Saturday, March 05, 2005

Possible 8th CD Primary Candidate Sen. Pam Althoff on Gay Rights & more; Cong. Rumsfeld to Cong. Bean

This week’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” features State Senator Pam Althoff [R- McHenry], a possible candidate in the 8th Cong. Dist. 2006 Republican Primary. The show airs this Monday night [March 7] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].

The 8th Cong. Dist. seat was held by Cong. Phil Crane for 35 years. Crane first won the seat in 1969, after he won a thirteen person Republican primary with 22% of the vote. That primary had been precipitated by the resignation of Cong. Don Rumsfeld to join the Nixon Administration as Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

BTW, Rumsfeld (aka Rummy and of course, now the Secretary of Defense) is an alum of New Trier high school and Crow Island grade school in Winnetka, IL. Shortly before joining the Bush Administration in 2001, then private citizen Rumsfeld appeared at an event to help New Trier high school celebrate its Centennial and the author of this blog attended that event, met Secretary Rumsfeld and asked him to be a guest on "Public Affairs." Unfortunately, he is one of the few [along with "W" ]who have turned us down.

Crane, guilty perhaps of staying at the party for one too many dances, was upset last November [52-48] by Democrat Melissa Bean in a district that many consider to be one of the most Republican in the country. For a more detailed transcript and more about this Monday night's show with Sen. Althoff [who may seek to replace Bean] than is contained in the transcript immediately below, please click the icon to the right, above or below [the location depending on your server] titled: “Sen. Althoff will not shut the door on a run against Cong. Bean.”
Jeff Berkowitz: …it was Senate Bill 3186, do I have that right?

Sen. Althoff: um, uh.

Berkowitz: And that was the so-called gay rights bill. It passed. There were only three Republicans in the state senate—

Sen. Althoff: Yes.

Berkowitz: who supported that. You and [Sen.] Christine Radogno [R- Lemont] and

Sen. Althoff: Dan Rutherford.

Berkowitz: And Dan Rutherford [R-Pontiac]. So, you broke with your caucus.

Sen. Althoff: Yes.

Berkowitz: Why did you break with your caucus?

Sen. Althoff: Ummm, I looked at this legislation very, very carefully. And, I looked at it not as a gay rights issue as much as a discrimination issue. I don’t believe that anyone should be discriminated against. This was very specific to four areas. Ummm, I really believe—

Berkowitz: What were the four areas?

Sen. Althoff: Ummm, housing, employment, access to credit, and, ummm, lending, I think was the other.

Berkowitz: Protects Gays, Lesbians, Transgenders? Are they protected under this bill?

Sen. Althoff: Yes.

Berkowitz: Uh, Cross-dressers, would they be protected under this bill?

Sen. Althoff: Yes.

Berkowitz: So, if somebody is a cross-dresser, as a male who wants to dress as a female and is teaching in a school, would they be allowed and protected under this bill, uh, from that, from discrimination? Would a male be able to go in and teach his class as a female, or dressed as a female?

Sen. Althoff: I believe that that is the interpretation.

Berkowitz: And, you think that that is Okay?

Sen. Althoff: I have some reservations about that because I think that that is the broad interpretation; In fact, I will tell you there’s currently—

Berkowitz: But you supported the legislation—

Sen. Althoff: I supported the legislation because I believe that it is absolutely inappropriate to discriminate against individuals—

Berkowitz: But knowing there was this possible problem which you are not sure about, you still support it?

Sen. Althoff: And, there’s—Yes. And there’s legislation that is currently being introduced now in both the House and in the Senate to try and tighten up that specific issue.

Berkowitz: Should that have been done before it was passed?

Sen. Althoff: You know, this legislation has been out there for over eight years. Umm, the city of Chicago actually passed very similar legislation. I really felt that if we did not take the opportunity to do this today, we would never have the opportunity to ever tighten it up.
State Senator Pam Althoff, recorded on February 20, 2005 and as is airing on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on this coming Monday night, March 7 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at