Thursday, June 01, 2006

McSweeney calls Cong. Bean a hypocrite on debates

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you think she [Cong. Bean [D-Barrington, 8th CD] is being hypocritical here?

David McSweeney: Absolutely, not even a question.
Jeff Berkowitz: Incumbents in general, try to do this, as you know. That is, avoid debates, avoid forums, stay above the fray. Cong. Mark Kirk [R-Highland Park] has done this for five years in the 10th [Cong. Dist.] since he was elected- he’s a Republican. Cong. Crane [a Republican] did that before he was beat by Melissa Bean--

David McSweeney: And, Jeff, that’s the great irony of the whole thing. Phil Crane lost. Melissa Bean, through-out the campaigns in 2002 and 2004, when she ran against Crane, was criticizing him for being out of touch, not engaging in debates and look what she is doing. So, that just shows the hypocrisy in the situation.

Berkowitz: So, you think she [Cong. Bean] is being hypocritical here?

McSweeney: Absolutely, not even a question.

Berkowitz: If she came out and said, starting in August, she [Cong. Bean] would do ten debates, would you withdraw that characterization of her being hypocritical?

McSweeney: I think what she needs to do is she needs to start earlier than August. There is no excuse why we can’t start now. Again, you look at the [House] schedule, you’ll see that there are wide openings in the schedule and I think we need to start immediately.

Berkowitz: If she [Cong. Bean] doesn’t do that, how are you going to engage her in the next month or two?

McSweeney: I am just going to be out there…I am going to be holding regular press briefings. I am going to be talking to people. I go to multiple events per day and talk to the people in the District. And, I will then be pointing out the hypocrisy of Bean running an entire campaign-- saying Phil Crane is out of touch when in fact she does not even live in the [8th] Congressional District and she is inaccessible directly to the media except through her spokesman most of the time and to top off the whole thing, that she refuses to engage in any type of discussion or debate
David McSweeney [R-Barrington Hills], 8th Cong. District Republican Nominee, Telephone Press Conference, June 1, 2006
In a broad ranging telephone press conference this morning that lasted about forty minutes, David McSweeney [R-Barrington Hills], Republican nominee in the 8th Cong. Dist. sought to engage his opponent, at least through the media. His opponent, of course, is incumbent, first term, 8th CD Congresswoman Melissa Bean [D-Barrington], who took the seat away from Republicans and Cong. Phil Crane in 2004, after he had held if for 35 years.

McSweeney reiterated his call for 24 debates with Cong. Bean, holding one in each of the twenty-four 8th Cong. District’s townships. So, far, Congresswoman Bean has not responded to the challenge, other than to say, through her spokesman that the Congresswoman is busy doing the District’s business and she will look at that issue perhaps in August, when the House is scheduled to recess for at least a month.

McSweeney said this morning that Congresswoman Bean “has agreed to nothing,” with regard to debates. McSweeney said the best kind of forum would be open ended with the candidates being able to ask and answer questions of each other, back and forth, similar to the no ground rules format that NBC’s Dick Kay [now retired] used for the “discussion,” Kay hosted last week with Governor Blagojevich and his Republican challenger, Judy Baar Topinka.

McSweeney, as indicated above, let loose this morning with the charge of hypocrisy, citing Cong. Bean’s complaints in 2002 and in 2004 about then incumbent Congressman Phil Crane’s general reluctance to debate his opponent, Melissa Bean.

8th Cong. Dist. Republican Nominee McSweeney also claimed that Democratic Congresswoman Bean was abusing the Congressional franking privileges for campaigning and accused Bean of using her government staff and government funded Robocalls for political campaigning. McSweeney pledged to do neither, citing his promise to cut the Congressional spending on itself of almost four billion dollars for such items, by 25%, or one billion dollars. McSweeney in the past has referred to such cuts in federal spending as symbolic of the kind of leadership he would bring to Congress to try to reign in federal spending.

Additional topics covered in the press conference were McSweeney’s request that Congresswoman Bean fully disclose her fund raising trips and activities, with McSweeney indicating that he is doing so; McSweeney’s allegation that Jewel stores only makes space available to elected officials to hold meet and greets, and therefore makes such space available to Bean but not to McSweeney; the importance of the 8th CD race to the Republican Party maintaining control of the House; McSweeney’s support of the President’s war on terror; McSweeney’s view that the President needs “to tell the story of what he wants to do in the future; McSweeney’s view that the Republican Party needs “to talk about lower taxes, less spending and a strong national defense;” and McSweeney’s support of an immigration bill that “improves border security while not granting amnesty.”

McSweeney was also asked in the press conference about an item in Lynn Sweet’s blog purportedly involving a McSweeney Enron connection. McSweeney indicated that he was asked to make an assessment as part of a team for Bank of America Securities of Enron in August-September, 2001. McSweeney stated this morning that his assessment was that “things were bad and we should stay out of that situation, and that’s exactly what we did.” McSweeney said, “the Bean people tried to plant this story,” about some kind of a McSweeney-Enron connection. McSweeney said he would make the Enron story issue No. 1 in the debate with Bean. He said he would talk about his business experience versus Cong. Bean’s business experience and he would talk specifically about the so-called Enron-McSweeney issue.

David McSweeney said he would be holding regular telephone press conferences in the future, after a number of the media on the call indicated they would be helpful. McSweeney indicated he would continue to be available to the media both for in-person one on ones and for in-person press conferences, as well.

As of the time of this posting, Congresswoman Bean’s spokesperson was unavailable for comment on the issues raised above relating to Cong. Bean.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at