 61 to 39 [albeit not nearly as large as the recent 70-27 “spanking,” of Republican senate candidate Alan Keyes, inflicted by Illinois’ Democratic Junior Senator-Elect and TV star Barack Obama].

Durkin, now a partner at the 200 attorney, or so, Loop law firm of Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon (but working out of that firm’s Lisle office), said, on “Public Affairs,” that he will think, over the next four or five months, about running for statewide office. And, Durkin said the offices under consideration by him include Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and possibly Lt. Gov. The Comptroller’s office and the Treasurer’s office appear to hold no cache for Durkin, and the Treasurer’s office may have an “Occupied,” sign on it.

However, Durkin turned his thumbs down on a Birkett for Governor race:

Jeff Berkowitz: [Discussing who would be a good candidate for Governor of Illinois] Joe Birkett, ran for Attorney General, he is the State’s Attorney in DuPage County.

Jim Durkin: I don’t think Joe fits the profile for a gubernatorial candidate.

Jeff Berkowitz: Alan Keyes [right for a possible bid for Governor?]

Jim Durkin: No.

Berkowitz: You don’t welcome Alan Keyes back into the fold, here?

Durkin: I think Alan should- he is more of a think tank person and I would hope he stays there.

Berkowitz: People say he has moved his operation to Illinois. Do you welcome him or do you think he should, perhaps, look for another locale?

Durkin: I think that he can raise the level of debate but I think that he is- he should not be a candidate for the Republicans again.
Jim Durkin, former Republican U. S. Senate nominee, recorded on November 27, 2004, is featured in next week’s suburban edition and the Monday night, Dec. 13, City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” [8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21].
This week’s suburban edition and this coming Monday night’s City of Chicago edition [Dec. 6, 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21] of “Public Affairs,” spotlights State Senator Dan Rutherford [R- Pontiac, 53rd District;]. Rutherford is yet another potential statewide candidate for the March, 2006 Republican Primary.
See the blog entry, immediately below, for the detailed suburban airing schedule of “Public Affairs,” and for a partial transcript of the show with Senator Rutherford.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at