A virtual Quinn v. Rauner debate: Berkowitz w/ Kwame Raoul on the major IL Gov election issues (Cable and Web)

Jeff Berkowitz: ... Texas and Florida[for example, have no state income tax].

State Sen. Kwame Raoul: Florida has crappy schools.

Tonight’s Chicago Metro episode of Public Affairs features ten year State Senator Kwame Raoul, and the show is very relevant to next week’s IL Governor’s election. See below.

The show with Senator Raoul airs tonight at 8:30 pm in the below listed 24 North and Northwest Chicago Metro suburbs on the indicated channels:

Comcast Cable Ch. 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and on

Comcast Cable Ch. 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

The show featuring Senator Raoul and IL Governor’s race issues also airs tomorrow night at 8:30 pm in ten North Shore suburbs on Comcast Cable Ch. 19: Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth,  Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka

The show featuring Sen. Raoul and the IL Governor’s race issues also airs this Thursday night on Cable Ch. 17 throughout the City of Rockford at 8:30 pm.


The show featuring Senator Raoul and IL Governor’s race issues also can by watched 24/7 show by clicking here


Senator Raoul debates and discusses with show host Jeff Berkowitz the key issues of the day and of the Governor’s race, including whether the the State government should cut individual and corporate income tax rates, cut the rate of growth or  actual state spending on education, cut the rate of growth of spending or even levels of spending on Medicaid and state employee pensions, and whether any of those changes might promote job growth in Illinois; keep the state minimum wage at the current level as a way of promoting job growth—especially among younger, less skilled employees, and whether the state should provide more parental choice in the selection of their kid’s school.

Senator Raoul (D-Chicago) has been representing President Obama’s old State Senate District for the last decade.  Perhaps of greater relevance, the Quarles & Brady law firm partner was on the very short list (along with City Treasurer Neely) of candidates being considered, last fall, by Gov. Quinn to be his Lt. Gov. running mate.

If you watch the show tonight, you will see that Senator Raoul would have been much more helpful to Quinn than Paul  has been. For purposes of the public, Senator Raoul would have appeared to know the issues and be as reliably common sense liberal—as Paul Vallas appears- which was the main attraction to Quinn in his effort to woo Gold coast, City of  Chicago and Chicago suburban voters.

But, in addition, Senator Raoul would have energized the all important African-American Democratic Party voters who tend not to come out  to vote in Off-Presidential years.  Finally, Senator Raoul could also have been an effective attack dog, which has been Quinn’s primary use of Vallas.

Most importantly, tonight’s show suggests some of the key underlying issues that might have been discussed  in the IL Governor’s race if someone in  TV land had been able to put together a real debate on the issues. Sadly, nobody who was running the TV debates had that skill. So, watch tonight’s show and weep for what could have been.


Jeff Berkowitz: ...People out there are not going to be so happy if you say, “Four years ago we [Democrats] raised your state income tax from 3% to 5% of your income and now, we want to raise it from 5% to 8% [in other words, from about $5,000 to $8,000 in annual state income taxes, if you family income is $100,000], so we can spend more on education and we can cover our state employee pension benefits, because we can’t do both [at current income tax, and other spending levels].

State Sen. Kwame Raoul [D-Chicago]: I agree and I am not saying, “Let’s raise the income tax level from 5% to 7%.”

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, then what are you saying?

Sen. Kwame Raoul: I am saying, Let’s look at our tax code all together—

Berkowitz: Oh, you want to tax the rich [more]...you want to soak the rich!

Kwame Raoul:  No, I didn’t say that...I said, as I have always said, that the State of Illinois should have a progressive income tax system, just like we do at the federal level and just like as is done in the majority of states that have an income tax.

Berkowitz: Some of those states [with a progressive income tax] don’t do so well, because you might point out that there are ten states that have no income tax whatsoever, right?

Raoul: yes.

Berkowitz: And, some of those states, maybe the majority of them, are doing quite well. Texas and Florida[for example, have no state income tax].

State Sen. Kwame Raoul: Florida has crappy schools.

Berkowitz: Oh, I don’t know. You think they are worse than Chicago?


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