Friday, October 16, 2009

Rep. Julie Hamos and Bill Cadigan are the first 10th CD candidates to “go up,” on TV and get in depth “earned media."Cadigan on Cable & now Streaming

Updated on Friday at 12:30 pm:

A well used line by Bob Sirott when he was at WTTW was "One more thing." Well, one more thing about the below. This journalist goes after 10th CD candidates Dold, Green and Seals for their failure, to date. to commit to appear on "Public Affairs." But, journalists, including this one, should be careful not to paint with too broad a brush.

Bob Dold gave this journalist a ten minute phone interview and pretty much answered all my questions, cheerfully. And, he emphasized that he might commit to do the show at a later time. At the moment, he said, his focus was on grass roots activities. While I would have preferred the 30 minute TV interview now, Bob Dold gave me some time and left the door open to doing the show later-- and that should have been acknowledged, as I am doing now.

Dick Green, on the other hand, expressed interest in doing the show when we bumped into each other and spoke at an Art Laffer-Steve Moore event I was taping in June, 2009. When I followed up a few months later and called him and sent emails telling him I wanted to speak about taping the show, he did not respond. When I finally tracked Green down a few weeks ago, he said he would talk to his campaign staff and get back to me. He never did. When I bumped into Green last Saturday at the Wheeling Township Republican Organization forum with the U. S. Senate and 10th CD Republican candidates, I mentioned some other candidates were doing the show and asked- would he? Green said the fact that other 10th CD candidates were doing the show was good ammunition for him to use to persuade his staff that he should do the show. Green needs to persuade his staff? If Green wins, who will be making the key decisions for Cong. Green? His staff or Dick Green? BTW, Green still hasn't gotten back to me on doing the show. Is getting back to media members the same as getting back, or not getting back, to constituents?

Dan Seals has declined repeatedly over the course of his now three campaigns for the 10th CD seat not to appear on "Public Affairs." Clearly it is not a scheduling problem. He did however give a video interview a few years back to my good friend, Lee Goodman, the Democratic nominee for the 10th CD in 2004. Apparently, Seals thought the questions would be softer coming from Goodman. Whether he was right on that score is a whole other matter. [Democrat Goodman, BTW, appeared multiple times on "Public Affairs," when he ran for the 10th CD seat in 2004.] Given that Seals has done some whining over the years about how much more money Cong. Kirk has had to spend during their election contests, you might think Seals would have jumped at the chance to get multiple, half hour TV "free" or earned media slots. But, he never did jump. Although, Seals did give this journalist a one minute video interview once, after a forum.

So, as you can see, below, when discussing Dold, Green and Seals and their willingness to participate in the democratic process, there are some similarities. But, as you can see, above, there are some very significant differences between Dold, Green and Seals-- and voters, like this journalist-- should take note. I hope this helps them.

Today's fundraising winners in the 10th CD

Today, you will be hearing a lot about the fund raising prowess of various federal candidates for office, as yesterday was the deadline for 2010 federal political candidates to file their disclosure reports detailing expenditures and contributions for the last quarter. The primary need for funds by political candidates is to finance an air war, i.e., thirty second television and radio ads.

It is likely you will read that Dick Green (R-Winnetka) raised the most money in the 10th CD Republican Primary (although he will probably have been out-raised by Democratic 10th CD candidate State Rep. Julie Hamos). It is also likely that the great majority of Green’s funds were raised by Dick Green writing a check to Dick Green, which is, of course, legal, ethical and protected by the U. S. Constitution, or so the Supreme Court said more than three decades ago.

Hamos and Cadigan first to go up with earned media

But it should be of equal interest to the media, if not more so, that (1) Rep. Hamos (D-Evanston) was first in the 10th CD to “go up,” on TV, when she got in-depth “earned media,” appearing on “Public Affairs,” about six weeks ago [Go here to read about and take a link to watch Hamos] and (2) Bill Cadigan (R-Winnetka) was the first 10th CD Republican Primary candidate to “go up,” on TV with an in-depth interview, when he appeared this week on Public Affairs. Go here and here to read about the interview and go here to watch Cadigan.

Yes, you may have seen the other 10th CD candidates read their scripts from a teleprompter or stand up and answer some softball questions in an empty campaign room or from the local networks on the sidewalk for a thirty second “news,’ spot but you haven’t seem them probed as to how they think, with follow-ups, as required, to make sure they answer the questions and give you, the voters and other interested citizens, a full and thoughtful discussion of the issues.

Ideas have consequences

So, 10th CD candidates State Rep. Julie Hamos (D) and Bill Cadigan (R) have appeared on Public Affairs, and 10th CD candidate State Rep. Beth Coulson (R-Glenview) has committed to appear in November. They are demonstrating their belief in and enthusiasm for the “democratic process.” They seem to believe, as did the University of Chicago’s Professor Weaver, that “ideas have consequences.” More than that, they want their ideas to have consequences and they are willing to subject their ideas to sharp, probing questions, and do all that on TV. A Democrat and two Republicans, Cadigan, Hamos and Coulson have those beliefs and values in common.

Will Dold, Green and Seals continue to duck and dodge ?

But, 10th CD candidates Bob Dold (R), Dick Green (R) and Dan Seals (D) also have something in common. Two Republicans and a Democrat, they are betting, so far, that the voters don’t care if they remain outside of the part of the democratic process that is more engaging and tests their intellectual capabilities, preparation and readiness to serve the 10th CD.

Dold, Green and Seals seem, so far, to want to try to get through the whole campaign season without answering follow-ups, without subjecting themselves to tough, challenging questions and without engaging on the issues. [For Seals, this is a three-peat, on that score]. Mostly what they will be doing, apparently, is walking in parades, dialing for bucks, have someone make nice videos of them walking along the sands of Lake Michigan and then run on their 30 second videos and sound bites, as well as position papers, web statements and mailers-- all drafted by others.

An intellectually air brushed campaign for the 10th CD?

Apparently, Dold, Green and Seals think the 10th CD wants an intellectually air brushed campaign with intellectually air brushed candidates who listen to their handlers and consultants about how to avoid tough questions that test their knowledge and approaches to the issues of the day. In short, they apparently think 10th CD voters will be happy to choose their next congressman or congresswoman without knowing how they reason or approach the issues and how they decide which positions to take. So, it will be interesting to see if the cynicism of Dold, Green and Seals prevails.

On the other hand, Dold, Green and Seals still have time to change their minds. As 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook likes to say, "Wisdom come lately is better than wisdom not come at all." The three camera shy candidates can commit today to appear on “Public Affairs.” The phone lines are open. And, all will be forgiven. They can step up, in the name of democracy, to a tough, but fair, interview. The choice is theirs. Cynicism or Democracy? You would think it would be a no brainer.

Public Affairs: The Path to a 10th CD seat and to the Presidency?

I mean, look at the history. Then State Senator Barack Obama made his choice in favor of democracy. He appeared on the show, Public Affairs, five times and he went on to become President, carrying the 10th CD with 61% of the vote. Mark Kirk appeared on the show five times in 1999-2000 and he won the 10th Cong. Dist. Primary and General Election in 2000 and now is the front-runner for the U. S. Senate seat. Perhaps Obama and Kirk provide a bi-partisan lesson for Dold, Green and Seals. You would think. Clearly, it is a lesson that Cadigan, Coulson and Hamos have mastered.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at *************************************************************
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