Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Better than tomorrow night's Obama-Clinton Debate: Berkowitz w/Rep. Fritchey on Obama, Hillary and Springpatch, Cable and Streaming

This week’s suburban edition of "Public Affairs," features State Rep. John Fritchy (D-Chicago), whose tenure in the Illinois Statehouse overlaped completely with Barack Obama’s eight-year state senate career. Rep. Fritchey assesses, with show host Jeff Berkowitz , Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama’s talents, leadership skills and judgment; Fritchey [see his blog] also comments on the end game for this year’s Illinois legislative session, as well as some of the likely legislative issues currently being debated or to be debated and considered prior to the Democratic and Republican teams hanging up their spikes for the legislative year in Springfield. These issues include Blajojevich's budget battles with the General Assembly, is there a state income tax increase in your future and access to healthcare providers for low income Illinois residents [See, below, for a more detailed summary of the discussion with Rep. Fritchey].
The suburban airing schedule for Public Affairs is included, below.
The show with Rep. Fritchey 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.
This week's suburban show, featuring State Rep. Fritchey, taped on April 6, 2008, is available 24/7 on your computer.
Highlights of Rep. Fritchey's background:

Rep. Fritchey received an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Northwestern University. Chairman of the House Civil Judiciary Committee, Rep. Fritchey was selected as one of one hundred rising stars in 2001 by the Democratic Leadership Council. He has been an Assistant Illinois Attorney General and Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University; Fritchey currently, along with his legislative responsibilities, is in private practice.

Highlights of this week's show with Rep. Fritchey:

Fritchey states, in response to fairly critical comments about U. S. Senator Obama made by former Republican State Senator Steve Rauschenberger and current Deputy Republican Leader and State Senator Christine Radogno that Obama had proved himself, in the State Senate, time and time again to be somebody who wanted to get things done and had the ability to get things done.

Fritchey argues that Obama “has been able to resonate with people that have been tired of the Washington process…tired of the same old business as usual and he has been getting people engaged in the process who have never been engaged before.”

Berkowitz asks whether Obama’s close association with Tony Rezko (now on trial in a federal courtroom in Chicago for extortion charges), especially during Obama’s U. S. Senate Campaign in 2003-04 and as a part of Obama’s 2005 purchase of his $1.95 million dollar (list price) mansion on the South Side of Chicago, reflected good judgment on Obama’s part.

Fritchey concedes that Obama, himself, has acknowledged that his involving of Rezko in the house purchase was “a stupid thing to do.” On the other hand, Fritchey noted that there have been no proven improprieties by Barack in the house deal.

Similarly, Fritchey and Berkowitz do some point-counterpoint about Obama’s judgment and leadership in his handling of the public portion of his relationship with his “spiritual advisor,” Pastor Jeremiah Wright.

And, Fritchey and Berkowitz do more point-counterpoint on Obama’s reform credentials, as one might assess based on Obama’s decision not to endorse in the 2006 Democratic Primary race for Cook County Board President between reformer Forrest Claypool and old time, non-reformer regular organization Democrat John Stroger.

As to state legislative issues, Fritchey and Berkowitz discuss whether the state legislative session will go into overtime, on May 31, 2008, with the General Assembly not having enacted an 08-09 Budget. Also discussed are the personal hostilities between Governor Blagojevich and Speaker Mike Madigan, with Senate President Jones lining up with Blagojevich, and the Republican House and Senate leaders lining up, generally and at least until recently, with Speaker Mike.

Berkowitz and Fritchey debate and discuss whether the 07-08 budget has holes in it and will develop additional holes, over time. Also discussed are "non-tax rate increase," revenue sources, e.g., gaming expansion, including several additional casinos; a lease of the state lottery; securitization of the tobacco settlement; and issuance of state pension bonds. The difference between access to healthcare insurance coverage and access to health care is also discussed.

Rep. Fritchey has been a sponsor of a tax swap [HB 750] and/or an increase in the income tax rate in Illinois and that is discussed with show host Jeff Berkowitz. Also discussed and debated is whether an increase in the income tax in Illinois would send companies "packing," to surrounding states, and whether Rep. Fritchey thinks the Illinois legislature will enact an income tax increase this year.
This week’s suburban episode of Public Affairs with guest State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago) 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 in the Chicago Metro Suburbs with State Rep. John Fritchey, this past Monday night's show in the City and last week's show in the suburbs with Senator Radogno, a previous week's show with Rep. Lang, and and prior shows in the suburbs and in the Cities of Chicago and Aurora with WGN Political Pundit and Roosevelt University Professor Paul Green at www.PublicAffairsTv.com
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs Youtube page include this week's show in the Chicago North and Northwest Chicago Metro suburbs with Rep. Fritchey, last week's show in the Chicago North and Northwest Chicago metro suburbs with Senator Radogno, our prior shows with Rep. Lang [Watch Lang, Part 2], with Rep. Lang [Lang, Part 1] , with WGN Radio political pundit Paul Green, with Senator and likely 2010 Illinois Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady,with former Sen. Rauschenberger, assessing Barack Obama, 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.