Friday, August 15, 2008

A virtual conversation w/ 8th CD Republican candidate Steve Greenberg and Democratic Incumbent Cong. Melissa Bean, Part 1

Melissa Bean, as a challenger in 2004 to then 35 year incumbent Cong. Phil Crane (R-Wauconda, 8th CD) said it was important for challengers and the incumbent to appear on TV shows like “Public Affairs,” both separately and together. She argued such appearances were important for democracy to function well. Now that she is an incumbent, Cong. Bean (D-Barrington, 8th CD) is singing a different tune. She last appeared on Public Affairs in January, 2006 and has declined since to appear with or without her opponent.

So, this coming week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” contrasts Bean's views with that of her opponent, Steve Greenberg (R-Long Grove, 8th CD), as best we can. You can watch the show here. The show was taped on August 10, 2008.
Jeff Berkowitz: A big difference between you and Congresswoman Bean is on [dealing with high] gas prices. One thing you’ve come out for is off-shore drilling, right?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove, 8th CD]: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: An expansion of off-shore drilling.

Steve Greenberg: Yes.

Bean and Greenberg contrasted on the Energy issue.

Jeff Berkowitz: You’ve come out for drilling in ANWR. You’ve come out for nuclear power. All ways to increase supply and lower the price, in the long run, maybe the short run. Your opponent, Congresswoman Bean, where is she on off-shore drilling, drilling in ANWR, nuclear power.

Bean against expanded off-shore drilling:

Steve Greenberg: My opponent’s against off-shore drilling, and really has taken a stance where Nancy Pelosi has put the Democratic Party, which is only new technologies and I personally believe we need to do all of the above. Part of the reason people are paying the price at the pump is, while they [the Democratic House majority] were very quick to take the vacation for five weeks, and go off to their various comfort zones, the American people are paying a dear price every day, and hard-working families—we were just at a food pantry the other day where we spoke with a gentleman who [said] it was costing him an extra 120 dollars a month to go back and forth to work and you hear stories like that, and they have to supplement some groceries, that’s just unacceptable. And the fact that Melissa Bean was a deciding vote to send everyone on vacation, I think is really a miss for what the district needs.

Bean casts tie breaking vote to go on vacation:

Jeff Berkowitz: Was it a one-vote margin?

Steve Greenberg: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: The House voted to take a five-week vacation-

Steve Greenberg: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: To adjourn. That adjournment vote was 213 to 212.

Steve Greenberg: 213 to 212.

Jeff Berkowitz: The tie-breaking vote was Melissa Bean?

Steve Greenberg: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: Has she said anything about that?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove, 8th CD]: No, and nor has my opponent said much about anything. Running a few commercials at the end, putting as much as she can on her career, I think that’s all she wants to do in this election.

Jeff Berkowitz: Now, has she said she’s opposed, with Pelosi, to off-shore drilling, or to an expansion of off-shore drilling?

Why Bean opposes off-shore drilling:

Steve Greenberg: She has said as recently, as the Daily Herald stated, this week, that she’s against off-shore drilling.

Jeff Berkowitz: Has she given a reason why? Environmental reasons?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove]: She has not given a reason why, short of the fact—oh yes, she has. She said, “I do not believe that it will increase—that it will have the kind of impact at the pump.” And I think it’s amazing to me that anyone out there would vote for—anyone who doesn’t understand the basics of supply and demand. Increasing supply will absolutely bring down the price.

Jeff Berkowitz: And how long would it take? Let’s be fair. Some of the critics, especially Democratic critics, have said—we’re taping this on August 10th, 2008—they’re saying once you let out those leases, once they decide where the oil is, once it’s changed into gas, et cetera, distilled, refined—we’re talking, they say, five to ten years. Even then, a small effect on prices. What do you say to those critics?

Time line for off-shore drilling to have an impact:

Steve Greenberg: I say that it is going to take years, as many as six years, seven years, before we actually see the full flow of this, but you also have to attack the lack of refineries that we have right now. We’re at about ninety percent capacity, which means any blip in our system to refine, take it from crude to the street—if one of those breaks down, the price is going to spike up. But, where the impact is, just as we saw the President showing leadership recently, in saying that he’d lift the ban on the executive branch level. The congressional lift of the ban would open up the market to push [gas prices] downward, because they’d be seeing a path to loosening, and opening up a new player to the energy side of things.

Jeff Berkowitz: So you’re saying because of futures markets and so forth, the effect, even though the actual drilling and production of oil may be years down the road, prices can be affected this year?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove, 8th CD]: Yes, it’s like two-

Jeff Berkowitz: Prices for gas.

Steve Greenberg: Absolutely, because it’s like two retail stores—I’m from the retail side of things, as well—and if a retail store says it’s moving in in about a year from now, watch the prices of the retail store that’s currently holding that community’s attention. Prices will start dropping; they know a competitor’s coming in. There are a lot of things that are effects of saying, hey, America’s open for business, we want to create American production of oil, create American jobs. I don’t understand how anyone could stand in the way of that. I think it’s a priority for this nation.

Is off-shore drilling about energy security?

Jeff Berkowitz: And drilling in ANWR, that’s something you support?

Steve Greenberg: I do, but there’s also something, Jeff, we need to also focus on. You’re talking about 1.5 billion dollars a day going to people who want to do harm to this nation. I think most Americans don’t realize that we give, per person, two hundred dollars [a day] to the Saudi king for having the right to have oil. Two thousand dollars to foreign national companies for oil. This is not just about energy independence, it’s also about energy security, and for the Democrats to say what they’re saying, I think, to keep us safer, we need to keep our American production of oil going in this country and expand it.

Jeff Berkowitz: But it is a world market, so even oil produced in the United States may end up going overseas, and we end up buying overseas, that’s how a world market operates, right?

Steve Greenberg: Sure, Absolutely, but what you want to do is put America in play as one of the people who are producing it. That is only a short-term fix, because we need to have alternatives. We need to have a long-term, John Kennedy approach. Just because Sputnik beat us up in the air, didn’t mean we weren’t going to compete.

Why Bean opposes drilling in ANWR:

Jeff Berkowitz: You’d expand off-shore drilling. You’d also expand or permit drilling in ANWR.

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove, 8th CD]: Yes.

Jeff Berkowitz: Bean says no because of environmental reasons?

Steve Greenberg: I believe she’s [Bean] been hijacked by the left. Obviously, in this situation, in addition to that, whatever the special interest groups that are pulling her strings, and Nancy Pelosi, obviously this is a bipartisan problem, and both sides, the Republicans and Democrats alike, I think are at fault, because this is something where you need people who are going to forecast problems and get ahead of the curve. Obviously the current leadership, or lack thereof, has not done the right things for the district.

Bean in 2004 argued for all coming on “Public Affairs.”

Jeff Berkowitz: Now, the thing is, Congresswoman Bean may have some defenses for that. We’ve asked her to be on. The last time she was on this show it was January of 2006. She came on this show in the fall of 2004, and criticized Phil Crane, the then-incumbent, for not being out here, not coming on this show, and so forth, and now she seems to be doing the same thing. But we’d like her to be here, we’d like to give her a fair shot. We’d rather hear her views from Congresswoman Bean as opposed to what Steve Greenberg has to say about it, but that’s her choice. Folks should know that. We’ve labeled this a virtual conversation between Bean and Greenberg, because this is as close as we can come. But that’s her choosing. I’m not sure why it is, but she’s not going to be here this weekend. At least that’s what they’re telling me. Look. If Team Bean is watching this, and you change your mind, you’ve got a standing invitation to have your candidate, your incumbent congresswoman, Melissa Bean, on this show, Public Affairs, whenever you want.

Steve Greenberg: Well, the simple fact is, how do you defend the indefensible? No matter what she has advocated for, the fact is that gas prices have doubled since she has been in Congress, and we need to make sure that there’s people who can forecast the problem before it becomes a problem. I think oil is the best example of a do-nothing Congress and the results—the people pay the price.

Greenberg is for solar, shale, wind, clean coal, plug in cars:

Jeff Berkowitz: But you’re for solar, you’re for shale, you’re for wind, clean coal, plug-in cars.

Steve Greenberg: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: So you’re not saying to the exclusion of that, you’re saying in addition to all those things I just mentioned—you’d sign on to all those things?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove, 8th CD]: Actually, in my eight-point plan, one of the key priorities was re-investing the money that we get on oil off-shore leases, that we get from the oil companies, we actually re-invest that-

Jeff Berkowitz: Government does.

Steve Greenberg: Yes, the government should re-invest that into new technologies. Absolutely.

Where is Melissa Bean?

Jeff Berkowitz: So on that—has Bean come out for all of those things we mentioned? Solar, shale, wind, clean coal, plug-in cars? I mean, is she with you on that?

Steve Greenberg: You know what? Melissa Bean has got to come on your show and speak for herself. The main thing is, I want to tell you my vision, where I want to take the district, and how I want to remember the customers back home, not the people in DC.
Thanks to Public Affairs intern Amy Allen for preparing a draft of the above partial transcript of the show with 8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg.
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 Obama and McCain, this week's Chicago Metro suburban edition of Public Affairs w/Senator Barack Obama, Gov. Sebelius (D-KS), DLC Chairman Harold Ford, Cong. Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago), Attorney General Madigan, WTTW's Carol Marin, Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan, Sun-Times Abdon Pallasch and much more, Monday night's City of Chicago and Aurora edition of Public Affairs w/16th CD Democratic Nominee Robert Abboud(Barrington Hills Village President), last week's Chicago and Aurora edition of Public Affairs with Cook County Cmsr. and Republican State's Attorney Nominee Tony Peraica and shows with many other pols (including some archived as far back as 2005 at
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page include this week's Chicago Metro suburban edition of Public Affairs w/Senator Obama (D-IL), Gov. Sebelius (D-KS), DLC Chairman Harold Ford, Cong. Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago), Attorney General Madigan, WTTW's Carol Marin, Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan, Sun-Times Abdon Pallasch and much more, Monday night's Chicago and Aurora edition of Public Affairs w/ 16th CD Democratic Nominee Robert Abboud, who is taking on 16 year, 16th CD Republican incumbent, Cong. Don Manzullo; other recent shows featuring Cook County Cmsr. and Republican State's Attorney Nominee Tony Peraica, Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan , 13th CD Demoratic Nominee Scott Harper,State Rep. Candidate Tim Stratton (R-Glencoe, 58th Dist.), Sen. Kwame Raoul(D-Chicago), Senator John Cullerton (D-Chicago)- ; State Rep. candidate Joan Solms (R-Aurora), Comm. Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) on the Obama Presidential campaign and shows with many other pols.