Monday, January 24, 2005

Dated January 24 at 4:30 pm-- The Gang of Eight says No to Stroger on More Taxes
Commissioner Forrest Claypool on TV tonight. Cable Ch. 21 in Chicago, 8:30 pm. Be there or Be square: Taking on President John Stroger, in spirit, if not in person.
Is Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool [and the rest of his gang of eight] doing to President John Stroger what Senator Gene McCarthy [D-Minnesota] did to President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1968?
Who said, “I just think it is common sense—when you tax something a lot, you get less of it"? Conservative Supply Side economist Art Laffer, Democratic Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool or Democratic U. S. Senator Barack Obama?
Cook County Board Member Forrest Claypool [D- Ravenswood] is featured on “Public Affairs,” throughout the City of Chicago tonight [Jan. 24 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21]. A partial transcript of the show with County Commissioner Claypool is included, below. A supplemental partial transcript along with additional information about tonight’s show is included in the blog entry immediately below this one, dated January 24 at 12:30 am.
What does Forrest Claypool think of Mayor Daley and Gov. Blagojevich and what do they think of Claypool? Stroger says Claypool is just anti-everything. Is Stroger right? Or, is Claypool just against wasteful spending?
Jeff Berkowitz: Is there a revolution going on at the Cook County Board?

Forrest Claypool: I don’t think it is a revolution, I think what it is—is people standing up to a practice that has been going on for a lot of years of just excessive spending and taxes. When you raise taxes by 600 million bucks in 10 years [raising the Cook County Budget from 2.4 billion dollars to more than 3 billion dollars] that gets the public’s attention. And, in fact, it did get the public’s attention in the last election: five commissioners got thrown out, including the guy I beat [Long Term incumbent and Mayor Daley supported Ted Lechowicz].
Berkowitz: Your old boss, Mayor Daley, says he supports the tax increase, right?

Claypool: He was in the paper saying he has concerns about it because of the convention and tourism industry and the restaurant industry.

Berkowitz: Did his concerns extend to him saying that people should oppose it?

Claypool: I did not hear him say that, no.

Berkowitz: He just has same concerns.

Claypool: I guess so; you’d have to ask him. 125,000 people, at a minimum, are employed in these industries. And, there a lot of people who do business with these industries, hundred of thousands of additional jobs in these industries. Oftentimes, they are the entry level jobs-- the first rung on the economic ladder, the people who are trying to get a piece of the American dream, immigrants-- you know, working mothers with children.

Berkowitz: Taxes here cut out jobs?

Claypool: People here who are affected—

Berkowitz: They destroy jobs—

Claypool: They destroy jobs as well as add burdens to people that they don’t need to have.

Berkowitz: To some extent, you are a supply sider? Republicans would say that raising taxes cuts, you cut out jobs and—

Claypool: I just think it is common sense—when you tax something a lot, you get less of it.
Berkowitz: You are keynoting for David Wilhelm [Former DNC chairman and previously an adviser and perhaps still a confidant of Governor Blagojevich]. You support David Wilhelm-- Do you support Rod Blagojevich?

Claypool: It depends on the issue.

Berkowitz: Wilhelm supports Blagojevich. Is [Governor Rod] Blagojevich doing a good job?

Claypool: I think on some things. And, on others, not. Again, it is issue by issue, I don’t have a—

Berkowitz: In the contest between Speaker Mike [Madigan] and Blago[jevich], who do you favor?

Claypool: It depends on the issue.
Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D- Chicago, 12th Dist.), interviewed on “Public Affairs,” recorded on January 9, 2005 and as will be cablecast tonight [January 24, 2004] on “Public Affairs,” in the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21]
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at