Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cong. Bean games the debate sponsors and the media, but debates opponent Greenberg tonight

Revised at 8:50 pm on Tuesday night, including added links.
The 8th CD Bean-Greenberg debate will repeat around 12:40 am and 4:40 am early Wedneday morning on WTTW, Ch. 11, in the Chicago Metro area.
Tonight, Melissa Bean, 4th year incumbent congresswoman (D-Barrington) in the 8th CD, makes only her second joint appearance with her Republican opponent, Steve Greenberg (R-Long Grove). Bean and Greenberg appear on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm on Ch. 11, Public TV, in the Chicago Metro area. It is expected that the segment will last about fifteen minutes, will be the second segment of the hour show (starting around 7:10 pm) and be moderated by WTTW’s Elizabeth Brackett. [The debate will repeat around 12:40 am and 4:40 am early Wedneday morning].

Bean, when she was a challenger in 2004 to 35 year Republican incumbent Cong. Phil Crane, argued on “Public Affairs,” that candidates and incumbents should readily appear in debates to inform their constituents of their views, and she lamented that Crane would not do so. Now, Bean is singing a different tune.

In the 2006 general election cycle, Cong. Bean faced Republican David McSweeney and Moderate Party candidate Bill Scheurer. McSweeney wanted at least a dozen forums; Bean agreed to four forums, but scheduled all four before Labor Day, in an apparent effort to limit their impact on the election. In a Democratic Tsunami, Bean won with 50% to 44 % for McSweeney and 6% for Scheurer. (There is no third-party candidate on the ballot in this year’s race).

Bean last appeared in January, 2006 on “Public Affairs,” but apparently found tough, but fair, questioning on substantive issues not to her liking. Cong. Bean asked toward the end of the show when she could discuss what she was doing in Congress—apparently, Cong. Bean believes articulating and defending her positions on issues does not qualify.

Bean has since declined to appear on "Public Affairs," inquiring, “What’s in it for me.” The show host advised Cong. Bean that she would have a good opportunity to discuss public policy issues and communicate her positions on issues to her constituents in an informative, thorough and entertaining way, facing challenging, probing but fair questions from the host. Cong. Bean did not seem to find that statement responsive to her query.

Cong. Bean has also declined, this year, to add Public Affairs to her media list, either with respect to her congressional office or her campaign, with her communications director/flak catcher, former Daily Southtown staffer Jonathan Lipman arguing "the Congresswoman has no obligation to do so." For a former journalist, Lipman seems to have a novel view of the "Public's right to know," and what constitutes an appropriate use of taxpayer money.

Greenberg has said he would be happy to debate Bean at least a dozen times. However, he would apparently settle for three, solid one hour debates-- with agreement by Bean occurring in a timely fashion so that plenty of notice of the debate could be given to the Public and media.

According to the Greenberg campaign (The Bean campaign will not respond to Public Affairs requests for comment), Bean and Greenberg have been offered at least ten opportunities to debate, with Bean accepting only two. In both, according to Greenberg, Bean has accepted at the last minute to minimize promotion of the event to the media and 8th CD residents.

Indeed, at the first forum at Friendship Village of Schaumburg this past Saturday, Bean gamed the system so that the forum sponsor, League of Women Voters, Palatine, initially restricted attendance to Friendship Village residents, LWV members and select media. Encountering strong resistance to that policy, the LWV, to its credit, reversed its position 24 hours before the Forum, permitting anyone to attend, including all media.

With the late notice [The Daley Herald having reported that the forum was open only to Friendship Village residents and "select," media, only about fifty members of the public attended the Friendship Village forum, along with only three members of the print media and ABC and Public Affairs, on the TV side. The forum Hall had the capacity to seat more than 220 people.

Notwithstanding the LWV change in policy to admit all media, Cong. Bean, when she entered the forum Hall, lodged an objection to the LWV as to Public Affairs’ attendance and videotaping of the event. Again, to its credit, the LWV moderator affirmed Public Affairs right to be there and to videotape the event.

Greenberg was informed within the last 24 hours that Bean would be attending tonight’s joint appearance.

Chicago Tonight repeats its 7:00 pm show tonight at 12:30 am and 4:30 am (Ch. 11), with the Greenberg-Bean debate repeating at approximately 12:40 am and 4:40 am.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at JBCG@aol.com. *************************************************************
"Public Affairs," is a weekly political interview show airing in Chicago on CANTV, in the Chicago metro area and in Aurora on Comcast and also often on the Illinois Channel. You can watch the shows, including archived shows going back to 2005, here.
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page now include a show taped Sep. 30 with Cong. Don Manzullo (R-Egan, 16th CD) about his no vote on the bailout, jobs, trade and other issues related to his election contest with Democrat Robert Abboud, a show taped Sunday, Sep. 28, 2008 with State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) and a show taped on Sunday, Sep. 21,2008 with 16th Cong. Dist. Democatic Nominee Robert Abboud (D-Barrington Hills), two shows featuring clips and interviews, primarily from the Democratic and Republican National Party conventions, go here to watch 2nd Convention clip show and shows with Cook County Cmsr. and Obama Media Team Member Forrest Claypool and much more.