Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gov. Bill Richardson and Senator Barack Obama, Questioned by Berkowitz, Cable and Streaming

Updated at 1:00 am on Wednesday morning: Gov. Richardson-Senator Obama show now streaming [Watch here].
Jeff Berkowitz: A guy like you. You must be for the Bush tax cuts, right?

Gov. Bill Richardson: I would not get rid of all of them. I would get rid of the 2% [tax cuts for the top 2% income earners] but I would replace his tax cuts with tax cuts for the middle class.
Jeff Berkowitz: ...Now I know you’ve said before, that we can’t just get out of Iraq, though you vigorously argued against getting in, but as of July 22nd, 2006, is it still the case that you think it is important that we succeed in Iraq?

Senator Barack Obama: I think that it is important for us to stabilize Iraq. I think the measure of success should be that there is not an all-out civil war. That there are not terrorist bases inside Iraq. That there has not been a melt-down of Iraq that draws its neighbors into escalating conflict. That should be our criteria. And, I think that can still be accomplished, although...
This week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs features Governor Bill Richardson [D-NM] and Senator Barack Obama [D-IL] .The airing schedule for the suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” is included, below.
The show with Richardson and Obama also airs through-out the City of Chicago this coming Monday night [August 6] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] and on Monday, Aug. 6, 2007 at 7:30 pm on Aurora Community Television, on Comcast Cable Ch. 10 in Aurora and some surrounding areas.
You may also watch the show with Gov. Richardson and Senator Obama, streaming on your computer at PublicAffairsTV.com. In addition to the Richardson-Obama show , newly posted shows on the podcast page include separate shows with 14 TH Cong. Dist. [seat currently held by former Speaker Hastert] Democratic Primary Candidates John Laesch and Jotham Stein. Previously posted shows feature Roberto Maldonado, a Cook County Commissioner who is also running in the 4th CD Democratic Primary in 2008; Ald. Manny Flores, who is also running in the 4th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary; Senators Sandoval, Syverson and Lauzen, Presidential candidatesRichardson, Obama, Giuliani, McCain and Cox, and many other pols and opinion makers.
Show host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz questions Governor Richardson for about fifteen minutes during the first part of this week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs. The interview took place after a Democratic Presidential candidate forum in Chicago on July 15, 2007. The forum was hosted by the Association for American Justice, previously known as the American Trial Lawyers Association.
For a partial transcript of the portion of the show with Gov. Richardson, go here.
Governor Bill Richardson’s background and experience:

Governor Richardson, whose mother was Mexican and whose father was a white banker from Boston, was born in Pasadena, California but grew up in Mexico City (an Hispanic Barack Obama?). Of the eight Democratic Presidential candidates, Richardson has perhaps the best combination of State and National experience. He became a congressman from New Mexico in the same year Bill Clinton was elected President [1992] and he pushed hard, with the President, for the passage of NAFTA. I think it would be fair to say that Richardson does not think his expectations for NAFTA materialized.

After Richardson was a congressman for two terms, President Clinton made him the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where Bill Richardson served for about three years. The Hispanic Richardson added to the Diversity of Clinton’s cabinet when he was made Secretary of the Department of Energy.

Richardson's years as Governor:

Richardson returned to New Mexico to run and win his race for Governor in 2002, and was re-elected to that position in 2006. Somewhat unusual for a modern-day Democrat, Richardson became a big tax cutter as Governor, cutting the income tax in New Mexico during his first 45 days in office from 8.2% to 4.9%. Also, coming from a West state, it is perhaps not too surprising that he supports concealed carry.

Richardson has moved into the top tier in New Hampshire, passing John Edwards and moving into third place behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, getting ten percent in a recent poll in that state.
Governor Richardson debates and discusses with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the following questions and topics on this week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs”:

If the U. S. leaves Iraq, will it become a safe haven for Al-Qaeda, even as Afghanistan was a safe haven for Al-Qaeda? Is the U. S. employing a new strategy in Iraq, one of counter-insurgency, and did that new strategy begin in January, 2007, but only become fully staffed in June, 2007. Has there been a successful counter-insurgency in Al Anbar Province that may spread across Iraq and is General Petraeus the right person to execute that mission?

Would Gov. Richardson concede that six-nation diplomacy in North Korea has now been a success for the Bush Administration?

Is the best way to deal with immigration reform to do so in two steps: first, demonstrate the country can cut the flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border by 90%, or so, and then proceed with comprehensive immigration reform, including an earned path to citizenship for the 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants currently estimated to be in the United States. Should the U. S. construct a fence along its southern border and make use of unmanned drones as part of its effort to stem the flow of illegal immigrants across its borders?

Does Gov. Richardson favor charter schools, tax credits for parochial schools and school vouchers-school choice? Should low income parents have the same kind of school choice that Barack Obama’s mother exercised [via a scholarship ?], that Gov. Richardson’s parents exercised and that Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s parents exercised?

Is Governor Richardson, himself a tax cutter in the 5th fastest growing state in the Country, in favor of the Bush tax cuts?

Should we have more aggressive interrogations of enemy combatants or fewer?

Should we have more warrantless wiretaps of foreign-domestic calls or fewer?

Is the Global War on Terrorism merely a bumper sticker, as Senator Edwards has suggested?

Should there be more pressure, or less, on the Israelis to deal with the Palestinians?

Is Richardson a free trader or a “fair trader.”

Is Gov. Richardson in this race to become VP to Hillary Clinton?

Does being Governor give Richardson an advantage in the Democratic Presidential Primary?

Berkowitz questions Senator Obama for about seven minutes during the second half of this week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs. The interview took place after a community forum in Austin [West side of Chicago] on July 22, 2006.

It is interesting to contrast Senator Obama’s statements of about a year ago on Iraq with the statements he has been making since becoming a Presidential candidate in February, 2007. Of course, he could certainly argue that his changed position reflected, at least in part, changed circumstances—especially in terms of the increased amount of sectarian violence, to which he refers even in his 2006 interview with Berkowitz.

Obama’s Background and Experience:

Senator Barack Obama [D-IL] is fond of saying he got his name from his Kenyan father and his accent from his Kansas mother. Senator Obama was born in Hawaii, and his father left the family when he was two, to continue his studies at Harvard and then to return to Kenya. Obama met his father only once, after that, when Obama was ten, and his father died while Obama was an undergraduate student at Columbia University. Obama spent much of his boyhood growing up in Hawaii, under the strong influence of his maternal grandparents.

Obama worked in Chicago for about five years as a community organizer after he obtained his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and before he obtained a Harvard Law School Degree [where he was President of the Law Review]. After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to teach constitutional law and other courses at the University of Chicago Law School and to practice law.

After serving in the Illinois Senate for four years, Obama lost his only race to then eight year incumbent Congressman Bobby Rush [D-Chicago, 1st Dist.], when he challenged Rush in a Democratic Primary in 2000. In that race, Obama recalls that he got “spanked,” [he lost by a 2 to 1 margin] but he learned it was important, in the future, to start preparation for a run quite early and to be a strong fund-raiser.

Obama corrected his 2000 race mistakes when he ran in a tough, seven candidate, Democratic U. S. Senate Primary race in March, 2004, winning easily 53% to 24% over State Comptroller Dan Hynes, with a third strong candidate, Blair Hull, imploding over scandal revelations relating to that candidate’s prior marriage. Obama had begun that Senate Primary race almost two years earlier and raised five million dollars for the Primary.

Jack Ryan, Obama’s initial Republican opponent in the 2004 Senate general election, was thought to be a strong, largely self-financed candidate. However, Ryan’s campaign also imploded early on, with scandal revelations relating to his prior marriage.

Senator Obama seems to be either very lucky or very talented in picking opponents with significant revelations of prior marriage problems. Jack Ryan withdrew from the race and was replaced by Alan Keyes, an import from Maryland, who turned out to be perhaps one of the worst candidates to run for the U. S. Senate in Illinois’ history.

Going back to the future, Obama won his state senate seat in 1996 by knocking all of his Democratic Primary opponents off the ballot, with challenges to their nominating petitions. In his Chicago south side district, winning the Primary was equivalent to winning the general election.

Again, Senator Obama has been quite “lucky,” in facing opponents who had a great deal of trouble in getting on the ballot, staying on the ballot or in avoiding revelations of marriage scandal. Could some of that same “luck,” return in his Presidential Democratic primary contest, especially vis-à-vis Senator Clinton?
Senator Obama debates and discusses with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the following questions and topics:

As of July 22, 2006, was it still the case that Senator Obama thought it was important that the U. S. succeed in Iraq? Stabilize Iraq?

In July, 2006, did Senator Obama favor an immediate cease fire in the hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel?

In July, 2006, did Senator Obama support the apparent U. S. policy of giving the Israelis a few weeks to create a buffer zone in Southern Lebanon—and let the Israelis try to identify Hezbollah in Lebanon and remove their missiles?

In July, 2006, did Senator Obama think Iran was using Syria to stir up Hezbollah as a way of trying to distract the world community and the U. S. from dealing with their issue, which was doing something about the burgeoning and likely nuclear capability of Iran. Was Iran doing this as a distraction?

For a partial transcript of the portion of the show with Obama, go here:
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 guests Gov. Richardson and Senator Obama 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, Wednesday and Friday night at 8:30 pm, airing 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. You may watch "Public Affairs," shows with Presidential Candidates Richardson, Obama, McCain, Giuliani and Cox and many other pols at www.PublicAffairsTv.com