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Bean, Greenberg to debate Saturday -- but you're not invited
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff

Melissa Bean


Steve Greenberg


Paul Froehlich


Anita Forte-Scott


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Published: 10/8/2008 11:04 AM | Updated: 10/8/2008 4:26 PM

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With Election Day less than a month away, U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean and challenger Steve Greenberg will jointly take the stage at a political forum for the first time Saturday.

Although the audience will contain potential voters, the session - sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area - is not exactly public. Set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Friendship Village retirement community in Schaumburg, attendance has been limited to Friendship Village residents and their guests, league members, candidates and select media.

Those restrictions drew the ire of Greenberg, who earlier in the campaign had challenged Bean to three public debates.

"What I wanted was public debates and forums where the general public could come, not (something with) limited scope, Greenberg said. "I don't consider this anything more than Melissa pacifying the media."

Bean had nothing to do with the restrictions, however, said the League of Women Voters' Susan Spengler.

The general public isn't invited, in part, because parking at Friendship Village is sparse, she said. Friendship Village officials wanted to limit the crowd, too, Spengler said.

Bean is looking forward to Saturday's event, Bean spokeswoman Jonathan Lipman said. The congresswoman has been unable to debate Greenberg thus far because of her legislative responsibilities, he said.

"The realities of our economic crisis, which the congresswoman was working hard in Washington to address, delayed scheduling until now," Lipman said.

Greenberg renewed his call for three public debates before the election.

"I think the people of the 8th District deserve an opportunity to shop and compare," he said.

Bean, a Democrat from Barrington, and Greenberg, a Republican from Long Grove, are facing off for the seat Bean's held since 2005.

The 8th District includes parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties, and the seat carries a two-year term.

Democratic state Rep. Paul Froehlich of the 56th House District and Republican challenger Anita Forte-Scott are on the bill for Saturday's event, too.

That district includes Schaumburg, parts of Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Hanover Park and Bloomingdale.