Saturday, January 15, 2005

Updated on January 15, 2005 at 12:30 am
"New" Supplemental Partial Transcript of WBEZ show about on-going struggles within the Republican Party.

Listen to Thursday’s WBEZ "Eight Forty Eight" radio show with Hernandez-Gomez, Dudley, Edwards and Berkowitz discussing McKenna, McGlynn, Nalepa, LaHood, Rauschenberger, Topinka, Oberweis, O'Malley et al. on WBEZ FM Radio (91.5) by going to the "Eight Forty Eight," Web site at

Alternatively, go to and open up the “program” schedule; open up the “Eight Forty Eight” program title, which will take you to a page with a January calendar. Then open up the date January 13, 2005 on the calendar. Then you will see a page with descriptions of various “Eight Forty Eight” programs, and hit the audio icon for the Jan. 13 program titled, “Illinois GOP Elects Chair."
Also, you can read a partial transcript of the show, directly below, and an additional portion of the transcript by going to the blog entry immediately below this entry.
Jeff Berkowitz: …where it [the Alan Keyes episode] affects this [the State GOP Chairman election], there is a tendency to go to somebody like Andy McKenna, Jr. because he is viewed as very safe and the Finance Committee wants to take control and they feel they have control of things through Andy McKenna, Jr. They have less control over Steve McGlynn. So, the Keyes thing is pushing you toward stability and toward Andy McKenna.

Steve Edwards: Andy McKenna has something else that we haven’t talked about here. He also has an appeal within both the moderate branch of the party and some appeal with conservatives as well, doesn’t he?

Carlos Hernandez-Gomez: I mean, Andy is a social conservative. He is Pro-Life; He is pro- traditional marriage. I mean, he is definitely a conservative Republican. But, he is also somebody who can appeal to more moderate Republicans, as well…

Christine Dudley:…I don’t disagree at all with Jeff’s analysis. Steve McGlynn is very bright, very articulate—a hardworking member of the State Central Committee, knows his area, was very active in the Karmeier [State Supreme Court] race…and Karmeier romped…if we can bring all these folks together and have Andy directing the traffic-- We don’t need, and I think Andy is the person because …we need somebody sitting there, listening to the concerns, allowing this to happen and I think he does appeal across the board. This whole issue of control by the Finance Committee—I was there for seven years—the Finance Committee doesn’t control, they contribute.

Hernandez-Gomez: Chris makes a good point. You need a strong leader and someone who can be a referee, someone who can either create or demand consensus. I mean, you can’t continue to have this Republican fratricide…I mean this was the year Republicans should have made incredible gains with the Hired Truck scandal, with the Blago-Madigan battle. This was the time for the Republicans to capitalize and I think they lost an opportunity.

Berkowitz: Carlos is on to the key point because of what’s at stake here. This is for the heart and soul of the party. And, this is a precursor—because we are leading up to the Governor’s race and that is the real battle. But, it [the divide] is different than we have just articulated. Most people look at the battle between the social conservatives and the moderates, or the pro-Lifers and the pro-Choicers. [But], people like former state senator Pat O’Malley and current state senator Steve Rauschenberger say that [characterization] is misguided. The real difference, the real schism [Pat and Steve say] is between what Carlos is just alluding to—the reformers and the non-reformers. And, they see that- even Pat O’Malley, a strong Pro-Lifer, sees that as the way to unite the Party and he wants to get reformers in there. They don’t view Andy McKenna, even though he is socially conservative on a number of issues, as a reformer. They view him as a part of the Old Guard.

Steve Edwards: Why?

Berkowitz: Partly because of his ties, his father. Andy McKenna, Sr. [is] you know very close to the Tribune Company in terms of his business relationships and otherwise. [He] is very close to the [Illinois Republican Party] Finance Committee. And, these folks are dominated by what we might call—somewhat-- the Old Guard, with the exception of Ed Brennan. [For example], Ron Gidwitz has very strong ties to what was called [by John Kass] the Daley [George] Ryan Combine.
Partial transcript of the January 13, 2004 “Eight Forty Eight” radio program on WBEZ- FM Radio.
The Program panelists are "Public Affairs" TV show host Jeff Berkowitz, Chicago Public Radio’s political editor Carlos Hernandez-Gomez and Republican Party strategist/operative Christine Dudley. The panelists joined show host Steve Edwards to discuss (A) this coming Saturday’s upcoming meeting and vote by the Republican State Central Committee in Springfield for a new State GOP Chairman, (B) The Republican primary and general election for Governor and (C) what the Republican Party in Illinois needs to do to revitalize itself.
Steve Edwards’ "Eight Forty Eight" program is heard every weekday on Chicago Public Radio-WBEZ-FM Radio (91.5) at 9:35 am. The program consists of an excellent magazine format that blends politics, public policy, features, culture and other good stuff and it continues until 11:00 am, with a short break at 10:00 for the news. The name of the program comes from the address for the WBEZ studio, 848 Grand St. in Chicago at the Navy Pier.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at