Saturday, November 05, 2005

Emanuel and Delay: A shared philosophy?

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky [D-Evanston, 9th CD], debates and discusses national public policy and political issues with show host and executive legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz on this coming Monday night’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” which can be seen through-out the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21[CANTV].

The show with Cong. Schakowsky also is available on this site. [See here] for more about the show, a partial transcript of the show and to access the show either as a webcast or audio podcast,
Another partial transcript of the show with Cong. Schakowsky is included directly, below:
Jeff Berkowitz: …[G]etting back to this Tom DeLay situation. He’s been indicted. He stepped down as majority leader; he’s still a congressman, still has influence. If somebody’s indicted, you know, we have a presumption of innocence in this country, don’t we?

Cong. Jan Schakowsky: He has been admonished several times, three times, by the Ethics Committee, a bipartisan committee-

Berkowitz: For trivial things. You understand that, right? People are admonished all the time for this or that.

Cong. Schakowsky: You know, it is not typical for the Ethics Committee in the House of Representatives to do that. You may feel that it’s-

Berkowitz: It’s not like a conviction-

Cong. Schakowsky: A trivial act-

Berkowitz: It’s not like a conviction.

Cong. Schakowsky: No, no.

Berkowitz: You understand that.

Cong. Schakowsky: But we have now seen that there actually is a culture of corruption, one person after another, who has either enriched themselves or has manipulated the political process.

Berkowitz: Who’s “one person after another?” Who else has-who’s been convicted of corruption?

Cong. Schakowsky: No. I’m talking about what [Senate Majority Leader] Bill Frist [R-Tenn], who’s now-

Berkowitz: Not convicted.

Cong. Schakowsky: Under an investigation for having not such a blind “blind trust,” in the work that he’s done.

Berkowitz: So- Okay. You agree he’s being investigated; he’s-- Bill Frist has not been indicted. A lot of times people can start-in fact, they’re almost obligated to start an investigation when somebody brings them an allegation. The Justice Department-

Cong. Schakowsky: Here’s the thing. Here-

Berkowitz: Nobody’s been convicted. You would stipulate to that, right?

Cong. Schakowsky: I absolutely would
-- would stipulate to that. But what we do know and what this is representative of is the fact that when we write a healthcare bill-- what this administration does is invite in the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance industry; when we write an energy bill--

Berkowitz: Consumer advocates are invited in--

Cong. Schakowsky: Absolutely not.

Berkowitz: They should.

Cong. Schakowsky: Not only that, they locked out the Democratic representatives to the conference committee when coming up with the Medicare bill, the prescription drug bill that’s going out; [they] invited in the prescription, the pharmaceutical companies, and locked out Charlie Rangel, the only minority who would have been in that conference committee-

Berkowitz: Democrats do that when they have the majority.

Cong. Schakowsky: That is so-

Berkowitz: They don’t do that?

Cong. Schakowsky: You know what? That is so not true. Absolutely not.

Berkowitz: So, when they had the majority, they kept in the-

Cong. Schakowsky: You know, this is a story where, you know-- we don’t gripe that much about process questions, but you have to understand that democracy-the democratic processes in the House of Representatives have literally been shut down. We have closed rules where we can’t offer amendments. People are indeed locked out of conference committees. Debate is limited to be very brief on either side. A fifteen-minute vote becomes a three-hour vote while they persuade people, or bribe people, and there was the allegation of having offered a bribe on the floor of the House, that Tom DeLay-

Berkowitz: Is that what he was admonished about?

Cong. Schakowsky: One of the things. Yes.

Berkowitz: But, he didn’t offer a bribe; did he? What was the allegation?

Cong. Schakowsky: That he offered Nick Smith[R-Michigan], a [former]member of congress, whose son was running to replace him, a monetary bribe. Nick Smith said [it was] a hundred thousand dollars, if he would change his vote.

Berkowitz: And, what did Tom DeLay say?

Cong. Schakowsky: That’s what he said.

Berkowitz: What did Tom DeLay say he said? He didn’t say “I offered this guy a hundred thousand dollars,” he probably would say, “I offered to assist him.”

Cong. Schakowsky: He was-

Berkowitz: “He was going to assist us in the vote.”

Cong. Schakowsky: And-

Berkowitz: They call that “logrolling.” What do we call that in Congress? Isn’t that “logrolling?”

Cong. Schakowsky: We call it-

Berkowitz: Don’t you, don’t you help those people who help you?

Cong. Schakowsky: We call it worthy of admonishment by the bipartisan committee, and that, this is not just a slap on the wrist, this is a-we don’t do that in a democracy. We don’t-

Berkowitz: Wait a second; wait a second.

Cong. Schakowsky: We don’t offer bribes in a democracy.

Berkowitz: Who’s the chairman of the DCCC? The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee? You know who the chairman is? Of course you know.

Cong. Schakowsky: Is this a test? Yes-

Berkowitz: It’s [Cong.] Rahm Emanuel [D-Chicago, 5th CD].

Cong. Schakowsky: Of course it’s Rahm Emanuel.

Berkowitz: What is Rahm Emanuel most famous for in terms of slogans--I’ve seen him say this to women’s groups when he talks to them about how to get power and how to use it. Do you know the slogan?

Cong. Schakowsky: I-- no, I don’t know.

Berkowitz: It is, “In politics, you reward your friends and punish your enemies.” You heard him say that before? Rahm Emanuel.

Cong. Schakowsky: You know, this is-

Berkowitz: This is all that’s going on here.

Cong. Schakowsky: Jeffrey, you’re- No, no, no, it’s not.

Berkowitz: You reward your friends and you punish your enemies.
Politics ain’t beanbag, is it? Politics is beanbag?

Cong. Schakowsky: No, it’s not. But, when we talk about actually saying that we will assure your son some money for his campaign if you go down and change your vote—

Berkowitz: We will help him if you help us.

Cong. Schakowsky: It steps over—well, that’s not what the House of Representatives, both the Democrats and Republicans felt about that.
U. S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky [D-Evanston; 9th CD], recorded on October 23, 2005, and as the program will air on the City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” this Monday night, November 7, 2005 at 8:30 pm on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21; and is available here as a webcast or audio podcast
Transcript draft 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