Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A virtual conversation w/8th CD Republican nominee Steve Greenberg and Democratic Cong. Melissa Bean, Part 2; The Bean Enemies List: are you on it?

The previously transparent Melissa Bean

When she was simply an 8th CD candidate, Melissa Bean thought 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 an important part of the democratic process. As the challenger in 2004 to 35 year incumbent Phil Crane, Bean appeared on Public Affairs and urged Crane, unsuccessfully, to join her on the show.

Bean discards her transparency

Melissa Bean’s days as the upstart challenger are far gone. She is now part of the Congressional establishment. Cong. Bean is now the 4th year Democratic Party incumbent in the 8th CD and she now declines to appear on Public Affairs, having appeared once, almost three years ago, as the congresswoman from the 8th CD.

So, this week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Bean’s major party opponent, Steve Greenberg (R-Long Grove, 8th CD), and we contrast candidate Greenberg’s and Cong. Bean’s views the best we can, considering Bean’s reluctance to be a bit more transparent. You can watch the show w/ Greenberg here. The show was taped on August 10, 2008.

The "Public Affairs," show with 8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg will also air throughout the City of Chicago this coming Monday night, Aug. 25, at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 (CANTV) and that same night on cable in Aurora and surrounding areas at 7:30 pm on ACTV-10. The Aurora station, Aurora Community Television, Comcast Cable Ch. 10, reaches all of Aurora, Bristol, Big Rock and parts of Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Montgomery.

Cong. Bean (D-Barrington), who used to champion transparency, now hides from media who challenge her to defend and explain her views on important domestic, cultural and foreign public policy issues. Instead of welcoming a journalistic probing of her views and debate with her opponents, Congresswoman Bean looks for appearances in front of those who will play softball with her.

In economics, bad money drives out good. Similarly, in the media, bad journalism drives out good. Softball, pandering journalism drives out tough, but objective journalism. Many, but not all, incumbents have a strong preference for and will reward the former, and they have an extreme distaste for and will penalize the latter.

Like President Nixon, who was forced to resign over Watergate and other abuses of the Executive and political process, Congresswoman Bean seems to have an enemies list. Journalists who ply their trade by asking tough questions and expressing opinions about Bean that the congresswoman does not like will apparently find themselves on that enemies list, implicitly or explicitly, and removed from her media list, i.e., no more press releases and notices of press conferences and media availabilities for those on the enemies list.

Jonathan Lipman, himself a former journalist at the Daily Southtown, but now toiling to put out the Bean spin, keep the media in line for Bean and catch flak for Bean, told this reporter recently, after months of discussions, that Team Bean would not restore Berkowitz to the Congresswoman’s media list. Initially, Lipman argued that Bean didn’t have a media list. That, of course, didn’t quite fit with the fact that Berkowitz used to be on Bean’s media list.

Then, Lipman said bloggers don’t quality for Bean’s media list. When Lipman was reminded that, in addition to publishing this blog, Berkowitz hosts a TV show with a potential audience of about two million, has been on the air for more than a decade and about 98% of the major politicians, and people who want to be major politicians, in the Chicago metro area have been on the show, including Presidential candidates Obama (6 times) and Richardson, Senators Durbin and former Senators Moseley Braun and Simon, almost all of the upstate and some of the downstate Illinois congressional delelgation; and Berkowitz is a contributing correspondent for the Illinois Channel, Lipman said simply, “we’re not going to add you to the media list,” and declined to give any further reasons why. Must be the ultimate exercise of power by a former journalist: "I don’t have to give reasons."

Lipman described his current position to this reporter as (1) the official Communications Director for Cong. Bean in her role as the congresswoman from the 8th CD and (2) the “volunteer,” Communications Director for the Campaign to Re-Elect Cong. Bean. This reporter was told Lipman’s contact phone numbers for the two positions he held were the same.

This journalist, who prides himself on being tough, but fair, to all politicians, found himself removed from Bean’s media list in 2006, apparently because the Congresswoman didn’t like what he had written [See here] or the way he had conducted his TV interviews or press conference questions of Bean [watch here and here].
Topics discussed on this week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs with 8th CD candidate Steve Greenberg (R-Long Grove) include gas and other energy prices, off shore drilling and other potential responses to the high energy prices, mortgage bailouts, guns, abortion, trade, taxes, and much more [see below for a detailed list of topics discussed]. Where possible, we have tried to highlight issue differences of Bean and Greenberg, for our viewers and readers.

Go here for a partial transcript of the show with Greenberg.

The suburban schedule for Public Affairs is included, below.

Another partial transcript of the show with Greenberg, is included, below:

Greenberg: Keep and extend the Bush tax cuts; Bean: support the Obama cap gains tax increases?

Jeff Berkowitz: Taxes. That’s a big deal. You were for, or tell me—are you for making the Bush tax cuts permanent, the ones that were put into place in 2001 and 2003? They’re set to sunset, I believe, in 2009, 2010. Would you make those permanent, all of them?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove]: I think the debate needs to be, instead of just focusing on where the Bush tax cuts are today, I actually believe we need to go lower. The American people, it has shown, for the American government, that it drives the revenue up when we lower taxes. The American people are hurting. The best bail-out we could give people, the purest bail-out, is to give them more money in their pocket.

Jeff Berkowitz: Which ones would you cut lower?

Cut taxes to make U. S. competitive internationally

Steve Greenberg: Well, right now we’re not competitive internationally. We’re losing a lot of business overseas.

Jeff Berkowitz: Corporate tax rates, you’d cut lower?

Steve Greenberg: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: What would you cut it to?

Steve Greenberg: Well, we’re three times that of Ireland.

Jeff Berkowitz: What do you think? What is it now, and what do we need?

Steve Greenberg: I would say, over time, we need to get competitive internationally [in a way that] welcomes people to open their shops, hopefully in the eighth district when I’m the congressman, but ultimately get people to come back in the States.

Jeff Berkowitz: Would you cut or keep what the rates are now for capital gains, dividends?

Greenberg says maintain or Cut the Capital Gains Tax, but don’t increase it

Steve Greenberg: You’ve got to keep capital gains at a minimum where it is today, and if you go lower, I think it would help with reinvestment because the reinvestment of capital gains, where it’s generated-

Jeff Berkowitz: Where is it now? Ten or fifteen percent?

Steve Greenberg: Fifteen percent, but the biggest thing-

Bean aligned with the Obama Cap Gains tax increase?

Jeff Berkowitz: And Obama wants to talk about raising it to where it was, twenty eight percent.

Steve Greenberg: That’s a great example of somebody who’s never been in the real world.

Jeff Berkowitz: Is Bean going with Obama then,

Steve Greenberg: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: Because she’s got a picture of—obviously Obama’s popular—there’s a picture of Bean and Obama together on her website.

Steve Greenberg: She declared herself an “Obama mama.”

Jeff Berkowitz: Did she?

Steve Greenberg: She absolutely did. And that means, to me, that she’s attached to the idea that that growth capital—and that’s what it is, is when you take private equity money, that’s coming from the cap gains people, and ultimately, that’s helping small businesses get to big businesses.

Jeff Berkowitz: But she said, in January 2006, she was for those Bush tax cuts, the tax cuts on dividends and capital gains, because of the people who were in her District who would benefit from it. Are you saying she’s backing off from that?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove]: I’m saying Melissa Bean is doing whatever is politically expedient at this point, to stay in office, and to be attached to something that she assumes is popular. That’s what’s wrong with Washington [where they seem to believe] ultimately, in doing whatever [they] have to do, or saying whatever [they] have to say, that’s expedient to staying in office.

Greenberg wants to maintain low marginal tax rates.

Jeff Berkowitz: And you want to have those marginal tax rates on income that were cut—you’d keep them low?

Steve Greenberg: Absolutely.

Jeff Berkowitz: Across the board [low taxes], low income, middle income, and high income?

Steve Greenberg [R-Long Grove]: Absolutely. It’s a non-negotiable for Steve Greenberg.
Cong. Bean rejects the transparency she touted four years ago; Candidate Greenberg embraces that transparency.

Jeff Berkowitz: Now, the thing is, Congresswoman Bean may have some defenses for [those positions]. We’ve asked her to be on. The last time she was on this show was January of 2006. She [first] 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 [that is, not showing up here to face the issues]. But we’d like her to be here, we’d like to give her a fair shot. We’d rather hear about her views from Congresswoman Bean as opposed to what Steve Greenberg has to say about them, 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… 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, on this show, Public Affairs, whenever you want.
Jeff Berkowitz:… There are a lot of people in the 8th CD who are against [the CN running its railroad thru the 8th CD]. It sounds like Bean’s against it. You’re against it.

Steve Greenberg: Well, Bean wasn’t against it.
Jeff Berkowitz: She became against it?

Steve Greenberg: When it became politically expedient because all of a sudden—

Jeff Berkowitz: You were against it from the beginning?

Steve Greenberg: I was against it from the beginning…

Jeff Berkowitz: Bean was for it before she was against it?
Steve Greenberg: Yes, absolutely, she’s carried two thoughts in her mind.

Jeff Berkowitz: Again, we’d like Cong. Bean to come here and say what she was and what she wasn’t. She’s declined. We can’t even find out where she’s going to be. We’ve asked to be on her media list so we get notice of her press conferences. She’s declined to give us that. That’s her decision. She can do that. But, if you want to be known as transparent…you’ve got to come on shows like this before you get elected and after you get elected, right? We don’t endorse candidates but we do endorse the notion…as we said in ’04 and said in ’06, we don’t endorse Democrats or Republicans, but when Melissa Bean was here, we did endorse what she was doing [then], which was coming on this show and facing the issues. We endorse what Steve Greenberg is doing now—which is coming on this show and facing the issues.
Public Affairs Chicago Metro suburban airing schedule.

The show with 8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg is airing this week in the North and Northwest Chicago Metro suburbs in its regular slot:

Tonight (Tuesday) 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 (Tuesday) 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 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.
Description of topics discussed with Steve Greenberg and summary of Greenberg's background:

Jeff Berkowitz, show host and executive legal recruiter, debates and discusses with Steve Greenberg, 8th Cong. Dist. Republican Nominee, domestic, foreign and cultural public policy issues. Greenberg's background is in working in sales and operations in his family’s business, as well as more recently doing "turn-around work," relating to underperforming distribution businesses. He also played minor league professional hockey.

Greenberg lives with his wife and children in Long Grove, IL. Like 4th year 8th CD incumbent Congresswoman Bean (D-Barrington), Greenberg lives just outside the 8th CD boundaries in the 10th CD.

Topics discussed include expansion of off-shore drilling, drilling in ANWR and nuclear power and the potential impact of such expansion on energy prices. Greenberg’s views are contrasted with Cong. Bean, who has declined to appear on the show since her last appearance in January, 2006. Also discussed is Bean’s tie-breaking vote to adjourn the House before it dealt with high gas prices and related energy issues, the impact on national security of energy public policy decisions and what do Greenberg and Bean think of solar, wind, shale, clean coal and plug in cars.

Additional topics discuss include Bean’s and Greenberg’s contrasting views on corporate and individual taxes and tax cuts, whether Bean is an “Obama mama,” Greenberg and Bean’s contrasting views on bail-outs of irresponsible big lenders like Countrywide, is the economy in recession, are people “hurting,” and did the House Republicans “lose their way” and are they “found.”

Additional topics include whether it was a mistake to go into Iraq, the Administration’s decision to conduct a Surge in Iraq, should Obama be President, should the U. S. consider taking military action to take out Iran’s nuclear capability, should the U. S. assist the Republic of Georgia militarily, the contrasting views of Greenberg and Bean on free trade and on the removal of a union member’s right to a secret ballot, and has Bean been on both sides of the Canadian National railroad issue.

Additional topics include school choice, charter schools and other aspects of education reform; same sex marriage and civil unions; background checks to own guns, the 2nd Amendment and contrasting views of Greenberg and Bean on reviving the Assault Weapon ban.

For more information on Steve Greenberg’s 8th CD campaign, please go here.
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, this week's Chicago Metro suburban edition of Public Affairs w/ 8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg, this past Monday night's Chicago and Aurora edition of Public Affairs with 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, prior shows with 16th CD Democratic Nominee Robert Abboud(Barrington Hills Village President), 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 www.PublicAffairsTv.com
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page include this week's Chicago Metro suburban edition of Public Affairs w/8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg, this past Monday night's Chicago and Aurora show with 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, recent shows w/ 16th CD Democratic Nominee Robert Abboud, who is taking on 16 year, 16th CD Republican incumbent, Cong. Don Manzullo; 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.