Friday, August 25, 2006

Personal Aside: It’s Birkett vs. Scheuer on Political Shootout Sunday


Birkett vs. Scheurer.

Republican Lieutenant Governor nominee Joe Birkett, the DuPage states attorney, will make his first appearance fresh from the road…the GOP state ticket’s downstate bus trip...on Sunday to give details and rationale for Judy Baar Topinka’s Chicago casino plan which has been praised by both city newspapers as representing, at the least, a fair outline to the voters for solving education funding problems. Birkett will appear with a new phenomenon in the Illinois congressional race: Bill Scheurer, an independent Democrat who is running against both Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean and Republican David McSweeney. Scheurer claims that Bean is too conservative and that McSweeney is way-way too conservative. Scheurer is in the mould of Ned Lamont without the money…the Connecticut multi-millionaire who toppled Sen. Joe Lieberman to win the Democratic nomination. He’s hoping that conservative Republican McSweeney and relatively conservative Democrat Bean deadlock and he slips through.

I wouldn’t suggest Scheurer is a political amateur but let me say that for the first time in 15 years that I’ve been running a radio talk show, I felt I had to submit to a tape audition by Scheurer’s staff aide Brenda who hadn’t heard of either “Political Shootout” or me. I take it they heard of WLS but am not sure. This before he would consent to be a guest on this 50,000-watt station, a valuable humbling experience for me. Brenda and he couldn’t figure out why he would be on with Birkett whom he’s not running against. I told her that’s the way it is with “Shootout.” She sounded unimpressed and said that they would have to think about it. She asked if I could submit an I-Pod so that they could audition me. I said we don’t do that sort of thing and would they please make up their mind or I would have to go to somebody else. “We still don’t know why we’re going to be on with somebody Bill isn’t running against,” she said. Finally she called back and said I passed muster and that he would be on the show Sunday night. Well, that’s a relief.

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