Monday, October 29, 2007

Better than Monday Night Football: the first in the State’s Attorney Democratic Primary Trilogy shows.

Tonight's City of Chicago and City of Aurora editions of Public Affairs features Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who is running in the Democratic Primary for State's Attorney of Cook County

Suffredin debates and discusses with show host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz a broad range of State's Attorney public policy issues.
The show with Comm. Suffredin airs through-out the City of Chicago tonight [Oct. 29] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] and tonight at 7:30 pm on Aurora Community Television, on Comcast Cable Ch. 10 in Aurora and some surrounding areas. The Aurora station reaches all of Aurora, Bristol, Big Rock and parts of Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Montgomery.
You may also watch the show with State's Attorney candidate Suffredin, along with other recently posted shows, including State's Attorney Candidate Brookins, Senator Cullerton, Rep. Lang (D-Chicago), Rep. Hamos (D-Evanston) and Senator Garrett (D-Lake Forest), 14th CD Republican Primary candidate Mayor Kevin Burns and former Senator Rauschenberger on your computer at

In addition to those shows, prior shows on the "Public Affairs," podcast page feature Presidential candidates Obama, Giuliani, Richardson, McCain and Cox, and many other pols, including Obama-Bean in April, 2006 and Bean in January, 2006 and opinion makers. You may also watch these "Public Affairs," shows and others at
Tonight's City of Chicago and City of Aurora edition of "Public Affairs," is the first in a trilogy of State’s Attorney candidate shows. The three guests featured are the top tier candidates for State’s Attorney of Cook County in the Democratic Party, to be held on February 5, 2007. Next week’s show in the City features Chicago Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr. (21st Ward), followed by Ald. Tom Allen (38th Ward). In the Chicago Metro suburbs, 5th year Cook County Commissioner Suffredin kicked off the trilogy last week, followed this week by 5th year Ald. Brookins and next week by 14th year Ald. Allen.

The airing order, due to some technical reasons, is different from the taping order, which was Brookins, Suffredin and Allen, so you may notice some apparently odd references during the Suffredin show to “last week’s Brookins show.”

It is anticipated that by the time the election filing period closes next Monday, the State’s Attorney Democratic Primary will have seven candidates. However, in terms of organization, base and resources (Suffredin and Allen are each planning to raise 1.5 million dollars for the primary), often the three most important things in winning any election, the top tier in this race is made up of Brookins, Suffredin and Allen, although not necessarily in that order. But, the First and Second Assistants to the current State’s Attorney, Dick Devine (who has been there for eleven years), Bob Milan and Anita Alvarez, respectively, could surprise, as the horse race handicappers say. Using that same vernacular, Tommy Brewer and Clayton Harris are said, at this point, to be “also rans.”

Although Suffredin, Brookins and Allen might all fall in the general category of Democratic liberals, there are a number of distinctions that leap out of you, even based only on Berkowitz’s half hour interviews of each, and even if we take a thumbnail or quick snapshot of the three.

Comm. Suffredin, for example, fits the mold of a North Shore or Evanston liberal. He has a lot of passion and seems to be the strongest proponent of gun control as a way to deal with the illegal use of guns. Suffredin is enthusiastic about a State ban on assault weapons and limiting gun purchases to one a month. Ald. Brookins, on the other hand, is open to thinking about concealed carry, but not ready to “go there,” yet. Ald. Allen talks more of getting guns out of the hands of the bad guys and seems more anxious to speak of a holistic approach to dealing with those who are using guns in the commission of crimes.

On diversity, Suffredin talks specifically of having a staff that is 20% minority, with Allen and Brookins both agreeing that the current office is not sufficiently diverse, but hesitating to set a specific number as a goal or target.

On Birge and torture, Ald. Brookins, of the three, seemed most willing to tar and feather Mayor Daley and State’s Attorney Devine for not doing enough to deal with that problem. Mayor Daley, of course, was the State’s Attorney while the torture or “police abuse,” as some would put it, was continuing and received pretty strong formal notice of it from his police superintendent. Dick Devine was Daley’s First Assistant at that time. [For a very current look at Mayor Daley, Torture and police brutality, go here].

As to capital punishment, Ald. Allen alone of the three candidates favors it, and even he does not seem ready to lift the moratorium, saying he is not sure “they have got their house in order.” Allen is also the strongest of the three in terms of favoring unionization of the State’s Attorney of Cook County office.

However, the above are simply meant to be illustrative of some of the differences between the top tier candidates. To catch the full flavor of the top tier candidates, you should watch the entire trilogy, starting with tonight’s show in the City with Comm. Larry Suffredin, who, by the way, is currently a partner in the same seventy attorney Loop law firm, Shefsky & Froelich, whence State’s Attorney Devine came. Small world.
Of course, the above is just the Dems. As to the Republican candidates for State’s Attorney of Cook County, and yes, this reporter did say candidates-as in perhaps another trilogy, well-- that is another story for another day.
For more on tonight's show, topics and the guest, including a partial transcript, go here.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at You may watch "Public Affairs," shows with Presidential Candidates Richardson, Obama, McCain, Giuliani and Cox and many other pols at