Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Better than Chris Wallace w/Bill Richardson: Berkowitz w/Rep. Lou Lang on Obama, Wright and Blago: On Cable and NOW Streaming

This week’s suburban edition of "Public Affairs," features State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). Turn on, Tune in and watch discussions of Senator Obama and his Pastor- Jeremiah Wright; Obama’s judgment and leadership capabilities; Obama’s diversity and the Presidential race; Knee-Jerk liberals; the State's capital and operating budgets, and much, much more [See, below, for a more detailed list of topics discussed on the show].
This week’s suburban schedule for Public Affairs is included, below.
The show with State Rep. Lang will also air throughout the City of Chicago this coming Monday night, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 (CANTV) and in Aurora and surrounding areas on that same Monday night at 7:30 pm on ACTV, Cable Ch. 10.
Next week's suburban edition of "Public Affairs," also features Rep. Lou Lang in part two of his discussions with host Jeff Berkowitz regarding Obama's Presidential campaign-- with particular focus on the issues raised by Obama's relationship, over the years, with Tony Rezko. Also to be discussed are a variety of state legislative issues.

This week's show with Rep. Lang, taped on March 23, 2008, is now available 24/7 on your computer.
On this week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs,Jeff Berkowitz, host and producer of “Public Affairs,” debates and discusses state legislative issues and Barack Obama’s Presidential judgment and leadership traits with State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). Lang’s twenty-two year tenure in the Illinois Statehouse includes the eight years (1997-2004) that Obama served in the Illinois State Senate and Rep. Lang, who supports Obama for President, assesses Obama's substantive and political capabilities, based on their various interactions in and out of the Illinois General Assembly.

Rep. Lang answers a line of questioning regarding the credibility of Senator Obama’s statements regarding his Pastor of almost two decades, Jeremiah Wright. Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama and he baptized the Obama’s two daughters. Lang was happy that Obama stepped forward and condemned various comments made by Jeremiah Wright.

Berkowitz questions Lang as to whether Obama long ago should have walked out of a Pastor Wright sermon or made some other public statement of disapproval of the Wright comments. Lang suggested perhaps we are better off with Obama staying within his church and continuing to work with Pastor Wright to tone down his rhetoric and make other improvements in Wright’s understanding of the Black-White divide. Berkowitz questioned the judgment of Obama to stay quiet, at least publicly, on these issues until the media brought them up.

Berkowitz and Lang discussed the importance of Obama’s bi-racial background and his diversity to the Presidential race and whether it is particularly good for America, at this time, to have someone with that background as its President.

Lang reflected on what he knew about Obama from their time together in Springfield—as it relates to Obama’s qualifications to be President. Lang said from day one Obama wanted to engage all people in moving an agenda forward for people. Berkowitz noted that Obama last year, based on the National Law Journal’s assessment, had the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate. Notwithstanding that assessment, Lang argued that Obama was not a “knee-jerk liberal,” in the Illinois Senate.

Lang stated that the thing that is holding [an Illinois capital budget] up is nobody trusts Rod Blagojevich. Lang, chairman of the House Gaming Committee, predicts a gaming bill at the end of the day that adds one or two licenses for casinos (including one for Chicago), in addition to replacing the 10th license.

Lang argued that Gov. Blagojevich’s proposed operating budget for 2008-09 has tons of holes in it. Berkowitz and Lang discussed the Governor’s plan to lease the state of Illinois Lottery and to raise the tax on casino revenue to 70%.
A partial transcript of this week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs is included, below:
State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie): I would submit to you that staying at this church at this time after the speech Barack made last week discussing race in this country is more of a red herring relative to the Presidential campaign than anything else. I can’t imagine somebody following Barack Obama’s career, following this campaign and listening to his remarks about race last week who would still stay, “Well, he hasn’t left that church. I can’t vote for him because he hasn’t left that church.” If you listen to his comments, you can draw no other conclusion than [Obama's] on the right side of these issues. Now, there may be people out there that say, “Well, if it was up to me, I would have left that church. But, I don’t think you know unless you are in that situation, unless you are a person who has been a member of that church for many years, who has a personal relationship with that person. Perhaps we are better off having Barack be a member of that church so he can continue to work with Pastor Wright and try to (a) tone down his rhetoric and (b) make him understand where the black-white divide in this country emanates from and maybe work with him and maybe use that church as a core focus to make a real difference in the community.

Jeff Berkowitz: …as you know, Barack Obama, through much of the campaign, when people, especially people like Hillary Clinton, have questioned his experience, he questioned her judgment. That’s what he’s been touting, the judgment of Barack Obama. Maybe he has been in the U. S. Senate less time than Hillary Clinton [4 years less]; maybe he wasn’t in the White House, as she was, for eight years; but, he claims he had better judgment—he goes to the War vote…she voted in 2002 to authorize [the President] taking military action in Iraq…he said on this show in November of 2002 [Nov. 25] that he would have voted no, not to authorize that military action and he made his speech [in October, 2002] about that, so he was pretty public [about that position]. He says that was his judgment and he has better judgment over Hillary Clinton. People are saying now but what kind of judgment was it on your part, Barack Obama, to be in that church and not speak out in 2002; not to do what you [Lou Lang] said—try to change those views…as Barack said in his speech [of March 18]…the thing about the …statements of Jeremiah Wright is that they viewed the U. S. in a static way, they didn’t see the change that had occurred; they didn’t see the goodness and greatness of America. This was Barack Obama’s statement and this was his criticism of Jeremiah Wright now, but the question is why didn’t he say that in 2002. Because to be a leader of this country, you have to react—you can’t sit on something for six years. So, it’s a question of judgment, a question of leadership…people are always trying to extract from your history what kind of a President you’ll be.

State Rep. Lou Lang: Jeff, we don’t know that he didn’t do those things.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, he hasn’t said that. I think if he did, one, we might have heard of it… in 03 and 04, he was a name in the State of Illinois.

Rep. Lou Lang: I am not certain that every private conversation I have with my clergyman is your business.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, maybe it shouldn’t be private. As a leader, you should stand up and make it known that, you know, this has to change.

Rep. Lou Lang: You know in the year 2002 when Barack Obama was just elected to the U. S. Senate [Obama was elected in 2004], I don’t know that there would be any reason to raise the issue that my pastor said this—these outrageous, outlandish and embarrassing things—and I have straightened him out. For what reason, would he do that? I have been a state representative for twenty two years. I don’t have public orations about the things my clergyman says.

Jeff Berkowitz: Or, you go to him, privately, as you say. You seek to make change. It doesn’t occur. Then, you stand up publicly and say, “Look, this church has done a lot of good things. There are a lot of good people there. But, I want to say that I can’t be a part of it and that church should change.” That’s when you do it publicly. That’s when a leader does it, doesn’t he.

Rep. Lou Lang: I am not certain that what goes on in my synagogue is appropriate public discussion. Now, if you say to me would it have been better for him today, looking backward, if he had done that, I suppose so. He’s running for President of the United States.

Jeff Berkowitz: Politically and otherwise.

Rep. Lou Lang: Politically and otherwise. However, let’s not take what happened then and what’s happening today out of context. What happened then, happened then. He was not running for President at the time. No one raised this as an issue in any campaign or any other time and there would have been no reason for him to step to a microphone and have a public discussion about it.
This week’s suburban episode of Public Affairs with guest State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) 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 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 Obama and McCain, former Presidential candidate Richardson-- and many other pols, including this week's show with Rep. Lang and last night's show in the City of Chicago and Aurora with WGN Political Pundit and Professor Paul Green at www.PublicAffairsTv.com
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs Youtube page include this week's show with Rep. Lang , last night's show in Chicago and Aurora with WGN Radio political pundit Paul Green, last week's show with Senator and likely 2010 Illinois Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady,our show with former Sen. Rauschenberger, assessing Barack Obama, our prior show with Republican U.S. Senate Republican nominee Dr. Steve Sauerberg, discussing his Democratic opponent--Senator Durbin-- and domestic, cultural and foreign policy issues, our prior show featuring State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston,IL), discussing Barack Obama, as well as various Illinois Budget issues (spending, mass transit, capital budget, education, gaming and taxes) and possible 2010 Illinois gubernatorial candidates and 2010 U. S. Senate candidates (assuming Obama moves up to President in 2008) , a discussion with State's Attorney for Cook County Republican nominee Tony Peraica; and Anita Alvarez, Chief Deputy to current State's Attorney for Cook County Dick Devine and now the Democratic nominee for State's Attorney of Cook County.