Monday, August 15, 2005

Zane Smith on TV and on the War: Taking on Cong. Mark Kirk

Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” features 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary candidate Zane Smith[D-Winnetka]. The show airs throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] tonight at 8:30 pm on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21.
See here for more about the topics covered in the show, Zane Smith’s background, a partial transcript of the show and links to Zane Smith’s web site, a short video interview with Zane by 2004 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Candidate Lee Goodman and Zane’s law firm.
A partial transcript of tonight’s show in the City with Zane Smith is included below.
This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features John Sullivan [D-Chicago, 3rd Cong. Dist. Candidate], who is likely to be taking on freshman Cong. Dan Lipinski [D-Western Springs, 3rd CD] in the March, 2006 Democratic Primary. See end of the Post here for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
--Cong. Kirk and the decision to go to War in Iraq

Zane Smith [D-Winnetka, 10th Cong. Dist. Candidate]: Mark Kirk was a big participant when the war was being planned. He was right there, shoulder to shoulder, saying this war needed to be done, this is going to protect us from terrorism, this war is based on-

Jeff Berkowitz: In the fall of 2002, when the President was seeking authorization-

Zane Smith: That’s right.

Berkowitz: To take military action, Mark voted to authorize the President [to do that]

Zane Smith: He was the front man.--

What Zane Smith Would Have Done about the War in the Fall of 2002

Berkowitz: Would you have disagreed, would you have voted not to authorize the President to take military action in Iraq?

Zane Smith: At the time, if I was sitting in that chair, I would not have.

Berkowitz: All right, and you think you’ve been vindicated because the weapons of mass destruction were not found?

Zane Smith: That’s right. That’s right. Now, that doesn’t mean, I don’t mean to say, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support the troops that are there. We’re in this war, and we have to-

--Cong. Schakowsky, Zane Smith and Timetables

Berkowitz: So, you wouldn’t follow [Cong.] Jan Schakowsky, your fellow Democrat in the ninth congressional district who, earlier in this year, in January and February, said that we should have set a timetable and we should be out literally within months of that time. She would have been out, out of Iraq, as we tape here on July 31st, 2005. You disagree with Jan Schakowsky?

Zane Smith: I do. I do
. And, I don’t disagree that we should get our troops out, but I don’t want to, at the same time, want to put an artificial time date, and say it should be this, just because-

Berkowitz: You don’t want to set a timetable?

Zane Smith: I’m not privy to the kind of security information to know when and where those troops should be out. Congressman Kirk is. And, he’s the one that should be-

Berkowitz: Is he, is he privy?

Zane Smith: Oh, yeah, I do.

Berkowitz: As a congressman, he is, you think he has much more-
Much more latitude [Oops, information would have been better choice of words, as Zane Smith chooses, below] than you would have-

Zane Smith: Well, I think they have more information-

Berkowitz: Jan Schakowsky has information. What’s the difference? She says no, she says get them out now, and he [Cong. Kirk] says no.

Zane Smith: Well, that’s Jan Schakowsky.

Berkowitz: You’re not agreeing with Jan, in general. You’re saying you want to set a timetable, but not necessarily one that would have gotten them out four months ago.

Zane Smith: It shouldn’t be an artificial timetable. We need to have a plan to get ourselves out of this war. Absolutely.

Berkowitz: What should be the goal? Should it be to try to preserve an independent Iraq to allow them to deal with the insurgency-- and to have a viable democratic government there? Should that be the goal?

Zane Smith: Of course. Of course. That’s exactly what the goal should-

Berkowitz: And, if they need security help for two or three years, should we continue to have troops there for two or three years?

Zane Smith: Our goal should have, should be to make Iraq as independent as possible, so they can protect themselves.

--100,000 troops for three more years?

Berkowitz: But, if they need, if we consult with them, and the information looks like Iraq needs the assistance of the United States, fifty to a hundred thousand troops for three more years, would you agree? Would you go along with that?

Zane Smith: I guess I would. What I would have to, the way I’d have to answer that is, is that I would be in agreement with helping Iraq, as much as we can, so that they can form an independent government. But, at the same time, we have to have a plan to withdraw these troops. We’ve got to get the-

--A Plan to Withdraw?

Berkowitz: But, don’t you think, if you have a plan and you let it be known, not just to you but to the, uh, insurgents, that they will wait us out and then, you know, then come up and try to overturn that government?

Zane Smith: You know, that’s the, that’s the administration’s line, that you will-

Berkowitz: You disagree with that?

Zane Smith: Absolutely. You can’t--

Berkowitz: You think it’s OK to tell the insurgents when we’ll be out?

Zane Smith: I think it’s okay to tell the insurgents that we’re going to be out, because I think they know that. They have to know that.

Berkowitz: Well, they would like to diminish the troops,

Zane Smith: Absolutely!

Berkowitz: but they don’t--If they hear [that] they’ll keep the troops the troops there as long as necessary, knowing, politically, as we’re talking, it would be, this country would like to see a decline in the number of troops over time. They know that, but they don’t know whether there will be all troops out in a year-- and if you tell the insurgents that, that’s a bit of strategic information that might be helpful to their cause. You understand that, right?

Zane Smith: I do, Jeff. But, that’s exactly what I said. We have to have a definite plan to get them out and to reduce the number of troops there and get our, get our men and women home-

Berkowitz: Even if it means telling the insurgents that?

Zane Smith: Even if it means telling the insurgents that, because it can’t be something that they don’t know already.

--Israel, Iraq and Saddam Hussein

Berkowitz: Is it [the Iraq War] important to the people in the 10th congressional district, who view Israel as important? [That is] Is what we do in Iraq important to the defense and sovereignty of Israel?

Zane Smith: Well, I think it is,
because it reflects the-- our role as, in terms of our security throughout the world.

Jeff Berkowitz: Was Saddam Hussein supporting suicide bombers into Israel?

Zane Smith (D-Winnetka, 10th CD Candidate): I’m sorry?

Berkowitz: Was Saddam Hussein supporting suicide bombers going into Israel? Was he doing that? Was he giving rewards to people to do that?

Zane Smith: I think he was.

Berkowitz: Have you heard that?

Zane Smith: I’ve heard that. I don’t know if it’s true or not.

Berkowitz: So, certainly, people who are pro-Israel might, to some extent, support the military action in Iraq for that reason alone. They might support it because [they think] it’s good for the national interests of the United States; they may differ with you, but people who are concerned about Israel may be a little more pro-Iraq war than you are? You understand that?

Zane Smith: I disagree with that.

Berkowitz: You’re not picking that up as you campaign?

Zane Smith: Not the people, the people that I talk to-

--Jewish voters in the 10th CD and the Iraq War

Berkowitz: The Jewish population that you talk to are people who are generally anti-war?

Zane Smith: Very much so.

Berkowitz: In the 10th congressional district.

Zane Smith: Very much so. Very much so.

Berkowitz: So, how does the guy win? How does Mark Kirk win? Look, sixty four percent last time against Lee Goodman. Lee Goodman was as much anti-war as a person can be. Would you say he was too anti-war? Because the margin [of Kirk’s victory in 2004], wasn’t it something like sixty four- thirty six? [Cong. Kirk won with 65% to Lee Goodman’s 35% in 2004; In 2002, it was 71% to 29% over Hank Perritt and in 2000, it was 51.5% to 49.5 over then State Rep. Lauren Beth Gash (D-Highland Park)]

Smith: It was.

--Could the 10th CD have been anti-war and pro Cong. Kirk in 2004?

Berkowitz: Well, why, why didn’t they, if they’re so anti-war, why didn’t they vote for Lee Goodman?

Smith: Because, I don’t think-

Berkowitz: Your colleagues. Your Democratic colleagues.

Smith: Because I don’t think Lee Goodman had a, a good, did a good job of getting the message out. I think that’s the problem.

Berkowitz: What was the message he didn’t get out?

Smith: I think it’s a different world now-- even two years later than it was when Lee Goodman was running. Because, I think, what’s happening now is people are getting—they are getting fed up with the way and the direction the country’s going.
Zane Smith, recorded on July 31, 2005 and as is airing on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs tonight, August 15 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Zane Smith [D-Winnetka, 10th CD Primary candidate] debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz guns, gays, abortion, Israel and the environment and the co-opting of such traditionally Democratic constituencies and issues by Cong. Mark Kirk [R- Highland Park, 10th CD], Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, the energy bill, drilling in ANWR, the War, Smith’s net worth and financing his campaign, social security reform and Cong. Kirk’s general voting record and much, much more.
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