Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rep. Lang takes on Gov. Blagojevich: Cable and Streaming

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie): ...I’ve said to people that the Governor [Rod Blagojevich] is at the root of all of our problems in the General Assembly this year. If he was the kind of leader he ought to be,we would have...
Jeff Berkowitz: So, when Gov. Blagojevich supports the legislation, it is hard [for him] to say, “I support it but I don’t support the three casinos in the legislation.”

Rep. Lou Lang: ...just like many other issues, he [Gov. Blagojevich] will be the last person on board. It’s like in a football game where twelve people have tackled somebody and somebody else jumps on the pile.
This week’s Chicago metro suburban edition of Public Affairs features State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie, 16th House District). See below for the Public Affairs suburban airing schedule.
The show with Rep. Lang also airs through-out the City of Chicago this coming Monday night [Oct. 8] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] and on Monday night [Oct. 8] 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.
Next week's suburban edition of "Public Affairs," features State Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago)discussing, among other things, the anticipated resolution of the Mass Transit, Capital budget and Gaming issues before the General Assembly in Springfield
You may also watch the show with Rep. Lang, along with other recently posted shows with 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 PublicAffairsTV.com. In addition to those shows, prior shows on the "Public Affairs," podcast page feature a show with Senators Durbin and Dodd, Cong. Kucinich and others; Democratic Presidential Candidates Senator Barack Obama and Governor Richardson; possible Republican opponents to Senator Durbin next fall: Dr. Steve Sauerberg and Jim Nalepa; and 14 TH Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary Candidates Jotham Stein and John Laesch and 14th Cong. Dist. Republican Primary candidate Senator Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora). Additional previously posted shows feature Presidential candidates Giuliani, McCain and Cox, and many other pols and opinion makers. You may also watch these "Public Affairs," shows, and others, at www.itunes.com
Rep. Lang's Background and description of his 16th District:

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie, 16th Dist) is in his 21st year in the State House. The 16th District, which Lang represents, includes most of Chicago's 50 Ward, a portion of Chicago's 49th Ward, the south portion of Skokie, all of Lincolnwood and a portion of Morton Grove.

Lang got his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his law degree from DePaul Law School. He has practiced law for about three decades, chairs the House Gaming committee and he is the House Democratic Floor Leader. For more about Rep. Lang and his District, go to www.reploulang.com
State Rep. Lou Lang debates and discusses with show host and executive legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the capital budget which passed the Senate on Sep. 18; Rep. Hamos' transit bill which includes, among other things, funding reform for the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace; and the gaming bill which passed the Senate on Sep. 18th; potential reforms to introduce competition into mass transit, e.g., auctioning off bus routes to those who will agree to provide the service at the lowest price, while agreeing to maintain service standards; the potential use of "congestion," or peak load pricing by the toll roads, trains and buses; how things might play out between the Four Tops, Blago and Mayor Daley regarding a capital budget, mass transit legislation, gaming legislation and new taxes; the issue of distrust among the Leaders of the Governor and each other and the likelihood of legislators requiring detailed memoranda of understanding regarding the capital budget and the gaming bill, before they agree to support it; the Springfield six-ring circus.
A partial transcript of the "Public Affairs," show with guest Rep. Lou Langis included, below:
The root of all the problems with the Illinois Legislature

Jeff Berkowitz: …Lou Lang is the House Democratic Floor Leader. You are probably not the most popular person with the Governor and his staff?

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie): And, I am proud not to be the most popular person with the Governor. While the Governor is of my party, I have a responsibility to tell the truth and I’ve told it on the House Floor and I’ve told it in public and I’ve said to people that the Governor [Rod Blagojevichh] is at the root of all of our problems in the General Assembly this year. If he was the kind of leader he ought to be, we’d have finished our business on time and would have accomplished quite a few things for the citizens of Illinois.
How many more casinos should Illinois have?

Jeff Berkowitz: You support an expansion of—would you say—three new casinos?

State Rep. Lou Lang: Whether it is one more, two more, three more—or twenty more—really is irrelevant, in my view.

Jeff Berkowitz: It’s irrelevant?

Rep. Lou Lang: Some people think it is an important issue. I do not. We don’t tell McDonald’s how many restaurants to open. Or, Starbucks, how many coffee shops to open. Gaming is a business like any other.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, if you had your way, there wouldn’t be a limit of nine or twelve casinos [in Illinois], there would be as many casinos as casino operators want to have? [Ed note: this is the view of Paul Green, Roosevelt University Professor, City Club of Chicago moderator and WGN-AM Radio political pundit; Green calls it the free market view, and he may be right.].

Rep. Lou Lang: I don’t know that I would go that far, but it would certainly be something to look at. But, for now, I am satisfied to discuss the issue of two or three or four new casinos, and let that be where we start and stop. I am not suggesting we go beyond that at this point. We are talking about legislation that could create billions of dollars for our state and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you and the Governor are in sync on that aspect.

Rep. Lou Lang: Well, the Governor hasn’t really publicly come out and said, “I am for a gaming bill.” What we have is a Governor who has been absent on this issue, a governor who has been unwilling to lead because it is a little bit of a hot potato. Of course, it is controversial. And, of course, this is now the second time the Senate has passed a gaming bill. The first one they passed, the large issues were done well. The little issues—like how the money gets where it is going—were done poorly, and the House Gaming Committee killed that bill. We may kill this one, as well.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, the Governor has said publicly that he supports this legislation that came out of the Senate and now is coming to the House, right?

Rep. Lou Lang: Yes, but there is a—

Jeff Berkowitz: So, when he supports the legislation, it is hard [for him] to say, “I support it but I don’t support the three casinos in the legislation.”

Rep. Lou Lang: Well, he certainly supports this legislation at this time. But, he has not been a leader on the issue. He has allowed the General Assembly to do its thing and just like many other issues, he will be the last person on board. It’s like in a football game where twelve people have tackled somebody and somebody else jumps on the pile. [twelve?, must be Australian football, or something].

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, is that fair because he has been working on this with Senate President Emil Jones and Republican Senate Leader Frank Watson—

Rep. Lou Lang: That is not a—

Jeff Berkowitz: For a while—

Rep. Lou Lang: That is not a true statement.

Jeff Berkowitz: That is not true?

Rep. Lou Lang: That is not true. The Governor has been not involved in the negotiation of any gaming bill, at all. The Governor has been on the sidelines.

Jeff Berkowitz: Who negotiated this bill, then? Was it just Frank Watson [Republican Senate Leader] and Emil Jones [Democrat Senate President]?

Rep. Lou Lang: Well, Watson and Jones had something to do with negotiating the capital portion of the bill. But, my understanding is they had no input on negotiating the gaming portion.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, who did?

Rep. Lou Lang: The senate on their own did this. One of the problems with the Bill, as drafted, is that the Senate has proposed a large expansion of gaming, which in general I support, but they discussed it with no one in the House. They did not discuss it with the Speaker. They did not discuss it with me, as Chairman of the House Gaming Committee to see if we would support such a bill. And, they did not discuss it with his own caucus. So, one day, Senator Jones throws a bill out on the Senate Floor and says, here-vote for this.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, they must have done something right because he [Jones] got …28 of his 37 Democratic state senators to support it, right?

Rep. Lou Lang: That’s correct.

Jeff Berkowitz: And, he got 9 Republicans to make life easy for him—

Rep. Lou Lang: That’s correct. That’s correct.

Jeff Berkowitz: by substituting for the nine Democrats who didn’t support the bill, right?

Rep. Lou Lang: But, because of the speed with which they moved that through the Senate, senators did not have a chance to focus on what all of that means. So, each of these parts of the bill, the gaming part—which is massive and controversial, the capital [budget] part—which is massive and controversial and the transit part—which is not a fix for the transit system, but simply a loan to it—

Jeff Berkowitz: An advance, a payday loan, right?

Rep. Lou Lang: In my view, yes. Each individual issue, here, is major, complicated and is not one that can be discussed or understood within a few hours which is what the Senate had.

Jeff Berkowitz: All right, so if you can’t do it in a few hours, maybe you can summarize for us the gaming aspects as you know them in forty-five seconds?
State Rep. Lou Lang, 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 this coming Monday, Oct. 8, 2007, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21, CANTV on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs and on Monday, Oct. 8, 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 Sep. 23, 2007.[You may also go here to watch Rep. Lang, Rep. Hamos, former Senator Rauschenberger (R-Elgin), Presidential candidates and many other politicians on PublicAffairsTV.com].
The airing schedule for the Chicago Metro suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is included directly, below.
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. Lou Lang 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 tonight 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