Sunday, June 18, 2006

Gov. Jim Thompson on Topinka, Blagojevich, Giuliani and McCain

To listen to a complete, unedited interview with former Governor Jim Thompson, conducted by Jeff Berkowitz, “Public Affairs,” show host and Illinois Channel contributing correspondent, please go to the Illinois Channel home page and click on the picture of Governor Thompson. A partial transcript of the interview is included, below:
Jeff Berkowitz: Governor Thompson, what do you think about the [Governor’s] race. We’re standing here [outside Mike Ditka’s restaurant in the Chicago Loop] on June 7, 2006, five months away, or so, from the fall election pitting [State Treasurer] Judy Baar Topinka [R] against Governor Rod Blagojevich [D]. How do you handicap that race, now?

Jim Thompson: I think it is going to be a very close race right down to the end. Either candidate can win and it is all going to depend on what happens between now and then: what the standing of the President is, what the standing of the Governor is-- it’s a horse race.

Berkowitz: What’s your role in this race?

Jim Thompson (smiling]: I don’t have any role in this race.

Berkowitz: Well, you know, you are a former Governor [1977-1991], a former leader of the [State] Republican Party—

Jim Thompson: Yeah, but I don’t have any role in this race.

Berkowitz: Well, do you feel torn because—

Jim Thompson: [smiling some more]: I’m just a citizen.

Berkowitz: But, because your [law] firm, Winston & Strawn, is doing work—

Jim Thompson: Yeah.

Berkowitz: For [Democratic] Governor Rod Blagojevich—

Jim Thompson: Right.

Berkowitz: Do you still feel you can say you are a Republican pulling for Judy Baar Topinka?

Jim Thompson: [Go here and click picture of Thompson for the answer]

Berkowitz: What do you see as the major issue as we come down to it? I know there are a lot of things that can happen nationally, but in terms of the state of Illinois, do you see a major issue between Judy Baar Topinka and Rod Blagojevich?

Jim Thompson: [Go here and click picture of Thompson for the answer]
Jeff Berkowitz: What do you think of the Governor’s proposal regarding leasing of the lottery [to supplement the current funding of education], a long-term lease? [See here].

Jim Thompson: [Go here and click picture of Thompson for the answer]
Berkowitz: One quick thing … on national issues since I assume you were here for the fundraiser for Dave McSweeney—

Jim Thompson: Right.

Berkowitz: [Former New York City Mayor] Rudy Giuliani was speaking [at the fundraiser]—
Jim Thompson: Right.

Berkowitz: What do you think about Rudy Giuliani as a presidential candidate for the Republican ticket?

Jim Thompson: Well, I think Rudy Giuliani would be a very strong presidential candidate. He’s a favorite of mine. [Senator] John McCain is a favorite of mine. I don’t know…[See here for Giuliani on McCain]

Berkowitz: You were on the 911 Commission. Apparently that commission, or its members, are upset with the United States [federal government] for not doing enough to follow those recommendations or to implement the recommendations, do you agree with that?

Jim Thompson: Well, the Congress has…
The above is a partial transcript of an informal interview with Former Governor Jim Thompson. Governor Thompson attended a fundraiser for 8th Cong. Dist. Republican nominee David McSweeney [Barrington Hills] on June 7, 2006 at Mike Ditka’s restaurant in the Chicago Loop. [See here] Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the featured speaker at the event. Governor Thompson graciously consented to a short interview as he was leaving the event. To listen to the complete interview, please go to the [Illinois Channel home page] and click on the picture of Governor Thompson. The Illinois Channel will also Cablecast [See here for an airing schedule for your community] and stream [from its home page] this coming week [of June 19] a video clip of a portion of the McSweeney fundraiser featuring Mayor Rudy Giuliani, filmed by Jeff Berkowitz, who was attending in his role as contributing correspondent for the Illinois Channel. [The first half hour of the Illinois Channel two hour cablecast is an immigration show Berkowitz hosted, see below, and that show is followed by a seven minute video clip from the funder with McSweeney and Giuliani.]
Jim Thompson was the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and after that served four terms as the Republican Governor of Illinois from 1977 to 1991. He argued more than 200 cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and he argued the landmark Escobedo case before the U. S. Supreme Court. He has been Chairman and CEO of the Chicago based law firm of Winston & Strawn [which currently has more than 800 attorneys] since 1993 and Chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee since 1991.
The Illinois Channel will also cablecast and stream this week a show focusing on immigration. The program, moderated by Jeff Berkowitz, featured Professor of Economics Barry Chiswick [University of Chicago at Illinois] and Professor of Economics Hoyt Bleakley [University of Chicago Graduate School of Business]. The show can also be watched now or later on your computer as a video podcast [See here].

Our recent full interview show with 8th CD Republican Nominee David McSweeney [Barrington Hills] airs tomorrow night [Monday] at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 throughout the City of Chicago. For more about the show, including a partial transcript of the show, see here.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at