Tuesday, August 16, 2005

John Sullivan on TV this week--Trying to unswap Dan Lipinski out of his Dad's seat.

Berkowitz: ... The 13th Ward, another big Democratic name--Speaker Mike, as we say with affection here. Speaker [of the Illinois House] Mike Madigan, right?

John Sullivan: That is the Speaker's ward.

Berkowitz: The thirteenth ward. Many people say, "What the Speaker [Mike Madigan] wants, that's what happens." Do you agree? [For a good run-down on some of the key players in the 3rd Cong. Dist. race, including Speaker Mike and his important backing of Congressman Dan, see Kristen McQueary's column here]

John Sullivan: I think the voters decide what happens.

Berkowitz: The voters decide?

John Sullivan: Yes. Absolutely.
This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” [See detailed airing schedule at the end of this blog post] features John Sullivan, who will announce shortly as a Democratic Candidate in the 3rd Cong. District Primary, to be held on March 21, 2006. Currently, Sullivan is a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney. This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] this coming Monday night, August 22, at 8:30 pm on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21 in Chicago.
Next week's suburbuan edition of "Public Affairs," features State Rep. and possible Mayoral Candidate in 2007 [if Daley does not run]John Fritchey [D-Chicago, 11th Dist.]
A partial transcript of this weeke's show with candidate John Sullivan [D- Chicago] is included, below.
John Sullivan steps up to take on Cong. Dan Lipinski in the Dem. Primary.

Jeff Berkowitz: Our guest this evening is John Sullivan, who would like to be the next Congressman from the third congressional district. That is a seat that’s currently held by Congressman Dan Lipinski. John Sullivan is a Democrat, so he will be running in the Democratic primary, which is March 21st, did I get that [right]?

John Sullivan [D-Chicago, 3rd Cong. Dist. Candidate]: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: Of the year 2006. So, you’re getting a bit of a jump. People often start around Labor Day. You’re thinking. You’re- you have not announced yet, but it’s pretty certain you will be running?

John Sullivan: I have not announced yet, but it is, my intention, and I am definitely building up towards an announcement soon.

Berkowitz: To run in the Democratic primary, the only other person-- has Congressman Dan Lipinski announced that he is running yet?

John Sullivan: I’ve not heard that he’s announced at this point.

Berkowitz: But we’re thinking [that] he probably will.

John Sullivan: I assume that he will.

Reps. Kevin Joyce and Dan Burke- Will they run in 3rd CD?

Berkowitz: There are some other names that are floated around from time to time, Kevin Joyce, who’s a state rep. You are in the nineteenth ward, right?

John Sullivan: I am.

Berkowitz: Kevin Joyce is in the nineteenth ward.

John Sullivan: He does live there, yes.
Berkowitz: That’s [the 19th] a ward that was well known as the Hynes ward, right?

John Sullivan: Yes.

Berkowitz: Tom Hynes was President of the state senate and Cook County assessor-- son is Dan Hynes, state comptroller. Dan no longer lives there and Tom Hynes is no longer the committeeman, right?

John Sullivan: That’s correct. Matt O’Shea is now the committeeman …

Berkowitz: All right, so a lot of this, well, we’ll get into the dynamics of this, but others said Kevin Joyce is there. It doesn’t seem like he will be running? People mention his name a lot that he might run for Congress, but you know, he has his hands full with a few things-- had a recent incident, right-- where he got into some fisticuffs with, what was it-- a security guard?

John Sullivan: Uh, you know, I’m not aware of exactly what happened with that incident and I’m not going to speculate on what other people are going to do about this congressional race. You’d have to ask them those questions.

Berkowitz: Yeah. Well, we’ve tried. We haven’t heard back from Mr. Joyce, Representative Joyce. Dan Burke has … said he’s thinking it over, that has been since April when he was mentioned in Crain’s. He, of course, is in the 14th ward, right?

John Sullivan: Yeah.

Berkowitz: Yes. He and his … brother, Ed Burke, who’s an alderman from the fourteenth ward, the speculation is they recently bought a condo that they would share a residence-- or something like that?

John Sullivan: You know, rumors-

Berkowitz: That rumor is going around?

John Sullivan: Rumors go around about people moving into and out of the 3rd congressional district. What I can tell you is [that] I live in the 3rd congressional district. I’ve lived there for, for quite some time.

Berkowitz: How long?

John Sullivan: Well, I’ve lived where I live now for about six years, but my entire life’s been, except for, for four years of college at Marquette University, has been working and living in that congressional district, in and around that congressional district.
The City of Chicago portion of the 3rd CD—Daleys, Madigans, Hyneses, Lipinskis and Burkes

Berkowitz: Ballpark. What is the third congressional district; what does it look like?

John Sullivan: It’s basically, it’s basically-- there’s four wards that make up about forty percent of the third congressional district. The eleventh, the thirteenth, the twenty-third, and the nineteenth [wards in Chicago].

Berkowitz: Well, we should stop and say that the eleventh, of course, is the land of the Daleys. John Daley is the eleventh ward committeeman-

John Sullivan: That’s correct.

Berkowitz: His brother is of course Richard M. Daley. He is the mayor of the city of Chicago.

John Sullivan: That’s right.

Berkowitz: Very strong Daley organization there, right? Democratic organization.

John Sullivan: Absolutely. Absolutely. For a long time.

Berkowitz: John Daley, of course, he is Chairman of the Finance
Committee on the Cook County Board, right [and runs the 11th Ward Democratic Organization]?

John Sullivan: Yes, Yes.

Berkowitz: A Cook County Board member?

John Sullivan: Yes.

Berkowitz: That's the 11th Ward. The 13th Ward, another big Democratic name--Speaker Mike, as we say with affection here. Speaker [of the Illinois House] Mike Madigan, right?

John Sullivan: That is the Speaker's ward.

Berkowitz: The thirteenth ward. Many people say, "What the Speaker [Mike Madigan] wants, that's what happens." Do you agree? [For a good run-down on some of the key players in the 3rd Cong. Dist. race, including Speaker Mike and his important backing of Congressman Dan, see Kristin McQueary's column here]

John Sullivan: I think the voters decide what happens.

Berkowitz: The voters decide?

John Sullivan: Yes. Absolutely.

Berkowitz: And, then, in the 19th ward, we've already mentioned that was known as the [Tom] Hynes ward. It’s now Matt O'Shea, there, but the Hynes impact is still-- Although, a bit of a digression, in the 19th ward, I think he [Hynes] came close to losing that ward to [now U.S. Senator] Barack Obama when [Comptroller Dan] Hynes ran in the Democratic U. S. Senate primary [in March, 2004], right?

John Sullivan: I believe that Senator [Barack] Obama got about forty one percent of the nineteenth ward [vote] when he ran.

Berkowitz: That might indicate a certain weakness in the nineteenth ward in the ability to support their own- the Hynes candidates, right?

John Sullivan: Well, I don’t know, again, like I said, I think the voters determine what’s going to happen in an election. And, I think voters today are very independent and very knowledgeable about the races that are going on in their district.

Berkowitz: And, in the 23rd ward, that is known as, was the [William] Lipinski ward, Bill Lipinski was the congressman for twenty two years, and was the committeeman, and that’s changed, too, right?

John Sullivan: That has changed, yes. [Michael Zalewski is now the committeeman from the 23rd ward.]
Berkowitz: … And, in the fourteenth ward, we mentioned it’s Burke’s ward. So those folks, really, the Madigans, the Daleys, the Hyneses, the Lipinskis, had a lot of control. Had and still have a lot of control. You say the people decide that, but last time around, in 2004, what some Republicans say, Steve Rauschenberger, State Senator Steve Rauschenberger [R-Elgin], who is running for Governor, is fond of saying… in his criticism of the Democratic party, “Bill Lipinski swapped his son into that seat,” last time around. Is that what happened?

John Sullivan: Well, last time around, the committeemen from the third congressional district got together and they voted to place Dan Lipinski on the ballot.

Berkowitz: After [then Congressman] Bill Lipinski had run in the primary [to] put his name on the ballot, right?

John Sullivan: Well he was-- he was running in the primary, his name was scheduled to be on the ballot. He [Bill Lipinski] had announced his candidacy for the primary and had campaigned for-- for several months.

Berkowitz: I thought he had run in the primary, Bill had, got his name on the ballot, but then, come time for the, between then and the general election, was the time that Bill announced he wasn’t running, and then, it’s up to the committeemen to decide who will be on the ballot, in the general election; isn’t that right?

John Sullivan: Right, right. The committeemen, yes.

Berkowitz: So, they put his name—they put Dan Lipinski’s name on [the general election ballot] instead of Bill Lipinski’s name.

John Sullivan: Correct.

Berkowitz: So, in that sense- he [Cong. Bill Lipinski] did swap his son [Now Cong. Dan Lipinksi] onto the ballot [and the Democrats are accused of getting a “fake Republican,” on the ballot as the Republican nominee, as well, virtually assuring Cong. Dan Lipinski’s win in November, 2004].

John Sullivan: Well, yes.

Berkowitz: Certainly he [Then Congressman Bill Lipinski] would have some impact. Those families, the Madigans, the Daleys, the Lipinskis, the Burkes… and Hynes. But, you’re saying the people decide?

John Sullivan: Yes.

John Sullivan has lived and worked in the 3rd CD for majority of his life

Berkowitz: So, you’re stepping out, and if you run as you’re planning to-- you’re saying, whether Speaker Mike Madigan says he’s supporting Dan Lipinski, whatever Daley says, whatever the Madigans say, whatever the Hyneses say, you’re doing it?

John Sullivan: Right. Well, I mean, and here’s what I believe. I believe the people of the 3rd congressional district want a candidate who has lived and worked there for the majority of their life. I mean, I worked there to pay my way through, uh, law school. I worked there to pay my way through college. In summers, I’d go home and I worked jobs at, like, Jiffy Lube. I worked there for a summer. I worked painting houses for a summer. Um, I’ve had several different jobs in and around the congressional district. And, right now, I’m prosecuting cases out of that congressional district with the Gang Crimes Homicide Unit.

Berkowitz; You’re an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County, right?

John Sullivan: Yes. Yes.

Berkowitz: Gang Crimes Unit, so you work out of three different courtrooms, right?

John Sullivan: I do. I work out of 26th and California, the Bridgeview Courthouse and the Markham Courthouse.

Berkowitz: Okay, and doing what? Misdemeanor trials, felony trials?

John Sullivan: I do felony trials, mostly homicide trials?

Berkowitz: You’ve done how many trials?

John Sullivan: I’ve done about forty felony jury trials over the course of-- sorry, felony and misdemeanor jury trials-- over the course of my career in the State’s Attorney’s office. About twenty-five felony trials. *********************************************
Berkowitz: …[S]o what you’re saying here, is you’ve earned your stripes, in a sense…you’ve been working within the Democratic party, working for Senator Durbin [in his ’96 campaign], working for Jim Burns [in his 1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign], now you’re looking to run for Congress. What do you think? Dan Lipinski, who’s now the Congressman from that district, did he earn his stripes?

Sullivan: Well, look, I’m not, I’m not-- I’m not going to comment on how Dan Lipinski got in. What I will say is that what I think the people of the third congressional district deserve is somebody who has been there and knows, has been working there, for, for the majority of their life, especially their adult life, that knows the problems that face the third congressional district, and, I think, ultimately, they’ll make up their decision.
The 3rd CD— A socially conservative district?

Berkowitz: This is a district that was viewed as relatively socially conservative. Bill Lipinski forever has been pro life. Right?

Sullivan: Yes.

Berkowitz: And really hostile to abortion, right? Okay.

Sullivan: Yes.

Berkowitz: He is somebody, he’s for the flag burning amendment. He doesn’t think that people ought to be able to burn the flag, right?

Sullivan: Uh, I’m not certain what, uh, former Congressman Bill Lipinski-
I think he probably did [think that people should not be able to burn the flag].

Berkowitz: Socially conservative in that sense. He says no gays in the military.

Sullivan: Yes.

Berkowitz: Former congressman Bill Lipinski said that. Dan Lipinski said the same thing [about gays] when he was on this show. Dan Lipinski said he was pro life when he was on this show. Seems to be a pattern. He’s following his father’s model of being socially conservative, at least on a few issues, not quite as much on the issue of guns—but on abortion, on gays, pretty socially conservative. Some people say he’s got that right. You know, that’s the district [they say]. What do you think?

Sullivan: Um, I think if you-- you know I haven’t conducted polls, maybe they have.. I think the district though would agree with the fact that Roe vs. Wade should not be overturned.

Jeff Berkowitz: Is that right?

John Sullivan: I think so.

Berkowitz: And you would agree with that?

John Sullivan: I think so. I would agree with that. Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. I believe that. Yes.

Berkowitz: So, you think a woman should have a right to choose whether she’ll have an abortion or not, right?

John Sullivan: I think a woman should have a right to choose, yes. Yes.

John Sullivan, Democratic candidate in the 3rd Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary, recorded on August 7, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of August 15th] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, August 22 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
John Sullivan debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the idea that Cong. Dan Lipinski was “swapped into his 3rd Cong. Dist. seat by his father, Cong. Bill Lipinski; the impact of the Daleys, Madigans, Hyneses, Lipinskis and Burkes on any 3rd Cong. Dist. race; abortion, parental notice, partial birth abortion, guns, gays and God; same sex marriage; the War; trade and CAFTA; education and school vouchers; social security reform, health care and the Bush Tax Cuts.
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.
Transcript drafts prepared by Amy Allen, who also does research for “Public Affairs,” and has her own political blog [See here].
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com