Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Giuliani energizes 8th CD McSweeney funders at Ditka's

Update: Additional Republican officials and activists attending the McSweeney-Giuliani fundraisers and who were inadvertently omitted from the post, below, include Cook County GOP Chairman Gary Skoien, State Rep. Paul Froehlich [R-Schaumburg] and Michael Menis, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Revisons and corrections made, and links added on Thursday at 3:00 am and 12:30 pm

David McSweeney [R-Barrington Hills], 8th CD Republican nominee, speaking tonight at Ditka’s in Chicago at the first of a series of high-level fund raisers he is holding this month, highlighted the importance of “fighting for lower taxes, less spending and a strong national defense.” McSweeney introduced his featured guest, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, by saying that is the record of Giuliani, “while he was Mayor, while he was a leader of this Country.” [Among others, Vice-President Cheney and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert are scheduled featured speakers this month at McSweeney's upcoming fundraisers.

Republicans of varying stripes were in attendance, ranging from moderate former Republican Governor Jim Thompson to Conservative pols of varying degrees, e.g., State GOP Chairman Andy McKenna, Jr. [appearing full of vim and vigor after his recent re-election to that post], DuPage County State’s Attorney, Lt. Gov. Republican nominee and Topinka running mate, Joe Birkett was spotted in an intense conversation with Paul Caprio, Executive Director of Family-Pac; former Guv primary candidate Jim Oberweis; State Senator and former Guv primary candidate Bill Brady—of whom moderate Republican Guv nominee Judy Baar Topinka said during the primary-- was the candidate she would be most apt to support for Governor, if she were not running.

Also there this evening were Eric Kohn, Campaign Manager for Tony Peraica [Kohn was representing his boss, Tony Peraica, who could not make it to the funder; Peraica, of course, is a Cook County Commissioner from Riverside and the Republican Nominee for Cook County Board President] and Tom Roeser, WLS radio personality and a blogger with righteous chops [The assessment of Tom Roeser's blogging ability comes from none other than Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune columnist and founding/charter member of the Chicago blogger community.] .

The funder, hosted by Chicago corporate chieftains Craig Duchossois of Duchossois Industries, Pat Ryan of Aon and Bill Smithburg, former Chairman and CEO of Quaker Oats, grossed more than sixty thousand dollars. McSweeney will have to hold a number of such funders if he is to catch up to first term Congresswoman Melissa Bean’s [D- Barrington, 8th CD] 1.75 million dollars cash on hand, as of the last reporting period. Former Investment Banker David McSweeney, who spent about 2.5 million dollars in his tough six candidate primary [including about two million dollars of his own] was showing cash on hand of about 150 K, as of the last reporting period.

McSweeney emphasized that the outcome in the 8th CD may decide “who is going to control the U. S. House of Representatives.” The forty year old candidate said, “Imagine the world if Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean are calling the shots. What we are going to have is higher taxes and we are going to wave the white flag in the War on Terrorism. And, we are not going to let that happen.”

Giuliani, for his part, stated that having a Republican majority in Congress would make “a very big difference to our economic recovery: [because] at the core of our economy growing are the policies of the Republican Congress to lower taxes…the minute they [Democrats] get control of Congress or the White House, taxes will go up again.”

Giuliani said that to keep our economy growing, “you have to keep taxes at a fairly moderate level, so that the private economy can grow because we are essentially a private economy, not a government dominated economy.” Giuliani argued, “Republicans understand that and Democrats don’t. And, Dave’s election…is real important to all of us…because to pick up a seat, here, is enormously important to us [the national Republican Party].

It is interesting to note that Giuliani referred to three presidents who had cut taxes, and his trifecta included one Democrat-- that is the JFK tax cuts in the early 60s-- which were followed by the Reagan tax cuts in the early 80s and the George W. Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Indeed, both Reagan and Bush-- and their supporters-- referenced the JFK tax cuts when they lobbied for passage of their cuts. I suppose Mayor Giuliani might concede that JFK was one Democrat, “who got it,” at least on that issue.

Giuliani said McSweeney’s election was also important for the War on Terror because “the thing that President Bush and the Republicans in Congress understand is you have to be on offense against terrorism. You can’t be on defense.” This line got perhaps the biggest applause of the evening from the crowd of one hundred and thirty, or so, people in attendance.

Indeed, perhaps the dominant theme for Giuliani this evening was the importance of the U.S. continuing to be a strong military power, making sure the world knows it and knows that “America is not unwilling to use that military power; it doesn’t mean that we will, it doesn’t mean that we don’t prefer to negotiate…but what we found is that we are much more successful in those efforts [to negotiate or use diplomacy] when we have a President and a Congress that is strong and determined…Ronald Reagan broke the back of communism by being strong, by increasing our military spending to the point that Gorbachev used to say that he spent the Soviet Union into oblivion. And we need a President who understands that and we need a Congress who supports that. And, that’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats.”

In response to a question from a McSweeney supporter, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he would decide sometime after the November 7, 2006 election whether he would be a candidate for President in the 2008 Republican Primaries. Further, Giuliani seemed pained by the thought of running against Senator McCain, who the former NYC Mayor described as a good friend of his.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at