Saturday, December 04, 2004

Updated December 4, 2004 at 4:00 pm.
How did Patrick Fitzgerald become the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois?

Fox News Channel's local Chicago affiliate, WFLD, gets it wrong.

Senator Fitzgerald corrects the record, after it was peculiarly and badly misstated by a not so “Fair and Balanced,” Fox [WFLD] Chicago Perspectives segment on Public Corruption in Chicago.

State Senator Rauschenberger is conspicuous by his prominent presence as is State GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka by her absence.

Berkowitz guest appearance on Tom Roeser's radio show this Sunday night [See, below].
Jeff Berkowitz: John Kass, writing in a Chicago Tribune column on Nov. 4, 2004, a few days after the election said that George Ryan and his cronies helped drive you[ Sen. Peter Fitzgerald] out of office for your having the gall to bring outside independent federal prosecutors to Illinois, so I wondered if you could comment on that but secondly, and very related [to that], John Kass speaking in a conversation with Walter Jacobson and Jack Connity [Nov. 28, 2004] on the Sunday morning show that just started [this fall] on the local FNC affiliate, Fox Chicago Perspective [airing every Sunday at 8:00 am, WFLD, Ch. 32]- they implied, that is Kass implied and Connity seemed to go along with this- the reason why Patrick Fitzgerald is the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois is that that was payback for President Bush for [his] being annoyed with Billy Daley, brother of Mayor Daley, trying to drag [as Kass put it] Al Gore across the finish line in 2000, even when Al Gore didn’t seem to want to go there. Given what you just said [in today’s talk] about Speaker Hastert and his role in a re-appointment, the rumor at that time was that you were fighting very hard to make sure that Patrick Fitzgerald stayed there [as U. S. Attorney] and that Speaker Hastert was opposing you. Can you comment on that? How did Patrick Fitzgerald get here and did George Ryan and his cronies help drive you out.

Senator Peter Fitzgerald: Whoa, there are a lot of questions there. There was a lot of opposition from local politicians to Patrick Fitzgerald and they didn’t go through me- they went straight to the White House. It was made very clear to me by the White House that they were getting a lot of flak from local politicians and I don’t want to go any farther than that. But, a lot of attempts were made to try to get President Bush not to go along with my recommendation on Patrick Fitzgerald [to become the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois], but the President- the bottom line is the President ultimately did the right thing. Patrick Fitzgerald was not payback for the 2000 elections—that was my pick and in fact I think President Bush has a- he likes Mayor Daley, on a personal level and he even had that appearance at some restaurant with Bill Daley and Mayor Daley not all that long after the election. President Bush is not a vindictive character like that.

Senator Peter Fitzgerald (cont. response): Had I run for re-election, there is no doubt that there would have been the remnants of the George Ryan crowd that are still around that would have been opposing me, both in a primary and even in the general election, but you know what, I went through that back in 1998. When I announced [for the U. S. Senate in 1997, then Secretary of State and likely Republican candidate for Governor- George Ryan] worked his tail off to recruit somebody to run against me. He [George Ryan] ultimately found Loleta Didrickson [then State Comptroller] and he did everything he could to keep me from getting that office and I thought at the time [it] was because they wanted somebody they might be able to control. It was the one thing they cared about the U. S. Senators for, there are no contracts or patronage, but they knew about the U. S. Attorney appointments, and so, George Ryan worked very hard against me. I even heard in the general election that there were Carol Moseley-Braun—George Ryan bumper stickers that were floating around the City of Chicago, so they knew- they were never for me and I would not have expected to have their support or that crowd’s support in any re-election campaign, anyway. But, thank you very much for that. Thanks.
Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R- Illinois), answering questions after speaking to a crowd of about 200 at a City Club of Chicago lunch program held at the Chicago Athletic Association building in Chicago on December 3, 2004. The audience included likely Republican Primary Candidate for Governor State Senator Steve Rauschenberger (seated at the program speaker’s Table), former Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood, former Democratic candidate for Governor (1994) Dawn Clark Netsch (who Senator Fitzgerald introduced from the podium and noted [with apparent warmth] that he had worked with her on the first State Senate bill he ever introduced) and candidates for State GOP chairman Jim Nalepa and John Cox. Somewhat conspicuous by their absence were State GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka, State GOP co-chairman and State GOP chairman candidate Steve McGlynn, State GOP chairman candidate Andy Mckenna, Jr. and 2004 Republican U. S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes (who had been scheduled to attend the lunch).

Appearance on Tom Roeser's Political Shootout radio program this Sunday night.

I will be a guest on Tom Roeser's radio program "Political Shoot-out," this Sunday night [Dec. 5], 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm [WLS, 890 AM Radio]. I believe we will be joined by Steve McGlynn, State GOP Co-Chair and candidate for State GOP Chairman. We look forward to hearing from you, as a call in, or with your email comments before or after the show.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of “Public Affairs,” and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search can be reached at