Friday, July 01, 2005

Garrett says No, again, to raising 10K/Day.

Jeff Berkowitz: It’s been about a week since we last spoke and you said you were getting some pressure and some calls to reconsider your decision not to run in the 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic primary. I just wanted to …see if you have still been getting those calls?

Sen. Garrett: I haven’t.

Berkowitz: So it is pretty much dead at this point?

Sen. Garrett: Yes.

Berkowitz: You are not giving any further thought to reconsidering?

Sen. Garrett: Actually not. I think it is over and …I think everybody has accepted that and they are looking at different candidates, as you know…

Berkowitz: So it is a done deal. You are not running and that’s that.

Sen. Garrett: Yeah, I am not running.

Berkowitz: Still no calls from Cong. Rahm Emanuel [D- Chicago and DCCC Chairman]?

Sen. Garrett: [laughter]. You know, he is a busy guy. They have a lot of stuff going on in Washington, DC. [more laughter].

Berkowitz: You think. So, are you going to work hard on [Cong.] Melissa Bean’s campaign, is that where you are going to put your energy?

Sen. Garrett: Yes, I am going to help her as much as I can. And, I have a lot of things going on as you probably know. It is not like I am looking for things to do. But, I will definitely help [Congresswoman] Melissa Bean [D- 8th CD]. Any way I can help her out—I will.

Berkowitz: But, it quiets down. You don’t have hearings scheduled for the summer or the fall, do you?

Sen. Garrett: Yes, I do. I have a hearing on this eminent domain issue.

Berkowitz: You mean the Supreme Court decision [Kelo v. City of New London, in which the Supreme Court majority recently amended the 5th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution to read, "nor shall private property be taken for public BENEFIT, without just compensation." Until Kelo was decided, the 5th Amendment clause read, "for public USE."]

Sen. Garrett: Yes, we are going to see what we can do to provide for further protections in Illinois.

Berkowitz: For homeowners? Business owners? Anybody who owns land?

Sen. Garrett: Exactly.

Berkowitz: Do you head a committee on that? What’s your role?

Sen. Garrett: I took the lead on that from the Democratic side and said I wanted to hold hearings on it. [Senator] Steve Rauschenberger has an idea, and I think we just have to weigh in on all the different possibilities. That is July 20th. I have a lot of other meetings and hearings.

Berkowitz: What is the name of your committee? State Government?

Sen. Garrett: Yes.

Berkowitz: Are you the Chair of that committee?

Sen. Garrett: Yes.

Berkowitz: Where is the hearing on July 20th?

Sen. Garrett: The Thompson Center, 10:00 am, Room 16-503.

Berkowitz: When you get down to it-- as to your decision not to run, it does sound as if a tremendous amount of it was the fund raising effort you would have to go through.

Sen. Garrett: Yes, I mean, that played a major role. It was a huge amount of fund raising…my key supporters who have been with me since 1998—they want me to stay in my district and address the local issues…these are people who are Democrats who…feel very strongly that I am much more relevant, right now, at least, at the local level than to go into a very, divisive campaign…

Berkowitz: Did you ever get to the point of figuring it [the fund raising] out. You talked about the fact that this race could run to raising 4 to 5 million dollars, if not more. Right?

Sen. Garrett: Yeah.

Berkowitz: You have about 500 days left until the November, 2006 election, so if you divide 500 into 5 million, you come up with an average of raising $10,000 per day.

Sen. Garrett: Right.

Berkowitz: Did you go through that calculus?

Sen. Garrett: I did.
And, I think the fundraising, unfortunately, is overbearing because I couldn’t just do that and nothing else. You know, I have a job [State Senator] that I work at every day and I get involved with a lot of issues and I am not somebody who is good at sitting at a desk and calling people for money.
State Senator Susan Garrett [D-Lake Forest; 29th Dist.], interviewed on June 30, 2005