Thursday, June 11, 2009

Governor, Speaker and the People of Illinois; Berkowitz w/Obama on Vouchers & War; w/Hamos on Taxes & AG race; w/Presser on Sotomayor, all streaming

Links added and revisions made at 12:40 pm on Friday, Jule 12, 2009
Gov. Pat Quinn [D-IL]: …ultimately, it is going to come down to getting in the arena and voting for revenue. It will be the toughest vote that many legislators have ever made in their whole political career. It wasn’t easy for me to stand there before all the members of the House and Senate and say, having looked at the whole situation, their only way out is to raise revenue to have a balanced budget. Now, members of the House and the Senate ultimately by the end of this month will have to come to that conclusion. It will be a painful vote. But, I believe we will do it because it is the right thing for the people.
Jack Conaty [Fox Chicago News]: Mr. Speaker, do you agree with the Governor that a lot of lawmakers, or some lawmakers, don’t seem to get the urgency about the impending cuts to social services in this State?

Speaker Mike Madigan [D-Chicago]: I think the lawmakers who do not wish to vote for the income tax increase are reflecting people in their districts that are telling them: look, I’m out of work or I’m working less hours than I was two or three months ago so I can’t afford the tax increase. I think that if you talked to members of the legislature that are not inclined to vote for the tax increase, that’s what they would tell you.
Jeff Berkowitz: Mr. Speaker, are you saying you agree with [House Republican] Leader Cross and [Senate Republican] Leader Radogno, who seem to say that the Illinois electorate is not ready for an income tax increase…[T]hey also seemed to say when they came out here that contrary to what the Governor said, you don’t need to send out these letters [threatening severe agency cuts in grants], you don’t need to do these Draconian cuts now], let reform, let your talks [proceed] for a month or two—then if it doesn’t work, send out your letters.

Speaker Mike Madigan [D-Chicago]: I think the Governor would say to you that operating under the laws that are in place today, he’s under a legal obligation to send notices.

Jeff Berkowitz: Do you agree with him?

Speaker Mike Madigan: I don’t disagree with him when he would say that. No.2, in terms of how the people of Illinois feel, seldom do Americans welcome tax increases--that seldom happens. So, Illinoisans are no different than other Americans in that regard.

Jeff Berkowitz: Representative Hamos, a Democrat, said you folks have not made the case for a tax increase. That’s what she has found from talking to people around the State. [watch our show from this past Sunday with State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) here on Taxes, spending cuts and the 2010 Attorney General race;You can read and watch more about Rep. Hamos here]

Speaker Mike Madigan: Well, she is very knowledgeable. I mean, we should all be as smart as Rep. Hamos. Have a great day. —[Ed. Note, perhaps Berkowitz should have elaborated in his question that Rep. Hamos voted for the Quinn proposed income tax increase, but that she thought insufficient information had been imparted to voters on the issue to persuade them to support the tax increase. It appears that more context might have been helpful to the Speaker about Hamos’ statement]
Above is a partial transcript of comments made at a press conference on June 9, 2009, after the Governor and the Four Tops (Madigan, Cullerton, Radogno and Cross) had met to discuss the budget deficit, taxes, spending cuts and reform issues. [Please go here for more discussion and an additional partial transcript of the June 9 Press conference.
"Hot," recent posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page include the fastest five minutes on the web- a New York Times video about Obama-Berkowitz, a show with Professor Stephen Presser, a Northwestern University Law School Professor, about Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court, a show with State Rep. Hamos (D-Evanston) about the State's budget deficit and her likely run in the 2010 Attorney General Dem. Primary and many more shows.