Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Political Shootout Next Sunday: Forrest Claypool vs. Paul Caprio.

Guests on Political Shootout next Sunday (WLS-AM: 8:00 p.m.) will be Forrest Claypool, a Democratic candidate for the Cook county board and Paul Caprio, director of Family Pac, and a leading social conservative.

This Sunday’s performance by Ron Gidwitz, a Republican candidate for governor and Democratic strategist Mike Noonan convinced me that we could do a whole lot worse than having Gidwitz as governor—and in some aspects we couldn’t do better. In fact, I would wager that he could easily be the least politically self-protective, cautious and timid about cutting the budget of all the Republican candidates, impressing me that with the $100 million he has from Helene Curtis and the—what would you guess?--$400 million or so that his wife has as the daughter of Jim Kemper, that he would take great risks to do the right thing, even if he were to mean that he would serve only one term. To Ron, the challenge is not just being elected but being remembered as a great governor. He has improved his communication skills enormously from the last time he was on the program. He is still uncharismatic and nothing can change that but he may well have mastered the Dick Ogilvie knack of capitalizing on his non-charisma.

To those of my fellows who worry about his social views, I would say he’s not nearly as socially liberal as either Rod Blagojevich, Eddie Eisendrath or Judy Baar Topinka. He’s against partial birth abortion, would not be caught dead in a gay rights parade. He impresses me very much with his candor, his willingness to admit that yes, he was an insider for many years, and precisely because of that he knows the territory sufficiently well to be able to clean it up. After all, you don’t ask a minister to clean up a bawdy house, do you? At one or two points he was not particularly forthcoming but he was on Kjellander. With respect to his not remembering whether or not he gave $20,000 to George Ryan and to Daley, I suppose when you have that much money you can easily lose track. I tried to hit him with tough questions—to-wit:

o You voted for Kjellander as National Committeeman at the State convention. Yep.
o You asked for Kjellander’s support early in this race with the admonition that both of you would keep it quiet. No.
o You won’t reveal the names of investors or profits you have made from the public housing—some say slum—that you run in Joliet.

It is no slum, there are no or very slight profits. If the city of Joliet would get out of the way we could release everything. They’re blocking us.

o You gave Mayor Daley hefty contributions. Yeah, at the behest of my wife [here she nodded vigorously] and I don’t remember how much.
o Do you think Joe Birkett is in a conflict of interest by prosecuting the toll-way I-Pass responders deal in which IGOR gave large sums to Blagojevich and was rewarded by ever-spiraling state contracts—since Joe is a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor?

Yes. [Here Democrat Noonan says no]

* Do you think that Edward McNally, the acting U.S. attorney in Southern Illinois who testified as a defense witness for George Ryan is in conflict of interest? Yes, absolutely.

* Would you irrevocably declare against a tax hike now? Nope but I can’t see any reason for a hike.
* Do you think Gov. Blagojevich is right by pushing legislation to force Topinka to release hundreds of millions of dollars in frozen funds for unpaid medical bills? Nope. There are other ways to pay those bills.
* Do you think an adviser to Louis Farrakhan belongs on the governor’s hate crime panel? Absolutely not.
* Where do you come down with respect to Bush’s port deal? In favor and I think the 45-day delay will help get it through.

In addition, I met for the first time his wife, Christina Kemper Gidwitz who is a real charmer and I can understand why in her day she was a model often for the cover of Vogue. In essence, those who say the GOP is on its last legs don’t understand that a party that can muster such excellent candidates as Oberweis, Brady and Gidwitz (sorry, Judy) is far from being sick unto death.


  1. The larger plans for Peotone from over a decade ago -- to compete directly with O'Hare and Midway for operations – are no longer the stated purpose of the site. Since Gary is nearly as close -- closer for some of Congressman Jackson's constituents -- as Peotone, if a third airport is really needed, why not encourage greater use of Gary's facility? Why not direct those airlines and the new jobs supposedly associated with them to Gary and create or take advantage of existing revenue sharing agreements? Why, as a candidate for Cook County Board President, even bother endorsing plans for the Peotone site in Will County? Considering the financial difficulties faced by all carriers -- with the possible exception of Southwest, which is committed to Midway -- why would any airline move operations to Peotone? Though it wouldn't be within his realm as Cook County Board President, is Forrest Claypool comfortable with the idea of the state or feds exercising powers of eminent domain to transfer the ownership of property from unwilling sellers to the private parties approved by Congressman Jackson and the Peotone supporters for development and operation of the site? Does he see any similarities between the site at Peotone and the site of the MidAmerica airport outside of St. Louis in O'Fallon, Illinois? Wasn't the underused O'Fallon site at MidAmerica an attempt to make use of a closed military base? How will an idle airport in Peotone help the unemployed and underemployed in the second congressional district within Cook County further north – or anyone anywhere?

  2. Travel to Germany and buy a Koo Koo Clock and Judy will come after you for the USE tax! OH YES SHE WILL!

    Yet many many restaurants, food processing companes, contractors, hotels, landscape firms, and more who use UNDOCUMENTED workers get off "scott free" and do not withold Illinois Income Tax on the UNDOCUMENTED worker. Where are Judy's audit of these companies for worker compliance? WHERE ARE THEY? They don't exist! Millions and Millions of tax dollars due the state from UNDOCUMENTED workers go uncollected because JUDY chooses to be POLITICALLY CORRECT! Does she audit the LABOR LEASING FIRMS and DAY LABOR ESTABLISHMENTS that supply UNDOCUMENTED workers? NO! So the tax goes UNCOLLECTED!!! And yet if YOU buy that pretty Koo Koo Clock in Germany, you get a "love" note from Judy demanding that USE tax! What a fraud and a panderer she is!