Thursday, January 29, 2009
According to the Huffington Post, Aaron Schock is in the running for hottest new congressional freshman. Take a look at Aaron's comptetion here, oh and vote for Aaron (or not). Just like Clay Aiken had Claymates (where are they now), Aaron has a legion of Schockmates who continue to vote for him. He's sure to win this contest.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Even though Constitutionally everything is in order for Roland Burris to be the junior Senator from Illinois, the stall to seat him continues. However, the hopes that the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich (after he appointed Burris), along with Jessie White's refusal to certify the Burris appointment, would buy Harry Reid & Co. time to slide in their pick, have just gotten slimmer:
January 9, 2009, 5:25PM, Talking Point Memo: Dick Durbin just made a very bold announcement, in the wake of the Illinois Supreme Court decision that Roland Burris does not need the Secretary of State’s signature on his certificate: As far as the Senate is concerned, Burris still needs that signature for his appointment to be legal and valid, and the seat will just have to stay vacant.
“At this point we’ve clearly reached an impasse,” Durbin told reporters in Chicago. Most legal scholars at this point believe the Burris appointment to be legal, and that an attempt to keep Burris out can be successfully challenged in court. But it’s become obvious by now what Durbin’s and the whole Democratic leadership’s strategy is: Keep stalling on this thing long enough for Rod Blagojevich to be kicked out of office.
Okay, even though the Illinois Supreme Court has declared that Roland Burris DOES NOT NEED the Secretary of State’s Signature, Durbin is still saying it doesn’t matter and the seat should remain vacant.Vacant. Jan 09, 2009 CHICAGO (Reuters) - No one can occupy the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama until the governor of Illinois is removed and a new appointment can be certified, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Friday.
Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, was reacting to the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling denying a motion by Roland Burris that the state’s secretary of state certify his appointment to the seat.
Secretary of State Jesse White has refused to sign the appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich because of corruption charges against the governor, which included accusations he tried to sell the seat.
“At this point we’ve clearly reached an impasse,” Durbin told reporters at his Chicago office. He said the Senate seat could remain vacant until Blagojevich is removed from office and the lieutenant governor takes over, making a fresh appointment.
He said the Senate cannot waive a 125-year-old rule requiring the signatures of both the governor and the secretary of state on any election or appointment.
January 10, 10:23, Politco.com reports: Following a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, has certified Roland Burris’ appointment to the Senate, removing a major roadblock blocking Burris’ ascension to the body. According to his office, White has signed a certificate saying that Roland Burris’ appointment document is “true and accurate."The move came just hours after Illinois' top state court ruled that White's approval was not necessary for a valid appointment to the Senate for Burris by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Guess Jessie White is not willing to be the fall guy. What next? Have you guys exhausted all of your stalling tactics yet? Can you take the red ball off your nose, put away your little bag of tricks and give this old man a seat already? Can we get back to more important issues like the economy, the inauguration and the bail out.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Mayoral candidate General "John" Parker, is personally concerned about reforming of the federal anti-domestic violence law. In a recent Peoria Journal Star article, Parker, who is the only candidate running against Mayor Jim Ardis, mentioned being in the "middle of a contentious custody battle" for his son, Loys. You know Parker, who is a local community activist, does not hesitate to get involved in issues surrounding District 150 (where his wife Rachael Parker sits on the School Board), or taking the City Council to task. What you may not know, is that Parker is also very outspoken on the issue of domestic violence.
In October, 2008 Parker spoke at a domestic violence awareness dinner held at the Marriott, in Charleston, West Virginia. At the dinner, which was sponsored by The Domestic Violence Counseling Center, Men and Women Against Discrimination, Healing Through Creativity and African-Americans for VAWA Reform, Parker spoke of growing up in a household where "my mother and father fought all the time." Read the article in it's entirety below:
Stage set in Charleston for VAWA reform
from www.wvrecord.com10/30/2008 7:15 AM
CHARLESTON - In addition to the White House, the road to reforming a federal anti-domestic violence law ran through Charleston as a dinner featuring a delegate for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was held the same day Obama's running mate, and the chief architect of the law, was in town for a campaign stop.
Early on Friday, Oct. 24, Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Biden, spoke to a crowd of about 2,000 people on the Lee Street square in downtown Charleston. While in town, Biden said he and Obama "have two major goals in this election: We need to restore the middle class in America, and we need to restore the respect for America again around the world"
Though his talk touched on several topics, the Delaware senator has claimed previously that his greatest achievement is passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Signed into law in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton, VAWA provides money to the states to assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against women.
However, later that evening at a domestic violence awareness dinner held at the Marriott, General Parker, a Peoria, Ill., boilermaker, who was elected to serve as a delegate for Obama to this year's Democratic National Convention, said despite its good intentions, VAWA's impact has been the break-up of families.
Incentives for abuse
During the dinner, which was sponsored by The Domestic Violence Counseling Center, Men and Women Against Discrimination, Healing Through Creativity and African-Americans for VAWA Reform, Parker recounted growing up in a household where "my mother and father fought all the time." Though he first accepted that as a "sort of a way of life" for many black families during the 1960s, Parker said he came to realize he witnessed domestic violence after his ex-wife became abusive after their son was born.
General Parker, an Illinois resident and delegate for Barack Obama to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, talks with Ron Foster, and Chris Saunders, back to camera, with Men and Women Against Discrimination following his talk on how the Violence Against Women Act has prevented him from seeing his son during a domestic violence awareness dinner on Friday, Oct. 24. (Photo by Lawrence Smith)
Realizing he was in an abusive situation, Parker said he was determined to not allow his son to be caught in the cycle.
"Because my parents fought so much, I always said when I have my son I'm going to make sure we have that special bond, that special relationship so that I'm not fighting in front of my children," he said.
According to Parker, his marriage came to an informal end in February 2003 when, after leaving the house following a confrontation, she accused him of domestic violence. Fearing he may be neglected, Parker said he took his son with him to Peoria for a work assignment a few days after the confrontation.
Upon his return to St. Louis, Parker said he was arrested and charged with parental kidnapping. Following his release on bond, Parker initiated divorce proceedings.
It was at this point that Parker says he discovered that financial incentives built into VAWA keeps innocent people trapped in the criminal justice system. Though the protective order his wife filed against him was dismissed, Parker said the prosecutor's office later charged him with assault, and hounded him on the parental kidnapping charge until, after two trials, a jury acquitted him.
Two months after his acquittal in January 2006 of parental kidnapping, Parker said the prosecutor's office dismissed the assault charge. His three-year legal ordeal left Parker wondering, "Which Constitution are they following?"
Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, and awarded partial custody of following his divorce in December 2004, Parker said he has been denied access to his son. Police have told him if he went anywhere near his ex-wife's house, he would be arrested for failure to pay child support.
The arrearage, Parker says, is not due to an unwillingness to pay, but because of judicial fiat. Because he was taking too many days off to appear in court, the local union to which Parker belonged stopped calling him out for job assignments.
This had the effect of cutting his yearly income from nearly $70,000 down to $9,000, Parker said. Also, despite the drastic reduction in pay, the judge in the divorce refused to reduce his $675 monthly child support payments.
However, Parker said he's determined to not only be reunited with his son, but also see to it that others are not victimized by the legal system like he has. In addition to a civil rights lawsuit he filed in federal court in Missouri against various St. Louis County officials, Parker is working with groups like AAVR to reform VAWA when it comes up for reauthorization in 2010.
Despite getting the cold shoulder from both Obama's senatorial and presidential campaign staffs, Parker remains optimistic he can gain both Obama's and Biden's ears on reforming VAWA since, win or lose in November, they will hold some position of power in Washington.
If not for him, Parker says he hopes the Congress and the new president will fix VAWA for the sake of children like his "who are affected physically and emotionally by this."
"I'm not asking to get rid of VAWA," Parker said. "We need VAWA, but VAWA is broken."
Upon learning of his visit to Charleston the same day of the dinner, the event's organizers extended Biden an invitation to not only attend, but also speak. According to Elizabeth Crawford, DVCC's executive director, the Charleston Obama/Biden office did not respond to the invitation nor send a representative in Biden's place.
A telephone message left with Greg Hoyer, a campaign spokesman, to comment on both the invitation and Parker's comments was not returned by press time.
Among some of the dignitaries who did attended the dinner were Assistant Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants and state Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha. Plants, a Republican candidate for prosecutor, said he was "blown away by some of the stories."
In addition to Parker, the guests also heard from Aaron Edison, a Grafton resident. According to Edison, officials from the Taylor County Board of Education and state Department of Health and Human Services accused him of neglect and abuse after administering a spanking to one of his sons.
When he refused to participate in the court-ordered marital counseling in lieu of the faith-based counseling he requested, Edison said his parental rights were terminated. Also, when he refused to pay child support for children who were no longer his, the judge sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
Concurring with Parker, Plants said something is terribly wrong when the courts don't protect citizens' most fundamental rights.
"Before the state breaks down the family, due process should be observed," Plants said.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Now, as far as Secretary of State, Jessie White not signing off on the appointment, so what. The Secretary of State does not have veto power over the Governor. Jessie better take care before Rod fires him for not doing his job. AND, as for an all white Senate refusing to seat Burris, they may as well get over themselves because Burris can and will be seated.
UPDATE, Jan. 7, 2009: Roland Burris seated, from huffingpost.com: "The apparent decision to seat Roland Burris came after aides to President-elect Barack Obama contacted senior Senate Democrats and suggested that they reverse course and accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich's controversial appointment, according to a senior Dem congressional aide."
Race has nothing to do with it - it's the law folks, Rod Blagogevich knows his rights and Roland Burris is a viable candidate.