Monday, January 21, 2008

Better than tonight's Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate: Brookins and Milan, Cable and soon streaming

Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs features Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr. and State's Attorney First Ass't. Bob Milan, two of the six candidates in the Democratic Primary for State’s Attorney of Cook County. The show airs through-out the City of Chicago on Cable Ch. 21 (CANTV) at 8:30 pm tonight. You can also soon watch the show on your computer. See, below.
For more about the State’s attorney race , go here. See below to link to TV shows with three of the other candidates in the race.
A partial transcript of tonight's show, recorded on January 6, 2008, is included,below.
Jeff Berkowitz: You certainly are focusing on the torture issue (torture in Chicago of accused criminal defendants) more than some…

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: We focus on a lot of issues

Jeff Berkowitz: …You said on your last episode [of Public Affairs]—exclusively, the victims of torture were African-American. You said that on the show.

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: That’s a fact

Jeff Berkowitz: So, is that more of an issue in the African-American community than it is on the North Shore, do you think?

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: No, I don’t have a different stomp speech and I think Bob will tell you that he has heard me say that with respect to white audiences; he has heard me say that with respect to black audiences.

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: Yeah, but the reason why—the reason why Howard stresses it is because when it comes down to experience and leadership, he doesn’t have it and that’s why he harps on this stuff.

Jeff Berkowitz: Administratively, you are arguing—

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: That’s right, that’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: Because, you are saying he is hoping to run an office of 1500 people; Howard, this is a legitimate point because last time you were on this show you said—maybe, you have supervised 12 people, previously. Maybe 20 people.

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: But, Jeff, it is even more than that.

Ald. Brookins: But, Jeff, even with—

Jeff Berkowitz: Is that an issue?

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: But, Jeff, it’s even more than just numbers.

Ald. Brookins: Even with—

Berkowitz: Let the First Assistant speak.

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: It’s more than just numbers. The job that we do is extremely serious and the power of the office is extremely serious. The power to subpoena, wiretap, indict-- and that power must be used judiciously and it must be learned. Howard doesn’t have that experience. He doesn’t have the experience to look into a very complicated investigation like the SOS officers or the Brown’s Chicken massacre like I have. He doesn’t have it. And, I have. And, I have earned it over twenty-one years. And, so, the reason he is always talking about stuff that happened back in 1982 and 1983 as opposed to experience and leadership is because he can’t talk about experience and leadership.

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: Well, let’s talk about that. Dick Devine had it [that experience]. Bob [Milan] had it under his leadership. They did nothing about these things that clearly have cost the public tens of millions of dollars. It has to be someone in that office—Mayor Daley didn’t have it [that experience] when he came to office [in 1980] and I don’t dare you say that he did a bad job. None of you guys have said he [Mayor Daley] did a bad job with respect to this. It is not about experience. It is about being able to stand up and do the right thing under tremendous pressure. A lot of them have not been tested and may play to their constituencies. And, that is why, I believe, that we haven’t had any indictments or investigations of the public corruption that has been so well noted by the United States Attorney’s office, out of the State’s Attorney’s office here in Cook County.

Jeff Berkowitz: One thing, so [Bob] you would make this argument about this administrative lack of experience about Ald. Tom Allen, I suppose, because he wasn’t in the State’s Attorney’s office. He had about ten years as [an Assistant] Public Defender, right?

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: That’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, you are still saying that he [Ald. Allen] is going to be deficient on the issues you raised?

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: And, you are going to say Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who also spent some time, I believe, in the Public Defender’s office—you are going to make the same argument about him.

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: That’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: Tommy Brewer, You’d make the same argument?

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, Anita Alvarez, you wouldn’t because she is the Chief Deputy [to Devine] and she has been in the State’s Attorney’s office as long as you have been.

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: Yeah, but there is a big difference in leadership. I mean, none of the candidates (and I want to talk about all of them) were around dealing with wrongful convictions and false confessions like I was. None of them, none of them dealt with the pay raise issue that I dealt with. None of them had to implement mandatory video-taping of interrogations like I had to…
Jeff Berkowitz: Does the State’s Attorney’s office have a good record on diversity?

First Ass’t. Bob Milan: Yes, it does, we could do better—
First Ass’t. Bob Milan: …Only six percent of the graduation rate out of law school is African- American. Eight percent of our lawyers are African-American-- so we are above the graduation rate--we are doing fine…one last point, a starting salary for an Assistant State’s Attorney, after all that law school, is $48,000. When they are being offered far more at law firms, it is very hard for us to recruit them.
Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: Fifty percent of the lawyers in the Public Defender’s office are African-American. Fourteen percent of the lawyers in the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel’s office are African-American. [Illinois Attorney General] Lisa Madigan through-out the state of [Illinois AG office] lawyers has a better percentage of African-Americans. It is abysmal that the State’s Attorney has—

Jeff Berkowitz: What number would you be targeting?

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: We will be trying to get numbers that reflect the diversity within the County.

Jeff Berkowitz: Give me a number.

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: Twenty six, twenty-six [percent], the numbers that reflect the County…Twenty six percent African American…Twenty percent or so Hispanic.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you want the office in terms of attorneys to be about half—

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: To reflect the County—

Jeff Berkowitz: Half of that office, in terms of attorneys, should be Hispanic or African-American?

Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.: We would like, over the time, to work it out so that that office would reflect the County [of Cook].

Jeff Berkowitz: Let me just go quickly over to guns…
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 and candidates, including this week's suburban edition of "Public Affairs," consisting of clips and interviews with 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary candidates Jay Footlik and Dan Seals, as well as clips with Cong. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park, 10th CD) at
Go here to watch recent Public Affairs shows on our YouTube page, including soon tonight's show with State's Attorney candidates Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr. and First Ass't. Bob Milan; and separate interviews with Ald. Tom Allen; Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr.; Bob Milan, First Ass't. to State's Attorney Devine; and Anita Alvarez, Chief Deputy to State's Attorney Devine; and clips and interviews with 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary candidates Jay Footlik and Dan Seals, as well as clips with Cong. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park, 10th CD) .