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