Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Durkin on "Springfield end game," and "Good and Bad McCain": Cable and Streaming

State Rep. Jim Durkin: …John McCain has said he would rather lose an election than lose a war. And, remember, he has two young sons. One is in the marines and the other is—
State Rep. Jim Durkin: My prediction is that we will leave Springfield the end of May with a “no growth,” budget and that we will perhaps get called in for some type of special session during the summer, which will allow the parties to negotiate, I hope they engage the House and Senate Republicans
This week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs features State Rep. Jim Durkin [R-Western Springs], who gave up his eight year state house seat to run in and win a tough, three candidate Republican U. S. Senate primary in 2002, and then ran unsuccessfully against first-term Democrat Incumbent, Senator Dick Durbin [D-IL]. Durkin, of Counsel at Wildman Harrold, won a state house seat again last year and is also now the Co-Chair of Senator John McCain’s Illinois Presidential Campaign.

The show with Rep. Durkin was taped on May 20, 2007.

The airing schedule for the suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” is included, below.
The show with Durkin also airs through-out the City of Chicago this coming Monday night at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
You may also watch the show with Rep. Durkin on your computer at PublicAffairsTV.com. In addition to the Durkin show, additional recent shows posted on our video podcast site are shows featuring (1) Roberto Maldonado, a Cook County Commissioner who is running in the 4th CD Democratic Primary in 2008 and (2) Political and Corporate Campaign Consultant Dan Curry. The show with Curry will air next week in the suburbs [contrary to what is stated here, and that post also includes more information about Curry and his guest appearance on "Public Affairs"].
PublicAffairsTV also has our shows with Presidential candidates Obama, Giuliani, McCain and Cox, as well as many other pols.
Durkin Background:

State Rep. Jim Durkin, a John Marshall Law School grad, worked for a year in the Illinois Attorney General's office and then five years as an Assistant State's Attorney under then State’s Attorney Jack O'Malley. Durkin, in 1995, was appointed to a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, giving him a short-lived taste of what life was like in the majority. [Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democrats have held the Illinois State House for more than a quarter century, except for 1995-96, when Speaker Mike “took a coffee break,” so to speak].

Durkin show topics:

State Rep. Durkin discusses and debates with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz alternative tax increases being proposed by the Democratic Party leadership, who have substantial majorities in the Illinois House and Senate. Those Democratic Party leaders are considering ways to resolve the substantial and competing education, mass transit, health insurance, capital budget and pension funding wishes of their various constituencies.

Budget Revenue Alternatives, aka the Legislative Liberals' Field of Dreams?:

The alternatives to deal with these budget issues being considered by the Democratic Party leaders include increases in the income and general sales taxes, imposition of a gross receipts tax on virtually all transactions, final and intermediate [the Blagojevich dream], an increase in the income tax accompanied by a much smaller decrease in the property tax [Ralph Martire’s dream, HB750], an expansion of the sales tax to include services, closing of corporate income tax loopholes [another Martire Dream], lease of the lottery/pension bond arbitrage scheme [Illinois COO John Filan's dream] or an expansion of gaming [Rep. Lang's dream].

No Growth Budget:

An emerging Democratic plan, assuming none of the above tax or expansion of gaming plans can be worked out by May 31, 2007, would be to adopt a "maintenance or no growth budget,” by the end of May, which would be supplemented during this coming summer. This Springfield concoction is aka Illinois’ version of Pay as you Go, or government on the installment plan.

House Republicans: Read my lips, no new taxes.

The Republicans purport to have a strategy for winning back some House seats [under minority leader Tom Cross] in 2008 and part of the strategy, according to Rep. Durkin, is to focus on downstate seats. Others, and perhaps Rep. Durkin, say the strategy also requires that the Republicans all decline to support any tax increases. The Democrats under Speaker Mike Madigan currently enjoy a 66-52 margin over the Republicans. In the Senate, under Senate President Emil Jones, it is a veto proof 37-22 margin for the Dems.

Speaker Mike and Houli butt heads on Assessment Caps:

Additional topics discussed include Speaker Mike Madigan's and various pols' efforts to renegotiate, legislatively, the Energy Industry de-reg deal [or energy industry restructuring, as Exelon honcho John Rowe would have it] of a decade ago and to return to a "freeze of electric power and natural gas rates," at their 1996-2006 levels, to impose a big tax on energy producers/generators and/or to require or induce substantial discounts be given to certain classes of customers by Ameren and Comed; Cook County Assessor Houlihan's and other pols' efforts to legislate caps on real estate assessments in Cook County [resisted by Speaker Mike] and whether Dems want Republicans to have some power to affect the final outcome regarding spending and tax decisions for the coming fiscal year [spreading the blame for a tax increase].

Clash of Houlihan and Business:

Also discussed is whether the proposed caps on residential real estate assessments would hurt commercial and industrial interests in Cook County, would help real estate tax appeal lawyers, e.g., Speaker Mike Madigan and would continue to drive business out of Cook County.

McCain: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Finally, the program’s dialogue includes a discussion of Rep. Durkin's role in the McCain campaign for President, whether there is a “good and bad,” John McCain, McCain's votes against the Bush tax cuts, the political and public policy implications and consequences of McCain's strong support for the Iraq war and much, much more.
A partial transcript of the Durkin show is included, below.
State Rep. Jim Durkin: My prediction is that we will leave Springfield the end of May with a “no growth,” budget and that we will perhaps get called in for some type of special session during the summer, which will allow the parties to negotiate, I hope they engage the House and Senate Republicans- the Democrats have kept us out of the mix the over last few years. But, we’re part of the process.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, a maintenance budget to keep things at the current levels and then consider raising them in terms of taxes, spending and reforms, after that?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: Well, we’ll see what they have to say.

Jeff Berkowitz: After May 31?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: After May 31 [2007], correct.

Jeff Berkowitz: And… if the budget goes over, after May 31, that requires a three fifths vote for legislation to pass?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: Three fifths. It requires participation [by Republicans] out of the House.

Jeff Berkowitz: …If you have a supplemental budget [after May 31], will all of those things require a three fifths vote?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: It would require a three fifths vote if it was going to have an effective date that [fiscal] year, before June, 2008.
Jeff Berkowitz: Some Democrats tell me that it may be a good idea [for them] to get some Republicans to put some skin in the game. That is, make it three fifths, require some Republican support, and that way nobody can run around blaming Democrats…if there is a tax increase, you can’t blame just the Democrats because the Republicans would be a part of it. Have you heard that strategy. Do you think the Democrats are thinking that way?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: I am sure they are thinking that way, trying to see how they can get us on the Board but I don’t see it happening. I think all of us in the House, the House Republicans, that we’re pretty united, as I said earlier-- we’re not going to support any tax increases.

Jeff Berkowitz: Even going forward, after this maintenance budget.

Rep. Jim Durkin: No, absolutely not. I don’t see it happening.

Jeff Berkowitz: In the House.

Rep. Jim Durkin: I don’t see it happening. I don’t see where—

Jeff Berkowitz: There are some [Republican tax increasers] in the Senate, you realize that?

Rep. Jim Durkin: Well, apparently, somebody [a Republican] was sitting in this seat some time ago who said they would support it [an increase in taxes]

Jeff Berkowitz: Yes, Senator Syverson. Well, what about people like Senator Bomke and others downstate—you know those folks have…a little higher tolerance for taxes than you seem to have?

Rep. Jim Durkin: Well, there are some geographical differences that individuals have and I think it probably translates into a difference of opinion into how the budget should be operated and how we should get to the budget.
Jeff Berkowitz: I think it was Bob Novak who said that God put Republicans on this earth to cut taxes. Do you agree with Novak? Was McCain almost going against the Bible in the Republican Party when he opposed the Bush tax cuts?

Rep. Jim Durkin: At that time, Senator McCain’s comments were, “We cannot afford them at this point in our life.” At this time, he thinks that the tax cuts have been working and with all things considered, we should not go back and reverse tax cut policy…people do make some mistakes at times but the fact is that I think he has explained himself.

Jeff Berkowitz: He more than anybody else in that top six [of candidates for President]-- certainly relative to the three top tier Democrats-- but even relative to the two other Republicans in that top tier, has supported the War in Iraq. He has been critical of the management of the War, but he has supported it, he continues to support it. He says the surge will work…most would say the War was the reason why the Republicans lost the House and the Senate, nationally, so McCain, with that deep commitment to the War in Iraq, can he win the Presidency?

Rep. Jim Durkin: …John McCain has said he would rather lose an election than lose a war. And, remember, he has two young sons. One is in the marines and the other is—

Jeff Berkowitz: Is that what is going to happen now? Is he going to lose the election because of his commitment to the War in Iraq?

Rep. Jim Durkin: If he is, it means so be it. I think this is a man who is extremely principled, who loves his Country, but also believes the consequences of pulling out of Iraq are greater for this Country, as opposed to walking out and getting some stability and bringing some stability to the Middle-East, particularly to Iraq. That is something he is staking his career on. But, the thing is this is a personal decision he has made. As he said earlier, this is not about politics. He believes this is what is right for this country.
State Rep. Jim Durkin [R-Western Springs], as he is airing this week on Public Affairs in 35 Chicago Metro suburbs [See below for the suburban airing schedule] and as will be airing on Monday, May 28, 2007 [Memorial Day, 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21, CANTV] on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs and on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 7:30 pm on Aurora Community Television, on Comcast Cable Ch. 10 in Aurora and some surrounding areas. The show was recorded on May 20, 2007.[You may also go here to watch Rep. Durkin on PublicAffairsTV.com].
In twenty-five North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs, the "Public Affairs," show airs every Tuesday night in the regular weekly Public Affairs slot, 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 or 35, as indicated, below.

In ten North Shore suburbs, the Public Affairs show airs three times each week in its regular slots at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as indicated, below. ******************************************************
The suburban episode of Public Affairs with guest State Rep. Jim Durkin airs Tonight :

at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette

And at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

and this week on Monday night, Wednesday night and Friday night at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at JBCG@aol.com