Thursday, March 03, 2005

Great Moments in Politics, a pol reverses himself, on air.

More than seven years of doing my television show, "Public Affairs." Over 360 guest interviews and I have tried to be tough, but fair, with everyone, trying to challenge Democrats and Republicans alike. And, I can’t think of one time when the guest [R or D] said, “You know what, good point. On reflection, you are right, and I am wrong.” I am sure there must have been times when I came close, but never a clean admission by the guest that he or she was wrong and I was right. And,as they say, close only counts in horseshoes, not in television. It just never happens.

And then, 11 days ago on Tom Roeser’s Political Shoot-out [Every Sunday night, WLS, 890 AM-Radio, 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm], I was a guest with Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica [R-Riverside]. Comm. Peraica has announced that he is running for Cook County Board President in the March, 2006 Republican Primary and I believe Tony indicated that his colleague, Cook County Commissoner Liz Gorman [R-Orland Park] will be running, as well. Tony, of course, is not known as a shrinking violet when it comes to debate and oral argument. Indeed, au contraire, as Senator Kerry might say.

And then, that magical moment occurred. Must be something in the water served on “Political Shoot-out.” Perhaps Lillian Roeser spiked Tony's water before the show. Take a listen, below:

[But first, to get a sense of Tony's [and some of his colleague's] usual aggressiveness, let me remind you that I have even gone so far as to use the phrase "Four Horsemen and the Apocalypse," to describe the campaign that Peraica, Claypool, Suffredin and Quigley mounted against current Cook County Board President John Stroger on his proposed, and now defeated, tax hike; Further, the Four Horsemen phrase is a phrase that someone at the Chicago Sun-Times likes as well, for Tony, et al. See the side commentary to the article by the very knowledgeable Sun-Times Staff Reporter Abdon Pallasch, February 5, 2005, Chicago Sun-Times].
Tom Roeser: Jerry, in Melrose Park, you are on with Tom Roeser, WLS.

Caller Jerry: Uh, yes. I would like to ask Commissioner Peraica—He is talking about running for County Board President and I had not heard that Elizabeth Gorman was running, but would he find her- uh, what type of candidate would he find her, being that he opposed her with some of the appointments to Metra that he disagreed with, and that he is very compatitive [sic] and she is not. So, what would his opinion be on the fact that they did have problems with their appointments to Metra?

Tony Peraica: That is one issue that I forgot about. We disagreed on that. [Cook County Commissioner] Liz Gorman sided with the four Democrats who appointed her to Chairman of the, uh, of the committee that selects and nominates people to RTA, PACE and Metra. In fact, I did nominate a person by the name of Tom Garrette-- who was never my partner. He has been an associate with my firm and he’s someone who I’ve known for 25 years and trust completely and if you are going to put someone on a board such as Metra, PACE or RTA, you want to make sure that you know that person well—

Tom Roeser: And she opposed that appointment, right?

Tony Peraica: She opposed it, yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, Tony, you have to admit—I mean, as an associate of your firm, that’s a bit close. Here, you are railing about patronage, and the only guy [oops, person] you can find for an appointment is an associate from your law firm?

Peraica: LOOK, IN RETROSPECT, PERHAPS I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT. I am not going to argue with you on that point. But I needed somebody—



Peraica: It was an appointment that came up quite quickly as soon as we got elected and I needed to come up with someone whom I trust completely and who would represent the fiscal conservatism that I stand for.

Berkowitz: But, it was the wrong move. And, so she [Commissioner Gorman] made a bi-partisan coalition move. And, given it was the wrong move [by you], she probably saved an embarrassment—for you—you should thank her for that.

Host Tom Roeser and guests Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica [R- Riverside] and Jeff Berkowitz on Political Shoot-out, WLS, 890 AM-Radio, February 20, 2005