Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cong. Bean (D-Barrington), Speaker Pelosi, 8th CD R Challengers Greenberg and Morris: Who Has the Right Stuff?

There ought to be more to getting re-elected to or running for Congress than demonstrating you can get Speaker Pelosi to raise money for you or you can get “insider” Bob Kjellander to give you money. You ought to be confident you can...
The State GOP and the campaign of one of Congresswoman Bean’s wannabe opponents, Steve Greenberg, were quite indignant about Speaker Pelosi raising money for Cong. Melissa Bean (D-Barrington) on Friday evening. Dan Curry, Communications Director for Greenberg, said, “Pelosi is the leading liberal in Congress and the cause of Congress’ historically low approval ratings.”

Team Greenberg argued further in a press release that:

Melissa Bean needs to explain how she constantly says one thing in the district and another thing out of the district. She can’t say she is ‘mainstream’ and ‘moderate’ if she collects her campaign cash from Nancy Pelosi and follows her marching orders in Congress. …

Additionally, just two weeks ago, Cong. Bean refused to return $82,000 in campaign contributions from the radical, defeatist, liberal group MoveOn.Org

Every dollar helps, but the 82K from, which was not raked in recently, is not all that crucial to Congresswoman Bean's economic health. Bean pulled in 376K during the last quarter and has almost one million dollars in "cash on hand."

As to “following Pelosi’s marching orders,”
the second term Congresswoman Bean certainly doesn’t do that all the time. Cong. Bean has generally voted in support of the Iraq War and she voted for CAFTA, not exactly votes that would endear Bean to Pelosi. Further, those votes helped to earn Bean opposition from Bill Scheurer as an independent (Moderate Party candidate) in the 2006 election cycle; from Scheurer's wife, Randi Scheurer, in the February 5, 2008 Primary and from the most likely Moderate Party candidate, Lain Abernathy, in the Fall, 2008 general election.

The Bean event featuring Speaker Pelosi was held in the Chicago Loop at the Westin Hotel and it was closed to all media. Indeed, the hotel asked at least one enterprising reporter, who made his way up to the 3rd Floor, where the event was held, to leave the premises.

The Speaker spent about ninety minutes at the event and it was over soon after she left.

Speaker Pelosi did perhaps encounter a bit of unpleasantness when about forty, or so, protestors assembled across from the Westin Hotel entrance to voice their displeasure with the Speaker. The protestors are upset with the Speaker’s and the Democratic Party’s willingness to “throw transgenders under the bus,” by omitting transgenders from the protections of a federal bill that bans discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, but does not ban discrimination based on gender identity.

Thus, the bill would protect gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals, but not transgenders, from inappropriate discrimination in employment, as viewed by the protestors. Speaker Pelosi walked past one protestor on the way into the hotel and on the way out, but declined to engage him in a discussion. And, there was a reporter there who would have liked to discuss S-Chip with the Speaker, but she declined that, as well.

One source reported attendance of the funder was rather thin, suggesting perhaps fewer than fifty Bean supporters showed up. One important liberal benefactor who did make it to the funder was Christy Hefner, Playboy CEO and also an alum of New Trier High School and Brandeis University, not to mention married to former Democratic State Senator Billy Marovitz

The Bean campaign solicitation suggested ticket prices of $500, $1000 and $2300. Thus, if the crowd estimate is close, the evening probably pulled in considerably less than 100K.

As to Bean’s potential opponents, they are not quite in a league with her, when it comes to raising dollars. Ken Arnold, who received only a few percent of the Republican Primary vote in 2006, doesn’t register as a fund raiser. Kirk Morris (Gurnee) only recently entered the race and his team promises to put up some significant fund raising numbers in the next quarter, but they did not make a showing this time around.

Greenberg, a former minor league hockey player, raised about 180K (including about 11K of his own money and almost another 10K from people whose last name is Greenberg).

Greenberg states, “I’ll be an independent voice for the 8th Congressional [District] who won’t be changed by the siren call of Washington power brokers and insiders.” Yet, Greenberg took one thousand dollars from Bob Kjellander, the beleagured Illinois Republican National Committeeman, said to be your prototypical pay to play lobbyist/insider who is probably close to, if not the actual subject of, a federal investigation of an Illinois governmental entity and a kickback scheme.

Indeed, Greenberg's own Communiations Director, Dan Curry, characterized Bob Kjellander, as an insider:
Jeff Berkowitz: How corrupt are the Republicans? George Ryan, Bill Cellini, Bob Kjellander—are they corrupt?

Dan Curry: There are some corrupt Republicans. George Ryan—

Jeff Berkowitz: Was Kjellander corrupt? [For more on Kjellander, see here.]

Dan Curry: Kjellander is an insider. He is not the main problem.

Jeff Berkowitz: He is not?

Dan Curry: The main problem is that the people running government allow insiders like that to—
(See here)
Another thing Greenberg and Bean have in common is that both have ducked an intense probing of their positions on domestic and foreign policy issues by avoiding an appearance on “Public Affairs,” this election cycle. Bean came on the show as a challenger to Cong. Crane in 2004 and said she would come on regularly, if elected. She came on in January, 2006 [See here] and has ducked the show ever since.

Greenberg said in early spring he would come on the show when he decided whether he was running for Congress or the Senate. He decided to run for Congress about four months ago and has been ducking ever since.

On the other hand, 8th CD Republican Primary candidate Kirk Morris decided recently to become a candidate and he appeared last week and will appear this week on “Public Affairs” [See here].

Public Affairs doesn’t endorse candidates but it does endorse the notion that candidates should do what Kirk Morris did, i.e., subject himself to tough questioning on the issues. There ought to be more to getting re-elected to or running for Congress than demonstrating you can get Speaker Pelosi to raise money for you or you can get “insider” Bob Kjellander to give you money. You ought to be confident you can discuss and debate domestic and foreign policy issues.
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