Thursday, April 28, 2005

When Mora is Less

I have written previously about last week’s celebration [in large part by the Chicago media] of the Fifty Year anniversary of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s first inauguration as Mayor of Chicago. I noted one of the better and more balanced assessments was that by CBS-2 News’ Mike Flannery and Ed Marshall. True, they could have included an interview, or two, with a Daley critic, but still—Flannery and Marshall did raise a number of negative issues and criticisms about Mayor Richard J. Daley-- so someone watching it learned that the Mayor, like most of us mortals, had a few warts.

Now, in contrast to the above accolade-- I bring to your attention one of the worst of the Chicago media’s efforts relating to last week's Richard J. Daley 50th anniversary : Antonio Mora’s interview with Bill Daley, brother of Mayor Richard M. Daley, last Sunday night on “Eye on Chicago.”

Antonio Mora has taken subject matter fluff and pitching softballs to a new high [or should I say low] since joining Chicago’s CBS-2 News to become one of its two primary local evening news co-anchors with Diane Burns and hosting the CBS-2 local Sunday night show, “Eye on Chicago.”[Almost every Sunday night, 10:35 pm, CBS, Ch. 2 in the Chicago metropolitan area].

Given the nature of local television news coverage in Chicago, i.e., in large part murders, fires, robberies, features, sports and weather—you may not notice just how “soft,” Mora’s coverage is. But, Mora's apparent lack of knowledge about politics and public policy-- and his soft coverage of same crops up, from time to time, in his evening news anchor position. For example, this was the case in Mora's 10:00 pm local news "lead in," to the report on the Gang of Nine's rebellion against Cook County Board President John Stroger's proposed tax increases in February of this year.

Moreover, “Eye on Chicago,” almost showcases Mora's soft coverage, fluff and propensity to lob softballs to his guests. True, public policy or political types are a minority of his interviews on the show—but when he takes them on, he can make the most interesting guest boring as Hell.

I have included, below, the ten questions that Mora asked in the eight minute, mind-numbing interview he did on “Eye on Chicago.” I have omitted the answers to highlight just how weak Mora’s effort was. My favorite was, No. 4, “Your dad, though, did get a lot of respect this week, some tremendous celebrations, all sorts of people came to honor him.” I mean, that is not even a question. What was Bill Daley supposed to say—“Listen, you moron, of course he got a lot of respect. What did you think, everyone was going to come and spit on his memory.” Indeed, I would have liked it a lot if Billy Daley had said just that.

Anyone who follows current events in Chicago and Washington, DC knows that Bill Daley is a bright, tough, plainspoken, articulate kind of guy who more than knows the score. He could handle a tough interview and do a reasonably fair and balanced assessment, with the right interviewer, of at least a few of the strengths and weaknesses of his dad, and he could do that well in eight minutes.

Although, out of respect for Bill Daley and his Dad, I would have devoted the whole show to the interview with Bill Daley, or better yet, split the show between Bill Daley and some of Mayor Daley's critics, e.g., former aldermen Dick Simpson or Leon Despres. Further, giving Bill Daley six, or so, hard balls, would have made his Dad and him look better than they did with Mora’s approach.

Indeed, I thought Bill Daley, any minute, was going to burst out with “Antonio, for gosh sakes, stop treating me like a two year old.” A good tough interview would not only have been the right thing to do, it would have been good for CBS-2 News’ sagging local ratings.

I have not read a word from Chicago Sun-times media columnist Bob Feder [or anyone else for that matter] on Mora’s lame effort. On the other hand, Feder jumped all over a purported conflict between the City, the Mills Corporation, Ch. 2 and it’s handling of the Flannery/Marshall production and that special’s “sponsor,” the Mills Corporation.

Perhaps there was a conflict of the type noted by Feder that should have been handled better by the CBS front office. However, and Feder should know this, the harm to CBS-2 News’ journalistic reputation from Antonio Mora’s continuing soft coverage on the CBS-2 News and his soft interviews on “Eye on Chicago,” is an order of magnitude greater than anything that could result from the CBS-2 potential conflict relating to the Flannery/Marshall effort.

Moreover, giving people like Flannery/Marshall more air time and Mora less time would also be a good business decision as it would boost ratings and cost CBS quite a bit less.

Mayor Richard J. Daley used to say that good government is good politics [and vice versa]. Someone should tell Joe Ahern, president and general manager of Channel 2, and Fran Preston, station manager, that, at least sometimes, good journalism is good business. This could have been one such time.
Antonio Mora’s introduction and top ten questions for Bill Daley on CBS-2’s “Eye on Chicago.” [Answers Omitted; The show aired on Sunday, April 24, 2005, but was apparently taped on Thursday of last week]:

This past week on the 50th Anniversary of his inauguration, we’ve reflected on the legend and legacy of former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Political historian Michael Beschloss calls Daley the preeminent Mayor of the 20th Century. He is remembered not only as a brilliant political mind and visionary builder but also as a loving father. William Daley is one of our former Mayor’s seven children. He has served as U. S. Secretary of Commerce [under President Clinton], chairman of Al Gore’s Presidential campaign and he is now Midwest Chairman of JP Morgan Chase.

1. Great to have you here on this very special week for the Daley family and before I talk about your Dad and the Daleys, I want to talk a little about you.You happy as a businessman? Are you itching to get back into politics?

2. You have worn so many hats as a businessman, a lawyer, you know- an appointed politician. Are you still thinking about some day trying the elected side of things?

3. You, as we mentioned, were the Chairman of the Gore campaign and you really turned things around. When you went in there, he was not doing very well in the polls and it looked like George Bush was going to run away with the election and you got it to within a few hundred votes in Florida. Is that your biggest disappointment politically?

4. Could you see yourself in that position, as the candidate going through-

5. Your dad, though, did get a lot of respect this week, some tremendous celebrations, all sorts of people came to honor him.

6. An editorial writer in the Wall St. Journal wrote that the key to the Daley family’s success was the limited ambition of both father and son, your brother, ah, that neither aspired to anything more than being Mayor of Chicago, do you think that’s the key to their success?

7. Looking at American history, there are surprisingly few families that have storied names like yours: Adams, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Bush where you have multiple members who have made real impact on society. And, I think Daley deserves to be up there with those names—has that been uh-uh burden to you, at all?

8. Do you think the third generation will follow in your footsteps?

9. The Chicago Tribune, in an editorial this week, said that in marking the Anniversary that your brother has posthumously achieved what every father yearns for—a son to have greater accomplishments than his father. Do you think that’s true—that he has been a Mayor, a better Mayor than your dad?

10. I suspect your dad would also be awfully proud that your accomplishments arguably surpassed his, too, I bet: A secretary, running a presidential campaign.

Thank you for coming in.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Legacies of the Daley Mayors

Jeff Berkowitz: Did he [Mayor Richard J. Daley] help the African-American community? Was he good for the African-American community?

Professor Paul Green: Given the city of Chicago and given what he faced, he probably-- all things being equal-- was a plus.
This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Paul Green, Roosevelt University Professor, Director of Policy Studies [until August 15] and WGN Political Pundit [“720 at 720” on Wednesday mornings]. See the end of this blog entry for a detailed suburban airing schedule and for more about the topics discussed on this week’s show with Paul Green. This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on this coming Monday night, May 2 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
Next week’s guest on the suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” is Ald. Manuel (“Manny”) Flores, [D- 1st Ward, Chicago].
A partial transcript of the show with Paul Green is included, below.
Jeff Berkowitz: Twenty one years [as Mayor], was he [Richard J. Daley] a great Mayor?

Paul Green: All things being equal, you would have to say—we have a poll each time we do the book [that is, each new edition of the collection of essays Green co-edited with Melvin Holli—The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition] asking who is the best Mayor in Chicago [history] and every time Richard J. Daley wins, overwhelmingly.

Berkowitz: He was the best Mayor of Chicago?

Green: Yes, overwhelmingly

Berkowitz: He said, “Nepotism is a great word.” He also said, “There is nothing wrong with nepotism.”

Green: Well, that’s putting it—

Berkowitz: Did I get that right?

Green: A little harsh.

Berkowitz: He didn’t say that?

Green: I don’t know if he said that. I’ve never heard that. He did have problems with his children getting into business and he did the famous Shamrock on the coattail- If you don’t like it, you can kiss it, but he- uh, well again, one of the great contradictions—he ran the last great political machine in the country’s history. Where all other cities were losing their political machines, his political machine was going into high gear. He was the only big city mayor in the North to incorporate the rising number of African Americans from the south into his so-called machine. And when he—

Berkowitz: Yes, but come on, you’re saying—

Green: Let me finish the point. And, when he was in trouble politically-- which he was two or three times, he was bailed out of tough elections by the African- American vote.

Berkowitz: Did he [Mayor Richard J. Daley] help the African-American community. Was he good for the African-American community?

Green: Given the city of Chicago and given what he faced, he probably-- all things being equal-- was a plus.

Berkowitz: You think? You don’t think he was just good for African-American leaders who were also a part of the machine. They benefited. That’s not necessarily benefiting the African-American community, is it?

Green: There really is a lot of people who he created. Your point is well taken.

Berkowitz: Bill Dawson.

Green: Well, Bill Dawson was there before Daley was.

Berkowitz: He didn’t create him, but he certainly took advantage of him.

Green: He worked with him, but he also produced people like John Stroger, Ralph Metcalfe [and] Harold Washington. They all were part of that so-called machine. But, again—

Berkowitz: Has John Stroger been good for Cook County?

Green: I think John Stroger has a long career- [and] like most politicians, he will not give it up voluntarily.

Berkowitz: But, the question was—Has John Stroger, as President of the Cook County Board—who you say Mayor [Richard J.] Daley created—has he been good for Cook County?

Green: Over-all, absolutely.

Berkowitz: You think?

Green: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: You think he runs an efficient, honest governmental entity in Cook County?

Green: I would think, given what’s he’s facing, he’s probably doing—sure, there’s room for improvement, there are people picking—

Berkowitz: Patronage come to mind? You think he overdoes it on patronage?

Green: Well, patronage is usually when your party—you attack patronage when your party is out of power.

Berkowitz: What about [Cook County Commissioner] Forrest Claypool? He attacks [patronage] and his party is in power. Is Claypool wrong?

Green: Well, Forrest Claypool has a good agenda—and he’s probably—he has a lot of good points.

Berkowitz: He says he could probably cut it [the size of Cook County government] down by a third.

Green: Put it like this, if John Stroger runs again, you could have all the people running against him and you could attack him, and the voters will decide—

Berkowitz: I won’t attack him, but some of the people who might run against him might-

Green: Let them do it.

Berkowitz: Sheriff Sheehan, he might be able to beat—

Green: Anyone might be able to beat him. The glory of a democracy is that talk is cheap.

Berkowitz: Dorothy Brown might be able to beat him [President Stroger].

Green: Every four years you have an election.

Berkowitz: Jim Houlihan might be able to beat him.

Green: Jeff Berkowitz might beat him.

Berkowitz: I don’t think so. No, but seriously, those are all big names. So your betting is that Stroger will run again? Is that your point?

Green: If he runs again, the chances are he will win again.
Berkowitz: High rise [public] housing, wasn’t that Mayor [Richard J.] Daley? Was that good for the African-American community?

Green: When the first public housing came out, you had to bribe your way to get in it.

Berkowitz: Yeah, but it turned out not so good for the African-American community.

Green: It didn’t turn out good for anybody. So, yeah, it was a mistake.

Berkowitz: What about urban renewal. People said urban renewal was “Negro removal.” You [have] heard that phrase, right?

Green: Yeah, I’ve heard that.

Berkowitz: You read the “Federal Bulldozer,” by Martin Anderson?

Green: No, but I’ve read—

Berkowitz: You know of it— from the University of Chicago.

Green: Well, Martin Anderson is no longer of the University of Chicago.

Berkowitz: But, he was of it. At that time [when he wrote the Federal Bulldozer].

Green: Martin Anderson has gone right, shall we say.

Berkowitz: Was urban renewal “Negro removal.”

Green: Some of it. But, it was also a lot of other people removal. You ask some old Italian families on Taylor Street, what about University of Illinois at Chicago—they’ll call it “Italian removal.”

Berkowitz: Well, the Italians ended up doing okay as to how they were affected by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Paul Green, Roosevelt University Professor and WGN-AM Radio political pundit, recorded on April 17, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of April 25] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs this coming Monday night, May 2 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
Paul Green debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz urban renewal, integration, the pluses and minuses of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s legacy of twenty-one years in the office, the pluses and minuses of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s performance over the last sixteen years in the office, the politics and public policy issues relating to the state budget deficit and the pros and cons of requiring judicial nominations to be approved or rejected by a majority vote in the U. S. Senate [aka the nuclear option to remove filibusters on judicial nominations], and much, much more.
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

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Peraica calls Stroger corrupt

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you are saying he is corrupt, right? You are saying he [Cook County Board President Stroger] is corrupt?

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica: Yeah, I do. I do.
Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica announced earlier this month that he is running in the Republican Primary for Cook County Board President. Peraica held a press conference this morning at the Cook County GOP headquarters, and with cameras from the Chicago local CBS and ABC stations, and “Public Affairs,” all running, took aim at Democrat Cook County Party patronage and “clout.” After taking aim, Peraica pulled the trigger, arguing that County Government under President Stroger makes the old Soviet [Union] Politburo look like a “model in customer service and openness,” and called President Stroger corrupt [See partial transcript, below] .

John Stroger has been Cook County Board President for more than ten years, but he has not announced whether he will run in the March, 2006 primary for the right to run for re-election. For the last two years, his attempts to raise county taxes have been beat back by a group labeled by this reporter as the Four Horsemen [Republican Commissioner Peraica and Democrat Commissioners Claypool, Quigley and Suffredin] who led the initial charge and ultimately were joined by four Republican Commissioners [Hansen, Goslin, Silvestri and Gorman] and Democrat Commissioner Earlean Collins, forming a working majority for fighting higher taxes—aka the gang of nine-who perhaps are working on bringing the Apocalypse Now to President Stroger.

Although Peraica’s focus obviously was on Democratic Cook County Board President John Stroger, he brought Democratic Cook County Finance Committee Chairman John Daley [brother of Mayor Richard Daley] into his sights as well. Peraica pointed out that 25% of all 25,000 Cook County employees live in the Stroger and Daley county board districts, which he argued is reflective of the patronage and clout wielded by those two, as they, in their roles as County Commissioners, represent only two of the seventeen Cook County Board districts, or about 12% of the Cook County population.

Peraica unveiled a web-based database of the 24, 500 Cook County employees [accessible from Peraica’s campaign web site], which when Cook County Forest Preserve employees are added, will contain data on over 25,000 Cook County employees, including name, title, hire date, town/zipcode of residence and salary. The database will be updated and ultimately will include such additional data as overtime compensation for Cook County employees, which spectacular excesses [one nurse's overtime tab:$187,500] were written about in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune “Top of the Fold,” p. 1 article by Mickey Ciokajlo and Todd Lighty, "[Cook] County Workers hit OT jackpot."

Peraica gave as an example of patronage and clout one Sam Simone, who he characterized as the Palos Township Democratic Committeeman and who he said was being paid $70,000 plus benefits, per year, as a “picnic table refurbisher.” Peraica indicated that this is a completely unnecessary, clouted, patronage job. He argued that ordinary maintenance forest preserve employees should be able to handle such jobs [Peraica said Simone is not yet on the web-based database because he is a Forest Preserve employee, and the data for those employees have not yet been computerized by Cook County].

We join the press conference, which lasted about twenty five minutes, in progress:

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica: Mr. Simone, who is the Democratic Committeeman in Palos Township, was hired at $80,000 per year plus benefits to oversee the refurbishing of picnic tables in the Forest Preserve District. First of all, that is unnecessary. Second, it should be outsourced. Third, you don’t need someone making one hundred thousand dollars to do that. It is an unnecessary position that is given to someone just because they are a committeeman in a particular area that he [President Stroger] is trying to build political support from.

Second example-if you look at the position that was given to Thornton Township committeeman, Mr. Zuccarelli [Of whom it is said "Never bet against Frank Zuccarelli's Thornton Township machine"], who is now the director of satellite offices for the [Cook County] Recorder of Deeds office. You know, another $80,000 job plus benefits to go out and supervise satellite offices that we don’t even need. We don’t need satellite offices for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. It could be done in many different ways at many different levels by other departments who are already there, such as the Clerk’s office, because for the small amount of documents that are recorded at these satellite suburban offices-- to spend $800,000 per year, plus add an overseer-- a supervisor for these offices-- is almost another $100,000 a year, with benefits and insurance-- doesn’t make sense.

Jeff Berkowitz: Who made those decisions?

Peraica: President Stroger made those decisions.

Berkowitz: So, would you say that Cook County Board President John Stroger is corrupt?

Peraica: I would say that the manner in which he does business, you can describe it as corrupt. That’s correct.

Berkowitz: No, would you say that Cook County Board President John Stroger is corrupt.

Peraica: I would say if you define giving jobs, contracts and positions to your political cronies who do little or nothing—that is corrupt, then he is corrupt.

Berkowitz: Do you define it that way?

Peraica: Yeah, I define it that way.

Berkowitz: So, you are saying he is corrupt, right? You are saying he [County Board President Stroger] is corrupt?

Peraica: Yeah, I do. I do.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Monday, April 25, 2005

Is Fritchey ready for Prime Time?

Jeff Berkowitz: …If you were Mayor of the City of Chicago, you would say to the current Transportation Commissioner-- You can’t stay here and have your family making all these dollars [from the City]. You would say that?

State Rep. John Fritchey [D]: I would say that…[W]e have elected a ]Mayor that doesn’t have those policies.
Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” features State Rep. John Fritchey [D-Chicago], who is thinking about a run for State Treasurer in March, 2006 in the Democratic Primary and possibly a run for Mayor if Mayor Daley decides to call it a day sometime. The show airs tonight, as it does every Monday night, throughout the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].

A partial transcript of the show with State Rep. Fritchey regarding the topics of spending and ethics is included, below. I have written previously on this blog about State Rep. John Fritchey and his background—and tacked on a partial transcript of the show with him regarding his potential run for higher office. Another blog entry contains a partial transcript of the discussion with Fritchey about how he facilitated the negotiated "Live Birth Abortion," legislation . Yet another Fritchey blog entry contains a summary of the topics discussed on tonight's show.
State Rep. John Fritchey on Spending and Efficiency:

Jeff Berkowitz: …Pat O’Malley, who might be running for Governor, says there is massive inefficiency [in state government]. …He said [when he was a State Senator] they reformed DCFS; they were able to make it much more efficient, much more productive and cut spending. His view is that you could do that throughout government—you don’t need more money, you need more efficiency. Is Pat right or wrong?

State Rep. John Fritchey: Pat is right that there is always room for more efficiency. But, historically, we tend to be more efficient when times are lean- but…as soon as the economy turns up, we start spending money rapidly. 9-11 did not get us into this issue, did not get us into the budget deficits. It made it worse, but it was the spending policies—of Democrats and Republicans, alike, that got us into this.

Berkowitz: Right, so if it was the spending policies, shouldn’t we be cutting spending dramatically? Do you favor that?

Fritchey: And we have been doing that, and I think we can continue to do that. But, we need to look at how we do it, where we do it—the pension system, though, and the pension issue is one that pervades them and is one that really needs to be addressed.
Fritchey on Mayor Daley, Ethics and Miguel d’Escoto:

Berkowitz: You have read recently in the Sun-Times and the Tribune about the Transportation Commissioner, Miguel d’Escoto?

Fritchey: Um um.

Berkowitz: His family, his father runs a firm. His father owns a firm that got substantial business [from the City for work at O’Hare Airport], tens of millions of dollars. His brother runs that firm. What are we doing, here? Why don’t we just say if you work for the City of Chicago and you are the Mayor, your family doesn’t get this business. You give that up if you want to work here.

Fritchey: And we need to—

Berkowitz: Do you agree with that? Should he [Mayor Daley] say that?

Fritchey: Well, he’s come very close and I think elected officials will be smart, politically and personally, to implore their relatives to stay out of politics, whenever possible. Now, at the same time, simply because I were—

Berkowitz: Not implore. Just say it’s his policy. Maybe even make it an ordinance. Make it the law.

Fritchey: But, if I were to be—if I had a brother or sister, which I don’t—but if I were an elected official, why should they necessarily be precluded? But, as the author—

Berkowitz: He can decide. Does he want to work for the government? They don’t have to be precluded. But, he doesn’t get into—you know they are not going to get those kinds of contracts.

Fritchey: You know—

Berkowitz: Do you agree with that?

Fritchey: Oh yeah.

Berkowitz: Okay, you would do that. If you were Mayor of the City of Chicago, you would say to the current Transportation Commissioner--You can’t stay here and have your family making all these dollars [from the City]. You would say that?

Fritchey: I would say that. You know that’s my personal policies and we have elected a Mayor that doesn’t have those policies. You know I have either authored or sponsored essentially every piece of ethics legislation that has come out of the Illinois House in the last ten years. I passed the first ethics bill that had come out of Illinois in about 20 years. So, that’s my belief system. I think that’s what the Public’s starting to demand more and more, now.
State Rep. John Fritchey [D- Chicago], recorded on April 10, 2005 and as is airing tonight, April 25, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]on the City of Chicago edition of "Public Affairs."
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Ald. Flores: Walking the Walk?

Alderman Manual ("Manny")Flores [D-1st Ward, Chicago], 33, was born in El Paso, Texas, where he spent his early boyhood years. His father was born on a farm that was to become O’Hare Airport [his father’s ancestors were from Mexico] and Flores’ mother was born in Mexico. After leaving El Paso, Ald. Flores spent some of his youth in the North Lake Melrose Park area [West Cook County suburb].

Ald. Flores, now living in Wicker Park, did not become a resident of the 1st Ward until late 2001 and it took a court to strike the two-year Chicago ward residency requirement as unconstitutional [the handy work of attorney, candidate and sometime political adviser/consultant Frank Avila, Jr.] for Flores to stay on the ballot in 2003. Running as an independent Democrat against eight-year incumbent Jesse Granato two years ago, Manny Flores won surprisingly easily in the April, 2003, run-off with almost 60% of the vote.

This was despite the fact that Granato had support from Mayor Daley, the Hispanic Democratic Organization [aka the Hispanic Daley Organization], the old Rostenkowski 32nd Ward organization, Gov. Blagojevich, Cong. Gutierrez [for whom Flores had worked after finishing law school at George Washington University and before becoming an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County] and such HDO pols as State Senator Iris Martinez.

Notwithstanding his big victory over Granato and the Machine, Flores is not without his critics, including Russ Stewart who predicted last year that Manny will be a one termer instead of a “political comer.” One reason that Stewart concludes that is that he thinks Ald. Flores looks like an ingrate for “allowing his aldermanic Chief of Staff, Xochiti Flores,” to run for the Cook County Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board against his lawyer, Frank Avila, Jr., when Avila attempted last year to join his father on that Board. Further, says Stewart, Ald. Flores’ political organization pushed hard for Xochiti, giving her a two thousand-vote margin over Avila, Jr. in the 1st Ward.

Both Xochiti and Frank, Jr., lost but Frank Avila, Jr. came in fourth out of eleven in a Democratic election that was the equivalent of the General Election—and the election was for three Commissioners. So, some claim that Xochiti was a spoiler put in the race to attract Hispanic votes from Frank, Jr. and keep him off the board.

On the other hand, there are Flores critics who have become Flores boosters and they in turn have their own critics. The Ald. Flores boosters argue that he is independent of the machine, but able to work with regular Democrat organizations to get things done for his constituents. They also argue he walks a fine line between pro-growth and anti-development . In short, his boosters say he knows when and how to compromise for the “better good,” of the community. Further, his supporters argue that Ald. Flores is articulate, smart, personable and just oozes integrity and honesty.

Ald. Flores’ critics accuse him of not being the independent he said he would be—and of “selling out.” They argue that he practices the same kind of patronage for which he has been known to criticize the HDO and others. They also argue he has backed down on Landmark Preservation to gain the support of real estate developers and that he gerrymandered the Landmark Preservation District in his Ward. [See Ben Joravsky's article, "Caving Early," in the April 15, 2005 Chicago Reader, accessible at for a nominal fee--There ain't no such thing as a free online Reader article ("TANSTAAFORA")].

Me, I just ask questions and let my viewers decide what they think of the answers. What can I say—Tough, but fair and balanced.

Why is what people think of a young, junior Chicago alderman of consequence? Well, ask yourself what then State Senator Barack Obama looked and sounded like in 1998, when he was a 37 year old, skinny, African-American man from the South Side of Chicago, with a funny sounding name, who had been a state senator for two years. U. S. Senator, Presidential material? Well, he did have a distinguished academic pedigree, and, of course, he was articulate. But, U. S. Senator, Presidential material? Not everybody thought so, but some did.

So, what do we think of a 33 year old, skinny, Hispanic man from the 1st Ward of Chicago, with a somewhat funny sounding name, who has been an alderman for two years. Chicago Mayor material for 2011? Well, Triton Junior College and Rosary College are good schools, but they are not Occidental College and Columbia University. And George Washington University law school is a very good law school, but it is not Harvard Law.

However, Manny Flores is an articulate guy who seems to know how to make good public policy and political decisions. And, in that sense, not unlike a young Barack Obama. And, here’s another thing, they both came on “Public Affairs,” early on in their political careers.

Keep an eye on Ald. Flores. He is coming to a TV set near you, in the suburbs during the Week of May 2 and throughout the 1st Ward and the remainder of the City of Chicago on Monday night, May 9, 2005 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21[CANTV], as discussed further directly below this blog entry. ********************************************
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Backpacking with Ald. Flores

Jeff Berkowitz: Is Alderman Burke clouted?

Alderman Flores: I couldn’t speak to what Alderman has in terms of clout but I will tell you this: I have worked with Ald. Burke on a couple of legislative initiatives and have been very impressed with his leadership and his institutional knowledge…
Alderman Flores: Jeff, families want to send their kids to the best schools and it doesn’t matter if it is a private school, it doesn’t matter if it is a public school, it doesn’t matter if it is a charter school
Berkowitz: Would you like to use that tool-- School choice, School vouchers?

Flores: If it is going to work, I think that it should be made available
Flores: …I am advocating here for the parents, for the families of our communities and for our children, for our young adults and saying that you should be given every [educational] option and that you should be informed of every option, so that you can be—

Berkowitz: Good enough- Give them the backpack. Give them the backpack [with the $10,000 per kid per year that is inside it and that is currently being spent in the Chicago Public Schools so that they can direct the money to the school of their choice], you signed up.

Flores: You give them two backpacks, you give them

Berkowitz: Two kids, two backpacks; three kids, three backpacks.

Flores: Whatever it takes to get them on track.

Berkowitz: All right, let’s stop [on education], we have to cover some [other] ground here. Hired Truck, Hired Tow, Hired Thief-- you understand those things? Corruption, right?

Flores: Corruption.

Berkowitz: Swirling all around the Mayor, right?

Flores: I think it [Corruption] is swirling all around the City [of Chicago].
Ald. Manuel Flores [D- 1st Ward, Chicago] possible candidate for Mayor of Chicago in 2007 or 2011, recorded on April 24, 2005 and as will be airing on the Suburban edition of "Public Affairs," next week [week of May 2] and on the City of Chicago edition of "Public Affairs," on Monday night, May 9, 2005 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See end of the blog entry about State Fritchey and live birth abortion legislation for a detailed suburban airing schedule of “Public Affairs.” *******************************
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

The Sunday Funnies

Revised on Sunday, April 24, at 10:20 am.

Joel Weisman: Would you agree with that-- Dan Miller...that through this [University of Illinois, Chicago] symposium that all we heard were good things and some of the lesser accomplishments or non-accomplishments were kind of buried.

Dan Miller: Sure they were. We’re talking about a man who is dead and if you can’t say something good about somebody when he is dead, then don’t say anything at all. I think that was the underlying assumption for much of what the coverage was. But, Joel, I think at [W]TTW, here, your interview with Bill Daley was absolutely terrific. I think that undercovered a lot of stuff. I think that [Bob] Sirott talking to Rich Daley disclosed a different part of the Mayor, as well. So, I think the coverage was very balanced. I think it was fascinating, top to bottom.

Weisman: Mary, would you agree?

Mary Mitchell: Well, no, I don’t think it was balanced. One of the things that happens when someone is described as one of the most powerful Mayors ever is that you want to look at the things that he did—To, you know, to warrant the kind of adoration and that kind of respect. And, I think with powerful people there is a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, you revere them—you think this is great, they are powerful. On the other hand, you fear them. And, Daley reflected all of that. Some people loved him and thought he was the greatest Mayor ever. Some people, like those in the African- American community, feared him-I thought he did a poor job of bringing the races together. In fact, no job of bringing the races together.
WTTW’s Chicago Week in Review, April 22, 2005.
Dan Miller, Chicago Sun-Times Business Editor said, “if you can’t say something good about somebody when he is dead, then don’t say anything at all…. So, I think the coverage was very balanced.” That is a truly remarkable comment. After all, we are not talking about a eulogy at a funeral. We are talking about media personnel and academics analyzing and assessing the pros and cons of Richard J. Daley, almost three decades after Daley’s death and Miller says that? They are not supposed to say anything negative about FDR, JFK, Nixon or Reagan? This is history? This is media analysis? What was Miller thinking?

Miller thought the coverage was balanced at the University of Illinois symposium? The title of the symposium was “The inaugural Richard J. Daley Forum: Learning from the Legacy, 1955-2000.” From what I saw and heard of the symposium, each panel discussion, with the exception of the one made up of media personnel, seemed intended to crown Daley, posthumously, as the King of Goodness.

Apparently, the media were thrown together in one of the panels at the University of Illinois symposium to minimize and contain the impact of their criticism of Mayor Daley I, demonstrating respect for Richard J. Daley’s description of media and academics as fakers and phonies.

Dan Miller said, “[Bob] Sirott talking to Rich Daley disclosed a different part of the Mayor, as well.” What part would that be? The part suited for T-Ball type questions and analysis. Sirott has become well known for his media personality/old rock star/celebrity softball interviews on WTTW as he has changed the culture, sadly, at WTTW and Chicago Tonight.

The rumor is that if Daley, Blagojevich, et al, can’t get Sirott to do the interview on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight, they will wait until they can. Who would want to face WTTW's political interviewer Phil Ponce when they can get 50 softballs in a row from Bob Sirott?

The rest of the media coverage of the 50-year Richard J. Daley lovefest was in large part similarly tame and skewed to Richard J. There were a few exceptions, but who in the media--or their owners-- really wants to take on the current Mayor by being tough, but fair, in the analysis of the Mayor’s old man?

The coverage of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was very balanced? Balanced, my ---. Dan Miller used to be known as conservative leaning, but balanced in his own analysis and commentary. I don’t know what to make of Miller's comments, above, other than that they did not reflect reality and he gave us a Sunday Funny. And, lucky for Chicago Week in Review, it had Mary Mitchell on the panel, to provide balance, on this one.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Roskam almost surely a 6th CD primary candidate within weeks; Calls Sen. Pankau misguided.

State Senator Peter Roskam [R- Wheaton, 48th Dist.] opened a 10:00 am press conference today with the following statement:

I am formally exploring a campaign to seek the Republican nomination for the 6th Cong. District. My plan in the days and weeks ahead is to formally contact party leaders and activists and voters in the 6th Cong. Dist. and elected officials with whom I serve and gauge their level of support. I filed a candidacy paper with the Federal Election Commission you know my fondness for him [Cong. Henry Hyde] just sort of has no end and he had a formative influence on me … and it was a great privilege to work for him…if I could emulate him—that would be a goal of mine.”

It was notable, if not unexpected, that Senator Roskam spoke with deep affection and admiration for Cong. Henry Hyde at the beginning of this morning’s press conference, during the middle of the event and in his concluding answer—to a question about the significance of the changing boundaries of the 6th Cong. Dist. over the last three decades—by saying, “This is a district that has sent someone like Henry Hyde to the Congress for the past thirty one years and they are comfortable with who he is and the way that he has handled himself.”

If anybody wants to run in the primary or general election by questioning whether Cong. Hyde’s replacement should be in the tradition of Cong. Hyde, Senator Roskam made it clear this morning where he stands [See, also, the partial transcript of the press conference, below].

The Senator from Wheaton, 43, making his second bid in seven years for a Congressional seat, seemed at ease when answering questions from the press. He gave fairly direct responses, as opposed to the oft-used dodges and clichés by various pols when they begin a campaign.

It does sound as if Senator Roskam anticipates a serious Republican primary contest with a strong challenger, or two or more—and he seems ready to engage them, whether it be State Senator Carole Pankau [R- Roselle], former State Rep. Tom Johnson from West Chicago, Elmhurst Mayor Thomas Marcucci, or former DuPage County Recorder J. P. “Rick” Carney [whose name was brought up specifically by the smart and well informed Chicago Sun-Times political writer Scott Fornek, who led off today's questioning of Roskam by saying that Carney was definitely in the race and that Carney had told Fornek that he was ready to put in as much of his own money as “it takes.” Carney told Fornek a few days ago that he would put as much as $500,000 of his own money into the race and that "the race is going to come down to money."]

On the other side of the aisle, Rahm Emanuel [D- Chicago, 5th Cong. Dist.], Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ["DCCC"] and therefore the man who can decide where much of the "hot Democratic money," will go, is quoted by Fornek as saying that Cong. Hyde's retirement makes the 6th Cong. Dist. "a swing district."

Senator Roskam spoke from his hotel room in Springfield [the state senate is in session today] and at least fifteen media individuals from the Chicago metropolitan area, other portions of the state and Washington, DC participated in the press conference by phone—which, by the way, seemed to come off amazingly well. This was surprising in light of the fact that each media member couldn’t gauge by body language when the Senator was finished answering a question and whether another correspondent was ready to jump in. Only once or twice did two reporters start speaking at the same time, and when that happened, one would defer readily to the other.

Those entities represented at the press conference included, among others, Public Affairs, WBBM- AM radio, the Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Radio Network, the Journal Newspapers, the Chicago Tribune, WLS-AM radio, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Daily Herald, Congressional Quarterly [DC], Congress Daily [DC], Beacon News [Aurora], ABC- 7 News in Chicago, CLTV and Liberty Newspapers. The press conference lasted about twenty-five minutes.

Senator Roskam said he was not hesitating to get into the race, but that he was “trying to build a slow, cautious campaign approach.” He indicated he wanted to speak with various individuals, as indicated above and that he wanted to circle back to those people with whom he spoke when “it [the open seat] was theoretical… but now it is real.”

As to the eight public officials who had indicated their endorsement of Senator Roskam, contingent on Cong. Hyde not seeking another term, Roskam said he was “hopeful that they are [still with him] and I have got no indications to the contrary but I am not going to, at this point… speak for any other elected officials.” [See partial transcript, below].

As to timing on becoming an official candidate, Senator Roskam said that if “I get the kind of feedback that I have been getting so far…then in the coming weeks I would intend to formally proceed...” He said it was his hope that he would make a final decision in the “next several weeks.”

The eleven year [House and Senate] State Legislator- Attorney indicated that he “would try to reach out to the broadest possible base of people to put together an effective campaign in the primary and then ultimately in the general election.”

Answering questions about [House] Majority Leader Tom Delay [R-TX] and the House Ethics Committee, Senator Roskam said that he knows Cong. Biggert [R- Hinsdale; 13th Dist.,IL] “is on that House Ethics Committee and [I] have a lot of respect for her decision making. But knowing what I know now of what Tom Delay has been accused of, my attitude would be to support him.” [See partial transcript, below]

Senator Roskam declined to comment on the appropriateness of the recent House Ethics Committee rules changes, other than to say that he has “confidence in the current Republican Leadership in the Congress.” [See partial transcript, below]

As to term limits, like Cong. Hyde, Senator Roskam is against them [Go Here and Scroll to Sep. 20, 2004, 12:45 am "Public Affairs blog entry" for Cong. Hyde's term limit views]. Peter Roskam especially took issue with what he called “self limits,” which he pointed out, if adopted by one Party and not the other, would allow legislators in one party to gain more seniority than the legislators in the other party. [See partial transcript, below].
Jeff Berkowitz: Senator, Carol— Senator Pankau said that she thinks the district doesn’t necessarily want a [Cong.] Henry Hyde clone. Do you disagree with her?

State Senator Peter Roskam [R- Wheaton]: I think this District has sent Cong. Hyde to the United States Congress for thirty-one years and he has managed to become not only a leader and a figure who is highly respected in Illinois and across the nation but actually around the world. So, I think she [Sen. Pankau] is misguided in that characterization.

Berkowitz: Well, one thing—since he was there for thirty-one years and he still is, obviously he [Cong. Hyde] didn’t think too much about term limits [Go here and Scroll to Sep. 20, 2004, 12:45 am Public Affairs blog entry to read Cong. Hyde's views on term limits] . What do you think about term limits?

Sen. Roskam: I am against term limits, as well. I mean, if, if, the-it seems like it is a- it is sort of self defeating in a way. If we are going to have term limits, then have them across the board. You know, [Senator] Ted Kennedy ought not to be able to serve in Congress for 30 plus years or however long he has served for Massachusetts and then we have members of congress that self limit. It’s a seniority based system and to cut ourselves off-- you know, if we had term limits, Denny Hastert wouldn’t be Speaker of the House.

Berkowitz: Okay, but if you could have them [term limits] across the board, what term would you favor then? Six years?

Sen. Roskam: No, I’ve not given that a lot of thought because I think it is theoretical, it is not real, and it’s never gonna happen.
Berkowitz: Senator, as you know, the ethics committee rules have changed in the [U. S.] House and they now require, for example, for an investigation to proceed against [House] Majority Leader Tom Delay [R-TX] at least one Republican [on the Ethics Committee] to join the Democrats in pushing for an investigation, do you support that type of rule change?

State Senator Peter Roskam: You know I worked for Congressman Delay 20 years ago almost [as a legislative correspondent and a legislative assistant]when he was a freshman member of Congress and I think everybody agrees he is one of the most effective legislators in Washington, DC. I would defer to Congresswoman Biggert, my former colleague in the House. I know that she is on that House Ethics Committee and [I] have a lot of respect for her decision making. But knowing what I know now of what Tom Delay has been accused of, my attitude would be to support him.

Berkowitz: But do you support that Rules change that requires at least one member from the other party to proceed on an ethics investigation. Previously it could have been done if simply all Democrats favored it [or] all Republicans. Now you need that plus one. Do you favor that Rules change?

Sen. Roskam: I am just not familiar enough with the rules themselves and what the proposed changes mean. But, I have confidence in the—I mean if your question, and I got the sense that it is—if your question is do I have confidence in the current Republican Leadership in the Congress? My answer is yes.

Berkowitz: One other quick question, just while I have you. On March 17, and I put this on my blog, you indicated that you had eight endorsements contingent on Cong. Hyde not seeking another term. Now that he isn’t [going to], are you confident that those eight endorsements are still with you?

Sen. Roskam: I am hopeful that they are and I have got no indications to the contrary but I am not going to, at this point, speak to or speak for any of the folks, ummm, where, where I am—I am seeking their support. So, I need to circle back and, but I am not going to speak for any other elected officials.
Partial transcript of telephonic press conference held on April 21, 2005 by State Senator and potential 6th Cong. Dist. Republican Primary candidate Peter Roskam [R- Wheaton].
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Savior Bobby Kennedy: The Daleys/Kennedys Love Affair

Fifty years ago today, Mayor Richard Daley I was inaugurated for his first of six terms and 21 years as Mayor of the City of Chicago. A big event today at the University of Illinois, Chicago to commemorate the day and pay homage to the Old Man [called that with some affection by some in the media], as UIC is perhaps his primary legacy. And somewhat appropriately [although Senator Kennedy and Mayor Daley I barely knew each other], Senator Teddy Kennedy keynoted, this evening, a big Mayor Daley II Dinner in honor of Mayor Daley I.

And then there was this effort from CBS’ Mike Flannery and Edward Marshall:
Mayor Richard M. Daley: The 60s are very interesting. Once John F. Kennedy was assassinated [1963] and [Dr.] Martin Luther King and then Bobby Kennedy [1968], that was the end of the Democratic Party. [Program shows clip of Robert F. Kennedy speaking after he won the Democratic California Primary for President in May, 1968—“My thanks to all of you and now on to Chicago and let’s win there”]. The last three words he said, “On to Chicago,” and he walked off the stage and got killed [by Sirhan Sirhan]. Once he [RFK] got assassinated-killed, that was the end of the Democratic Party. Bobby Kennedy was the savior in 1968. If he would have lived, he would have been the presidential candidate. When he won California, prior to that he stopped to see my father [Mayor Richard J. Daley] and my father talked to him about the election. If he won California, Illinois was going to endorse him. He went to California, won the election; talked to my parents—she was the last one there, talking on the phone to my mother—and when he called, he was talking to my mother about his family, he always chatted about that.

CBS 2-News Mike Flannery: That was the night he was killed.

Richard M. Daley: Yeah. And, my father said when you come, we are going to endorse you the next day.
[Video-clip of CBS’ Kuralt interview with Mayor Daley in April, 1972]

Charles Kuralt: They say you are tough.

Mayor Richard J. Daley: I wouldn’t say tough, but my father told me never back down to any man if you think you are right and I suppose we were taught how to use our fists when we were young, you had to do that and I think that’s a great part of life, too. Not guns and not knives.

Kuralt: But you think an occasional fist fight is good for a kid?

Daley: I think he has to.

Kuralt: My mother has always said, “Don’t get into fights.”

Daley: Well, uh, don’t get in unless you win [followed by a hearty Mayor Daley laugh].
Mike Flannery: Daley famously used that [patronage] power to help his very large extended family, reputedly placing more than 100 relatives on various public payrolls.
Richard J. Daley: …and these people that talk about nepotism and all that, nepotism is a great word.
Excerpted from “Richard J. Daley: The Legend and Legacy,” which aired twice as a special one hour program this past weekend on the local Chicago CBS- 2 station. The show, produced by Edward Marshall and written by Mike Flannery and Edward Marshall, was an interesting, informative, well-edited and very entertaining show. My only criticism is that while it was reasonably balanced in that it showed and discussed the negative as well as positive sides of Mayor Richard J. Daley, on-air comments from critics were not included. We saw nothing from former 5th Ward, independent Alderman Leon Despres and former independent Alderman [and State Supreme Court Justice] Seymour Simon. That is, we saw in large part raw footage of Mayor Richard J. Daley and related personalities and events, but most of the program interviews about Mayor Richard J. Daley were with two of the Old Man’s sons: Former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley and Mayor Richard M. Daley. Sons Bill Daley and Rich Daley were interesting to hear from, but obviously they can’t be relied on to provide an impartial assessment. BTW, noticeably absent from the program was the other Mayor Daley political personality son—Cook County Board Finance Committee Chairman and County Board President wannabe John Daley.

As a final note, I should add that to its credit, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight had a one hour special on Mayor Richard J. Daley tonight and it did see fit to include interviews with former independent Chicago Aldermen Leon Despres and Seymour Simon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fritchey brokers the Illinois Compromise: the Live Birth Abortion Bill

State Rep. John Fritchey [D-Chicago]: I am saying that this will become law…I see no reason why the Governor would not sign it… it really is historic and I don’t want to overstate it.

Jeff Berkowitz: What does it do?

State Rep. Fritchey: What it does is clearly define something that would sound simple on its face but [it defines] when an infant is born alive and when measures need to be taken to protect that child—whether that is the result of a pre-mature birth, whether it is the result of an induced birth [or an abortion that resulted in a live birth], whatever it may be.
Jeff Berkowitz: As chairman of that [House Civil Judiciary] Committee, you deal with a lot of legal issues, one that has come up recently was the so-called “live birth abortion,” legislation. Born Alive Infant Protection Act, is that still formally the name?

Rep. John Fritchey: That is formally the name and it was interesting—I started out as a concerned opponent to the legislation. I have got to tell you it is probably the piece of legislation that I have been the proudest to be involved with right now and the reason for that is this Act, which will probably be called for a vote by the time your viewers see this show, is the first negotiated piece of legislation touching on abortion in the history of Illinois. It was assigned to my committee—

Berkowitz: The first piece of legislation that will come out—

Fritchey: The first that has been negotiated to resolution—

Berkowitz: Oh, negotiated, as opposed to by one party or the other.

Fritchey: Absolutely, and the bill was assigned to my committee. The sponsor is Brandon Phelps [D- Harrisburg, 118th Dist.], who is a Democrat from downstate. And I was able to bring together the Concerned Women of America, the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and sit them down in my office repeatedly—

Berkowitz: That will come up for a vote for sure within the next two weeks?

Fritchey: That will come up for a vote. I predict overwhelming support for it. We modified the bill—

Berkowitz: So, it will pass the House easily, you say?

Fritchey: It will pass the House easily [the Bill passed the House last week] and

Berkowitz: Will it--

Fritchey: It will pass the Senate easily.

Berkowitz: Have you spoken with state senator and President of the Senate Emil Jones?

Fritchey: Emil Jones has given his assent to the legislation.

Berkowitz: So, he is going to let it go forward in its present form?

Fritchey: He is.

Berkowitz: And he will support it?

Fritchey: Ah, I believe that indicates his support.

Berkowitz: So, you are saying that this will become law? And the Governor will sign it?

Fritchey: I am saying that this will become law…I see no reason why the Governor would not sign it… it really is historic and I don’t want to overstate it.

Berkowitz: What does it do?

Fritchey: What it does is clearly define something that would sound simple on its face but [it defines] when an infant is born alive and when measures need to be taken to protect that child—whether that is the result of a pre-mature birth, whether it is the result of an induced birth [or an abortion that resulted in a live birth], whatever it may be.

Berkowitz: When is that?

Fritchey: Well, under the terms of this, it sets forth a definition of viability and having one of a number of signs-- either voluntary movement of the limbs, a pulsating umbilical cord, a palpable heart beat and what we have said is that this is a clear definition that everybody can accept. But we want to make sure—

Berkowitz: All the Pro-Lifers can sign onto this, is that right?

Fritchey: The Pro-Lifers have signed off on this. The Pro-Choice community that I have worked with extensively has signed off on this because we have put additional language in there that really does two things. One, it says that nothing in this legislation shall impact in any way a woman’s right to choose in the State of Illinois; Nor will the legislation impact a doctor’s ability to use his or her best judgment in the treatment of a woman. And, so with those safeguards in place, it was good but it was fascinating to me Jeff that prior to this point the members of the Federation for Right to Life and the members of Planned Parenthood—folks that are polar opposites but have to deal with each other whether they want to or not—have never really sat down and had substantive discussions about legislation. So, the ability that we can pull them together is important because while Illinois is a “blue state,” the majority of Illinoisans are not on the extremes. The majority of Illinoisans are somewhere near the middle. The majority of Illinois legislators are somewhere near the middle. So, the fact that we don’t polarize each other and polarize ourselves on issues of choice, on issues of guns-- it’s healthy for the dialogue, it’s healthy for the debate, it’s healthy for legislation, it’s healthy for the state.
State Rep. John Fritchey [D- Chicago], possible candidate in the 2006 Democratic Primary for State Treasurer, recorded on April 10, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban Edition of Public Affairs this week [week of April 18] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, April 25 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See here for a detailed suburban airing schedule of “Public Affairs,” and here for more about Fritchey and a partial transcript of the show dealing with his plans for higher office.

State Rep. Fritchey on TV--Live Birth Abortion legislation on its way to becoming law

This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features State Rep. John Fritchey [D- Chicago], who is in his 9th year in the state legislature, replaced Rod Blagojevich when he left the statehouse for the Congress and chairs the powerful House Civil Judiciary Committee. State Rep. Fritchey is well credentialed and appears to have a promising political future, as indicated in this discussion of his potential runs for higher office and a partial transcript of the portion of the show dealing with that topic [Detailed suburban airing schedule of “Public Affairs,” below].
This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on next Monday night, April 25 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
State Rep. John Fritchey [D- Chicago] debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz this week in the suburbs taxes and spending in Illinois; State Rep. Fritchey’s potential runs for higher office; Ethics/conflicts under Governor Blagojevich and Mayor Daley; Tax swaps, Tax increases for education, school choice and education accountability; gun control, Chicago’s ban on gun possession and concealed carry; tort and medical malpractice reform, non-economic damage caps; Born Alive Infant Protection Act [live birth abortion] legislation; Pharmacists, acts of conscience and abortion pills, bills and orders-- and much, much more.
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

Monday, April 18, 2005

Possible Guv candidate Rauschenberger considers retaining Pascoe, Proft, et al.

The recent buzz has been that the Rauschenberger for Governor campaign effort [still viewed as a potential as opposed to a “for sure,” thing] has hired the Urquhart Media political consulting firm to run his campaign. Senator Raushenberger’s brother John said not quite, but he did confirm today that the Urquhart political consulting firm is being considered by Senator Rauschenberger to run his campaign, along with two unnamed firms—one from DC and one from Michigan.

The plans to hire a solid, political consulting firm could be an indication that Senator Rauschenberger is ready to make this a serious, full-steam ahead effort. John Rauschenberger appears to be working very hard and well at fund raising, along with his candidate-kid brother, but if the Rauschenberger for Governor team is truly going to take off, he needs a full-time, professional campaign team-something state senator Rauschenberger was lacking [notwithstanding Charlie Stone's solid media skills] when he ran for the U. S. Senate last year.

The Urquhart team, whose name has a certain charm to it, has had its choice of name and campaign techniques questioned, not surprisingly, by some on the left. The team includes Bill Pascoe [who joined the Jack Ryan train wreck as a Communications Director and as the resident “grown up,” two months before the train was derailed], Dan Proft [known for running the Illinois Leader when he is not telling pols which fork to use, what to say and what their strategic focus should be-- joined the Jack Ryan debacle early on as a youngish, senior adviser. That was after Proft had worked for and with such diverse individuals as old GOP type and former Illinois House minority leader Lee Daniels, quite moderate Republican North Shore State Rep. Beth Coulson and conservative, reformer former State Senator Pat O’Malley on his 2002 Guv effort], Jeff Davis [who has a penchant for campaign nitty gritty and keeping track of the campaign hardware, e.g., campaign signs, etc. and how they can best be positioned] and Brian Timpone, who among his website skills and other talents, has worked with Proft on keeping the Illinois Leader afloat-which some view as a full time, if not futile, effort.

Pascoe [who knew Ambassador Keyes going back to the heady days of the Reaganadministration] and Proft, after they had worked together on the Jack Ryan debacle, helped pull and put together the Alan Keyes U. S. Senate effort, a mission improbable they quickly realized they had little control over-- as Keyes made every effort to make sure success was less and less likely with each passing day. Proft, Keyes' Deputy Campaign Manager, wrote recently, “On paper, Keyes could have provided a legit challenge [to Obama] lasted for about a week before Keyes embarked upon the Road to Damascus by himself.” As Larry Handlin at Archpundit has pointed out, perhaps Pascoe and Proft should have anticipated Keyes' predilections and been prepared to deal with them, if their motives were as pure as they suggest. In the alternative, if Pascoe and Proft really could not have anticipated the antics of Alan Keyes, then perhaps when they saw what Keyes had in mind, they should have done what the British used to recommend as the honorable thing to do in such circumstances: resign.

Urquhart Media can claim as a victory the recent Larry Dominick win for Cicero Town President over incumbent Cicero Town President Ramiro Gonzalez. Of course, in Cicero nothing is ever what it seems to be, so who-- other than now Chicago Sun-Times columnist and TV documentarian Carol Marin, who has seemingly made Cicero her life's work-- really knows who won there or what they won, if anything.

Also recently, Republican Cook County Board member Tony Peraica-- one of the Board’s Four Horsemen or Gang of Four [along with Democrat Commissioners Claypool, Quigley and Suffredin] who seem intent on bringing Board President Stroger to his Apocalypse Now-- retained Urquhart to run Peraica’s nascent campaign for Cook County Board President, a campaign whose first hurdle might be to win a Republican Primary, should County Commissioner Liz Gorman [or someone else] decide to jump into the race.

Peraica, Dominick and possibly Rauschenberger—before you know it-- Urquhart Media might have a bit of a name for itself within political circles, unless the entity turns out to be just a House of Cards, so to speak.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Possible Guv Candidate Sen. Bill Brady on TV in the City of Chicago tonight

State Senator Bill Brady (R), possible candidate in the 2006 Republican Primary for Governor, is featured tonight on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.[CANTV]. A partial transcipt of the show is included on this blog. The show includes Bill Brady (R) debating and discussing with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz Pay to Play, jobs, taxes and spending in Illinois; ethics under Governor Blagojevich; Brady’s net worth and how much he will self-fund his campaign; school choice, tax credits and education accountability; guns, assault weapon bans, tort and medical malpractice reform, non-economic damage caps, tax pledges, abortion, corruption, gay rights and much, much more.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Saturday, April 16, 2005

LaHood and Oberweis on Top- Topinka almost Rock Bottom

The Women’s Republican Club of the 10th Congressional District (“10th WRC”) kicked off the 2006 political season this morning with the first major forum for the Republican gubernatorial candidates. The forum was well organized, informative and quite collegial. Jim Oberweis announced his candidacy on Thursday and seven other Republicans [all listed, below] have said they are thinking about a run for Governor.

All eight were invited to attend and all but one told the 10th WRC that they planned to attend. State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s handlers declined on her behalf and certain individuals at the 10th WRC indicated they were given various reasons e.g., Topinka was just “testing the waters,” at this point or simply that Topinka had not decided if she would make the race.

When I spoke to various attendees after the event [who spoke on the condition of anonymity], they indicated that none of the Topinka responses made a lot of sense as essentially that is the case for all of the identified Republican gubernatorial candidates except Oberweis and yet they either attended or planned to attend. Further, one of them, a Lake County Republican activist, complained that Topinka has repeatedly refused to come to Lake County events [This event, however, was held in Northbrook, i.e., Cook County]. In short, Topinka’s absence did not seem to make many “hearts grow fonder.”

Former State Board of Education Chairman Ron Gidwitz cancelled at the last moment due to a “family emergency.” State Senator Steve Rauschenberger, who also had planned to attend, sent a note, which was read to the audience at the beginning of the forum by the moderator, apologizing for his absence and indicating that he was in Washington, DC, this morning, as a result of his responsibilities as President-Elect of the National Conference of Legislators.

The forum consisted of four minute opening and three minute closing statements by each of the candidates, and those statements were sandwiched around answers to six questions, which came from the audience but were read by the moderator. I was told the questions were not greatly edited. The candidates had one and half minutes to answer each question. In total, the substantive portion of the forum ran about an hour and a half.

After the forum, the 150, or so, in attendance, were asked to complete their straw poll ballots, which included all eight of the candidates who are running or thinking of running for Governor. 139 ballots were cast, with the following results:

1. Cong. Ray LaHood [R- Peoria], 25.1 % [35 votes]
2. Entrepreneur Jim Oberweis, 24.4 % [34 votes]

3. Former State Senator Pat O’Malley, 14.3 %
4. State Senator Bill Brady, 14.3 %
5. DuPage State’s Attorney Joe Birkett, 12. 1 %.
6. State Senator Steve Rauschenberger 7.1 %
7. Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, 1.4 % [2 votes]
8. Former State Board of Education Chairman Ron Gidwitz, 1 % [1 vote]

While straw polls are not in any way necessarily indicative of anything more than how those voters feel about the candidates, they can have some impact. One, the people who attend such events as the one sponsored this morning by the 10th WRC tend to be political activists and therefore tend to have influence disproportionate to their numbers. Two, the winners are often reported by the mainstream media without a lot of caveats. Such was the case on tonight’s ABC-7 6:00 pm local news, in which reporter Michelle Gallardo stated:

“While it is too early to tell which one of the GOP contenders will emerge as the party's candidate next year, that didn't stop Saturday's forum from conducting a straw poll. So with 139 votes counted, Congressman Ray LaHood emerged as the frontrunner with Jim Oberweis close behind. Just one sample among the many more we can expect in the 18 months before Election Day.”

That was a nice statement for LaHood and Oberweis and I am sure Topinka and Gidwitz were thankful that Gallardo did not note that they finished at the bottom of the pack, with a grand total for the moderate or liberal faction of the party of three votes.

One of the most striking characteristics of the 10th WRC forum was the virtually complete absence of social issues from the opening and closing statements, as well as the questions and answers. I will look over the tape, but my recollection is that I never once heard this morning, as Democratic National Party Chairman Howard Dean is fond of putting it, Gays, Guns, God or abortion.

Nor did I hear anything about stem cell research, cloning or Terry Schiavo. Really, quite remarkable. Completely absent from the discussion were the so-called moral values that many pundits say decided the 2004 Presidential Election. The assembled did say the Pledge of Allegiance, as is customary at the opening of Republican events, so what do you know—I did hear the word God, at least once.

Why was that case? The absence of gays, guns, God and abortion from this morning’s discussion, that is. I think it reflects the collective sentiment among those present that the way to victory for the Republican Party in the general election in 2006 lies in repeating the mantra of more jobs, less taxes and less sleaze and corruption in government.

Don’t get me wrong, you will eventually hear about abortion, gun control, gay rights, God and embryonic stem cell research from the five conservatives who were present this morning, and conservative Senator Steve Rauschenberger when he shows up, and that will especially be the case if and when the more moderate [or as some would put, liberal] Topinka and Gidwitz appear on the scene. However, I believe these conservatives and their handlers have decided that 2006 is not the year of social issues, at least here in Illinois.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Friday, April 15, 2005

Can’t anybody in this town do journalism?

(Revised at 8:20 pm)

Getting it wrong with the mainstream print media.

As I wrote yesterday in the blog entry immediately below, although Jim Oberweis is the only announced candidate in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary, seven others have indicated they have some interest and are considering it: Joe Birkett, Bill Brady, Ron Gidwitz, Ray LaHood, Steve Rauschenberger, Judy Baar Topinka and Pat O’Malley. This is the case, notwithstanding WTTW’s view of the world.

Yet, Rick Pearson writes a column in today’s Tribune about Oberweis and lists six others who “have formed exploratory committees or expressed interest in the job.” Pearson lists each of the above, except for former State Senator and 2002 gubernatorial primary candidate Pat O’Malley. That is odd. Pat O'Malley has indicated otherwise on my show and he tells me he has told a number of other political participants that as well. In short, it is not a secret that O’Malley has expressed an interest “in the job.”

The AP’s Don Babwin, writing in today’s Chicago Sun-Times about Jim Oberweis, lists six other Republicans “who have said they are considering running for governor.” Like Pearson, Babwin excludes former State Senator and 2002 gubernatorial primary candidate Pat O’Malley from his list.

Eric Krol and Patrick Waldron in their article about Jim Oberweis in today’s Daily Herald list seven other Republican candidates, including Pat O’Malley, who are “weighing or considering” a run for Governor. So, the Daily Herald got it right.

Well, sort of. The Daily Herald’s Eric Krol writes today in his column, “Seven potential GOP governor candidates will speak from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. [tomorrow] to the Women’s Republican Club of the 10th Congressional District. The cost is $10, breakfast included, and the event is at Allgauer’s in Northbrook. One potential candidate won’t be there: State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who isn’t all the way there yet on making the big move.”

But, wait a second. That explanation by Judy Baar or Krol can’t wash. None of the above referenced candidates, except for Jim Oberweis, is “all the way there yet on making the big move.” And, each of them, except for Judy, will be there tomorrow. Why not Judy? [Senator Rauschenberger, who planned to be there, has had to go out of town-- but he is sending his brother, John Rauschenberger, as his surrogate. John Rauschenberger ran Senator Rauschenberger's U. S.Senate campaign in 2004.

Did Eric Krol ask Judy why she is not attending? What did Judy Baar Topinka, or her press people or handlers say? Did they give the "not all the way there yet," spin? If so, did Krol press Topinka for a real answer? I guess we’ll never know. I would ask Judy. But Topinka’s State Treasurer press secretary Carolyn Berry Frost and her State Treasurer Chief of Staff [and political honcho] Nancy Kimme, the two people who I am told are supposed to have answers on behalf of Judy Baar Topinka, don’t return my calls. I can’t imagine why.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Getting it wrong, yet again, on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight

It is a small thing, but it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to list eight Republican candidates who have said, at least informally, they are giving serious consideration to running for the Gubernatorial nomination in the Republican Primary in March, 2006:

On the moderate or liberal side, we have (1) State Treasurer and former State GOP Chair Judy Baar Topinka and (2) Former Helene Curtis CEO, heir to much of the Helene Curtis fortune and former State Board of Education Chairman Ron Gidwitz.

From the downstate area, we have (1) conservative State Senator Bill Brady [Bloomington] and hard to classify (2) Cong. Ray LaHood [Peoria].

On the conservative side, we have (1) DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett, (2) State Senator Steve Rauschenberger, (3) Dairyman and Money Management Entrepreneur Jim Oberweis and (4) last, but certainly not least, former State Senator and 2004 Republican Primary candidate Pat O’Malley.

There, I have done it. So, how hard can it be? And, of course, I have also listed all eight of those names on my own television show, “Public Affairs,” several times in the last month, as well as on this blog.
Bob Sirott just did [about an hour ago on Chicago Tonight] one of those scripted, orchestrated, pretend spontaneous conversations with Rich Samuels which many television program producers seem to like so much. In the conversation, Samuels reported on Oberweis’ Press Conference earlier today in Chicago [which was repeated elsewhere around the state], in which Oberweis became the first Republican to formally announce his 2006 primary candidacy for Governor.

Sirott asked, after Samuels discussed the Oberweis announcement, “What about other GOP contenders?” Samuels responded: “Half a dozen individuals are considering running at this time and let me just go down the list.” Samuels then listed all of the above names except for former State Senator Pat O’Malley, who came in 2nd to Jim Ryan’s 44% of the vote in the 2002 Gubernatorial Primary with 29% of the vote and slightly ahead of Corinne Wood’s 27% of the vote.

True, I predicted last December Pat O'Malley would defer to Senator Rauschenberger, and I still think there is a reasonable chance he may. Nevertheless, Pat has said quite publicly [on a TV show that airs throughout Chicago and in 34 suburbs] and I believe elsewhere, and on a blog that has even broader geographic availability that he is giving another run for GUV very serious consideration:
Berkowitz: What about [State Senator and possible gubernatorial candidate] Steve Rauschenberger? You’d support …Steve, possibly?

O’Malley: No, the reality is the likelihood of me running is more important than that.
Rich Samuels is quite good, in general, at his political reporting. So, what’s the problem here? It is hard to say, other than WTTW seems to have the equivalent of a mental block when it comes to covering Republicans, especially those of the conservative stripe. These kinds of screw-ups occur regularly on those infrequent occasions when conservative Republicans are discussed on either Chicago Tonight or Chicago Week in Review.

My guess is that WTTW doesn’t have many folks involved in their news and public policy production who have been conservative Republicans, are conservative Republicans, know conservative Republicans, speak to conservative Republicans, have lunch with conservative Republicans, think about conservative Republicans, etc. So, in short, when it comes to Politics, WTTW doesn’t do conservative Republican, and when it does- it doesn’t do it very well.
WTTW’s Chicago Tonight airs every weekday from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Ch. 11 in the Chicago metropolitan area and the program is repeated at midnight, 1:30 am and 4:30 am.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at

Sit-ins and Free Speech: Administrators, Protesters and Journalists all go off track

Last week, I contrasted the Berkeley Free Speech Movement [at the University of California, Berkeley campus in 1964] with the "living wage," sit-ins at Washington University, St. Louis and several other so-called elite universities: Stanford and Georgetown. One major difference implicit in my discussion was that the Berkeley Free Speech Movement was about the right to engage in free speech and advocacy in a prominent part of the campus, but not necessarily to disrupt the on-going mission and activities of the University.

The sit-in at Washington University [and perhaps at the other universities] is not about the right of the students to speak, advocate and have a dialogue about the issues with other students. It is about the “right,” to intimidate university administrators and disrupt the activities of the University until the University gives in to their “demands.”

Moreover, as Washington University junior Josh Chupack, the intern for our show, “Public Affairs,” points out in the blog entry discussing the sit-in, the workers who the protesters are purportedly trying to help, will be net losers if the protesters’ demands are met. If the protesters took and mastered a course in basic price theory, aka microeconomics, they would know this. But, apparently, the 15 or so protestors don’t want to be encumbered with this knowledge. For some, ignorance really is bliss.

Now, for a somewhat different take on the situation, we have Sylvester Brown, Jr., columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who last week lionized these kids from “privileged backgrounds,” for “their efforts to help underpaid workers.” Brown concludes it doesn’t matter whether they are successful, “they tried,” he gushes. Brown compares the living wage protestors to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts and words on behalf of striking sanitation workers the day before Dr. King was assassinated in 1968.

Well, I won’t deny that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke on behalf of striking workers, both on the day before an assassin’s bullet ended his life, and on other occasions as well. But, I will argue that Dr. King stood for so much more. So much more that we all can agree with, without necessarily agreeing with him as to how best to help low income workers, or employees in general.

As almost everyone knows, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for his Dream [shared even then by the populace, at large, I believe]—the dream that someday people will all be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. That, like the right to protest and advocate peacefully, without disrupting the property and on-going business and operations of not-for-profits like the university, is something on which we all can agree.

On the other hand, we can disagree on how best to help low income workers raise their income and standard of living. My ideas and my intern’s, stated so well by him, in my last blog on this matter, are supported by the majority of economic thought and empirical evidence on this matter. In short, you want to help these workers? Get them skills and get them education-- all of which will raise their marginal product, in the language of economists, and thereby raise their wages and standard of living in the free market.

Or, you could buy into the argument of Washington University sophomore and architecture major Irene Compadre, as reported by the Kansas City Star. Compadre, who is participating in the sit-in and the hunger strike, states, "First of all, it's just a basic human cause. These are the workers who clean up after us every day. To know that they don't make enough, that's just not fair."

What would be fairer, Irene? Raising the wages of some workers and terminating others? Raising the wages of all 500 employees initially and subsequently terminating some and hiring fewer new employees in the future with similar skills? Would that be fairer, Irene? Will Irene always be there to sit-in when the employers respond to the distortions to the free market her friends and she introduce by cutting jobs? I don’t think so.

What about Sylvester Brown, Jr.? Does he win the argument by saying that Dr. Martin Luther King supported striking workers so the sit-ins at Washington University must be just? I don’t think so. Dr. Martin Luther King was a great man, but like other great men and women, he was not always right.

And the Washington University administrators, what are they doing? Have they said anything like what I have said? Apparently not. Instead, as reported by the Kansas City Star, they have begun to “negotiate,” offering Monday “to commit $500,000, beginning July 1, toward improving wage-and-benefit packages for the university's contract employees.” And that offer was met by “student organizers [arguing that] their research shows that the university would have to spend about $2.4 million annually to provide improved salary and benefits packages.”

Also, On Monday night, the students reported that the university gave them an 11:30 p.m. deadline to leave the admissions office. A posted letter told them their unauthorized occupation was disrupting the university's work. New letters arrived Tuesday, addressed individually to several protesters.

It was reported that the administration also called for the establishment of a group that could identify resources to assist lower-paid employees. That is not a bad idea and it is consistent with what I have argued.

But then Chancellor Mark Wrighton went off track. The Kansas City Star reports “Wrighton issued a letter to the university community, calling the students' peaceful protest ‘an important part of the democratic process’ with a long, rich history at the school.” Well, I hope not— A group of students taking over the school’s property, disrupting its operations and deciding on their own to become de facto union representatives of 500 employees would be a part of the “democratic process.” Maybe Chancellor Wrighton studied and learned different characteristics of a democracy than I did.

The Kansas City Star reports, “Some said they were concerned school officials were taking conflicting approaches, saying publicly they respected their [the sit-in protesters’ efforts], while making plans to discipline the students for them.” Yes, that would seem to be a good point. Chancellor Wrighton and the University seem to be speaking out of both sides of their mouth, so to speak.

Washington University at St. Louis is notable for hosting three presidential debates since October 1992, including one last fall between President George W. Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

Perhaps Washington University should have a debate on the issues of a living wage and appropriate student behavior in a university that is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas. Chancellor Wrighton can speak on behalf of the 15 protestors who took over his Admissions office and on behalf of “Wacky Economics.” I will volunteer to speak on behalf of the remainder of the Washington University students—students who I believe came there to attend classes and to learn, and who want to exercise their free speech rights peacefully and non-coercively. It should be a good debate. If it is not disrupted by a sit-in, that is.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at