Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kathy Salvi: Time for ads, but not for true debates?

Kathy Salvi, one of the three major candidates in the 8th Cong. Dist. Republican Primary, has just started running a nice, soft introductory ad, telling voters who she is- a woman of faith, a person who balances family and business. [Watch here].

Salvi neglects to tell voters that her “business,” is that of being a trial lawyer, and that she opposes caps on non-economic trial damage awards, which implicitly cap trial lawyer fees. Such legislative caps in medical malpractice cases passed the Illinois Legislature last year, with the overwhelming support of business groups as their major reform effort, and the legislation was signed by Governor Blagojevich. The business and Republican support for "Caps," was also joined by a number of Democrats [including, at least implicitly, House Speaker Mike Madigan] who did not want to incur the wrath of voters who were upset by "doctors leaving the state," but the “trial lawyers," remained strong in their opposition to the legislative caps.

An additional perspective on Kathy Salvi can be obtained by watching a 30 minute interview on our show, taped in early October, 2005, [Watch here] [At the end of the show, Salvi discusses tort reform and "Caps."]

Since that appearance, we have extended numerous invitations to candidate Salvi to return to the show, including an opportunity to debate her major opponents: investment banker David McSweeney [Watch new ad here] and State Rep. Robert Churchill [See campaign site here]. However, Ms. Salvi has either been unavailable or “too busy,” to face our questioning again, or to debate her opponents on our show.

8th Cong. Dist. Republican Primary Candidate David McSweeney, on the other hand, has found the time to face tough questioning on “Public Affairs,” in five appearances on our show. 8th Cong. Dist. Republican Primary Candidate Robert Churchill found the time to face tough questioning on “Public Affairs,” in three appearances on our show. And, one of those appearances by McSweeney and Churchill included a debate and discussion between the two on our show [Watch here,McSweeney-Churchill, Dec. 21], something Salvi has skirted.

We don't endorse candidates. But, we do endorse the notion that democracy is served by having office-holders and candidates who are willing to subject themselves to tough questioning, like that we dish out on our show, frequently, and with enthusiasm and candor.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at