GOPUSA ILLINOIS
  David John Diersen, GOPUSA Illinois Editor
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Welcome to CampaignSiteBuilder
June 1, 2006 News Clips
Posted by Diersen on 15-Mar-2007
FOR TEXT, SCROLL DOWN
 
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
-- Duckworth urges 9/11 upgrade  Democratic hopeful cites lack of action on needs in Bartlett - John Biemer
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
-- Unity on immigration a struggle - Lynn Sweet 
-- Immigration bill likely to be stopped at House-Senate border - George Will
ABC7
-- Dillard and Roskam: Concerns about Illinois tollway leasing raised during hearing
WBBM780
-- Lawmakers Move Toward Leasing Illinois Tollways -
CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS
-- Governor's office approved new hires, documents show - AP
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=20819
DAILY HERALD
-- McHenry GOP wants District 3 Democrat hopefuls pulled -
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/mchenrystory.asp?id=195045&cc=m&tc=&t=
-- Immigration: What about those who follow the rules? - T.J. Manion 
-- Plenty of reasons to re-elect Mark Kirk - Lee Curtiss
-- Anchorman John Drury at home in Wheaton despite ALS ravages - Harry Hitzeman 
BLOOMINGTON PANTAGRAPH
-- Madigan wants answers on lottery plan - Kurt Erickson
http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2006/05/31/news/doc447e208a96632679915429.txt
REPUBLICANS FOR FAIR MEDIA
-- Blagojevich Plan to Sell the Lottery: Reneging on Campaign Pledge Not to Expand Gambling or Scheme to Balance the Budget? - Daniel T. Zanoza
FAMILY TAXPAYERS NETWORK
-- Topinka's Gutter Politics - The Topinka Tattler
NEW YORK TIMES
-- Highest Court in New York Confronts Gay Marriage - Anemona Hartocollis
USA TODAY
-- Protect traditional marriage  Constitutional amendment would protect union between man, woman. - Wayne Allard
-- An ex-liberal David Horowitz navigates right  Activist defends students from ‘leftist' professors - Mary Beth Marklein
NEWSWEEK
-- Unintended Consequences  Senate legislation could double the level of legal immigration. Why wasn't there a national debate about its full impact? - Robert J. Samuelson
-- Stepping Over the Line Don't try sneaking north across Mexico's other border. - Joseph Contreras
SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
-- Immigration reform won’t make problems go away - Ruben Navarrette
DAILY SOUTHTOWN
-- Immigration compromise needed - Editorial 
ILLINOIS FAMILY INSTITUTE
-- And Now... "Gay Polygamy"... How "Gay Marriage" Threatens Churches - Peter LaBarbera
BELLEVILLE NEWS DEMOCRAT
-- Governor wants drug stores to post morning-after pill rule - Jayne Matthews
JEWISH WORLD REVIEW
-- "Native Hawaiians:" Republican hypocrisy - Linda Chavez
HUMAN EVENTS
-- The Plan to Replace the Dollar With the 'Amero' - Jerome R. Corsi
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15017
WORLD NET DAILY
-- INVASION USA  Study: 1 million sex crimes by illegals
Researcher estimates more than 100 offenders crossing border daily

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50441
 
GOPUSA ILLINOIS
Volunteers needed for Protect Marriage Illinois advisory petition effort - Dave Diersen
Volunteers are needed for Protect Marriage Illinois advisory petition effort.  If you can donate some of your time at the Cook County Election Commission office at 69 West Washington, Suite 500, in Chicago or at the DuPage County Election Commission office at 421 North County Farm Road, 1st Floor, in Wheaton starting 9:00 AM today, Thursday, June 1, to observe election commission employees check petition signatures, please contact Dave Smith at 773-858-6602 or Peter LaBarbera at 630-546-4439.
 
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Duckworth urges 9/11 upgrade  Democratic hopeful cites lack of action on needs in Bartlett - John Biemer

Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic candidate for the 6th District seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, called on Congress Wednesday to pass recommendations to improve homeland security, saying lack of action is putting west suburbs at risk.

While touring a Bartlett Fire Protection District station with former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer (D-Ind.), a member of the 9/11 Commission established after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Duckworth said firefighters there still use radio equipment from the 1960s.

Bartlett is near three major railroad lines and a flight path to O'Hare International Airport, said Duckworth, who faces Republican state Sen. Peter Roskam of Wheaton for the congressional seat.

The Fire Protection District twice has applied for $252,000 in federal grant money to upgrade communications with global positioning systems and laptops that would provide commercial building layouts and directions when called in to help other communities.

In December, the commission gave the federal government failing and mediocre grades on enacting numerous reforms it had recommended to prevent another terrorist attack, such as improving the sharing of intelligence by government agencies and upgrading first responders' communication systems.

"The longer we go without actually implementing the recommendations put forth by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, the more at risk the people in our communities are," said Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War from Hoffman Estates. "And some of these things are so simple and logical to do."

Duckworth also targeted the Republican-led Congress for not strengthening security at nuclear energy facilities or implementing changes in how federal funds for homeland security are allocated, with some rural parts of the country--unlikely terrorist targets--receiving higher per-capita funding than major population centers like the Chicago area.

Roskam spokesman Ryan McLaughlin said that after the terrorist attacks, the senator organized 10,000 residents from 40 suburbs to sign flags that now hang in New York firehouses and police departments.

"Through this project, led by Peter Roskam, suburban residents were able to express our sincere thanks to the first responders for their courageous efforts," McLaughlin said.
 
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Unity on immigration a struggle - Lynn Sweet 
Today, President Bush makes another push for GOP House leaders to capitulate and back an immigration bill based on legislation the Senate passed Friday. That's what Bush has urged -- in more diplomatic language -- in speeches on May 25, May 22, May 20, May 18 and May 15. He's trying.

Last April I ran a column predicting that the likely outcome of the nation's historic debate about immigration is no bill sent to Bush to sign. Now that the Senate has acted, it seems the divisions between the chambers are significant and for now unbridgeable, despite the effort of Bush and his top political adviser Karl Rove, recently dispatched to Capitol Hill to talk to reluctant House Republicans.

The House bill deals only with border security, calling for a fence along portions of the southern border and making illegal immigrants and those who help them felons.

The Senate bill provides a path for millions of people here illegally to legalize their status, lets students here illegally remain in school and creates a guest or temporary worker program. It's not a pure amnesty play but does give a break to people who broke the law. The Senate provides more border security by bringing in the National Guard along the Mexican border. Making English the national language is also part of the Senate bill. When Bush calls for "comprehensive'' reform, it's code for endorsing many of the provisions in the Senate bill.

The House and Senate need to agree on the exact same language before a bill is sent to Bush.

There is probably a majority in the House to support a Senate approach to immigration.

It's not that simple, however. There is something called the Hastert Doctrine that will be applied if and when Senate and House members sit down in a conference committee to negotiate a common bill to take back to their chambers for final approval.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, who today becomes the longest-serving GOP House speaker in history, has a governing philosophy, and that is moving legislation to the floor only if it has the backing of the majority of the majority.

While a bill may not emerge from this process, there are some interesting other provisions buried in the House and Senate measures that are worth some attention:

*What's the impact of illegal immigration when it comes to reapportioning political districts after each census? The Senate is suspicious redistricting is not being done right because the voting age population count used in reapportionment may include non-citizens. The bill calls for a Census Bureau study of the situation.

*Creation of "Passport cards'' provided for in the Senate bill that would allow "expedited travel'' between the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

*Funding of a vast university network in Mexico to address poverty in that country, which is driving millions of Mexicans to sneak into the United States seeking a better life. The Senate bill calls for a U.S. land grant university (a state school) to establish the "Mexican Rural Poverty Mitigation Program'' in each of Mexico's 31 states.

*The House bill calls for all uniforms used by Border Patrol Agents to be made in the United States.

*Drunk driving, in the House bill, would earn automatic deportation for an illegal immigrant after the first conviction.

*The Senate also lets money do some talking. Under the plan, an employer in the United States could pay a "premium'' fee for expedited handling of employment-based immigration petitions.

*In order to bolster border forces, members of the Armed Forces would get incentive pay in the Senate plan to sign up as border patrol agents.

*If a border fence ever becomes law, the Senate calls for a report within six months of passage to determine if the people impacted on both sides of the border have been solicited for their views in order to "lessen tensions.''

*The Statue of Liberty has stood as the symbol of this nation as a land of immigrants. Portions have been closed since the 9-11 attacks. On page 114 of a 115-page amendment, there is language calling for the interior secretary to open the statue again, "including the crown and stairs'' to all people who pass security.

Immigration bill likely to be stopped at House-Senate border - George Will 

http://www.suntimes.com/output/will/cst-edt-geo01.html

''Why should we bother to reply to Kautsky?'' Lenin asked. ''He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There is no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautsky is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.'' The immigration debate, which is mostly among, and dangerous primarily to, Republicans, is becoming like that.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, denounces as ''selling American citizenship'' the provision in the Senate bill that requires illegal immigrants to pay back taxes and fines, a provision that its backers, such as John McCain, call ''earned citizenship.'' And last week McCain said that denying illegal immigrants Social Security and other entitlements is akin to forcing them to ''ride in the back of the bus.'' Regardless of what one thinks of his immigration policy and his aggressive rhetoric in its defense, one must admire his willingness to undo, by teaming with Ted Kennedy to pass ''earned citizenship'' provisions, much of what he has assiduously done to ingratiate himself with conservatives.

As members of the House and Senate head for a conference to try to reconcile the stark and probably irreconcilable differences incorporated in their two immigration bills, Republicans are between a rock and a hard place. And another rock. And another.

First, if the conferees agree to anything like the Senate bill, the House will reject it -- if it comes to a vote. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has a ''majority of the majority'' rule: Nothing comes to the floor that does not have the support of a majority of Republicans. Probably 75 percent of House Republicans -- including Sensenbrenner, who will probably be the lead House negotiator -- oppose the two pillars of the Senate bill, a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. Actually, there are three paths -- one for those who have been here five or more years, one for those who have been here between two and five years, and a path away from citizenship and the country for those who have been here less than two years. This plan, which is a huge incentive for the sort of traffic in fraudulent documents that is already pandemic, is to be enforced by a government that will not or cannot enforce existing immigration laws.

Second, if the conference agrees to anything like the House ''enforcement first and, for now, only'' bill, it will be rejected or filibustered to death in the Senate. All but six Democrats voted for the Senate bill, which a majority of Republicans opposed, so it has no momentum for respect among House Republican conferees.

Third, if any legislation is passed that contains any provision that can be stigmatized as ''amnesty,'' come November some of the Republican base, which is already boiling, will emigrate from the political process by not voting.

Fourth, if no immigration legislation is enacted, voters of various stripes may say, as voters said of congressional Democrats who were in disarray over a crime bill in the summer of 1994, these people cannot govern and should be given, like unruly 8-year-olds, a time out. The time out is now in its 12th year.

But if Congress fails to pass immigration reform, that will not really deserve to be called a failure, for two reasons. First, the moment may not be ripe for reform because the country is of two minds -- actually, more than two -- about the issue. Second, the system the Framers created, with two legislative bodies having different dynamics because their constituencies have different characteristics, is in this instance performing approximately as the Framers intended.

Senators, only one-third of whom are ever facing imminent elections, are somewhat insulated by six-year terms from the public's fevers. And senators represent larger, less homogenous, more complex constituencies than most House members do.

There is more to democracy than government by adding machine -- merely counting numbers. There also should be institutional ways of measuring, venting and accommodating the intensity of factions. The Senate does that by permitting filibusters. In the House, two-year terms guarantee that intensities are registered. As Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.) recently told the Washington Post, ''House members' elections are not periods with us, they're just commas. We keep our finger on the public pulse all the time, not just every six years.''

The House is supposed to be the barometer that measures the political weather of the moment. It is not failing to do that.

ABC7
Dillard and Roskam: Concerns about Illinois tollway leasing raised during hearing
The state of Illinois is getting serious about leasing the lucrative Illinois tollway to a private firm. The deal would create an influx of billions of dollars into the state's coffers, but there are concerns about tollway worker safety and keeping tolls at reasonable prices.
 
Two state senators are worried the suburbs won't have enough input, even though that's where most of the tollways are located.

The Illinois tollway could reap the state billions -- maybe as much as $20 billion, which could help plug budget holes like education. That's why a senate committee convened hearings in Chicago on Wednesday to listen to the experts on this matter.

"Customer service levels are likely to be higher on facilities operated by the private sector," said Tyler Duvall, U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

Lawmakers know that higher tolls will not play well with voters, which is why they are looking at the mistakes others have made in not capping toll fees.

"If we can learn from their mistakes and ensure that we get the best possible value," said Sen. Donne Trotter, (D) Chicago.

Then there's the issue of worker safety. Will a private firm be as committed to the well-being of the 800 Illinois tollway workers as a government body?

"Our workers on the tollway, it's one of the most dangerous occupations in the country working in a toll booth," said John Adler, Service Employees Int'l. Union (SEIU).

Wednesday's hearing was held in Chicago. Another hearing will be held in Chicago on September 13. There will be a hearing in Will County on June 13 and one in Springfield on August 15. There will be only one hearing in the suburbs -- the Will County date -- which is of great concern to suburban state senators Kirk Dillard and Peter Roskam.

"Suburban commuters and communities and businesses will be affected and it's highly troublesome that there are no hearings being held by the democrat-controlled legislature or the governor in suburban Chicago," said Sen. Kirk Dillard, (R) Hinsdale.

"DuPage County where Senator Dillard and I are from and suburban Cook County all represent 42-percent of the toll miles," said Sen. Peter Roskam, (R) Wheaton.

But democrat Jeff Schoenberg -- who chaired Wednesday's hearing -- doesn't want his republican colleagues to worry about suburban snub.

"I'm from the suburbs, too. And I think the suburbs should be in line for more than their fair share on where the money is going to be spent," said Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, (D) Evanston.

Illinois is proceeding with caution, taking a close look at how Indiana leased its tollway system, and how Chicago leased the Skyway. As for the timetable on a potential lease, political insiders say, realistically, it could happen within the next year.

WBBM780

Lawmakers Move Toward Leasing Illinois Tollways -

http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/41495.php (includes audio clip)

Lawmakers took a step toward the leasing of the Illinois toll system today (Wednesday).

WBBM Newsradio 780's Debra Dale reports an Illinois Senate Committee has chosen a firm to study exactly how much cash a tollway lease could bring the state. Many have estimated the state would get around $15 billion.

The firm, Credit Suisse, has been awarded a $30,000 contract to come up with a figure.  They'll present their findings to the state legislature in 5 to 6 weeks. 

State lawmakers, in Chicago Wednesday, held the first of four scheduled public hearings on the possible privatization of Illinois' 274 miles of toll roads.  The focus was more on a lease's benefits than on where the state would spend any proceeds.

Republican State Senators Peter Roskam and Kirk Dillard say they're upset that no hearings are scheduled for suburban Cook or DuPage Counties.  Democratic State Senator, Jeff Schoenberg, says he didn't know they wanted hearings there, and now that he does he'll try to schedule one.

Schoenberg says he'd like to have all the hearings concluded by the fall veto session, but he's not sure if that's possible.

And he say its premature to speculate when a proposal to privatize the Illinois Tollway system would come before the legislature for a vote.

CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS

Governor's office approved new hires, documents show - AP
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=20819
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office reviewed and approved the hiring of state employees - often by name - for hundreds of routine jobs such as highway workers and plumbers, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

Despite the governor's claims that his office did not decide who would be hired for civil service jobs, which are nonpolitical, those positions are among nearly 1,800 hires, promotions, transfers and salary increases aides to the governor OK'd in the months following Blagojevich's 2003 inauguration, according to hiring lists officials maintained.

The job-seeker's name was included in nearly 1,200 cases. Blagojevich and his aides repeatedly have said the administration's hiring practices were "blind" - meaning his office, for budget reasons, made the final decision on whether to fill jobs but never knew the names of individuals being hired.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said it appears the lists were created before the administration began a new personnel-approval system that ensured names of individuals weren't included.

Ottenhoff said the administration no longer keeps such lists.

"That isn't the case now and wasn't the case once we got a system running, which was pretty early," she said. She could not immediately provide further comment.

For years, the Democratic governor has been dogged by allegations that he hands out state jobs to campaign donors and political allies, which he adamantly denies. His hiring practices are under investigation by federal, state and local prosecutors, although Blagojevich has not been charged with any crime.

Blagojevich has repeatedly said that politics plays no role in hiring any but the highest-level policymakers.

A governor is allowed to fill some high-level state jobs with anyone he wants, but most jobs are covered by civil service or other rules that require hiring decisions to be based solely on merit, including such factors as experience, test scores and military service. In some cases, notations on the lists indicate the employee is covered by a union agreement, where hiring would be even more strictly controlled.

On the lists obtained by the AP, some pages were signed by top Blagojevich deputies. All had an "approved" column with boxes that had to be checked before a hire could go through.

A separate memo from that period also obtained by the AP emphasized the authority of Blagojevich's personnel office. "All hires and fires must move through this office," a staffer wrote to the Department of Public Health.

These newly obtained lists are different from another Blagojevich hiring list that surfaced recently. The other list showed nearly 300 job-seekers and the politically influential people who recommended them for the positions, but the latest lists say nothing about political sponsors.

Instead, they offer a glimpse into the governor's office's control over routine hiring and promotions.

The lists were used in regular meetings to determine who would be hired by the administration, according to people familiar with the process, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the documents.

This "pending transactions committee" included aides to the governor, his budget office and the Department of Central Management Services, the state's personnel agency. In these meetings, Joe Cini, the governor's personnel director, or "patronage chief," and a representative from the budget office had to approve the transactions - including those listed by name, the individuals said.

Blagojevich has acknowledged federal investigators are scrutinizing Cini, among others in the administration.

The lists cover the first few months of Blagojevich's administration. He had frozen state hiring, saying it would help control costs at a time when the state faced massive deficits. His office had to OK the hiring of any new staff members.

But the lists indicate the administration was approving individuals for those jobs, in many cases for civil service positions. They include more than 400 job titles, including correctional officer, highway maintainer, office coordinator, plumber, horse custodian, sewage plant operator, cook and psychologist.

About 700 of the 1,800 actions on the list had begun under Blagojevich's predecessor, Republican Gov. George Ryan, but the Blagojevich administration still provided a final stamp of approval.

Accompanying the lists is a March 2003 e-mail from CMS, transmitting the names and positions to Blagojevich's aides, including Cini and deputy chiefs of staff at the time, Carl Hawkinson, Louanner Peters, Julie Curry and Margaret Houlihan.

Several pages include the signatures of Curry and Hawkinson, accompanied by the word "approved."

Hawkinson, who left the administration last winter, said he didn't recall the lists and never had anything to do with hiring employees by name.

The process is spelled out in the memo from Cini's personnel office.

"If Joe doesn't sign off on it, it doesn't happen," the April 2003 memo said. "All hires and fires must move through this office."

Promotions or transfers of existing employees "need to be put through the Pending Transactions meeting for approval by the Bureau of the Budget and the Governor's office," the memo said.

Earlier attempts by The Associated Press to get information on the hiring process were rebuffed.

In response to a March 30 Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the pending transactions committee, CMS said it had none. To an identical request, Blagojevich's budget office would not confirm that such documents existed, but said if they did, they would be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

DAILY HERALD

McHenry GOP wants District 3 Democrat hopefuls pulled -
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/mchenrystory.asp?id=195045&cc=m&tc=&t=
McHenry County Republicans are asking election officials to remove two Democratic county board candidates from the November ballot because of a possible error in their nominations.

An objection filed this week by county GOP Chairman Bill LeFew asks that John Gravenor and John Darger be barred from seeking four-year terms representing the board’s District 3.

LeFew said Democrats failed to indicate on the nomination forms for Darger and Gravenor whether they were seeking one of the two four-year terms up for election or a two-year term made available when board member Ann Kate stepped down this year.

Democrats nominated Gravenor and Darger, both Crystal Lake residents, last month during the party’s caucus. At the time, party Chairman Patrick Ouimet said they would seek four-year terms and challenge incumbent Republicans Barb Wheeler and Ed Dvorak.

Ouimet was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

District 3 covers Nunda Township and the southern edge of McHenry Township.

The objection was filed with McHenry County Clerk Katherine Schultz.

Immigration: What about those who follow the rules? - T.J. Manion 

It just amazes me about some of the commentary that has been surrounding the illegal aliens problem. Even more astounding to me is the way that the supporters of illegal aliens get away with their openly ridiculous and absurd statements.

One recent letter writer to the Daily Herald quoted Leviticus, stating that aliens should not be mistreated. The word is actually “foreigner” and does not mean one who has entered a land illegally, which is the exact point so many people, including the writer, always miss.

A foreigner and illegal alien are very different persons. One is legal and the other is a law-breaker. We’re a nation of law, and we will end up like the war-torn Balkans if we allow illegal aliens, who are here illegitimately, to tell Americans how we should run our nation.

And where’s the justice and compassion for those individuals who patiently waited in line and for their turn to become citizens? These immigrants are the ones America has always welcomed! They played by the rules, and now they’re being told that the rules don’t apply to the rule-breakers.

We have had seven amnesties for illegal aliens since 1986, and each one has encouraged more and more to defy our laws, tell us what to do, and then take away billions of dollars from legal, taxpaying citizens, and demand that this money be paid out in services to the illegal immigrants who have flouted our laws in the first place.

And our politicians, including Illinois’ own two U.S. senators, where are they? Pandering and toadying to those they hope will become future voters.

Plenty of reasons to re-elect Mark Kirk - Lee Curtiss 

http://www.dailyherald.com/opinion/fencepost.asp

As the Nov. 7 election approaches and some talk in broad generalities, it’s timely to review the significant legislation that Rep. Mark Kirk has initiated during the six years he has very ably represented the 10th District.

Mark initially secured funding to establish and then expand Metra service in the Northern and Northwest suburbs, thus relieving traffic congestion and removing thousands of automobiles from the highway.

As the only active military reservist in the House, he is a leader in veterans’ health care issues — saving the North Chicago Veterans Administration Hospital from closing and instead joining it with a new state-of-the-art combined Navy-VA Hospital. It is rare to have two government agencies combine to provide services, and Mark made it happen.

He continues the work he initiated to clean up Waukegan Harbor and protect families from mercury pollution. He secured funding for local initiatives such as YouthBuild and Women in Need Growing Stronger that help at-risk teens and abused women find protection, guidance and support.

With no new refineries having been built in the U.S. for 30 years, the House in October narrowly passed incentives to expand refinery capacity. Mark supported the bill while 12 Illinois Democrats voted against it and, as the Chicago Tribune said on April 27, “In effect, they voted for higher gas prices.”

Mark is working to reduce boutique fuels as well as raise fuel efficiency standards from 20.7 miles per gallon to 33 mpg by 2014, in addition to working on extending the tax credit on hybrid vehicle purchases.

With over 150 million Chinese students learning English, and only 30,000 Americans learning Chinese, Mark unveiled legislation to increase enrollment of American students in Chinese. In April, he introduced the U.S.-China Engagement Act to expand American high school Chinese classes. The bill also increases the number of diplomats posted in China, and provides more help to businesses exporting to China.

Mark is a leader in the same thoughtful, independent style of John Porter. The National Journal ranks Congressman Kirk near the exact “Center of the House.” The Chicago Tribune on Feb. 27 called him “one of the brightest members of the House.” Mark Kirk has earned the right to continue his congressional leadership in November. He has my vote.

Anchorman John Drury at home in Wheaton despite ALS ravages - Harry Hitzeman 

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/dupagestory.asp?id=195048&cc=d&tc=wht&t=wheaton

These were supposed to be the golden years for Ann Drury and her husband John, the longtime ABC-7 news anchor.

Instead, their Wheaton home has become is a revolving door for doctors, nurses and therapists as he battles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

His physical troubles started shortly after John Drury retired from the news desk in March 2002. The couple were supposed to attend a friend’s wedding in an Irish castle.

They never made it.

John was having problems swallowing, typically one of the later symptoms of ALS.

“We couldn’t find out what was wrong with him,” his wife told an audience at a caregivers expo in Oakbrook Terrace Wednesday.

Doctors performed a battery of tests before diagnosing him in March 2004 with the degenerative and fatal disease, which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually wearing down normal abilities like walking, breathing and speaking.

There is no cure for ALS, and today John Drury is on a ventilator and feeding tube and can only move his right arm. Ann Drury said her husband’s mind is still “fabulous.”

“People tell me you need to learn to detach,” she said. “If you’re a loving wife, how do you detach?”

She said one of her role models during the ordeal has been her mother, who cared for her husband as he battled terminal liver cancer.

Ann Drury acknowledged she has more help than most caretakers. A team of seven helps tend to her husband, and the cost for nursing alone is more than $1,000 a day.

“I am extremely fortunate that I have lots of help. I commend all of you,” she told the audience, later adding: “I thought I could do it all. It isn’t possible.”

One person she credited with helping her husband is Dr. Thomas Cornwell, medical director of HomeCare Physicians, which operates out of Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

Cornwell, who also spoke at the expo, has made more than 19,000 house calls in his career. He said technological improvements have made home visits more viable, since now some medical equipment like heart monitors can be wired through a laptop computer, and smaller and lighter equipment can be used in the home, even to take X-rays.

The overall result is better for doctors, caretakers and more beneficial for patients, who often can’t leave the home to see their physician, he said.

“Our mission is to go where doctors don’t go,” Cornwell said. “Our mission is to keep patients out of the hospital.”

One audience member who could relate to Drury was Barbara Trotter.

The Chicago woman lost her mother last summer to ALS and her husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She has cared for both of them.

“I can understand what (Ann) went through,” Trotter said. “It is hard work. I’ve been there. It’s an awful disease. (My mom’s) mind was sharp, but she just couldn’t eat.”

The Drurys have asked people to contribute to the Brain Research Foundation at the University of Chicago so a cure might be found.

For more information, visit www.brainresearchfdn.org or call (773) 834-6750.

The expo was sponsored by Chicago CAREgiver Magazine and CVS Pharmacy.  

BLOOMINGTON PANTAGRAPH

Madigan wants answers on lottery plan - Kurt Erickson
http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2006/05/31/news/doc447e208a96632679915429.txt

SPRINGFIELD -- Republicans aren’t alone in questioning Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s proposal to sell or lease the state lottery.

In a two-page letter distributed to Democratic lawmakers Tuesday, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called for answers to more than a dozen questions he has about the initiative, which would raise $10 billion for schools.

"The governor’s multi-faceted, far-reaching plan would have profound long-term consequences for state finances and schools," Madigan wrote.

Madigan’s call for scrutiny of the proposal is important because the speaker controls much of what gets voted on in the Illinois House.

While Madigan said the governor’s plan deserves "serious consideration," he said questions must be answered on a number of fronts, including how the governor determined the lottery was worth $10 billion.

That is the same question being asked by GOP officials, who are complaining that the administration will not release information to back up that claim.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s budget office says there is no formal report outlining how that number was arrived at in the week preceding the governor’s unveiling of the proposal.

Under the governor’s plan, $4 billion of the proceeds of the sale would be spent in the first four years to drive up education spending across the state. The remainder would be invested in order to guarantee $650 million in new money for schools for the next 19 years.

In his letter, Madigan asks how school districts will cope when the influx of cash comes to an end in four years. And, he said, what happens in 2025 when the $650 million-per-year annuity runs out?

"We must consider our obligations not only to those who need help today, but also that we keep the state on a sound financial footing so that we can meet our responsibility to those who will need help tomorrow," Madigan wrote.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said the governor expects his plan will be thoroughly reviewed.

"Speaker Madigan raises some thoughtful questions," she said.

Rank-and-file lawmakers praised the speaker’s request for more answers.

State Rep. Bob Flider, D-Mt. Zion, said he needs to know how schools outside of Chicago will fare under the proposal. And, he said he’s concerned that privatizing the lottery could lead to an expansion of gambling.

"That makes me queasy," Flider said.

The governor has asked that his plan be debated during the fall veto session, which is slated to begin after the November general election. 

REPUBLICANS FOR FAIR MEDIA

Blagojevich Plan to Sell the Lottery: Reneging on Campaign Pledge Not to Expand Gambling or Scheme to Balance the Budget? - Daniel T. Zanoza

http://www.politicsislocal.com/artman/publish/article_437.shtml

Governor Blagojevich's plan to sell the Illinois Lottery to private business has certainly raised many eyebrows.  It has been estimated the scheme would earn the state anywhere from $6 to $10 billion.
 
Reportedly, the beneficiary of the Lottery sale would be the Illinois public school system.  I imagine the infusion of $6 billion or more into Illinois public education would go a long way.  However, it seems like there's an echo bouncing around the state.  Haven't we heard this before?  When the idea of the Lottery was first sold to Illinois residents back in the 1970's, Lottery revenue was supposed to "help Illinois schools."  Well, we all know that was merely political rhetoric used to deceive the public.  While the Lottery clears between $500 to $600 million a year, we still hear about under-funded schools and poorly paid teachers, but that's a myth for another column.  The idea that the Lottery was going to solve all of our state's education problems was a ruse and the Governor's recent proposal seems to be more of the same.
 
More reasonable speculation regarding Blagojevich's plan to sell the Lottery might have more to do with balancing the state's supposed $5 billion budget shortfall.  The idea seems to be; balance the budget, so the state can have more irresponsible short-term spending.  The only problem is:  What happens when Lottery sale proceeds are gone in a short number of years?  The state would have to do without the revenue it currently generates from the Lottery and find more dollars to offset the increased spending that would be sure to follow after the Lottery was sold.
 
Now some believe it's a good idea for the state to get out of the gambling business.  The dirty secret is there are many Illinois residents who are addicted to the Lottery and a high percentage of those are the poor.
 
"We are concerned that the only way for the Lottery to make more money is by expanding it electronically," said Anita Bedell, Executive Director, Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems (ILCAAAP).  "The Governor proposed legalizing Keno earlier this year, to expand the Lottery in bars, convenience stores and in every community in the state.  Video Lottery Terminals are the 'crack cocaine of gambling' due to the speed with which they addict people.  Gamblers have become addicted to these machines in six months!"
 
There are even more questions that need to be answered regarding the Governor's plan.  If the Lottery were sold to the private sector, what would prevent a business from expanding the Lottery in a myriad of different ways?  Also, why would only one business be entitled to run a Lottery in a free market society?  Could the state end up licensing numerous Lottery franchises to different companies or corporations?
 
Illinois is the first state to consider such a plan.  This seems like a desperate way to come up with revenue at any cost--the moral equation not withstanding.  However, here's an idea.  Perhaps Blagojevich could sell the Illinois education system to the private sector.  In fact, that makes much more sense than selling the Lottery and would probably be more cost effective and productive.
 
The sad thing is, as previously stated, the Governor's proposal may be nothing more than an effort to expand gambling in Illinois.  Of course, Blagojevich would be going against a promise he made when campaigning for the office of governor, but he may be thinking that selling the Lottery will provide himself political cover.  In fact, during his gubernatorial campaign, Blagojevich replied to an ILCAAAP survey on which he promised not to expand gambling in any way if he were elected.
 
"Legislation has been introduced to sell Lottery tickets on the Internet and the bill was passed in the Senate last Spring," continued Bedell.  "This would bring gambling into every home with a computer or even on cell phones and televisions with Internet access.  Children and families would suffer if gambling is made this accessible.  The Governor and legislators need to consider the costs and harm to society and reject such a huge expansion of gambling."
 
To confuse matters even more, Blagojevich says some of the proceeds from the Lottery sale might be put into an annuity.  This proposal brings up even more questions and problems.  Without going into the details of what makes an annuity, the Governor's thinking would surely be out of the box and such an annuity would be like one never seen before. 
 
While some might consider Blagojevich's idea creative thinking, others say his proposed sale of the Lottery is a pie in the sky scheme that will never see the light of day.  However, we do live in Illinois and stranger things have happened.
 
By the way, is anyone interested in buying some choice property in our state parks?  See Governor Rod Blagojevich for more information. 

FAMILY TAXPAYERS NETWORK

Topinka's Gutter Politics - The Topinka Tattler
It’s not easy making Governor Rod Blagojevich look mature and professional.  But Judy Baar Topinka pulled it off in their first televised debate hosted by respected Chicago political reporter Dick Kay.

All of the reasons for the dire warnings about the coming Topinka Train Wreck should now be obvious to everyone.  Judy’s in way over her head.

And it’s not just the fact that Topinka has no positive agenda and offers no alternatives for governing the State.  It’s unlikely Topinka would be able to intelligently articulate policy issues even if her minders eventually scoot a plan in front of her. 

No, Topinka’s real problem is that she’s nothing but nastiness and negativity.  Judy displays the sort of singularly-focused crabbiness that one might see down at the old folks’ home when the Jell-O is tardy.

Sunday’s debate - if you could call it that - was a further embarrassment to every Illinois Republican.  We’ve often said that Blagojevich and Topinka are about equally bad.  Both are dishonest left-wingers working against the Republican agenda.  Both have severe ethical problems, and both cling to an obsolete Illinois pay-to-play political culture.  Both come from the corruption wing of their Parties.  It’s probably a toss-up as to which might be the first to don an orange jump-suit (the smart money’s on Topinka).

The difference is that at least Rod Blagojevich can’t hurt the Republican Party.  Topinka has, is, and will continue to do so.

Blagojevich at least displayed some degree of decorum in the first debate.  Topinka just can’t seem to control herself.  Piping in with spiteful, immature jabs every time the other is talking is hardly “debating.”  Every Republican on the Illinois ballot this year should be horrified about running with such a loose cannon at the top of the ticket.  Republicans are set to lose seats up and down the ticket this year – it’s only a question of how many. 

The next five months is guaranteed to be nothing but gutter politics, with each contestant accusing the other of being the real George Ryan.  Of course it didn’t have to be this way.  Imagine the substantive discussions Illinois could be having right now if Jim Oberweis or Ron Gidwitz had been the GOP’s nominee.  Imagine if Illinois voters were offered a real alternative this year.

Topinka’s nasty behavior might be less disturbing if it was something isolated, or was only confined to Democrat opponents like Blagojevich.  But of course it has never been.  Lacking substance and an inability to articulate issues, Topinka’s always been the Queen of Mean. 

Topinka seems to thrive on nastiness and gutter politics.  Worse, it’s only for a few months every four years that she’s targeting a Democrat.  The rest of the time she’s a one-woman circular firing squad blasting at Republicans.

We could point to tons of examples going back to the beginning of her political career 23 years ago.  But let’s just focus here on the period since her last campaign.

Immediately after the November 2002 election, Topinka and her henchman Bob Kjellander muscled out Gary MacDougal as State Party Chairman so Judy could take the title.  MacDougal was an honest professional, a reformer even, who had done an impressive job for the Party, especially considering he only had the position for a few months prior to the General Election.

Gary MacDougal had stepped-up in a crisis after Lee Daniels was forced to resign in disgrace from the Chairmanship that summer in 2002.

After the George Ryan Wing saw their candidate Andy McKenna, Jr. trounced to a 4th place finish in the U.S. Senate Primary in March 2004, Topinka turned on the winner Jack Ryan and helped drive him out of the race.  Jim Edgar joined Judy in the firing squad that time, and those two ethical beacons camouflaged their sour grapes by saying the IL GOP couldn’t have a candidate who wouldn’t tell them every private detail between husband and wife.

Six weeks later during that summer of 2004, the State Central Committee that Topinka Chaired finally settled on Alan Keyes as Jack Ryan’s replacement on the ballot.  Topinka closed-off that process and refused to allow any input on replacements from the Republican rank-and-file.

And why not – she was just going to trash that replacement too.  And that’s exactly what she did with Keyes – the choice of her own committee.  

Moving to this year, didn’t everyone notice how the tone of the Primary changed once Topinka entered the race?  The guys were pretty much gentlemen when left on their own.  But Topinka gets in and it became a race to the bottom.  The ads by Gidwitz and Oberweis were nothing compared to the negativity from Topinka and her media shills.  And then of course we had Bill Brady who went from rising up-and-comer, to a mudslinging, kowtowing toady for Topinka almost overnight.

But Topinka hasn’t even confined her meanness to Republicans within our Illinois borders this year.  Topinka also saved some nasty disrespect for the Leader of the Free World, recently saying President Bush should only come to Illinois if it’s “late at night . . . in an undisclosed location.”  Topinka makes it clear she’s only interested in Bush for any campaign cash he could bring in any case.

It seems the only two Republicans really safe from Topinka’s wrath are fellow scallywags George Ryan and Big Bob Kjellander.  Topinka has always gone out of her way not to offend either.

Judy shrieks at Blagojevich not because he’s a Democrat or because she’s concerned about his ethics or policies.  Topinka rips on Blagojevich for the same reason she’s also been obsessed with slicing and dicing so many good Republicans over the years – they’re in Judy’s way.  Politics for Judy isn’t about advancing Republican principles, worrying about anyone else, or governing.  And it certainly isn’t about serving the public.  Politics for Judy is about Judy.

Putting the unsettling personality issues aside, it’s just gotten old.  After years of mocking Republican principles and slashing and burning her way through the GOP ranks – does Topinka honestly expect any intelligent Republican to be a chump and trust her now?

Topinka must think we’re nuts too.

NEW YORK TIMES

Highest Court in New York Confronts Gay Marriage - Anemona Hartocollis 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/01/nyregion/01marriage.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

As the issue of gay marriage finally reached New York State's highest court on Wednesday, the six judges who heard the passionate arguments from both sides put forth a fundamental question: Has marriage been defined by history, culture and tradition since the dawn of Western civilization, or is it an evolving social institution that should change with the times?

During the two and a half hours of oral argument, the judges on the Court of Appeals grappled with essential questions of social values, asking tough questions without tipping their hands as to their ultimate decision.

They wanted to know whether there were studies showing that children raised by mothers and fathers turned out better than those raised by same-sex couples, and they wanted to know whether opening the door to gay marriage would also open the door to bigamy or polygamy.

They wanted to know whether asking the courts to rewrite New York State's marriage laws was a way of letting the State Legislature escape responsibility for taking a position on a social controversy.

The case before the court was a challenge to New York State's marriage laws, filed by 44 same-sex couples. Their lawyers argued that marriage was a fundamental right, and compared laws assuming marriage to be a union of a man and a woman to the laws prohibiting interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court struck down in 1967.

Lawyers defending the marriage laws argued that even if the institution had evolved, it was the job of the Legislature — not the courts — to change them.

The plaintiffs' lawyers argued that the court merely had to change the gender-based language of the current law, which refers to "husband" and "wife," to something neutral, like "spouse." If the court agreed to legalize same-sex marriages, New York would become only the second state, after Massachusetts, to do so.

The judges' questions pointed to the precedent-setting nature of the debate. "Isn't this the only one where you have literally the whole history of Western civilization against you?" asked Judge Robert S. Smith of the state's domestic relations law. "That does go back right to the dawn of civilization."

After first citing traditional views of marriage, Judge Smith then asked whether the time was ripe for the courts to approve same-sex marriage. Judge Smith also wondered whether the issue of same-sex marriage deserved special attention because of the history of discrimination against gay people.

"Aren't homosexuals about the classic example of people who have been abused and discriminated against," and who therefore need the protection of the courts? he asked.

Peter H. Schiff, senior counsel to the state attorney general, said there was no urgent need to change the law, and pointed out that same-sex couples accounted for only 1.3 percent of all households in New York State, a "very small" number.

"I don't think anybody 100 years ago was thinking about this issue," Mr. Schiff said. "It wasn't on the radar screen."

The main lawsuit in this case was filed by a gay and lesbian rights group, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, on behalf of five same-sex New York City couples against the city clerk, Victor L. Robles, who issues marriage licenses.

In New York, the legal dispute over same-sex marriage goes back two years. In February 2005, a State Supreme Court judge in Manhattan found that state marriage law violated the State Constitution. That decision was overturned last December by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, which said it was up to the Legislature to change the law.

In yesterday's hearing, the New York City plaintiffs were joined by three other groups of plaintiffs from across the state. New York City's lawyer, Leonard Koerner, said yesterday that even in its own case law, the Court of Appeals had affirmed the reason for marriage as "the begetting of offspring," not, as the plaintiffs argued, as the sanctioning of a loving and committed union between two people.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said that New York City is appealing the case to clarify the issue, and that he supports legislative change.

Roberta A. Kaplan, arguing for same-sex marriage on behalf of 12 of the couples across the state, said there were 46,000 families with children headed by same-sex couples in New York State, and that they could not wait until their children were grown for the law to change.

The seventh judge on the Court of Appeals, Albert M. Rosenblatt, removed himself from the case. His daughter, a lawyer, has argued on behalf of advocates for same-sex marriage in California. Judge Rosenblatt has been perceived as a swing vote in many cases. A spokesman for the court said that in the event of a 3-3 tie, another judge could be brought in. He said a tie had occurred only once in the last 20 years or so.

Judge Victoria A. Graffeo asked whether, under the plaintiffs' argument, the Legislature should afford more rights and benefits to other types of family arrangements, such as two sisters raising children. "Was the Legislature denying them due process or equal protection?" she asked.

Judge George Bundy Smith asked what the consequences of legalizing gay marriage had been in Massachusetts.

"Basically nothing," Ms. Kaplan replied. "There is not a breakdown of civil society in Massachusetts and there certainly isn't a breakdown of marriage."

Judge Bundy Smith also asked why gay couples were not satisfied with civil unions — a remedy that the plaintiffs argued would make them second-class citizens.

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said the court would have to decide the constitutional questions, "whether we do it frontally or whether we do it in some more subversive way," like changing language about gender.

To which Terence Kindlon, a lawyer for same-sex couples in Albany, replied, "Subversive is one of the words I've liked all my life, your honor."

USA TODAY

Protect traditional marriage  Constitutional amendment would protect union between man, woman. - Wayne Allard

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20060601/oppose01.art.htm

Respect for the democratic process compels this Congress to protect traditional marriage in the face of a coordinated effort to redefine marriage through the courts.

Marriage, the union between a man and a woman, has been the foundation of every civilization in human history. It is incorporated into the fabric of our culture and civic life. It is the platform on which children, families and communities are nurtured.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Constitution is being amended to reflect a new definition of marriage — not by democratically elected members of Congress, but by unaccountable and unelected judges. As a result, I introduced an amendment to the Constitution that simply defines marriage as the “union of a man and a woman,” while leaving to state legislatures the freedom to address the question of civil unions and domestic partnerships. The amendment would not overturn current state and local laws dealing with these arrangements.

Democracy and representative government are at the core of this debate. In 2004 and 2005, voters in 14 states overwhelmingly passed constitutional amendments protecting marriage. Today, 19 states have constitutional amendments protecting marriage, and 26 have statutes designed to protect traditional marriage. The will of the people is clear on this issue.

Unfortunately, dissatisfied with the outcome of these votes, activists have intensified their campaign to circumvent the democratic process and redefine marriage through the courts. Currently, nine states face lawsuits challenging traditional marriage laws. Among these lawsuits are challenges to state constitutional amendments passed by an overwhelming majority of voters.

Recent decisions by activist judges not only fail to respect the traditional definition of marriage, they also highlight a lack of respect for the democratic process. The courts are driving a redefinition of marriage contrary to democratic principles.

The process to amend the U.S. Constitution is one the American people can trust.

My amendment reflects a belief that the institution of marriage is too precious to surrender to the whims of a handful of unelected, activist judges. The American people should have a say in the matter. If we in Congress fail to define marriage, the courts ultimately will not hesitate to define it for us.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is the author of the Marriage Protection Amendment.

An ex-liberal David Horowitz navigates right  Activist defends students from ‘leftist' professors - Mary Beth Marklein

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20060601/d_cover01.art.htm

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — David Horowitz pays no heed to the hecklers. He responds politely to challenges during the question-and-answer period. Only when his talk devolves into a sort of free-for-all does he lose his temper.

“This is a demonstration of what brainwashing will do,” he bellows into the crowd of about 300, most of them students, gathered on a recent spring evening in a cavernous hall at Pennsylvania State University. “You have sat through (the entire) talk and can't even engage the argument.”

Horowitz later says he felt bad about yelling at students. He usually reserves his vitriol for faculty and administrators. But to some, it was quintessential Horowitz.

“Sometimes he gets a little over the top,” says just-graduated Vicky Cangelosi, 20, who sat up front in a section reserved for Penn State's College Republicans, the group that sponsored Horowitz's appearance. “I think that indicates that he's very passionate.”

Other critics of higher education may argue that today's college campuses are being overrun by leftist professors bent on indoctrinating their students. But nobody is quite as in-your-face about it as Horowitz, 67, a '60s-radical-turned-conservative-activist who has spent the past few years crisscrossing the country to warn students: “You can't get a good education if they're only telling you half the story.”

To Horowitz, an overwhelming majority of hard-line liberal professors on campuses have left conservative students complaining that their views aren't welcome. His job, he says, is to see that those students aren't treated as second-class citizens.

He is not a professor; he is a writer, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of Popular Culture and founder of the 2½-year-old Washington-based Students for Academic Freedom, a national organization that allows conservative students to vent.

All Horowitz wants, he says, is a return to the kind of liberal arts education he got at Columbia University in the 1950s, when he still embraced communism, where professors “taught me what the intellectual life should be like, where you focus on the ideas. It's not a political food fight like so much of our culture has become.”

Trouble is, his critics, including a recently created coalition of student, faculty and civil liberties groups, say he doesn't know what he's talking about. In May, the coalition called Free Exchange on Campus released a report aimed at discrediting claims made in Horowitz's new book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Regnery).

The book profiles faculty who Horowitz says represent the kind of disorder going on in college classrooms today. But professor by professor, the report cites errors, fab- rications and misleading statements, and concludes that Horowitz's research is “manipulated to fit his arguments.”

Two examples at Penn State:

•Sociology senior lecturer Sam Richards reinforces class lessons “with ‘out-of-class' assignments that include the viewing of left-wing propaganda films, such as The Oil Factor, from which students learn that the ‘war in Afghanistan has turned into a bloody quagmire,' … and Occupation 101, about the horrors of Israel's ‘occupation' of Palestinian territories,' ” Horowitz writes. In the report, Richards responds: Horowitz “disingenuously fails to note that students also receive credit for attending ‘conserva- tive' events, including a talk by none other than David Horowitz!”

•Literature professor Michael Berube acknowledges “his classes often have little to do with literature,” and he believes “religious people were to be regarded as simply irrational,” Horowitz says. In addition to noting that Horowitz “knows nothing about my classroom demeanor or my record as a faculty member,” Berube says: “If he were a college student and tried to get away with this garbage, he would indeed be flunked — not for his conservatism, but for his mendacity.”

His critics have said the book is akin to a McCarthy-like smear campaign. But Horowitz calls it “a difference of interpretation of what my book is about.

“Long ago, when I came out of the left, I said, ‘I need to talk to the left the way the left talks to other people,' ” he says during an interview on campus tucked between a book-signing and radio show. “So I have been a very aggressive conservative, and I pull no punches.”

Horowitz is having an effect. He has had success in Congress pushing his Academic Bill of Rights, a statement of principles that he says reflects his goal to both remove political agendas from campus life and ensure that no students are discriminated against because of political or ideological leanings.

It basically says professors should stick to their area of scholarly expertise in the classroom and welcome a diversity of approaches “to unsettled questions,” and students should be graded on academic merit, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs. The bill borrows heavily from standards followed by the American Association of University Professors, an organization that Horowitz sees as part of the problem. Horowitz says his goal is to force universities, through legislation or voluntarily, to extend the same rights to students that faculty have.

Some of Horowitz's language is included in a House-passed bill to renew the federal Higher Education Act. And a similar proposal is pending in the Senate, which makes it likely some form of the provision will be included in any bill sent to President Bush.

Meanwhile, the concept also has captured the attention of lawmakers in about 20 states (depends who's counting), including Pennsylvania, where a House committee today wraps up a series of hearings on the topic.

Horowitz insists that what he's asking for is fairly tame. But in Pennsylvania, faculty, who traditionally have been free from government interference, fear a slippery slope. Once a bill becomes a law, “you have no idea where it's going to go,” Berube says during a walk across campus. And adopting such a code raises new problems, he and others suggest. If a biology professor discusses global warming, for example, is that science or political science? Who would decide?

State lawmakers have been slow to jump aboard. But even in those states where legislation has failed or stalled, the question hasn't gone away.

Public university systems in Colorado, Ohio and Tennessee, for example, have said they'll adopt some form of protection for students in lieu of legislation, and Horowitz says that's good enough for him.

At Penn State, situated in the geographic and conservative center of the state, university officials insist Horowitz is attacking a problem that doesn't exist.

“The kinds of broad strokes he's using don't characterize Penn State, and I don't think most of higher education,” says spokesman Bill Mahon. In the past five years, he says, Penn State has received just 13 complaints regarding classroom bias. (Many are not from conservatives.)

Among students who see no problem is engineering major Kyle Metzgar, 19. He says he is no liberal and has “not had a real stalwart conservative professor.” But “I have also never felt discriminated against or that I was in an atmosphere that was not conducive to getting the most out of my education. … My biology teacher made fun of the fact that President Bush says ‘nu-cu-lar' instead of ‘nu-cle-ar.' Who cares?”

College Republicans, though, say many conservative students won't complain for fear of repercussions. That's where Horowitz comes in.

“He's the voice of a movement that needs to be heard,” says political science and business major Seth Bender, 20, who escorted Horowitz during his visit here. “I have to sit through lectures every single week listening to someone bash different ideologies and that sort of thing, and (being) called an idiot for what I believed.”

Other incidents last semester suggest he has plenty of company. In February, then-sophomore Alfred “A.J.” Fleuhr sued the university, saying he feared he would be punished if he expressed his conservative beliefs because the university might view them as intolerant under campus policies. On May 19, the university updated those policies to the satisfaction of Fleuhr's attorneys at the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal advocacy non-profit in Arizona. And the day before Horowitz arrived on campus, administrators in a statement urged the College Republicans to rethink their approach to an event they planned about illegal immigration, saying many would find it offensive. (At one point, they were going to call it “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day.”)

“So my case is made before I even get here,” Horowitz told his audience.

Horowitz says he became involved in the issue after hearing similar stories from students on campuses nationwide. But even before Free Exchange on Campus came along, his foes have delighted in debunking his claims.

In one example, Horowitz claimed a Penn State biology professor had shown the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 9/11 before the 2004 presidential elections. When Pennsylvania House committee co-chair Lawrence Curry pressed him during hearings at Temple University in Philadelphia in January, Horowitz acknowledged that his staff could not confirm it had happened, and that he no longer uses that example.

Months later, he's still furious about it. “These underhanded, devious, malicious, dishonest tactics,” he says. “I gave 45 minutes of testimony, a half-hour of questions, and I never once mentioned the incident they're referring to. … Curry saved it to the very end of the hearings and rammed it to me.”

Horowitz similarly has been accused of making up a story about a University of Northern Colorado student who was asked to write an essay on her criminology exam explaining “why President Bush is a war criminal.” When the student wrote instead about why Saddam Hussein is a war criminal, Horowitz says, she got a failing grade. Horowitz insists the incident happened: “I located the student and the exam,” he says, but “it's a complicated story. … The student was terrified.”

Even so, Horowitz acknowledges his small staff can't confirm every incident it receives, and his fact-checkers can be “very loose with the truth.” But he mostly dismisses the criticisms as inconsequential.

“I will stake my life that there are professors all over this country in classrooms who are … venting their prejudices in classes where it has no place.”

NEWSWEEK

Unintended Consequences  Senate legislation could double the level of legal immigration. Why wasn't there a national debate about its full impact? - Robert J. Samuelson
The Senate passed legislation last week that Sen. Edward Kennedy hailed as "the most far-reaching immigration reform in our history." You might think that the first question anyone would ask is how much it would actually increase or decrease legal immigration. But no. After the Senate approved the bill by 62 to 36, you could not find the answer in the news columns of The Washington Post, The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. Yet the estimates do exist and are fairly startling. By rough projections, the Senate bill would double the legal immigration that would occur during the next two decades from about 20 million (under present law) to about 40 million.

One job of journalism is to inform the public about what our political leaders are doing. In this case, we failed. The Senate bill's sponsors didn't publicize its full impact on legal immigration, and we didn't fill the void. It's safe to say that few Americans know what the bill would do because no one has told them. Indeed, I suspect that many senators who voted for the legislation don't have a clue as to the potential overall increase in immigration.

Democracy doesn't work well without good information. Here is a classic case. It is interesting to contrast these immigration projections with a recent survey done by the Pew Research Center. The poll asked whether the present level of legal immigration should be changed. The response: 40 percent favored a decrease, 37 percent would hold it steady and 17 percent wanted an increase. There seems to be scant support for a doubling. If the large immigration projections had been in the news, would the Senate have done what it did? Possibly, though I doubt it.

But if it had, senators would have had to defend what they were doing as sound public policy. That's the real point. They would have had to debate whether such high levels of immigration are good or bad for the country rather than adopting a measure whose largest consequences are unintended or not understood. What arguments would they have used?

No one can contend that the United States needs expanded immigration to prevent the population from shrinking. Our population is aging but not shrinking. With present immigration policies, the Census Bureau projects a U.S. population of 420 million in 2050, up from 296 million in 2005. Under the Senate bill, the figure for 2050 would expand by many millions. Another dubious argument is that much higher immigration would dramatically improve economic growth. From 2007 to 2016, the Senate bill might increase the economy's growth rate by about 0.1 percentage point annually, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. That's tiny; it's a rounding error.

The doubling of legal immigration under the Senate bill that I cited at the outset comes from a previously unreported estimate made by White House economists. Because the president praised the Senate bill, the administration implicitly favors a big immigration expansion. The White House estimate could be low. Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation has a higher figure. The CBO has a projection that the White House describes as close to its own. But all the forecasts envision huge increases, diverging only because they make different assumptions of how the Senate bill would operate in practice.

Our immigration laws involve a bewildering array of categories by which people can get a "green card"—the right to stay permanently. The Senate bill dramatically expands many of these categories and creates a large new one: "guest workers." The term is really a misnomer, because most guest workers would receive an automatic right to apply for a green card and remain. The Senate bill authorizes 200,000 guest workers annually, plus their spouses and minor children.

One obvious question is why most of the news media missed the larger immigration story. On May 15 Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama held a news conference with Heritage's Rector to announce their immigration projections and the estimated impact on the federal budget. Most national media didn't report the news conference. The next day the CBO released its budget and immigration estimates. These, too, were largely unreported, though The Wall Street Journal later discussed the figures in a story on the bill's possible budget costs.

Rector's explanation is that the media's "liberal" bias creates a proimmigration slant. I think it's more complicated. Stories generally mirror the prevailing political debate, which has concentrated on "amnesty" for existing illegal immigrants and the guest-worker program. Increases in other immigration categories were largely ignored. Reporters also cover legislative stories as sports contests—who's winning, who's losing—rather than delve into dreary matters of substance. We've had endless stories on how immigration might affect congressional elections and whether there will be a House-Senate "deal."

But note the irony: the White House's projected increases of legal immigration (20 million) are about twice the level of existing illegal immigrants (estimated between 10 million and 12 million). Yet, coverage overlooks the former. Here, I think, Rector has a point. Whether or not the bias is "liberal," groupthink is a powerful force in journalism. Immigration is considered noble. People who critically examine its value or worry about its social effects are subtly considered small-minded, stupid or bigoted. The result is selective journalism that reflects poorly on our craft and detracts from democratic dialogue.

Stepping Over the Line Don't try sneaking north across Mexico's other border. - Joseph Contreras

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13006798/site/newsweek/

Ever since he crossed into Mexico, José Moisés has had nothing but trouble. Now the 30-year-old Honduran mechanic is hunkered down with other young illegal migrants in a rail yard just north of Mexico City, waiting for nightfall to hop a northbound freight. He displays a pale line encircling his finger. He used to have a ring there, he says—until Mexican cops slammed him against a squad car in the southern border state of Chiapas and grabbed it. "They took everything," says Moisés. "Here the Central American has no value."

As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Moisés. There's ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn't—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier. Tougher laws? Hispanic-rights groups are enraged over U.S. efforts to criminalize undocumented aliens—yet since 1974, sneaking into Mexico has been punishable by up to two years in prison. Foot-dragging on amnesty? Fox has spent the past five years urging the United States to upgrade the status of millions of illegals from Mexico. Meanwhile, his own government has given legal status to only 15,000 foreigners without papers.

Some of the worst abuses take place on the coffee plantations of Chiapas state, where some 40,000 Guatemalan field hands endure backbreaking jobs and squalid living conditions to earn roughly $3.50 a day. Some growers even deduct the cost of room and board from that amount. "If you ask them, 'Why are you bringing in Guatemalans to work?' they say, 'You can't depend on Mexicans. They don't work hard; they're irresponsible'," says George Grayson, a political scientist specializing in Mexico at the College of William & Mary. "The truth is, you can pay [the guest workers] a pittance. And if they cause the slightest disturbance, you can send them back to Guatemala."

At least a few Mexicans are balking at the hypocrisy. Late last year their National Human Rights Commission issued a report criticizing Mexico's widespread mistreatment of aliens; the report described sub- human facilities where captured illegals are kept until they can be deported. Several international news agencies ran stories on the publication. But most of Mexico's leading papers ignored it.

SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Immigration reform won’t make problems go away - Ruben Navarrette
By approving comprehensive immigration reform, the Senate is looking into the future. Meanwhile, the enforcement-only posse in the House is obsessing over the past - specifically 1986.

That’s when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, or IRCA, one of the most significant pieces of immigration legislation in U.S. history and one of the most roundly criticized.

The bill, which was signed into law by President Reagan, was significant because it set out to achieve three major objectives: grant legal status to at least 1 million illegal immigrants (the actual number swelled to nearly 3 million); impose sanctions on the employers of illegal immigrants; and secure the border through increased enforcement.

In the current debate, anti-amnesty Republicans have been bad-mouthing the law. They say they don’t want to repeat old mistakes.

I’ve been wondering how the father of the legislation felt about all this. So I dialed the sage of Cody, Wyo., former Sen. Alan Simpson.

Simpson isn’t just the chief sponsor of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which morphed into IRCA. He is also a friend and was one of my graduate school professors.

He’s also delightfully quotable, like when he said that this debate is all about “emotion, fear, guilt and racism.” Or when he said that a lot of the public concern over immigration starts when you “see people in the back yard who are roasting a pig and making a lot of noise and (you) don’t understand what language they’re talking.”

Or when he said to be wary of guest workers because “there’s never been a temporary person in the United States; they all want to stay and they do.” Or on his opposition to sending the National Guard to the border because “you’re going to have a redneck in there every once in a while who is going to cause real pain.”

I asked him about the Republicans - members of his own party - who are saying that his law was a boo-boo and that it failed because it granted amnesty and never secured the border.

“These people,” he said. “If anybody knew what the hell was going on, there’d be more reason (in this debate). The only reason it failed is because we didn’t have a more secure identifier.”

By that, Simpson means something that is in the mix this time - a secure, tamper-proof identification card that lets employers be sure that the people they hire are here legally, and allows authorities to come down hard on those employers who continue to hire illegal workers.

Without that card, you lose half the game. And when you put the word “knowingly” into the law (to violate IRCA, an employer must “knowingly” hire an illegal immigrant), you’ve lost the other half.

On this point, my professor and I disagree. He insists he had to put in that “knowingly” qualifier to give employers a fair shake and to get the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (it didn’t work).

I say it was an invitation for employers to play dumb, and that for 20 years, many of them have continued to hire illegal immigrants and then played it off like Sgt. Schultz in “Hogan’s Heroes”: “I know nothing.”

But on the big question - whether it was a mistake to grant amnesty to all those people - Simpson offers no apologies.

“I don’t have any qualms about 3 million people from 93 countries coming forward,” he said. “I like that. And I still see those people out in the street, and it pleases me greatly.”

So what do we do about the 11 million to 12 million here currently?

“You have to do something to give them a legal status,” he said. “They might have to put up five grand or two grand or 150 bucks, but they’ve got to do something to come into one of the best countries on Earth.”

I think Simpson concedes too much to his critics. It’s not fair to say that IRCA failed. It’s true that the law didn’t stop illegal immigration. But no law is going to do that.

America had illegal immigration 20 years ago, and it has it now, and it’ll have it 20 years from now. It will be with us as long as employers hire illegal immigrants because they work cheaper and harder than natives.

That’s not about the law of man. It’s about the law of nature.

DAILY SOUTHTOWN
Immigration compromise needed - Editorial 
The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed an immigration bill that some call the most revolutionary in 20 years. It attempts to appease the Minutemen among us by calling for the hiring of 1,000 more Border Patrol agents this year and 14,000 by 2011; endorsing President Bush's plan for a short-term deployment of National Guard troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border; and calling for 370 miles of fencing on the border.

At the same time, the Senate bill addresses just how much federal officials have turned a blind eye in allowing undocumented workers to become so intricately woven into the fabric of our everyday economy, not to mention just how difficult it would be to find and deport 12 million undocumented people, most from Mexico.

A guest worker program under the Senate bill would admit 200,000 foreigners a year. They eventually could apply for a green card, which confers legal permanent residency. A separate program would consider admission of an estimated 1.5 million immigrant farmworkers who also may apply for permanent residency. For illegal immigrants, some would be allowed to stay and eventually apply for citizenship depending on how long they've been in this country.

In contrast, the House bill pretty much is limited to border enforcement. It would make all illegal immigrants subject to felony charges. There are no provisions for either a new temporary worker program or citizenship for people who are here illegally.

We cannot support the punitive House bill, not only because of the aforementioned difficulties in rounding up and deporting a population the size of Illinois. More than anything it appeals to conservatives, who have been demanding a crackdown on illegal immigration. They say the proposed guest worker program is just another amnesty. And many resent the increasingly vocal immigrants having a say in "their" country.

Amnesty, however, would grant citizenship immediately and unconditionally to the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. In contrast, the Senate bill, if approved, gives them only the opportunity to apply ... with limitations.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he hoped House leaders would continue the spirit of compromise that led to the Senate's immigration reform proposal. The onus is on House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-14th), of Yorkville, to do just that. Hastert, whose district includes a large Mexican population in Aurora, knows well both sides of the immigration issue. The former wrestling coach will have to go to the mat with House members whose constituents will see anything less than deportation of undocumented immigrants as a sign of weakness in November. We urge Hastert and House members, in working with the Senate on a compromise, to do what's respectable and not just what's electable.

ILLINOIS FAMILY INSTITUTE
And Now... "Gay Polygamy"... How "Gay Marriage" Threatens Churches - Peter LaBarbera
Contact Sens. Durbin and Obama on Marriage Protection Amendment

Please carefully read the following two excerpts, one pointing to the legal dangers of encroaching "gay" activism, the second a nonchalant description of homosexual polygamy from the leading "gay" magazine, The Advocate (emphasis added):
While it may be inconceivable for many to imagine America treating churches that oppose gay "marriage" the same as racists who opposed interracial marriage in the 1960s, just consider the fate of the Boy Scouts.
--Douglas W. Kmiec, professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law [Click here to read full article below]



When Pete Chvany feels like kissing his partner Alan Hamilton on the front lawn of their home in Somerville, Mass., he doesn't really care what the neighbors think. And he doesn't mind if Hamilton then gives a kiss to his wife of 22 years, Pepper Greene, or to Hamilton's other male partner, Woody Glenn.

"Anyone who's watching is getting an eyeful," says Chvany, who has been involved in the polyamorous relationship for nine years. "We are out to people in our neighborhood. In effect, Alan has three partners, and we are all his family."

The quartet are among an unknown number of people in the gay and lesbian population who are in a relationship with more than one partner, something of a queer version of HBO's new hit drama series Big Love, in which one man has three wives who all live on the same property and vie for his time and attention. As Big Love brings the issue of polygamy back into the American conversation, polyamorous relationships among gay people (which have long existed) have also become the subject of much debate.

--excerpted from article "Big Gay Love," in the homosexual magazine The Advocate, June 6, 2006

TAKE ACTION: Contact our two U.S. Senators this week about the federal Marriage Protection Amendment, which will be voted on the Senate floor Tuesday, June 6, 2006:

Senator Dick Durbin
(202) 224-2152 - Washington, D.C.
(312) 353-4952 - Chicago
(217 ) 492-4062 - Springfield
(618) 998-8812 - Marion

E-mail Durbin through his website: Sen. Durbin's website (click on e-mail link in the center or scroll down -- then use "other" for issue)

Senator Barack Obama
(202) 224-2854 - Washington, D.C.
(312) 886-3506 - Chicago
(217) 492-5089 - Springfield
(618) 997-2402 - Marion
(309)736-1217 - Moline


E-mail Obama through his website: Sen. Obama's website (click on "Position on an issue" and in the next screen use "other issues" since Obama has no button for "gay marriage")


Dear IFI Readers,

Many of you have asked about our position on the federal Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA, or Senate Joint Resolution 1), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (see language below), and which is scheduled for a vote by the full U.S. Senate on Tuesday, June 6th after passing out of the U.S. Senate Judicial committee.

Here is the Alliance for Marriage's description of what the MPA does:
" Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."
  • The first sentence simply states that marriage in the United States consists of the union of one man and one woman.

  • The second sentence ensures that states can determine the allocation of the benefits associated with marriage.

  • Marriage Amendment has no impact at all on benefits offered by private businesses and corporations.

  • People have a right to live as they choose, but no one has the right to redefine marriage for our entire society.
  • Of course, we at IFI favor passage of a federal Constitutional Marriage Amendment--which is necessary to protect against arrogant federal judges who will try to radically redefine marriage against the will of the American people. However, like my good friend and former boss Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute, I do wish the language of the MPA were stronger. It troubles me that Alliance for Marriage is boasting that its Marriage Amendment "ensures that states can determine the allocation" of marriage benefits--because that's talking the language of "civil unions," which is just "gay marriage" by another name.
    The "benefits" of marriage should be kept solely within marriage; that's what we're fighting to preserve. Government- or corporate-sponsored "domestic partnerships," whether "gay" or "straight," undermine the real deal--marriage.
    Click HERE to link to a paper by Knight, which lists some other possibilities for federal marriage amendment language.

    Liberals: what threat to marriage?
    All of the above said, it is remarkable with all that has transpired--e.g., the Massachusetts high court's imposition of "gay marriage" on the people of that state and the threat that it could happen again in Washington, New Jersey and other states--that liberals like our own Sen. Dick Durbin (D) still insist there is no need to constitutionally protect the historic definition of marriage.

    You don't have to be a cheerleader for the current MPA language to know that Sens. Durbin and Obama and others are dead wrong when they assert that current laws are sufficient to protect marriage. (Durbin and Obama are strongly supported by homosexual lobby groups.)

    Here is Bob Knight's listing of the most recent court threats against marriage:
  • Massachusetts -- May 17, 2004: After a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state begins issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples. This leads directly to schools openly promoting homosexuality and to Catholic Charities being forced to stop placing children for adoptions.

  • In 2004, the mayors of several cities, beginning with San Francisco, issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (Sandoval County, New Mexico; New Paltz, New York, and Multnomah County, Oregon). State courts rule those "marriages" invalid, but appeals are pending.

  • Nebraska -- May 21, 2005: A federal judge overturns the state's constitutional marriage amendment, which had been enacted by a ballot vote of 70 percent.

  • California -- September 6, 2005: The legislature becomes the first in the nation to pass a law mandating legalization of homosexual "marriages." Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoes the bill, but proponents say they'll be back.

  • Connecticut -- October, 2005: Connecticut becomes the sixth state (after California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont) to offer some form of legal recognition to homosexual couples.

  • Maryland -- January 20, 2006: A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge strikes down the state marriage law, and then stays her order pending appeal.

  • Georgia -- May 16, 2006: A county judge overturns the state marriage protection amendment enacted in 2004 by a 76-percent ballot vote.

  • Utah -- May 16, 2006: The state Supreme Court upholds the bigamy conviction of a former police officer, Rodney Holm. He had challenged the marriage law after being convicted in 2002 upon his third "marriage." Chief Justice Christine Durham dissents, saying the state law violates the "privacy of intimate, personal relationships" and religious freedom.

  • Washington -- The state Supreme Court will rule soon on a challenge to that state's marriage law, as will the high court in New Jersey. Both courts are dominated by liberals. Unlike Massachusetts, neither Washington nor New Jersey has a law barring marriages to out-of-state couples whose own states do not recognize "gay" marriage. Thus, if either state begins issuing marriage licenses to couples from the other 49 states, the recipients will return to their own states and file lawsuits challenging not only their state laws but the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). (Congress passed DOMA in 1996 defining marriage for all purposes as only the union of one man and one woman, and affirming that states may reject claims against their marriage laws that do not conform to their stated public policy.) On February 4, CWA filed an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court urging the court to reverse a trial court decision permitting same-sex "marriage."

  • Lawsuits filed by homosexual activists seeking to overturn state marriage laws are pending in 10 states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Washington. [Here in Illinois, the "gay marriage" lawsuites have not yet been filed, but homosexual militants have "demanded" marriage licences despite our state's clear law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.]
  • Please use the contact information above to write or call Sens. Durbin and Obama to inform them that there is an urgent need to protect marriage from being redefined.

    Also, please send this e-mail out to your friends and relatives in other states. For those who receive this e-mail in another state, you can identify your U.S. Senators and their contact information by clicking this U.S. Senate Website link.

    Sincerely,

    Peter LaBarbera
    Executive Director
    Illinois Family Institute
    info@illinoisfamily.org


    P.S. The following is an excellent opinion article in the Chicago Tribune that explains how legalizing counterfeit "same-sex marriage" (like the rest of the "sexual orientation" legal agenda) threatens religious freedoms including the tax-exempt status of churches.

    Chicago Tribune article:

    If gays marry, churches could suffer
    May 26, 2006
    By Douglas W. Kmiec, a professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law


    After an acrimonious session in which Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) stomped out and Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) bid him "good riddance," the Senate Judiciary Committee approved sending the federal marriage amendment to the full Senate.

    The Feingold-Specter tiff illustrates the intensity of feeling about adding to the text of the Constitution what the founders surely thought was obvious: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." The need to reaffirm the self-evident was prompted by Massachusetts' judicial recognition of same-sex "marriage," which motivated more than a dozen states to overwhelmingly proclaim otherwise.
    With the states being so vigilant in defense of traditional marriage, is there really a need for the people to act? Yes. Activists are deployed across the country challenging traditional marriage, and it is more than likely that some additional judges will compound the Massachusetts mistake. This increased judicial approval of same-sex "marriage" will metastasize into the larger culture. Indeed, an insidious, but less recognized, consequence will be a push to demonize--and then punish--faith communities that refuse to bless homosexual unions.

    While it may be inconceivable for many to imagine America treating churches that oppose gay "marriage" the same as racists who opposed interracial marriage in the 1960s, just consider the fate of the Boy Scouts. The Scouts have paid dearly for asserting their 1st Amendment right not to be forced to accept gay scoutmasters. In retaliation, the Scouts have been denied access to public parks and boat slips, charitable donation campaigns and other government benefits. The endgame of gay activists is to strip the Boy Scouts (and by extension, any other organization that morally opposes gay marriage) of its tax-exempt status under both federal and state law.

    For technical legal reasons, it is difficult to challenge a religious group's non-profit status in federal court, but state court is more open. There, judicial decisions approving same-sex marriage or even state laws barring discrimination can be used to pronounce any opposing moral or religious doctrine to be "contrary to public policy." So declared, it would be short work for a state attorney general's opinion to deny the tax-exempt status of charities and most orthodox Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious bodies. If enough state lawyers do this, expect the IRS to chime in.

    Punishing religious organizations for their moral beliefs might be thought contrary to the protections of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts have had little success defending these bedrock precepts. Penalizing the Scouts for observing their own handbook, say lower courts, merely avoids the immediate harm of discrimination, even as the bald-faced assertion that moral belief is a "harm" is anomalous.

    For the moment, same-sex "marriage" is confined to a single state, but litigation is ongoing in 10 states from New York to California. Three years ago, the Supreme Court came close to endorsing gay and lesbian "marriage" when it declared that morality alone was no basis for lawmaking. The court is under new management and is acting more restrained. But the political lobbying and litigating are unrelenting, and the targeting of the Scouts reveals that same-sex success can come by indirection.

    That churches can be made the collateral casualties of the same-sex "marriage" campaign is important to grasp. At a minimum it gives partial answer to the view of indifference that asks how gay "marriage" hurts anyone. When judges treat your religious community, its schools and its charities on par with the purveyors of racial hatred, it will no longer be necessary to ask. But then, it will also be too late.

    Many share the view, as I do, that marriage is a moral reality incapable of redefinition by court edict. Others disagree. Sending the federal marriage amendment to the states allows for an honest and civil debate, which is far better than back-door vengeance against moral dissenters--or is it a moral majority?

    By Douglas W. Kmiec, a professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law.

    Other Helpful Resources

  • "Homosexuality: The Threat to the Family and the Attack on Marriage" (excellent Family Research Council paper by Peter Sprigg)

  • "Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples" (Family Research Council paper by Tim Dailey; a MUST READ if you're still buying the myth of "gay monogamy"--Peter L.)

  • Why a Federal Marriage Amendment Is Needed (Knight and CWA do not support the current federal marriage amendment language; they favor Home School Legal Defense Association President Michael Farris' proposed language: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither the United States nor any State shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.")

  • READ IT FOR YOURSELF: Homosexual magazine The Advocate's website, containing story "Big Gay Love" on homosexual multiple-partner relationships

  • If you consider yourself "gay" or "lesbian" but are open to the possibility of healthy change and would like to get right with God, try visiting one of these websites:
  • Stephen Bennett Ministries (Bennett is a former "gay" man who found forgiveness through Jesus Christ and is now happily married with children; his ministry is traveling to Israel this summer to lovingly confront a worldwide "Gay Pride" parade in Jerusalem)

  • Redeemed Lives Ministries (founded by former homosexual Mario Bergner; this Wheaton-based Christian group is moving to Massachusetts but it will continue its worldwide outreach)

  • Exodus International (This is the leading umbrella group for ex-homosexual ministries; Exodus is holding its annual conference June 27-July 2 at Indiana Wesleyan University)
  • BELLEVILLE NEWS DEMOCRAT
    Governor wants drug stores to post morning-after pill rule - Jayne Matthews
    Less than a year after the state ordered pharmacists to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill, the governor wants drug stores to post signs alerting customers to this right.

    The rules apply to all prescriptions, but were established last year after some Illinois pharmacists refused to dispense the morning-after birth control pill. They claim the pill induces abortion.

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wants stores to post signs including an e-mail address for complaints about pharmacists who refused to fill prescriptions for birth control drugs.

    "It deals with contraceptives because that's the one we've had trouble with," said Susan Hofert, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

    The department's head will be in Edwardsville on Friday to seek public comment on the sign proposal. After Friday, comments received at public forums around the state and by e-mail will be turned over to the General Assembly's Joint Rules Committee for study and a decision within six weeks.

    Binding rules for professionals such as pharmacists can be passed or denied by the committee without action by the full legislature.

    Five Walgreens pharmacists in Illinois were suspended indefinitely without pay last year for refusing to fill morning-after prescriptions, known as Plan B.

    "Suspended without pay indefinitely means you're fired," said Rich Quayle of Highland, one of the pharmacists who refused to dispense Plan B.

    In April, Walgreens joined a lawsuit filed on behalf of the suspended pharmacists that challenges the rules the pharmacists were suspended for violating.

    A Walgreens spokesman said Tuesday that the drug chain joined the lawsuit because its long-standing policy allows pharmacists to abide by their personal beliefs as long as they pass the prescription along to another pharmacist or another drugstore.

    "Our policy has always been that the pharmacist could choose to step away from a prescription, but not step in the way," said Walgreens spokesman Tiffani Bruce.

    Bruce said Walgreens pharmacists are not supposed to cause delays or express their personal beliefs to customers if they pass the prescriptions to someone else.

    Quayle said he thinks the drug chain is taking a turn-around position.

    "For two years Walgreens has been telling us we're wrong and the governor is right," Quayle said.

    Quayle said he now works for another drugstore chain, which he declined to name.

    A lawsuit challenging the rule against refusing to fill morning-after prescriptions now is pending in Madison County Circuit Court.

    The suspended pharmacists also have a complaint against Walgreens on file with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    JEWISH WORLD REVIEW

    "Native Hawaiians:" Republican hypocrisy - Linda Chavez

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/chavez053106.asp

    What is going on with Republicans in Congress? They've largely abandoned many traditional conservative principles — smaller government, belief in the free market and protection of individual, not group, rights.

    Instead of acting as good stewards of the people's money, Republican members have taken the art of "earmarking" funds for their pet projects to heights that should make big-spending Democrats blush. They've become so obsessed by immigration, many have adopted the centrally planned economic models of radical population-control advocates.

    And now some Republicans are about to engineer the reconquista of Hawaii. There is much talk among some Republican members of Congress of late that Mexicans are trying to reconquer the American Southwest, but the real irredentist threat seems to be coming from Hawaiians, not Mexicans, with the help of a lot of Republican politicians. Instead of being the party of principle, Republicans are in danger of becoming the party of hypocrisy.

    The latest travesty comes in the form of a bill to grant "Native Hawaiians" status as a sovereign government within the United States. Half of the co-sponsors of the legislation are Republicans: Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Gordon Smith, Norm Coleman, Ted Stevens and Lindsey Graham. And so many Republicans are supporting the bill that opponents may not be able to sustain a filibuster when it comes up for a Senate vote next week.

    The bill creates a new racial category — so-called Native Hawaiians — that will be defined as a "tribe" for purposes of self-government. Anyone who is one of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii" and who is a "direct, lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who resided in the Hawaiian Islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893, and "exercised sovereignty" in the same region will be given special autonomous rights, including the right to "negotiate" with the federal government over lands and natural resources.

    In order to qualify for membership in the group there will be strictly a racial test — "tribal" members wouldn't even have to live in Hawaii. And never mind the obvious nonsense that the indigenous peoples of the Hawaiian Islands ever exercised "sovereignty." The only sovereign of the Hawaiian peoples in 1893 was Queen Liliuokalani, but that won't stop some 400,000 people claiming special privileges under this bill.

    The legislation is a marked departure from the government's treatment of legitimate Indian tribes, which must produce evidence to show that they have been in continuous existence since 1900 and have kinship and marriage, as well as cultural or religious, patterns that are distinctive. Indian tribes must also prove that their membership is based on historical tribes that have functioned as a political entity in the past — none of which will be required for Native Hawaiians.

    The recent debate over immigration has raised important questions about national identity, but conservative Republicans are no better than their Democrat colleagues in tackling this issue head-on. Republicans — including illegal alien foe and Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner — back bilingual ballots, for example.

    When I testified at Judiciary Committee hearings against providing bilingual ballots, I felt a little like the skunk at the tea party. And Republicans have been almost as bad as Democrats in including racial preferences for supposedly underrepresented minorities in federal legislation, even voting again to include such preferences in legislation that had been the subject of a successful Supreme Court challenge in the 1995 Adarand v. Pena case.

    What we need now is not more racial categories and special privileges, but fewer, especially in light of the changing demographics of the country. Instead of pushing legislation to create a whole new victim-group — Native Hawaiians — Republicans ought to get back to color-blind principles and a commitment to the melting pot.

    But principles don't seem to matter to some members of Congress nearly as much as interest groups pushing an agenda. At this rate, it's hard to figure out what some Republicans really stand for anymore. Aside from support for aggressively challenging our enemies abroad, the GOP doesn't bear much resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan on much of anything these days.

    HUMAN EVENTS
    The Plan to Replace the Dollar With the 'Amero' - Jerome R. Corsi
    http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15017
    The idea to form the North American Union as a super-NAFTA knitting together Canada, the United States and Mexico into a super-regional political and economic entity was a key agreement resulting from the March 2005 meeting held at Baylor University in Waco, Tex., between President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin.

    A joint statement published by the three presidents following their Baylor University summit announced the formation of an initial entity called, “The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” (SPP). The joint statement termed the SPP a “trilateral partnership” that was aimed at producing a North American security plan as well as providing free market movement of people, capital, and trade across the borders between the three NAFTA partners:

    We will establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our borders.

    A working agenda was established:

    We will establish working parties led by our ministers and secretaries that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working parties will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce has produced a SPP website, which documents how the U.S. has implemented the SPP directive into an extensive working agenda.

    Following the March 2005 meeting in Waco, Tex., the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published in May 2005 a task force report titled “Building a North American Community.” We have already documented that this CFR task force report calls for a plan to create by 2010 a redefinition of boundaries such that the primary immigration control will be around the three countries of the North American Union, not between the three countries. We have argued that a likely reason President Bush has not secured our border with Mexico is that the administration is pushing for the establishment of the North American Union.

    The North American Union is envisioned to create a super-regional political authority that could override the sovereignty of the United States on immigration policy and trade issues. In his June 2005 testimony to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Pastor, the Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University, stated clearly the view that the North American Union would need a super-regional governance board to make sure the United States does not dominate the proposed North American Union once it is formed:

    NAFTA has failed to create a partnership because North American governments have not changed the way they deal with one another. Dual bilateralism, driven by U.S. power, continue to govern and irritate. Adding a third party to bilateral disputes vastly increases the chance that rules, not power, will resolve problems.

    This trilateral approach should be institutionalized in a new North American Advisory Council. Unlike the sprawling and intrusive European Commission, the Commission or Council should be lean, independent, and advisory, composed of 15 distinguished individuals, 5 from each nation. Its principal purpose should be to prepare a North American agenda for leaders to consider at biannual summits and to monitor the implementation of the resulting agreements.

    Pastor was a vice chairman of the CFR task force that produced the report “Building a North American Union.”

    Pastor also proposed the creation of a Permanent Tribunal on Trade and Investment with the view that “a permanent court would permit the accumulation of precedent and lay the groundwork for North American business law.” The intent is for this North American Union Tribunal would have supremacy over the U.S. Supreme Court on issues affecting the North American Union, to prevent U.S. power from “irritating” and retarding the progress of uniting Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. into a new 21st century super-regional governing body.

    Robert Pastor also advises the creation of a North American Parliamentary Group to make sure the U.S. Congress does not impede progress in the envisioned North American Union. He has also called for the creation of a North American Customs and Immigration Service which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.

    Pastor’s 2001 book “Toward a North American Community” called for the creation of a North American Union that would perfect the defects Pastor believes limit the progress of the European Union. Much of Pastor’s thinking appears aimed at limiting the power and sovereignty of the United States as we enter this new super-regional entity. Pastor has also called for the creation of a new currency which he has coined the “Amero,” a currency that is proposed to replace the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the Mexican peso.

    If President Bush had run openly in 2004 on the proposition that a prime objective of his second term was to form the North American Union and to supplant the dollar with the “Amero,” we doubt very much that President Bush would have carried Ohio, let alone half of the Red State majority he needed to win re-election. Pursuing any plan that would legalize the conservatively estimated 12 million illegal aliens now in the United States could well spell election disaster for the Republican Party in 2006, especially for the House of Representative where every seat is up for grabs.

    WORLD NET DAILY 

    INVASION USA  Study: 1 million sex crimes by illegals
    Researcher estimates more than 100 offenders crossing border daily

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50441

    Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each.

    Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.

    She found that while the offenders were located in 36 states, most were in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California had the most offenders, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Florida.

    Schurman-Kauflin concluded that, based on a figure of 12 million illegal immigrants and the fact that more of this population is male than average, sex offenders among illegals make up a higher percentage than offenders in the general population.

    She arrives at the figure of 240,000 offenders – a conservative estimate, she says – through public records showing about 2 percent of illegals apprehended are sex offenders.

    "This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day," she says.

    She points out the 1,500 offenders in her study had a total of 5,999 victims, and each sex offender averaged four victims.

    "This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study," she declares.

    Schurman-Kauflin breaks down the 1,500 cases reviewed this way:

    • 525, or 35 percent, were child molestations

    • 358, or 24 percent, were rapes

    • 617, or 41 percent, were sexual homicides and serial murders

    Of the child molestations, 47 percent of the victims were Hispanic, 36 percent Caucasian, 8 percent Asian, 6 percent African American and 3 percent other nationalities.

    In 82 percent of the cases, she noted, the victims were known to their attackers.

    "In those instances, the illegal immigrants typically gained access to the victims after having worked as a day laborer at or near the victims' homes," she says. "Victims ranged in age from 1 year old to 13 years old, with the average age being 6."

    In her examination of the sex-related homicides, Schurman-Kauflin found the most common method was for an offender to break into a residence and ambush his victims.

    Not only were victims raped, she said, but some – 6 percent – were mutilated.

    "The crime scenes were very bloody, expressing intense, angry perpetrator personalities," she said. "Specifically, most victims were blitzed, rendered incapable of fighting back, and then raped and murdered. The most common method of killing was bludgeoning, followed by stabbing."

    She found it especially disturbing that in 22 percent of all sex crimes committed by illegal immigrants, victims with physical and mental disabilities were targeted.

    The highest number of sex offenders, according to the study, came from Mexico. El Salvador was the original home to the next highest number. Other countries of origin included Brazil, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Vietnam.

    Nearly 63 percent of the offenders had been deported on another offense prior to the sex crime, the study showed. There was an average of three years of committing crimes such as DUI, assault or drug related offenses prior to being apprehended for a sexual offense.

    In 81 percent of cases, offenders were drinking or using drugs prior to offending. Rapists and killers were more likely to use alcohol and drugs consistently than child molesters.

    Only about 25 percent of offenders were found to have been stable within a community. In 31 percent of the crimes, the offenders entered into the communities where they offended within two months of the commission of their sex offenses.

    But many, 79 percent, had been in the U.S. for more than one year before being arrested for a sex crime. They typically were known to the criminal justice system for prior, less serious offenses before they molested, raped or murdered, the study said.

    Schurman-Kauflin concludes illegal immigrants gradually commit worse crimes and are continually released back into society or deported.

    "Those who were deported simply returned illegally again," she says.

    She points out that only 2 percent of the offenders in her study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.

    "There is a clear pattern of criminal escalation," she said.

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