Monday, February 06, 2006

Better than Monday Night football: Zane Smith on TV/Web

Jeff Berkowitz: You’re a protectionist, right?

Zane Smith [D-Winnetka, 10th CD]: I oppose anything that takes U. S. jobs and throws them overseas.
Public Affairs, featuring 10th Cong. District Democratic Primary candidate Zane Smith, airs throughout the City of Chicago this evening at 8:30 pm on CANTV, Cable ch. 21.

You can also watch the show with Zane Smith by going to the Public Affairs Cinema.

The winner of the 10th CD Democratic Primary will face the third term Republican U. S. Rep. in that district, Congressman Mark Kirk [Highland Park], who last appeared on Public Affairs around 2001. Cong. Kirk has declined recent invitations to appear on the show, noting that he "does not like the format."

The 10th Cong. Dist. went 53 to 47 for John Kerry in 2004, but the seat is viewed as relatively safe for Kirk, who, after winning a close victory over Lauren Beth Gash in 2000, has won by wide margins in 2002 and 2004 [over Hank Perritt and Lee Goodman, respectively. However, a minority view is that Kirk is vulnerable, especially if the Bush Administration is relatively unpopular or if the Republican House Majority is faulted on reform issues, at the time of the 2006 election.

Zane Smith is a trial attorney who currently holds the elected position of Vice-President of the Winnetka Park Board. His opponent in the Primary lives in Wilmette, but outside the District and Zane Smith does view that as an issue in the Primary.
Jeff Berkowitz: Some people say the problem in Congress is all these ear-marks, and that’s what leads to a bunch of stuff going on that shouldn’t, and a bunch of spending that shouldn't [occur]--

Zane Smith (D-Winnetka, 10th CD candidate): Right, right. I heard that.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, what [they say] we need to do is ban earmarks. Do you agree?

Zane Smith: Well, you know ear marks-

Jeff Berkowitz: Ear marks are legislation that--

Zane Smith: Specific.

Jeff Berkowitz: …in the dead of night, somebody sneaks in and says here, in Winnetka, we’re going to have this, in Wilmette, you will get this… somebody’ll get a bridge here-

Zane Smith: I think that’s pork.

Jeff Berkowitz: …But, the main thing is, it’s earmarked, because it doesn’t get voted on as a separate amendment.

Zane Smith: Right.

Jeff Berkowitz: It just gets glommed together, twenty seven billion dollars, whatever. Ban earmarks and you’re going to take away a lot of the corruption that we’re talking about. Do you agree?

Zane Smith: I don’t agree that banning earmarks is going to take away corruption.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, would you favor banning earmarks? Would you favor banning earmarks?

Zane Smith: The corruption issue is based on a whole different set of problems.

Jeff Berkowitz: Would you favor banning earmarks?

Zane Smith: I’d have to see the legislation. What does that mean, banning earmarks? If I represent my district-

Jeff Berkowitz: It means-

Zane Smith: Hold it, if I represent my district and my district says we need to build a new bridge or we need federal money for this or dollars for that, then why shouldn’t I, as a congressman, be able to bring that back?

Jeff Berkowitz: You can do that, but don’t just put it in there as legislation. Go to the appropriate agency, the appropriate authority and say-- this money that’s appropriated for agriculture should be spent here.

Zane Smith: Don’t do it the wrong way, is what you’re saying.

Jeff Berkowitz: Yeah. Well, don’t do it-it doesn’t have to be-let the people decide who supposedly know something about this and work in these federal agencies, as opposed to sort of tying their hands and saying, “You must do this.”

Zane Smith: Before we throw out that, I’d like to see what the alternative is.

Jeff Berkowitz: On the issue of abortion, and that’s one of the issues, people say [Cong.] Kirk has co-opted here… because they say he’s pretty much pro choice, that’s a Democratic position. You would say you’re a thousand percent in favor of abortion rights, right?

Zane Smith: I’m in favor of a woman’s right to choose, absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: A thousand-

Zane Smith: I don’t think the government-

Jeff Berkowitz: Parental notice? Should there be-I know it’s not necessarily a [federal] issue, but philosophically, would you be opposed to a law that said a female minor should have to notify-or the doctor would have to notify that female minor’s parents before she could have an abortion. So called “parental notice.”

Zane Smith: I would be.

Jeff Berkowitz: You’re against that.

Zane Smith: I would be against that, because the situation in which a lot of these pregnancies occur is because there’s an abuse at home. And, when you go to the very person that’s abusing you, and say, “I need permission to do this,” when you’re in that situation, I don’t think is--

Jeff Berkowitz: We have something called “judicial bypass,” you go to a judge and you can get that abortion without telling the parents because of that-- so parental notice with judicial bypass?

Zane Smith: As an attorney, having a thirteen or fourteen year old be able to get in front of a judge to have this “[judicial] bypass” is a burden that I don’t think we should impose upon a girl or a woman or someone who is trying to get a safe and legal abortion.

Jeff Berkowitz: …I very much want to thank our guest, Zane Smith, who is running for Congress in the 10th Cong. Dist. Primary. He has an opponent. We have invited him to be here and if still wants to do that, we’d be happy to have him, but so far, it is just Zane and he is running for right to run against Cong. Mark Kirk who has been there for five years who has also not visited this set in a number of years and so we would also invite Cong. Kirk. That is an issue, you’re saying that it’s hard to find this guy [Cong. Kirk].

Zane Smith: That is the problem. Where’s Captain Kirk? We can’t find him.

Jeff Berkowitz: Commander Kirk.

Zane Smith: I’m sorry, you’re right. Where’s Commander Kirk? Where’s Commander Kirk?

Jeff Berkowitz: That’s another issue. You agree with Senator Durbin? Senator Durbin said we should raise taxes on people with incomes over a hundred fifty thousand dollars? You want to raise taxes on that group of people?

Zane Smith: Absolutely. I don’t-

Jeff Berkowitz: You don’t disagree with the Senator.

Zane Smith: I don’t want to raise taxes. What we need to do is have tax benefits that affect people that need them, not the people who don’t.

Jeff Berkowitz: You oppose caps on non-economic awards? A typical trial lawyer position.

Zane Smith: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: You oppose tort reform.

Zane Smith: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: You oppose NAFTA? You oppose CAFTA?

Zane Smith: Well, wait a minute. You’re asking me if I oppose tort reform-

Jeff Berkowitz: A different kind of tort reform. You oppose that kind of tort reform.

Zane Smith: I do, because doctors are in a terrible position, but the solution is not the victims.

Jeff Berkowitz: Free trade. You’re a protectionist? You oppose NAFTA? You oppose CAFTA?

Zane Smith: I do.

Jeff Berkowitz: You’re a protectionist, right?

Zane Smith: I oppose anything that takes US jobs and throws them overseas.

Jeff Berkowitz: Harmful to Abbott? Harmful to Baxter? [These are] big employers in your district, less free trade, less jobs?

Zane Smith: Well, I don’t know if it’s less free trade or less jobs. [Show ENDS]
10th CD Democratic Primary Candidate Zane Smith, recorded on January 29, 2005 and as is airing on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs tonight, Feb. 6 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Transcript draft prepared by Amy Allen, who also does research for “Public Affairs,” and has her own political blog [See here].
"Public Affairs" Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at