LaHood to discuss career on C-SPAN

Karen McDonald

U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood will discuss personal, professional and political issues spanning his 12 years in Congress on a C-SPAN program Sunday and Monday.

The Peoria Republican will be the guest for "Q&A," a new interview series with C-SPAN President and CEO Brian Lamb. During the hourlong show, which was taped about a month ago after LaHood announced he will retire in January 2009, he discusses controversy surrounding elected officials, corruption, current issues and what may happen with his congressional seat.

"(Lamb) asked some pretty probing questions. He asked me about some of the controversy surrounding Tom DeLay and some of the relationships I’ve developed during the time I’ve been on Capitol Hill," LaHood said Friday. "He obviously recognizes that I’m a fairly independent-minded fella in Washington."

LaHood was one of a handful of Republicans who declined to sign onto former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America when Republicans won control of the House in 1994. He said that helped launch his independence.

Filmed at C-SPAN studios in Washington, D.C., LaHood said he was honored to be a part of the program. He said the program was casual, not scripted and that he’s fond of Lamb, who also founded C-SPAN.

The program introduces interesting people who are making things happen in politics, the media, education and science and technology in hourlong conversations about their lives and their work, according to the network.

Though it’s the first time LaHood is appearing on this program, he has appeared many times on the station’s "Washington Journal."

LaHood, who represents the 18th Congressional District, which includes Peoria and parts of Springfield and Decatur, announced his retirement plans at the end of July. The program will air on C-SPAN at 7 and 10 p.m. and a third time at 5 a.m. Monday.

"It turns out to be a pretty good snapshot of my career. I think people will find it interesting," LaHood said.

Karen McDonald can be reached at (309) 686-3285 or kmcdonald@pjstar.com.