Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Garrett on Wealth, Campaign Finance, Pensions, Taxes and Gaming.

See, below, for partial transcripts of this week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” which features State Senator and 10th CD exploratory candidate Susan Garrett [D-Lake Forest, 29th Dist]. See here for the suburban and City of Chicago “Public Affairs," airing schedule.
Sen. Garrett’s Net Worth and how to fund campaigns:

Jeff Berkowitz: …those potential voters that you are looking at are right out there. They want to know. Tell them your net worth.

State Sen. Susan Garrett: And they should know.

Berkowitz: Well, what’s your net worth?

Sen. Garrett: Five million dollars.

Berkowitz: Really. Okay, is that a good guess.

Sen. Garrett: Two million dollars…you know my net worth is the value of my house and any savings that we have.

Berkowitz: So, is that two million? five million? What would you say?

Sen. Garrett: Probably closer—I would say between two and five.

Berkowitz: Now, can you self-fund at all. Can you use some of that two to five million Dollar net worth to fund some of your campaign.

Sen. Garrett: I have never done that…

Berkowitz: Could you…

Sen. Garrett: I could. Perhaps.

Berkowitz: How much could you self-fund?

Sen. Garrett: Don’t know.

Berkowitz: Would you?

Sen. Garrett: I am not sure…I think if people are going to run for office, the grassroots and others should support their candidacy. I have a problem when people totally self-fund their campaign.
Pension re-structuring or shorting pensions:

Berkowitz: Let’s go back to that other issue [pension legislation]. That voting and supporting that decision not to make those pension payments this year--

Sen. Garrett: We did make a pension payment—nine hundred and sixty—

Berkowitz: But not as large as they were supposed to, aren’t you shorting the pension system?

Sen. Garrett: No. Nine hundred and sixty-six million dollars [was paid into the pension system]

Berkowitz: But, how much were you scheduled to pay—something like two billion?

Sen. Garrett: Almost twice that [the amount actually paid].

Berkowitz: So, you shorted it a billion dollars. Is that appropriate?

Sen. Garrett: We restructured.

Berkowitz: Is that appropriate?

Sen. Garrett: Under the circumstances, and let me tell you—the IEA, the Illinois Education Association [a teachers’ union] and [inaudible] were co-authors of that particular plan. We basically--- everything ballooned out because the [George] Ryan administration did early retirement- so we took care of that early retirement which cost a lot more than we anticipated, and then we had to do our regular pension contributions. So, we couldn’t do the entire amount so we restructured it over a longer period of time.

Berkowitz: Is there a chance as a result that state employees and the non-Chicago teachers aren’t going to get what they should get [Chicago teachers have their own retirement plan], down the road?

Sen. Garrett: No.

Berkowitz: You’re insuring that?

Sen. Garrett: No, there’s absolutely—I am insuring that.

Berkowitz: You made that vote?

Sen. Garrett: Yes.

Berkowitz: Did you get some pork? Did [Speaker] Mike persuade you to do this by giving your district some pork?

Sen. Garrett: No, I am actually not on the inside circle.

Berkowitz: So, you didn’t get anything? You just did that vote because that was a vote of conscience and you thought that was the best for the District?

Sen. Garrett: Yeah.

Berkowitz: The best for the State?

Sen. Garrett: Yes. Okay, we could raise taxes. We could expand gambling. I think we did a pretty good job.
State Senator and 10th CD exploratory candidate Susan Garrett [D-Lake Forest, 29th Dist], recorded on June 5, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of June 13] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, June 20, at 8:30 pm on CANTV’s cable Ch. 21.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com