and he did very well. he got 70%. and now he has been sworn in and is representing the 18th district. and i know he will be a great congressman. and carry on the long, long tradition. our district was once represented by abraham lincoln, bob michael, ray lahood, and now darin lahood. host: in those 35 years you have been here in washington, have the parties gone this way? they used to be quite a mix in the middle. guest: yes, there was. i think the parties have gone to their own corners. the republicans have gone to the right and the democrats have gone to the left. maybe a because it is -- partisan party
maybe theies to elect more extreme people in the parties. illinois isrict in a conservative district, but illinois at think is still considered a democratic -- i think still considered a democratic state. it is a way for the parties, i think, to reflect the more extreme points of view. changing insee that the near term. host: al is in watertown, vermont on our independent line. you are on with ray lahood. caller: thank you for taking my call. ray would think i am an extremist because our like to see the constitution and the way we have the republic set up or have two-year terms for congressman and there is a lot of turnover, what he is
advocating for is an incumbent party where families send their he calls thats -- bipartisanship when you can get in a cozy little party and cut deals. really what should happen is the debate on policy should happen in public. past without all to me seeing it. i never even had a chance to call my congressperson on that. the citizens don't know the relationships when you have a cozy little parties he is talking about. in terms of shutting the government down, yeah, i think it should be shut down occasionally when you are spending more money than you are taking in. guys like ray lahood are responsible for it. host: got your point, al. all,: well, al, first of members of the house to serve two-year terms. if you only want them to serve one two-year term, if that is what you are suggesting, that is
a pretty dumb idea, frankly. i do think that if you are on social security or if you are a veteran who has served our country enters it -- and is receiving veterans benefits, i do think you think it is a good idea the government shuts down and that those people are out of those benefits. and our government provides a lot of good services to a lot of wonderful people -- and a lot of wonderful people that work in the government and serve the american people. and we need to -- we need to think long and hard about, obviously, the opportunities that our government provides to our citizens. host: joe in phoenixville, pennsylvania. the democrats lied. caller: well, i would like mr. lahood to talk a little bit more about his ideas of
bipartisanship, starting with the question: when obama assumed anice, he was confronted by opposition party that vowed to do everything they could to defeat tim. and they have never stopped to that effort. how do you expect that he would have been able to reach across the aisle and get those people to work with him in the face of such an attitude? and what did you expect them to do to overcome that -- him to do to overcome that? guest: i do think the president made some very strong effort. i think his chief of staff i know for sure made a lot of effort. and i think the press did, too. it kind of fell on deaf ears and that was not helpful. so we are where we are. host: how is ron doing in chicago right now? guest: he is struggling, but i think the fact that he admitted
there is some real issues in the police department, he fired the superintendent of police, he has asked for a committee of outstanding citizens to do an investigation, he has accepted the idea that the justice department will do an investigation, he went before the entire city council and apologize to the citizens of chicago, i think he is -- has recognized that he needs to get really haveility to the confidence of the people, the citizens of chicago that voted him in office this year. host: have you spoken to denny has to it? -- hastert? guest: i have not. i know people have reached out to him, and i don't know of anybody except for maybe a very small group may be in the
yorkville area where he lives in illinois, but i don't know anybody around here or anybody in illinois politics that has spoken to him. host: and how is your new republican governor in illinois doing? guest: yeah, bruce is doing what he said he is going to do. he said he is going to stand up to the 30th of democratic control of the illinois general 30th year of democratic control of the illinois general assembly. we have an unbalanced budget. we have huge deficits. the state does not have a budget now because the governor has said there has to be changes. we have to make reforms in our state government in order to really -- in order to really make these changes. and so our state is in a stalemate right now, but i do think he is doing what he said he is going to do.