Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Personal Asides: Terry Brunner Joins My Off-the-Record Roosevelt U Class Faculty This Thursday Night with Becky Carroll, Gov. Blagojevichs Top Aide for 2nd Todd Stroger and Maureen Murphy on WLS Sunday Night Wha? Topinka Only Has 48% of the GOP Vote...Who is George W. Bushs Candidate in 2008?
Terry Brunner: Reformers as an Interest Group.
Former BGA director Terry Brunner will be guest lecturer at my Roosevelt U class Thursday, September 14 for the first hour, at 6 p.m., outlining how an originally staid 501(c)(3) civic group became a model for political reform. Brunner is a former top federal prosecutor and key member of Attorney General Bobby Kennedys anti-corruption task force. He was a state prosecutor in Wisconsin before joining the Justice Department. As director of the BGA for many years (where I served as a long-time board member) he brought the venerable organization to full prominence as a grassroots movement for political reform in Chicago, which still goes on. Under Brunner, BGA became one of the leading pressure groups for reform in the nation starting as a prod to the late Richard J. Daley (where the BGA actually ran a decoy bar and grill which was frequented by inspectors on the take).
Democrat Brunner is one of the most effective reform leaders in the state. He was first to target the secretary of states office under George Ryan and is a forthright critic of the bipartisan political Combine of Daley Democrats and Thompson-Edgar-Ryan Republicans who swing heavy with lobbying no matter what governor is in po//wer. Brunner will speak and answer questions in the first hour. Brunner now heads the Airport Integrity Project which is examining the contracts and pressuring the Daley administration is making to expand OHare.
There will be no overlap or joint appearances in presentations Brunner talking about reform interest groups to be followed by
Becky Carroll: The Role of Governor in Illinois.
The second hour will be devoted to Becky Carroll, the bright young expert on budget and policy for Governor Rod Blagojevich who was identified by the Chicago Sun-Times as being one of the citys 30 under 30: thirty leaders under age 30. Beckys job is communications on the budget and state priorities but as a featured panelist on my radio program she has stopped veteran Republican lawmakers in their tracks with superb arguments, brilliant forensic talents and bright reposts.
A north sider, she went to public schools and is a graduate of Loyola. and earned her spurs working in aldermanic campaigns before becoming a key operative for Mayor Richard M. Daley. She is a campaign veteran, having served in the Gore-for-President, Tom Tunney for Alderman, John Schmidt for Governor, the Dawn Clark Netsch for Governor, the congressional campaign of Rod Blagojevich and as one of Rep. Rahm Emanuels leading strategists. But she is far more than a political operative: she is compassionate about issues, is a passionate Democrat, knows state governmental policy from start to finish and is exceedingly astute.
Becky is known to feel that much of the media is slamming Rod Blagojevich for things that they have winked at and continue to wink at when done by othersa view I partially share, frankly. For example, when Pat Quinn ran against George Ryan for secretary of state, the media were unconcerned about Ryans fund-raising because he was front-and-center on issues such as traffic safety and DUI in which the media was supportive. All I know is you dont sell Becky Carroll short because she knows her stuff and the issues as a number of wounded Republican lawmakers who attempted to debate her can testify.
Both presentations together with questions and answers are off-the-record and are protected by the sacrosanct academia Code of Silence.
Todd Stroger and Maureen Murphy.
My WLS-AM radio show will feature Alderman Todd Stroger, Democratic nominee for president of the Cook county Board and Republican Maureen Murphy, member of the Cook county Board of Appeals. Todd Stroger is a former state Rep and son of John Stroger who was chosen by the Democratic Central Committee after the serious stroke suffered by his father forced the elder Stroger to vacate the ticket.
Maureen Murphy is a former state Representative, was chairman of the important state Revenue Committee and served as chair of the Cook county Republican party.
Topinka Has Only 48% of GOP Vote.
The Tribune-WGN poll of gubernatorial candidates, Republican Judy Baar Topinka only has 48% GOP approval which would put her in the Alan Keyes category (Keyes with 52% GOP approval) as one of the worst Republican candidates to run for state office in Illinois history. Two things must be stated: approval is not the same as a vote for and the Tribune poll is famous for overshooting Republican votes, the tally shaded just a tad to please the polls sponsors. The most egregious overshoot was in August, 1998 in behalf of George Ryan where the count had Ryan leading Democrat Glenn Poshard 52 to 34 with an abnormally heavy number of black voters backing Ryan (which didnt happen). The Ryan-Poshard contest was very close. Green Party candidate Rich Whitney gets 6%, other 1%...the Tribunes lofty way of non-recognizing Constitutional Party write-in Randy Stufflebeam and undecided 15%.
Who the Bush People Want in `08.
A highly-placed Washington, D. C. source told me yesterday that the George W. Bush people do have a personal, under-the-table favorite in the 2008 presidential sweepstakes. It is Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who is making waves and raising much money wherever he goes. Romney is a good hold position for those Bush-people who want to back Gov. Jeb Bush for the nomination in 2012. You think the Mormon religion is a bummer from the standpoint of polygamy? After all, his great-grandfather had five wives; and two great-great-grandfathers had ten each. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (to which Romney belongs) disavowed polygamy in 1890. Now consider this: of the likely Republican candidates running, here is the wife total: John McCain (2); Rudy Giuliani (3); Newt Gingrich (3) and George Allen (2). Only Romney has had the same wife.