Monday, April 30, 2007

Backpacking with Rep. Chapa LaVia, On Cable and Streaming.

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia [D-Aurora], is the featured guest on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs tonight [8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 21]. You may also watch the show on your computer on, along with such notables as Republican Presidential Candidates Giuliani and McCain, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama, State Senator Chris Lauzen [R-Aurora], and many other famous pols.

It is looking more likely that Rep. Chapa LaVia will run in the 14th Cong. Dist. for the seat currently held by Cong. and former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, irrespective of whether Cong. Hastert should seek another term. If Hastert decides not to seek another term, 15 year State Senator and former small businessman Chris Lauzen [R-Aurora] and dairyman, money manager/entrepreneur Jim Oberweis [Sugar Grove] are both ready to jump into the race on the Republican side. State Rep. Tim Schmitz [R-Geneva] may join them.

Chapa LaVia seems to be seeking to broaden her profile. Last night she was on Bruce DuMont’s Beyond the Beltway nationally syndicated radio show. And, tonight, it is Public Affairs. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

For more about Rep. Chapa LaVia, the show's topics and a partial transcript of the show, go here.

Another partial transcript of the show is included directly, below.
Jeff Berkowitz: You take this backpack. Say we had 420,000 backpacks for the parents of the 420,000 kids in the City of Chicago schools. And, I don’t know how many kids we have in the Aurora schools, but say, we do the same thing there. In Chicago, we are spending $12,000 per kid per year and I don’t know what is being spent in the Aurora public schools, say $9,000 or so, there.

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia [D-Aurora]: No, it is a lot less than that [in Aurora].

Jeff Berkowitz: Whatever. But, you see the concept. Give the backpack to the parents. Let them decide if they are happy with the public schools-- a lot of them are. Strap the backpack on the kid [with the prorata share of what is currently being spent on their kids public school being placed in the backpack]. If the kid stays in the public school, the cash stays there. But, if the parents want to send their kid to the private school of their choice, as you do, out goes the backpack, out goes the kid, out goes the cash. School vouchers-school choice. What could be more accountable? Because, if the schools aren’t performing, the parent decides. And, if the schools are performing, the parents say yes [to keeping the kid in the public school]. Isn’t that accountability?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: I don’t know.

Jeff Berkowitz: Would you take that backpack? You would like to give the people that choice?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: Some day, maybe.

Jeff Berkowitz: Not yet, not today?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: Not at this point. Well, if you had a proposal for me.

Jeff Berkowitz: That’s a proposal. Let people take the money, whatever it is. Whatever we are spending [now in the public schools in each area], give the parents their pro rata share. If it $9,000 per kid, give them $9,000. In Chicago, it is $12,000. So, there is no change in political power; no redistribution. Spending is the same. No increase in taxes. What you get is instant accountability. How could you say no to that?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: Well, it depends on all of the priorities of the different districts. You’re saying everything is local. As far as whether it is, the system itself, the taxpayers are saying, “Our money goes to Springfield, it doesn’t come back to us. When do we have control of things?” If I saw a program for vouchers, I would be willing to sit down and talk about it.

Jeff Berkowitz: You would take a lot at it? You are not going to dismiss it unequivocally?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: I would take a look at it. I wouldn’t dismiss it. No, absolutely not.

Jeff Berkowitz: Charter schools are Okay? You’re okay with charter schools?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: We don’t have any charter schools in Aurora.

Jeff Berkowitz: Would you like to see more?
Jeff Berkowitz: Parental notice on abortion, should we have it?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: … John Fritchey’s bill?

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, that’s an amendment to it. But, the general idea—would you favor parents being advised if their minor daughter is going to have an abortion?

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia: I would. I would.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at