Thursday, April 26, 2007

Personal Asides: Tom Cross to Lead Giuliani State Campaign; Ron Gidwitz to Co-Chair as Well as Raise Funds…A Correction


House Republican Leader Tom Cross will chair the Rudy Giuliani political effort in Illinois. Ron Gidwitz will be political co-chair and also head up the Illinois fund-raising for the former New York mayor.

At the same time, Steve Forbes (whom I supported for president initially in 2000 before George W. Bush) has endorsed Giuliani as “the real fiscal conservative in the 2008 presidential race.” Most Americans know that Giuliani cut crime and welfare in half in New York city, Forbes wrote in the “Wall Street Journal” recently. “They know he improved the quality of life from Times Square to Coney Island and everywhere in between. And they witnessed his Churchillian leadership following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“Less well known is the mayor’s fiscal record. Nonetheless, conservatives will find it impressive. He built New York’s resurgence not just on fundamental police work but also on a foundation of fiscal discipline. He cut taxe sand the size of government and turned an inherited deficit into a multibillion dollar surplus.

“[He] entered office in 1994 with a $2.3 billion deficit handed to him by his predecessor,Mayor David Dinkins. Liberal conventional wisdom held that the only way to close the gap was to raise taxes while cutting back on basic civic services such as sanitation. The new mayor rejected this advice—in fact, he famously threw the report recommending tax hikes in the trash! Instead, he set out to restore fiscal discipline to the `ungovernable city’—and achieved results that Reagan Republicans can applaud.”

Forbes said that when Giuliani left office, “New Yorkers had saved over $9 billion while enjoying their lowest tax burden in decades. The private sector which had been hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs in the years before he took office, produced over 423,000 new jobs. Meanwhile the unemployment rate was cut in half. Businesses responded to Mr. Giuliani’s reforms by returning to the center of city life. So when he talks about his belief in supply-side economics, it’s a plan he has already succeeded at putting in action…

“Rudy Giuliani can unite the Republican party and restore our traditional claim as the party of fiscal conservatism. He has already proven he can stand up to liberal special interest groups and achieve tax cuts, even with a Democrat-controlled City Council. That’s the kind of leadership we need in Washington. That’s the kind of leadership[ that will inspire the next generation of the Reagan Revolution. And that’s why America’s Mayor should be America’s next president.”

Tom Cross has been a fiscal conservative and Giuliani’s record is similar to the fiscal program Gidwitz espoused when he ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2006—so it’s fitting that entrepreneur Gidwitz co-chairs the campaign for Giuliani in the state of Illinois.


In my March 13, 2007 blog entry (since removed from this website, including the archives) in this space, I made a number of statements regarding “Body Worlds” and its creator, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, based on my casual reading of various articles. My recollection was faulty and my entry was sloppy with the facts. A representative of “Body Worlds” has contactedme and ask that I set the record straight and I am happy to do so. I also want to offer my sincere apology to both my readers and to Body Worlds and Dr. von Hagens.

While I still have moral and aesthetic reservations about the show, that does not excuse getting the facts wrong. To set the record straight, Body Worlds’ representative has provided me with the following gfacts, all of which are available on the Body Worlds web site, .

o None of the bodies exhibited by Body Worlds are those of executed Chinese prisoners. In fact, none of them are from China. Courts in Germany have actually issued injunctions against claims about Body Worlds’ alleged use of executed Chinese prisoners.

o The bodies in Body Worlds exhibitions are those of individuals, who, through a unique body donation program founded by Dr. von Hagens in 1982, agreed during their lifetimes to will their bodies to Body Worlds. Most of the donors are of European origin, although there are now more than 325 donors from North America.

o Body Worlds has received the approval of ethics committees formed by the California Science Center (with the involvement of world-renowned ethicist Dr. Hans-Martin Sass of Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics) and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Click here to review a copy of the report from the California Science Center’s ethics committee. _summaruy.pdf.

Further, I have not met and should not have uncharitably speculated about the motivations of Body Worlds’ creator, Dr. von Hagens. As his representative informed me, Dr. von Hagens was once a political prisoner in the former East Gemany. His stated objective is to advance public understanding of anatomy, not personal enrichment.

In the future, I promise to exercise more caution for the facts and regarding my characterization of the motives of others which, are, ultimately known only to God.


  1. That was a very gentlemanly correction.

    Still, I'll never see Body Worlds. Even though the deceased are willing, I'm still disturbed.

    In life, we are body and soul moving together, the beauty of which is seen in dance, a tennis serve, or simply a chess player's crouch at the table.

    After life, the body has no soul, and quickly loses its beauty. Dr. von Hagens has found a way to preserve the meat, and has a way to tether to its last moment. While the doctor can mimic life, his frozen angles of limb and back, stripped of flesh, do not remind us of life. The body means nothing to me without its soul. It amazes me why thousands line up to see their fellow man, butchered and shackeled forever in their death yet made to mimic life.

  2. Sam Zell, a lad whom I have tried to get to toss old Leo High School a few leaves of cabbage, has just bught the Chicago Tribune!

  3. Tom, I'm not sure how much of a fiscal conservative Tom Cross is. He voted for Blago's 300 tax and fee increases in 2003, and also voted for Blago's $10 billion pension bond scheme that same year. I think Cross wants people to forget all that.

    He also not only voted for, he recently sponsored in the House, the bill to use tax money to fund embryonic stem cell research.

    That's the antithesis of being fiscally conservative. That's not only fiscally liberal, it's incredibly divisive for the GOP.

    Cross is also still pushing for a massive expansion of gambling, the same issue that his candidate Topinka ran on, and lost on. Is trying to gamble our way to financial health fiscally conservative? I dunno, but I personally think not.

    Cross is just glomming onto the frontrunner to get the exposure, contacts and email addresses. But just wait, Rudy will fade. He's got some big problems, and I'm not talking about just on the social issues.

  4. The mayor is the most focused and resolute character to withstand the hilary onslaught: a New York demeanor against a Park Ridge wannabe hiding from a legacy of impeachment which should disqualify the spouse as well as the culprit from the position of our highest public servant and trustee of our governance. Rudy will remain Steve's man because he is sensitive to tax cuts and suplly-side arguments for stimulating the economy.
    The mayor has the Bobby Kennedy tough as nails persona which challenges the Bill Clinton thuggery forthcoming in pink lace protruding from the ubiquitous pants-suits of our near future media dynasty we call an election.
    Rudy has the stuff which tells Hilary to stop pretending she is a new yorker OR a presidential contender. He merely reminds Barrack of his origins and obligations to the Daley Machine in Illinois just like Durbin: a leach which permits limited reforms....
    Stay tuned as media-fostered hype runs its term, then citizens will take a sober non-affirmative action (woman, black, Hispanic etc.) look at the OPTIONS: Rudy by a length...of integrity and grace under pressure.

    Ralph W. Conner

  5. Tom Cross: a fiscal conservative?

    And elephants can fly...