Tuesday, March 15, 2005

School Choice, School Vouchers: a mantra for Jim Oberweis

This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Jim Oberweis, who is expected to announce, within 30 to 90 days, his candidacy for Governor in the 2006 Republican Primary. See the end of this blog entry for a detailed suburban airing schedule and for more about the show with Jim Oberweis. This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on next Monday night, March 21 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
Jim Oberweis (R) debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz pay to play, jobs, taxes, tax pledges and spending in Illinois; ethics under Governor Blagojevich; Oberweis’ net worth, self- funding of his campaign and his competitors for the Guv nomination; school choice; guns, concealed carry and assault weapon bans; tort and medical malpractice reform, non-economic damage caps; abortion; corruption, ethics and George Ryan; and much, much more.
A partial transcript of the show with Jim Oberweis is included, below.
Jeff Berkowitz: Tell me what you want [for education reform].

Jim Oberweis: I believe that money is not the sole answer. Clearly we’ve seen private schools educating children for half of what our public school system has been educating them. We need competition with the public school system to help improve the education opportunities.

Berkowitz: In 30 seconds, what would you do in terms of working with the state legislature to bring about school choice? 30 seconds.

Oberweis: There are so many things that it would be very difficult to answer in 30 seconds. Vouchers are certainly part of the solution. Providing more control to parents is a part of the solution. Rewarding the best teachers with higher incomes instead of rewarding them for how long they’ve taught. Eliminating tenure for grade school or high school teachers would help to bring about competitiveness within the teaching system and certainly measuring and rewarding schools that do well is a part of it.

Berkowitz: But, school vouchers, school choice, that’s a mantra for you.

Oberweis: Yes.

Berkowitz: All right, the social issues. Senate Bill 3186- it just passed and became law. You understand that legislation?

Oberweis: What is 3186?

Berkowitz: Known also as the gay rights legislation

Oberweis: Oh, yes.

Berkowitz: It bans discrimination based on sexual orientation with respect to so, that is to protect gays and lesbians and transgenders and I think, cross-dressers.

Oberweis: I think Senate Bill—what was it? 3037? -- was just introduced to roll that back and reverse that?

Berkowitz: …you would like to roll that back? You don’t think we should prevent discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation.

Oberweis: I don’t believe that there should be special rights based on—

Berkowitz: Is that special rights? If we simply say that you should not discriminate on that basis against gays and lesbians.

Oberweis: Well, should people—

Berkowitz: In terms of employment and housing.

Oberweis: I think there should not be a law that provides special rights to that category and you know, you know the argument.

Berkowitz: So, you oppose that legislation.

Oberweis: And there are churches that do not believe in homosexuality.

Berkowitz: You could make an exception for churches and there was somewhat of an exemption for churches. It is not clear—

Oberweis: That’s right. It is not clear—

Berkowitz: But, if you could take care of that, would you generally favor that notion of legislation to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing and employment?

Oberweis: I don’t think we should create special—

Berkowitz: So, you would oppose that legislation?

Oberweis: Yes.

Berkowitz: …As Governor, would you like to see a ban on assault weapons throughout the state of Illinois.

Oberweis: I am satisfied with the law as it is now, with that [the federal ban] having lapsed.

Berkowitz: We are going to continue to speak as the credits roll, but I very much want to thank our guest, Jim Oberweis… Would you roll back the Brady bill? Do you believe in background checks? Do you believe ex-cons shouldn’t be allowed to own guns?

Oberweis: I believe that ex-cons should not be allowed to buy guns.

Berkowitz: Do you favor the notion of background checks?

Oberweis: I think within reason- if it can be done cost efficiently and in a fairly short-term basis, yes.

Berkowitz: The City of Chicago? Do you think they are doing the wrong thing when they don’t allow individuals to possess guns? They can’t own them. They can’t possess them. They can’t protect themselves in their own home.

Oberweis: A lot of this stuff is crazy. The Wilmette situation—

Berkowitz: Would you roll that back in Chicago if you could?

Oberweis: Well, I need to know more specifics--

Berkowitz: Concealed carry. Do you favor concealed carry?

Oberweis: I am not the Mayor of Chicago.

Berkowitz: No, for the State of Illinois, would you like to see concealed carry? People could carry guns to protect themselves. 31 states have it.

Oberweis: There may be opportunities to do that. Yes. There may be--

Berkowitz: Abortion. You are 1000% pro-life.

Oberweis: Yes.

Berkowitz: You would like to see a constitutional amendment that would prevent people, all people, from having abortions [except to protect the life of the mother], is that right?

Oberweis: At a minimum, I would like to see states be able to make that decision, rather than the federal government.

Berkowitz: CTA, should…the state be subsidizing the CTA?

Oberweis: You know it is so easy to just pour money on a situation and try to create success with that. Money does not alone solve our problems.

Berkowitz: [Illegal] immigration. The President took the wrong position on [this with] amnesty?

Oberweis: We have a great President and I agree with him on 95% of the issues and I happen to disagree [with him] on the amnesty. I believe it is a blanket amnesty program. Blanket amnesty will cause more of that illegal activity.

Berkowitz: You would like to see a mandatory program to check social security numbers? By employers?

Oberweis: I would, indeed.

Berkowitz: You think that would correct the situation.

Oberweis: I believe that would take away the economic incentives for people to break the law by coming here illegally and those people who are still coming here illegally are the ones we could really focus on worrying about.
Jim Oberweis (R), likely candidate for in the 2006 Republican Primary for Governor, recorded on March 6, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of March 14] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, March 21 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com