David John Diersen, GOPUSA Illinois Editor
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July 27, 2006 News Clips
Posted by Diersen on 15-Mar-2007
-- Blagojevich appoints Mikva head of state Human Rights Commission - AP
-- Madigan studies gov's subpoena silence - Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney 
-- P-town's straights: Gays are intolerant - AP 
-- website launched
(Includes photo of Blagojevich morphing into George Ryan.)
-- Congressman Hyde Comments on Provisions of H.R. 4844, 'The Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006'
-- Obama still willing to help Blagojevich - John Patterson
(Not posted as of 5:00 AM)
-- Hundreds pack hall  Elgin police chief defends illegal immigrant policies -
-- Carpentersville Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski talks about La Raza - Jeanne Hovanec
-- Tax money being used to promote marriage - Kevin Freking
(DIERSEN: During my first personal conversation with George Will in 2000, I urged him to urge President Bush to set a goal for America like President Kennedy did to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade -- reduce the out-of-wedlock birth rate to 1950s levels by the end of the decade.) 
-- Blagojevich seeks federal aid; response after storm criticized - Adam Jadhav
-- Topinka announces disaster loans - Nick Lucchesi
-- Democrat lawmaker Jack Franks won't back Blagojevich - Bernard Schoenburg 
-- Peraica & Stewart on WLS 8:00 PM Sunday
-- Censure Durbin signatures hit 1,000
-- Why I took up the Censure of Senator Durbin - Jim Leahy
-- Pankau critical of financial report timing - Kent Kriegshauser
-- GOP attorney general candidate Stewart Umholtz reports tiny campaign fund - Christopher Wills
-- Judge OKs deal for Scott Fawell girlfriend Andrea Coutretsis - Mike Robinson
-- Presidential candidate visits fair  Cox: I'm a 'different kind of Republican' - Mary Rae Bragg
-- VERY SAD: Oprah on Gay Bathhouses - What the Welcoming Churches Were Defending
-- Is America ready for World War III? - Sandy Rios
-- Fetus farming shot to hell – where it belongs - Jill Stanek
-- Bipartisan appeal high for female governors Most run states domonated by other party - Susan Page
-- The CQPolitics Interview: David McSweeney (IL 8) - Greg Giroux
Blagojevich appoints Mikva head of state Human Rights Commission - AP
A former lawmaker and federal judge is now leading the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday appointed Abner Mikva as chairman of the commission that handles discrimination complaints made under state law.

Mikva is a senior director of a legal aid clinic and visiting professor at the University of Chicago. He has served as a state legislator, congressman and federal judge.

He also is an administrative law judge who recommended that the Illinois Gaming Board revoke a long-debated riverboat license last December.

He replaces J.B. Pritzker, who leaves the post after being appointed to it by the governor in 2003.

The governor says Mikva's government and judicial experience make him a perfect choice for the job. Mikva says he was one of the state legislators who pushed for creating a fair employment practices commission to protect people from on-the-job discrimination.

"Now, more than 40 years after we laid the foundation for fairness, I'm honored and excited to accept the governor's invitation to serve on the Illinois Human Rights Commission," Mikva said in a statement.
Madigan studies gov's subpoena silence - Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney 
The Illinois Attorney General's office is exploring whether Gov. Blagojevich could be overstepping his authority by refusing to publicly release federal subpoenas that seek information about his administration's hiring practices.

"These issues have been brought to our attention and we are looking at them closely," said Cara Smith, a top aide to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Exploring freedom of info law

The attorney general became interested in the subpoenas after media inquiries to her office about whether the documents should be made public under the state's Freedom of Information Act. Smith declined to elaborate about what action, if any, Madigan might take.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff on Wednesday broke the administration's recent silence on the subpoena issue. She insisted subpoenas are not public records because they are issued by grand juries, which meet behind closed doors to consider whether people should face criminal charges.

"The grand jury's meetings are not public and their discussions are not public, and the subpoenas they issue are not public," Ottenhoff said. "Our goal is to provide information in full to the requesting agency and to protect the integrity of the process."

Madigan's public access counselor, Terry Mutchler, repeatedly has offered a different interpretation of state freedom of information law. She has said that subpoenas should be considered public records unless law-enforcement officials stipulate they be kept secret.

Ottenhoff declined to say whether the feds have made such a request to Blagojevich. "I have provided you with what I'm able to say on the record," she said.

New subpoenas last month

The U.S. Attorney's office, which last year began investigating the Blagojevich administration for possible hiring improprieties, has declined to comment about any aspect of its probe. No one in the administration has been charged with any wrongdoing.

The governor stopped discussing subpoenas in November, after he disclosed the feds subpoenaed his own office and his child welfare, prison and transportation departments for more than three years' worth of hiring records.

Last week, the Sun-Times disclosed that the administration was hit last month with new hiring-related subpoenas as election season heats up. The newspaper found out about the documents from sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

P-town's straights: Gays are intolerant - AP 
PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- Heterosexuals in this overwhelmingly gay resort town on the tip of Cape Cod are complaining that the oppressed have become the oppressors.

Straight people say they have been taunted as ''breeders.'' One woman who signed a petition against gay marriage says she was berated as a bigot by a gay man, and another complained that dog feces were left next to her car.

''The gay community is not immune to having potential prejudices. We're all human, including gay people,'' said Tom Lang, director of, a nonprofit group that supports gay marriage.

Provincetown, or P-town, has long attracted writers, artists and gays and lesbians, and is known as a place where people can feel free to be themselves -- a seaside version of Greenwich Village. New England's unofficial gay capital has just 3,400 year-round residents, but summer tourism brings nearly 10 times as many people.

Locals say the intolerance from those who have long pleaded for tolerance has been stirred, in part, by the dispute over Massachusetts' becoming the first and only state to legalize gay marriage.

(Includes photo of Blagojevich morphing into George Ryan.)
Congressman Hyde Comments on Provisions of H.R. 4844, 'The Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006'
WASHINGTON, July 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) responded to criticisms directed at Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 (H.R. 4844) which would require voters to prove citizenship when registering to vote and to show a current official photo ID when voting at the polls in Federal Elections.

Rep. Hyde stated that, "requiring an official ID to vote presents no greater hardship than people face performing everyday activities. Proof of citizenship or legal status is required when applying for a Social Security card. Also, official photo IDs are required to perform daily tasks such as driving a vehicle, applying for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, food stamps, boarding airplanes, entering government buildings, registering at school, getting student loans, renting movies, and cashing checks." Rep. Hyde reasons that since citizens are asked to provide valid identification to prevent fraud for these reasons, it should not be too difficult to produce IDs to guard against fraud in the electoral system.

Rep. Hyde further noted that a photo ID requirement was one of the recommendations made by the Federal Commission on Election Reform. In the Commission's report issued in September 2005, the Commission recommended that States require voters to show "REAL ID's" created by the REAL ID Act of 2005. Arizona voters recently passed a law requiring valid photo IDs for elections. On August 9, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit denied an injunction that sought to block implementation of the law. Seven states require all voters to bring state-issued photo-IDs and twenty-two states have implemented laws that require all voters to show identification when casting a ballot. It would seem that officials in many states feel there is a need to prevent voter fraud.

In his testimony before the Committee on House Administration, Rep. Hyde stated that "H.R. 4844 would help guard against voter fraud." He further added that, "it is the duty of Congress to safeguard elections as fundamental rights."


Hundreds pack hall  Elgin police chief defends illegal immigrant policies -

When an illegal immigrant is arrested by an Elgin police officer for not having a valid driver’s license or for driving drunk, they will not be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack.

About 150 people gathered inside city hall chambers Wednesday to hear the chief’s words and just as many gathered outside and inside the hallways to hear her explanation to requests made by Elgin resident and former Elgin Area School District U-46 board member Doug Heaton.

Most of the attendees were members of various Hispanic groups, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, Elgin Latino Political Action Team, La Organizacion Civica Cultural Mexicana and HOPE Fair Housing.

 “We can forward all the information we have,” she said. “It’s a matter of what they follow up on.”

Up until about 2000, Elgin police sent immigration information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement when drunken driving arrests were made, she said.

Since then, the agency has told Elgin officers to no longer forward information about illegal immigrants who are caught driving drunk or those who cannot provide valid licenses because “they have had a change of priorities and have been overwhelmed with the amount of information they couldn’t follow up on,” Womack said.

However, Elgin officers do forward information about illegal immigrants who are known gang members.

“All foreign-born, known gang members are subject to deportation regardless of criminal activity,” Womack said. “We don’t wait for criminal activity to occur.”

Womack added Elgin police have worked alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 1989.

Womack’s presentation did little to ease Heaton’s frustrations, which he said have been brewing since he presented his ideas in early June on ways local police can better enforce immigration laws.

“I’m finding that the police departments that do make noise tend to get a response,” he said. “I’d hate to think that the city of Elgin and the Elgin Police Department is a lapdog for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and are only doing what they want them to do instead of what needs to be done.”

Heaton — who was flanked Wednesday by fellow members of the Illinois Minuteman Project including leader Rosanna Pulido — also said he didn’t understand why it took so long to get a response from the Elgin police.

“It’s not that hard to find me,” he said. “Even a phone call or a letter would have been fine and would have been a lot easier for everyone involved.”


Carpentersville Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski talks about La Raza - Jeanne Hovanec

CARPENTERSVILLE — With tension in the air that could be cut with a knife, Village Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski gave her trustee report during the village's board meeting Monday night.

An event like this rarely yields such breath-holding, but because Ramirez-Sliwinski's report featured her attendance at the National Council of La Raza's annual conference in Los Angeles in mid-July, many ears were particularly perked.

According to its Web site, NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, and works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.

The relevance of her trip was questioned by Village Trustees Paul Humpfer and Judy Sigwalt before Village Manager Craig Anderson gave Ramirez-Sliwinski the OK to spend $375 in village money to attend the conference.

Humpfer accused La Raza of having separatist leanings, a charge a group official recently denied.
Sigwalt questioned the efficiency of spending village money on far-away conferences and suggested that Ramirez-Sliwinski return the village money allotted to her to pay for the conference registration.

Ramirez-Sliwinski responded to the criticism during her report, saying it was important to attend a conference such as La Raza and recommending that other members of the village staff attend next year.

"I though the conference was very beneficial," she said. "It is for the betterment of Carpentersville in order to make it whole, to learn how to integrate the community on the east side."

Noting conference topics such as community development and youth and juvenile action, Ramirez-Sliwinski said she wanted to learn how other communities are dealing with obstacles like those Carpentersville faces. She said she and was "enlightened" by how the communities were working with banks in improving development.

La Raza responds to critics

She concluded her report by reading a letter to the editor from La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguia that appeared in The Courier News last week.

Murguia was notified by members of Elgin Community College, which acts as one of La Raza's 300 community-based affiliate branches, when they read that Ramirez-Sliwinski was under fire for attending the conference and spending village money on the registration fee.

"We wanted to set the record straight," said Lisa Navarrete, vice president of La Raza. "We did not want to get involved in the debate, but we saw an influence of a strong misconception about our conference and our organization and we wanted to correct that. When someone says that they know we are a separatist organization, they are wrong."

Ramirez-Sliwinski's rendition of the letter did nothing to deter Humpfer from his report that came right after Ramirez-Sliwinski's. He countered by reading an article on La Raza he said he had found in the World Net Daily dated June 1, that documents a charter school in Los Angeles whose principal, Marcos Aquilar, preaches segregation to his students. The article cites one of the school's supporters as the National Council of La Raza Charter School Development Initiative.

"If that doesn't sound separatist to you ..." Humpfer said. "We are in a national debate right now on immigration and we have people in our community on both sides of the issue. We should not take a side as a board."

Ultimately, the board took no action to request that Ramirez-Sliwinski return the $375 fee. Humpfer said there was a difference of opinion, but they did not want to let that take the focus off the positive things the village board has accomplished this year.


Tax money being used to promote marriage - Kevin Freking

(DIERSEN: During my first personal conversation with George Will in 2000, I urged him to urge President Bush to set a goal for America like President Kennedy did to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade -- reduce the out-of-wedlock birth rate to 1950s levels by the end of the decade.) 

WASHINGTON — Ron McLain has no qualms about the federal government getting involved in marriage. Indeed, he's counting on it.

McLain has applied for a $550,000 federal grant to hire counselors for Marriage Mentoring Ministries Inc., a tiny business in Fresno County, Calif., that helps couples before and after they exchange wedding vows. He also has a bid in for a $250,000 grant to teach men to become better fathers.

"The market is obviously very ripe for this with the divorce rate as high as it is, and obviously couples want a good marriage," said McLain, who oversees the organization along with his wife, Joan. They specialize in training couples to mentor other couples, with many of the classes taking place at local churches.

The grant money represents the latest shift in welfare reform in the United States. For the next five years, Congress is setting aside up to $100 million a year to promote marriage and $50 million a year to produce committed fathers. This year's allotment goes out before Sept. 30.

Supporters say that if the government can get more low-income parents to tie the knot and help them work through the rough spots that inevitably occur, then those families are less likely to need federal assistance in later years.

"Children who grow up in healthy, stable, married households don't wake up one day and decide they want to run away to Hollywood and become street prostitutes," said Wade Horn, the Bush administration's point man for welfare reform. "Couples in a healthy, stable married relationship don't come home one day and decide they want to abuse their children. This, in my view, is an exercise in limited government."

Others see the government as engaging in a social experiment with scarce resources they say would be better put elsewhere.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., says the Republican-backed program is like a city filling potholes right before the next mayor's race. Only this time, the administration is reaching out to religious groups.

"This is one of those real strange things they get involved in where they say they want small government and they say they want to get government out of people's lives. Then they go try to find two high school kids and use some money to encourage them to get married," McDermott said.

But Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif., said children in one-parent households are seven times more likely to live in poverty than those in two-parent households. Yet, more and more children are being raised in broken homes, which leads to more spending on welfare and other government programs, he said.

"It's amazing to me how anyone can find this controversial," Herger said. "Being a parent of nine children myself, it's tough enough to raise children when there's two parents, let alone when there's just one mother, totally alone, trying to raise a child."

Marriage and the poor

David Fein, a demographer who has conducted extensive research on marriage and the poor, said getting low-income couples to marry is not the hard part.

"They actually marry at the same rate as more affluent people. The problem is, subsequently, their marriages are much more fragile," he said.

There are various reasons for that fragility, but financial stresses and strains play a part. At the same time, the poor don't have the same ability as wealthier Americans to get help when their marriage needs it, he said.

But Fein's point underscores that seminars on conflict resolution and learning to say you're sorry won't solve the problem entirely.

"Fortunately, the people who have developed these policies are not arguing that all you have to do is help people learn better relationship skills," he said.

The federal government has provided some money in recent years to promote marriage, an average of about $14 million annually during the past four years, said Horn, the assistant secretary for children and families in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Marriage Mentoring Ministries, which works with church groups, already has obtained one grant for $50,000, which McLain used to hire a part-time employee and to purchase a computer and printer as well as other supplies. He used the equipment to make thousands of leaflets about the benefits of marriage.

McLain hopes the larger grants will allow his organization to reach minority communities. He likes welfare's expanded emphasis on marriage, especially what it can do for children.

"When they watch mom and dad resolving their conflicts and having a normal relationship, they'll be better able to carry that on in their relationship when they start dating and get married," he said.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday asked President George W. Bush to
declare five Southern Illinois counties federal disaster areas as criticism
grew over the state's response to devastating storms last week.

Blagojevich's made his request for aid after local and state officials,
including some in Blagojevich's party, complained that the administration
should take the storm's impact more seriously.

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the governor's Republican challenger in the
November election, continued her criticism of what she called Blagojevich's
lack of attention to downstate. She toured storm-damaged areas on Wednesday and
announced a disaster loan program.

The criticism, in part, reflected rising tension in the aftermath of the wild
weather blitz last week that turned out the lights for hundreds of thousands of
people throughout the region. More than 10,000 Metro East customers remained
without electricity Wednesday evening; another couple of thousand in the Mount
Vernon area had no power.

If Blagojevich's request goes through, residents, businesses and governments in
the counties of Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Jefferson and Washington will be
eligible for federal grants and loans for recovery and cleanup.

The move by Blagojevich was made a week after Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's
decision to activate the National Guard and five days after Bush's emergency
declaration on Friday covering St. Louis and the Missouri counties of St.
Charles, Jefferson, St. Louis, Dent, Iron and Washington.

Missouri's recovery efforts - and the fact that Blagojevich hadn't yet visited
the Metro East area - were talking points during Topinka's visit to Bethalto to
survey the damage. The governor had been on vacation when the storms hit, and
on Saturday he sent in his stead William C. Burke, director of the Illinois
Emergency Management Agency, to visit St. Clair County. A spokesman for the
governor said Wednesday that he would visit the Metro East area soon but
provided no details.

Blagojevich "always seems to be a little gun-shy when it comes to something
south of Chicago and Interstate 80" in northern Illinois, Topinka said shortly
after she announced $25 million in state-subsidized low-interest loans for
disaster victims. "From a personal standpoint, I think it's necessary to be
here to show Southern Illinois they're not forgotten."

Blagojevich's campaign spokeswoman, Sheila Nix, dismissed Topinka's comments as
politicking and pointed to a timeline of the state's response:

The governor first declared Madison and St. Clair counties state disaster areas
shortly after the second storm struck Friday. Emergency management teams had
already been assessing damage from the first storm. Clinton, Jefferson and
Washington counties were added in following days.

The governor activated the state's emergency response center in Springfield to
coordinate relief efforts, including cleanup crews and equipment from multiple
state agencies.

The administration pushed for quick repairs to the massive ConocoPhillips plant
in Roxana.

Blagojevich asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency to relax
clean-air restrictions on gasoline sold in the Metro East area - specifically
made at the stalled refinery - to avoid fuel shortages.

Nonetheless, the lack of a federal emergency declaration Wednesday covering the
hardest-hit regions of Illinois remained a point of frustration among some
officials who saw the governor as missing in action.

"Whenever Ameren tells you this is something like four times bigger than
anything they've had, that ought to tell somebody something," said Jack
Quigley, director of Madison County's Emergency Management Agency. "Why they
weren't moving faster on getting federal aid here, I don't know."

Quigley's agency and other communities throughout the Metro East area were
struggling Wednesday to make their own damage assessments so the state
emergency agency could make a final decision. Conversations between state
officials and even U.S. congressional staff led to a number of people saying
that a request for a disaster declaration might never come.

State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats,
penned a curt letter Wednesday afternoon asking for the state to act on the
federal aid request as soon as possible. Haine said he had been told that state
officials were questioning whether to seek aid at all because the storm's
damage might not be severe enough.

"The state director said to me that there wouldn't be an application," Haine
said. "I don't know how they could possibly conclude that we don't meet the
requirements at this stage."

Spokesmen for U.S. Reps. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, and Jerry Costello,
D-Belleville, said their offices backed the disaster request.

"We've been quietly pushing the state to keep up with that," said Shimkus
spokesman Steve Tomaszewski.

Still, officials in some of the hardest-hit areas refused bold criticism.
Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer and Bethalto Mayor Steve Bryant said they were
thankful for the aid they had gotten and were hopeful of more to come.

"We've gotten a lot of what we need," Hagnauer said Wednesday afternoon. "We're
looking for a little more. Will we get it? I don't know."
Topinka announces disaster loans - Nick Lucchesi
BETHALTO - The Republican nominee for governor toured storm-damaged areas of Bethalto during a trip Wednesday to announce newly available disaster loans for residents in affected counties.
Thousands of people who suffered property damage can apply for state loans to cover the expenses of cleaning up, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topkinka announced Wednesday at St. Louis Regional Airport, 8 Terminal Drive.

Topinka flew to the airport Wednesday morning for the news conference, during which she said that $25 million in low-interest loans would be available to those affected by the storm. The loans will be distributed through banks for residents in Clinton, Jefferson, Madison and St. Clair counties as part of the State Treasurer's Disaster Recovery Program.

Interest rates for the loans were at 6.63 percent Wednesday but will change daily, a news release stated. The one-year loans require borrowers to pay the interest during the year and the principal at the end of the yearlong term. They would act as "bridge loans" until insurance providers compensate homeowners for their losses, Topinka said.

"These funds are available to qualified applicants through any financial institution willing to participate," she said. "That's what sets them apart from federal funds. People need help now; that's where we come in."

After the brief news conference, held in the airport's main offices, Topinka and Madison County Board member Ted Prehn, R-Bethalto, visited a 140-year-old Bethalto church that lost its roof to storm winds on the evening of July 19.

As Topinka assessed the damage of the historic church, built in 1866, she asked whether it could be repaired. The Rev. Mark Burk, pastor at Landmark United Methodist Church, 302 E. Central St., later said the congregation would be looking to move on from the wood-and-brick church to a new place of worship.

St. Louis Regional Airport had a number of hangars that sustained mild to severe wind damage, including a roof that fell on a corporate jet. Airport manager David Miller said insurance investigators had been at the airport during the past week assessing the damage but did not have a damage estimate ready.

Bethalto Mayor Steve Bryant said about 800 people still did not have power in the village Wednesday, a week after the initial storm.

Thunderstorms and high winds tore through the region last week, prompting the counties to be declared disaster areas by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Topinka's Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial election in November.

The disaster area classification makes the counties eligible for state and federal funding. Potential borrowers have to pass financial muster before being granted a loan.

Those who want to apply for the disaster loans should contact their bank for more information. If they do not have a bank, they should call the State Treasurer's Office in Springfield at (217) 782-2072.

Democrat lawmaker Jack Franks won't back Blagojevich - Bernard Schoenburg 
A Democratic member of the Illinois House who has been harshly critical of the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Tuesday he does not back the governor for re-election.

"I am not going to support the governor," said Rep. Jack Franks of Woodstock, who is unopposed in his bid for a fifth two-year term. "I don't think he's done a good job ... fiscally."

Franks noted that Illinois in fiscal 2005, which ended June 30, 2005, had a $3 billion deficit - the largest in the nation - according to annual reports of states analyzed by the Rockford Register Star. The administration's budget chief, John Filan, has responded that the state's financial condition isn't as bad as those numbers suggest, and said the state has been taking in more money than it is spending.

"I think his relationships with the legislature are poor," Franks added of Blagojevich. "I don't appreciate the fact that he, quite frankly, has disdain for the legislature and doesn't respect it as a body. ... I've also got a problem with a governor who refuses to come to the state capital and live here."

Blagojevich has kept his family home in Chicago and rarely stays in the Executive Mansion. Many top agency administrators also live in the Chicago area.

Franks, who chairs the House State Government Administration Committee, also noted that he sponsored a resolution asking that the state's auditor general, Bill Holland, audit the governor's I-SaveRx program to have people purchase prescription drugs from Canada and other countries despite a lack of approval by the Food and Drug Administration; and Blagojevich's ordering $2.6 million in flu vaccine from overseas that was never shipped to Illinois because the transaction also lacked federal approval. That audit report has not yet been completed.

Franks called the I-SaveRx program an "abject failure," and ordering of the flu vaccine a "fiasco."

The nearly 300,000 vaccine doses ended up being donated by Illinois to Pakistan for use by earthquake victims, but the $2.6 million payment from the state to Ecosse Hospital Products, a British firm, was blocked by Comptroller Dan Hynes despite Blagojevich's assertion that the bill be paid. Attorney General Lisa Madigan also has contended the bill does not have to be paid. Ecosse has a pending lawsuit in the Illinois Court of Claims to get its money.

As of May - 19 months after its launch, I-SaveRx had generated only a little more than 20,000 orders from Illinois and four participating states, which together have a potential customer base of 27 million. The Blagojevich administration noted that the new federal Medicare prescription drug benefit became reality after I-SaveRx was introduced.

Franks further noted that the Blagojevich administration is subject to various investigations of wrongdoing, and that his committee conducted hearings into an audit critical of the Department of Central Management Services, information from which he turned over to the attorney general. Madigan recently deferred her investigation of hiring practices in the administration to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago.

Franks also believes the administration has "lied to us" about movement of money in the budget, as in Blagojevich's announcement last week that he had found $5 million for stem cell research when some lawmakers say they were assured no such money was in the budget. Franks said he would have voted for such research, but he and others should have had the opportunity.

"I think there's a lot of style but very little substance," Franks said, "and the governor comes with huge proclamations but very little follow-through."

Franks considered running against Blagojevich in the primary, but decided against it.

Sheila Nix, spokeswoman for Blagojevich, said Franks' comments are not surprising.

"Basically ... we've heard nothing but criticisms from Representative Franks for the last two years, and this sounds just like more of the same," Nix said.

Franks did not say if he would back the Republican candidate, state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

"I'll keep my powder dry at this point," he said.

Franks recently appeared on a WLS-AM radio talk show hosted by conservative columnist Tom Roeser, and in his own blog on the Internet, Roeser reported afterward that Franks said his wife, Debby, would be for Topinka.

Franks said Tuesday that his wife, who takes care of their two boys and volunteers a day a week in the classroom of each of them, campaigns door to door with him, is "the best pure campaigner I've ever seen" and is on the board of the 1st National Bank of Marengo.

Franks had mentioned a group called "Democrats for Topinka" on the radio show, and said Tuesday that he believes it is being formed, and his wife would "absolutely" be part of it.

"She likes Judy," Franks said, adding she had been "one of Rod's earliest supporters."

John McGovern, spokesman for the Topinka campaign, said, "We're in the process of pulling together all of our coalition groups, and we certainly want Debby Franks and other like-minded Democrats to be a part of those efforts."


Peraica & Stewart on WLS 8:00 PM Sunday

Cook county board president Republican nominee Tony Peraica will be on WLS on Political Shootout Sunday (8 p.m.) featuring the articulate, fighting challenger to the handpicked Democrat Todd Stroger and one of the most well-researched journalists in the business, attorney Russ Stewart of the Nadig newspapers. Stewart has made a career of analyzing battles such as the one between Peraica and Stroger. Don’t miss this one.

Censure Durbin signatures hit 1,000

Censure Durbin signatures hit 1,000 yesterday. Now’s the time to add yours at Someone called and asked about the anomaly of my serving as chairman of the City Club of Chicago and the City Club’s announcement of Durbin to speak there. The president of the City Club is my good friend Jay Doherty, a good Democrat. I would expect to be on hand to take notes. The bifurcated nature of this club is one reason why it’s the premier public affairs club in the state. My suggestion: add your signature to the list and go to the City Club to hear him-thus you can have it both ways.


Why I took up the Censure of Senator Durbin - Jim Leahy
On July 23rd 2006, I as the executive director of the Republican Assembly of Illinois started a campaign to Censure Senator Richard Durbin for Sedition. I think it’s important to explain our reasoning and why this effort was undertaken.

About two months ago while watching the news, I saw an interview with Senator Durbin asking if he agreed with Senator Finegold’s effort to Censure President Bush for listening to terrorist’s calls into America. Both Senators accused the President of breaking the law, saying what Bush had done was much worse than what Clinton had done. Even bringing up the fact that the NSA was listening to incoming calls was risking national security. They said it was already out in the papers and it was no longer a secret, and anyway it was illegal. I was stunned with the contempt both Senators had for the war effort and for the truth. Charging that tapping phone calls from outside the country from known terrorists to people inside our country was a crime; even though every White House consul and National Security Advisor since Kennedy agreed that the President had that power showed truth didn’t matter. Truth didn’t matter in the rest of their arguments against the war. Saying the president lied to get us into the war in Iraq. Saying we are at war to enrich the presidents friends and family, saying that we were only at war for the oil companies. Those charges were not just political disagreements they were criminal accusations! I wondered how far would they go? Where will it stop?

Since President Bush’s poll numbers hit 90 % after Afghanistan, Durbin and the Democratic Party have gone on an unprecedented campaign to make this war impossible to win. From the trumpeting of the death toll in Iraq, every time it hit a good round number. To charging our service men and women as keepers of torture chambers, Senator Durbin and his fellow Democrats have kept up a steady drum beat of negativity. Of course its allies in the Mainstream media (MSM) have been there to print each and every charge as truth, no matter what the history, no matter what the truth.

It was President Bush who was a fault for 9/11! It didn’t matter that he was in office for seven months and the same group had attacked those same towers 7 years before! It didn’t matter that none of the information learned in that investigation was shared with the national security agencies. Why? Because the attack was treated as a crime instead of what it was, an attack on the United States an act of war! It was the Clinton administration that had compiled the intelligence Bush used to decide what to do with Iraq! Most of the 16 United Nations resolutions that were never lived up too were put in place during the Clinton administration. Saddam kicked out the inspectors under Clinton. Yet according to Durbin and the Democrats Bush lied, and they had to get the American people to agree.

Senator Durbin was given the number two spot in the Senate because, his seat seemed secure and he was the only one who would take the chance of attacking the President during wartime. At first it was Senator Durbin by himself with the help of the MSM, but when his colleagues saw the GOP leadership would do nothing to quell the seditious talk it grew louder and louder. Like spoiled children the Democrats are going to the edge to see what they can get away with. When they go too far as Durbin seemingly did last summer with his now famous comparison of our Military with “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime Pol Pot or others.” They pull back give fake apologies and the MSM gives them cover.

After the blatant attack by Durbin the country was outraged. Durbin’s own friends said he went beyond the pale. As Newt Gingrich pointed out in his letter to Senators last summer demanding Durbin be censured
“This moral equivalence isn’t just utterly false; it endangers the lives of our young men and women in the military because it arms every radical Islamist with the official-record words of a Senate leader to justify their war of terror against civilized people everywhere….A Senate censure of Senator Durbin is justified and would reaffirm a standard for healthy, rational debate.” The GOP leadership did nothing! Senator McCain absolved Durbin even though he is not an elected leader of the Senate Republicans and the leadership let it go at that.

There is a price to pay for not Censuring Senator Durbin. Censure is a process put into place by the Congress to enforce limits to partisan rhetoric. In a body that is meant to be a debating society, limits have to be enforced without suffocating opposition, but keeping that debate within limits. You can look back over the last year and see how the rhetoric has gone beyond just opposition; it is now fanning the flames of hate! Our enemies are using the open partisanship to extend the war. But the real problem is not just Iraq it is now spreading to the rest of the Middle East. It is spreading to North Korea and Iran. Our hero’s in the military deserve someone here at home to speak up for them. It is not fair that Senator Durbin use their sacrifices to attack their Commander in Chief; and undermine their hard work by strengthening their enemies. The “insurgents” as the MSM calls them (terrorists is what the solider in the field call them) are not fighting to win the battles they are fighting to win the propaganda war.

That’s why I have undertaken this project. It is time we reset the guidelines that have been wiped away. We can disagree without giving aid and comfort to our enemies. I believe I can make this charge because of the partisanship Senator Durbin has shown over the last decade. In 1990 Senator Durbin voted against the Gulf war. In 2003 he voted against the current war in Iraq but in 1998 when a Democrat was in the Whitehouse he not only voted for military action he said and I quote “I call on those who question the motives of the President and his national security advisors to join with the rest of America in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad” I would ask the Senator why then and not now? It is something I hope the leaders of the Senate ask the Senator when his Censure for Sedition is voted on from the floor of the Senate. It is something that will help set parameters for future generations.

If you agree please go to and sign the petition.


Pankau critical of financial report timing - Kent Kriegshauser

GALESBURG - State Sen. Carole Pankau, the Republican nominee for state comptroller, visited Galesburg Tuesday, making a stop at the Chamber of Commerce, 471 E. Main St. Pankau is attempting to unseat incumbent Democrat Dan Hynes.

A former state representative and a past member of the DuPage County Board, Pankau recently took Hynes to task for releasing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the state on a Friday during the middle of summer. She criticized the timing because the information is usually released in early spring as a tool for the General Assembly as it puts together the budget.

Pankau also has talked about some ideas of her own. For instance, she would like to attach criteria to state programs so legislators can measure whether a program is working or not - and thus whether it deserves more money or not. She has found this is something taxpayers relate to when she discusses this idea, according to a prepared release.

Pankau is from Itasca and has been a state senator since 2005. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she is married to John Pankau. They have four grown children, seven grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren.


GOP attorney general candidate Stewart Umholtz reports tiny campaign fund - Christopher Wills

Who needs television ads when you have the DAR newsletter?

Heading into the heart of campaign season, Republican Stewart Umholtz lacks the money for commercials, staff or the other trappings of a traditional bid for Illinois attorney general. He had just $44,301 on hand as of June 30.

But Umholtz insists he has a strategy for victory, one that relies on reaching people through the Internet, being included in newspaper voting guides and even getting mentioned in newsletters from Daughters of the American Revolution, boating groups and other clubs.

"If I get a newsletter in the mail of a group I participate in, then I'm more likely to read that newsletter, perhaps cover to cover, than I am to read ads in a newspaper," Umholtz said.

His campaign manager, MaryAlice Erickson, said their strategy includes counting on undecided voters to educate themselves.

"They'll wake up Tuesday morning on election day and say, 'OK, who do I need to vote for?' and they'll look at the candidate guide," said Erickson, who also is vice chair of the Illinois Republican Party. "They can make a choice on Tuesday morning."

Documents that Umholtz, the Tazewell County state's attorney, filed this week show he got only 80 contributions of more than $150 during the first half of the year. About one-quarter of those come from outside the Pekin-Peoria area where he lives.

In all, he took in $67,000 but after expenses had a little over $44,000 left to challenge Lisa Madigan, the Democratic incumbent.

Madigan's fundraising report isn't due until Monday, but by this point in the campaign four years ago she had raised $3.1 million. She entered the second half of 2002 with $385,000 on hand.

Umholtz's total is just a fraction of the amount raised by any candidate for attorney general in recent years. The next-lowest is Miriam Santos, who had $206,000 available at this point in 1998.

Kent Redfield, an expert on campaign spending, said Umholtz's plans for a low-cost campaign don't hold water. Depending on grass-roots support might work in a race for school board but not a statewide campaign by a political unknown challenging a popular incumbent.

"That's just not credible," said Redfield, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Springfield. "I would think one would need four or five million to be competitive - to do the direct mail and the TV and have the organization you need."

Erickson said the Umholtz campaign doesn't have a headquarters or paid staff. It depends on Umholtz making personal appearances and volunteers spreading the word through faxes, the Internet and other low-cost methods.

In the end, Umholtz will have enough money for a "modest" campaign, she said, while declining to provide details.

Umholtz questioned the value of advertising in educating voters about offices like attorney general. "I think most folks probably don't even know they have an attorney general," he said.

But he hopes people will be angry enough at Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich that they'll vote against incumbents up and down the ticket. Part of his strategy is to emphasize his experience as a prosecutor and the fact that he won't owe political favors to big campaign donors.

Judge OKs deal for Scott Fawell girlfriend Andrea Coutretsis - Mike Robinson

A federal judge gave his blessing Wednesday to a deal that will chop months off the prison sentence of the woman who got George Ryan's right-hand man to spill the former governor's secrets.

Chief U.S. District Judge James F. Holderman said he would decide exactly what sentence to impose on Andrea Coutretsis - the fiancee of jailed former Ryan aide Scott Fawell - when she appears in court Monday.

She has pleaded guilty to lying to a federal grand jury.

Holderman said the sentence could be anything from a term of probation to a year and a day behind bars, a sharp reduction from the maximum 18 months she would be facing without getting a break.

The extra day tacked onto the maximum year in prison would make Coutretsis eligible for 15 percent of the sentence off for good behavior.

"She encouraged Fawell to cooperate with the government and she supported Fawell when he cooperated," Holderman said in an 18-page opinion agreeing to give Coutretsis a deal as requested by federal prosecutors.

Ryan, 73, and businessman Larry Warner, 67, were convicted in April of racketeering, mail fraud and other offenses after a seven-month trial at which Fawell spent weeks on the stand as the government's leadoff witness.

Fawell had served as Ryan's chief of staff in the secretary of state's office for eight years and managed his campaigns for more than a decade.

His brash, wisecracking manner on the witness stand raised eyebrows, but jurors said after the trial that his testimony was convincing.

Fawell is serving a 6 1/2-year racketeering sentence stemming from corruption in the secretary of state's office and faces more prison time for bid-rigging at Chicago's Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, known as McPier.

He initially said he would never cooperate with the government, saying federal prosecutors had been unfair to him. But he finally relented, persuaded by Coutretsis, who visited him in prison and told him that to have any kind of life together he would have to cooperate.

He arranged to get her a deal in return for his testimony.

"My love for Andrea outweighs my disdain for this system," Fawell, a member of a well known DuPage County Republican family, told Holderman at a September 2005 hearing.

Coutretsis was Fawell's top assistant in the secretary of state's office, in Ryan's campaigns and at McPier. They fell in love, divorced their spouses and became engaged to be married when his prison term is up.

Once Holderman imposes sentence, the legal complexities faced by Fawell and Coutretsis are far from over. She is also waiting to be sentenced in the McPier bid-rigging and is hoping the sentences overlap.

Fawell is hoping the deal he made to help his fiancee will cut six months off his total prison time as well.


Presidential candidate visits fair  Cox: I'm a 'different kind of Republican' - Mary Rae Bragg

John Cox, an officially declared candidate for president in 2008, says he is a "different kind of Republican," compared to potential contenders with more familiar names.

Cox, a wealthy Chicago businessman, on Tuesday introduced himself to visitors at the Dubuque County Fair as "a guy who struggled, who worked his way through college, started at the bottom."

Cox said his mission in running for president is to change politics in America, with a goal of resurrecting statesmanship, which he said died because of the political money chase.

Too many people in Washington are career politicians who are in it to make money, Cox said. He is running because none of the potential Republican presidential candidates meet his expectations.

"I look at the field and I don't see a Ronald Reagan," said Cox, who describes himself as a "true" Reagan Republican. "This country needs the triumph of principle over politics."

Cox advocates a national sales tax to replace the income tax that he said encourages people to spend rather than save.

The income tax is a tax on the poor because every item they buy is priced to cover all the income taxes charged to the various companies, he said.

"The poor are paying for it," Cox said. "They just don't realize it."

He characterized the high cost of prescription drugs in America as "a trade war." The solution is to get nations to work out an equitable way to cover the costs of American pharmaceuticals research and development, rather than Americans having to bear all the expense, he said.

Cox said he agreed with President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, but he said its government cannot become stable with unemployment running at 30 percent. The solution is to get Iraq's oil-production industry up and running, rather than letting it limp along at 30 percent of its production capacity, as it is now.

As to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Cox said as president he would solicit the advice of various military leaders, drawing on their expertise, just as he looks to experts in making decisions as a businessman.

"I wasn't born on third base and thought I'd hit a triple," Cox said. "When you struggle, when you work hard, you don't get to dictate to anybody."

Not that he is faulting President Bush, Cox said, adding, "You can't help who you're born to."

Cox said he decided to run after seeing deficiencies in the voting records of all the Republicans who are courting voters. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Virginia Sen. George Allen, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, of Tennessee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of Georgia, and Arizona Sen. John McCain all drew Cox's scorn.

He has two attributes the others do not have, Cox said.

"I'm a true conservative," he said, "and I'm an outsider in a year when political games have scandalized the nation."


VERY SAD: Oprah on Gay Bathhouses - What the Welcoming Churches Were Defending

On Saturday night, a group from IFI scheduled a press conference to draw attention to Steamworks as a sponsor of the Gay Games. In response, a sizeable group from the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches showed up with banners, literally screaming profanity at the IFI group. (How can anyone who assumes the name "Christian" justify screaming the vilest profanity at anyone? Consider the behavior a clue to whether they are truly Christian or not.)

Today (a rerun I think) Oprah (who is not known for espousing conservative Christianity) interviewed Jay Dagenhart, a homosexual man (under 30 yrs old and now HIV+ if I heard correctly) and former methamphetamine addict. Here's what he has to say about "gay" bath houses:

Experts say crystal meth erases inhibitions, increases sexual appetites, and gives addicts the energy to have sex for days. To satisfy his meth-induced sexual cravings, Jay would frequent all-male bathhouses.

"These bathhouses are dark, cavernous, multi-level facilities. There are small rooms with doors. There are group rooms with monitors, constantly with every porn movie you could imagine. There are basements; there are steam rooms with showers. They have larger dark rooms with just platforms and benches and chairs where you can't really see who you're having sex with. You're groping and grabbing and fondling one another in the dark."

Whether in bathhouses or hotel rooms, Jay says his only concern was finding drugs and sex.

"The whole idea behind sex parties is extended periods of time in someone's home, a hotel room, and you're walking around naked, lots of drugs, lots of lubricant, and lots of porn.

"I would be so high it would be nothing for me to be with 15, 20, 25 men in a night. It was never part of my agenda to practice safe sex. It was always about barebacking, sex without condoms. That was the norm. Wearing condoms is the rare thing when you're high on crystal meth."

Immediately after rehab, he went on a meth binge, spent 24 straight hours in a bathhouse, came out hallucinating, dehydrated, malnourished, severely depressed, and attempted suicide. Thank God, he failed to kill himself.

Jay explicitly described barebacking as anal sex without a condom (the instinctual look of uncomfortable disgust on Oprah's face was telling - one's natural conscience recognizes homosexual acts as unnatural and repugnant) and recalled bug-chasing - deliberately selecting a wasting, sick-looking man to have sex with, hoping to catch AIDS.

Jay said that methamphetimine is "killing my community" and urged his homosexual friends to go into the bathhouses and pull their brothers out, to "start loving one another."

With or without crystal meth, "gay" bathhouses facilitate the spread of deadly disease - STD's, hepatitis, AIDS, depression, suicide. (Not so gay...)

That was the IFI message on Sat night. If the "Welcoming Church" really loved their neighbors, wouldn't they agree with Pete LaBarbera?
Is America ready for World War III? - Sandy Rios
Iran is now welcoming World War III and any chance to go after America. As they furiously hurry to complete their nuclear arsenal, the world watches tiny Israel take the first plunge into actually stopping them by eliminating their terrorist surrogate, Hezbollah. Yes. Iran is ready for World War III, but is America?

This is Sandy Rios with Culture Campaign.

Nearly five years ago, like-minded members of this world-wide terror movement turned hundreds of innocent people into weapons against their own and flew commercial airlines into the heart of New York City, murdering nearly three thousand people. Until censors rushed in, you could see bodies falling from the buildings in various acts of suicide and desperation. America was gripped with fear and disbelief. I watched in amazement, stranded in Beijing, China, as I saw a CNN anchor turn to a pastor on camera and ask him to pray. I knew then my world had profoundly changed.

And it had. For a few days, people fell on their knees in the streets of New York, crying out to God. For a few weeks, people flocked to churches, looking for meaning and hope and strength. Young men ran to military recruiters, signing up to protect their home…their families….people waved the red, white, and blue, and in a non-partisan, supreme show of patriotism, supported the only man upon whose shoulders the response would depend, President George W. Bush, by percentages well into the 90’s. But that was four years ago.

In that short time, the President has been called a “liar,” the War in Iraq, mocked as “his.” Ant-war protestors have gained momentum through “Code Pink” and radical war-mom Cindy Sheehan. Any bad conduct, alleged or real, by America Soldiers has been recklessly plastered on front pages, made available to our enemies to further stoke hatred and incite them to behead and torture more of our own. The New York Times and others have taken it upon themselves to expose powerful, secret methods by which we’ve managed to stop further attacks. And are proud to have done so. The rights of terrorists in Gitmo and European interrogation facilities are their utmost concern. They have sued phone companies who have cooperated, exposed banking systems that have tracked terrorist money.

Now a rogue former ambassador and his CIA wife are suing the Vice President and others in the administration for bogus accusations of “outing” the wife, Valerie Plame, who was in fact, “outed” years ago by infamous traitor Aldridge Ames. As they pose in Vanity Fair in a convertible and speculate on the stars who may play them in the movie, they plunge the administration into further distraction in a time of war.

And the effect of the mischief of the Left can be felt in the hearts and determination of our young soldiers. While claiming to support the troops, they plant seeds of doubt, ridicule mercilessly the Commander in Chief, to whom they must look to for guidance. No soldier can march into battle without confidence, and no War can be won by a wavering and uncertain army.

So is America ready for World War III? We have the sophisticated weapons necessary. We have the brains and manpower, but we lack the unity. Abraham Lincoln, invoking the words of Jesus said, “A house divided against itself will not stand.” It was true 2000 years ago, it was true in 1860 and it is true today.

Is America ready for World War III? I don’t think so, and we have some serious work to do before our beloved country can ultimately prevail in a global conflict.

For Moody Radio, this is Sandy Rios.


Fetus farming shot to hell – where it belongs - Jill Stanek

Last week, the same day President Bush vetoed a bill that would have forced taxpayers to further subsidize embryonic stem-cell experimentation, he signed the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006.

The former got lots of negative press; the latter caused barely a stir. The latter bode poorly for embryonic stem-cell research's public image. Better to ignore.

At any rate, a ban on fetus farming wasn't controversial, passing unanimously in both the Senate and House. Fetus farming seems far-fetched.

But ratifying FFPA scythed a huge swath through plans of embryonic stem-cell harvesters – laudable quick work by pro-life academics and politicos before the other side's powerful lobby could sway self-interested politicians and Americans.

Researchers have promoted embryonic stem cells as magical, saying they can be coaxed to develop into any type of cell.

But the thesis hasn't stood. ESCs isolated from very young embryos grow wildly into cancerous tumors. That which was extolled, their pliability, makes ESCs difficult, perhaps impossible, to control.

Furthermore, because ESCs come from unique human beings, whatever they might be coaxed to grow into stands as much chance of matching a recipient as, say, bone marrow, another type of stem cell. The likelihood of bone marrow matches between donor and recipient is 1:4 for siblings and 1:20,000 for unrelated people.

Imagine the logistics of growing and storing a minimum of 20,000 livers in a national liver bank. That's just livers. The list of body organs and tissue needed to cure ailments is countless.

Despite those obstacles, ESC proponents inexplicitly reject shifting their focus to adult and umbilical cord research, both of which are morally acceptable and making huge gains. Adult and umbilical stem cells, of course, provide exact matches if the donor is the recipient. There would be no organ or tissue rejections.

No, ESC researchers are determined to walk further down the sinister path, which is why they fight cloning bans. Cloned body parts would also provide exact matches.

What else would increase their odds of success?

Older embryos and fetuses.

("Embryo" is the scientific name for preborns up to 8 weeks old, "fetus" for preborns older than 8 weeks.)

At eight weeks gestation, basic structures for all body systems are established. All remaining time in the uterus is spent growing and refining tissues and organs.

Bioethicist Robert George of Princeton concluded in the Weekly Standard last October that ESC researchers were beginning to look toward older preborn humans.

George explained:

[R]ecent studies show that the problem of tumor formation does not exist in cells taken from cows, mice and other mammals when embryos have been implanted and extracted after several weeks or months of development (i.e., have been gestated to the late embryonic or fetal stage). This means that the real therapeutic potential lies precisely in the practice of fetus farming. Because the developmental process stabilizes cells (which is why we are not all masses of tumors), it is likely true that stem cells, tissues and organs harvested from human beings at, say, 16 or 18 weeks or later could be used in the treatment of diseases.

The other side had already begun the shift.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 2005 embryonic stem-cell research executive order not only authorized taxpayer funded human cloning research but also "payment" for "transplantation or implantation of [embryonic] tissue," with no age restriction. It also included "payment" for "cadaveric fetal tissue," or dead fetuses.

In other words, researchers who wrote that executive order were planning to harvest a new crop in Illinois, fetuses, in uterine farms.

George noted his home state of New Jersey had also passed legislation to harvest "cadaveric fetal tissue."

"What the bill envisages and promotes, in other words," wrote George, "is fetus farming."

With the passage of the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006, one important method to grow crops of fetuses for research has been shot to hell, where it belongs.

But there are still loopholes. Researchers can still grow them in artificial environments.

They can also still use aborted baby parts, the biggest reason why the abortion industry supports ESCR.

One of my sons rented a small home on the corner of a hog farm last year, so I've learned a little about the industry. He told me that sometimes due to rigorous jostling in close quarters, a pig will burst open. In that event, the other pigs will quickly descend upon the eviscerated animal and eat it.

There's an analogy in there somewhere.


Bipartisan appeal high for female governors Most run states domonated by other party - Susan Page

LANSING, Mich. — Although their numbers are still small, female governors stand out as better than their male counterparts at drawing crossover voters, dealing with the opposition party and winning re-election.

This emerging statistical picture suggests intriguing prospects that will be tested in November's elections, when a record five of the eight female governors in the USA are running for new terms.

Non-partisan analysts favor four of the five to win, even though all four are in states that were carried by the other party in the 2004 presidential race.

Among governors whose terms are up this year, women are twice as likely as men to be favored to win re-election.

And among all 50 governors, women are three times as likely as men to be running states dominated by the other party.

"You have to ask if there's a female M.O. (modus operandi) that acts to depolarize our politics, to dilute the ideological polarization between the parties that exists throughout the country," says political scientist Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Kathleen Dolan, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and author of Voting for Women in the United States, questions whether women govern in fundamentally different ways than men: "I do not see women coming from Venus and men from Mars."

Still, she says, the public does view female candidates differently. "Voters see women as more bipartisan, they see them as more able to work across the aisle, they see them as more honest," she says. "It's possible that in very polarized electorates a woman candidate might receive a benefit of a doubt from voters."

The stakes are high. Governors forge statewide political organizations that can be key in other races and sometimes develop innovative policies in such areas as health and education. State capitals are a training ground for presidents: Four of the past five presidents served as governors.

Among female governors, Linda Lingle of Hawaii and Jodi Rell of Connecticut, both Republicans, and Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, both Democrats, are favored to win by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and Congressional Quarterly. The only tossup race: Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, a Democrat who is being challenged by Republican businessman Dick DeVos.

That means 80% of the female governors eligible to run this year are favored to win new terms. In contrast, 11 of the 26 male governors eligible to run are favored to win by the Cook report; that's 42%. Congressional Quarterly rates nine, or 35%, as favored.

Among all governors, five of the eight women — or nearly two-thirds — are in states dominated by the other party, compared with nine of the 42 men, or one-fifth.

Jeanne Shaheen, director of Harvard's Institute of Politics and a former three-term governor of New Hampshire, says female leaders tend to be "more consensus-building, more interested in getting input from other people and less interested in taking credit." She adds: "Women don't often have the need to be macho, to put it very bluntly, and therefore we have less trouble reaching out to somebody who might have been an opponent."


The CQPolitics Interview: David McSweeney (IL 8) - Greg Giroux

The following are excerpts from a interview with Illinois Republican David McSweeney, an investment banker who is staging a serious challenge to freshman Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean in the 8th District, a normally Republican-leaning district which takes in suburbs northwest of Chicago.

The interview was conducted on June 27 by senior writer Greg Giroux in Washington, D.C., during a campaign-related visit by McSweeney.

A story on the Illinois 8 race can be found here. Excerpts of an interview with Bean are here.

CQ: What issues would you debate with [Bean]? What stand out as the most obvious differences between the two of you?

McSweeney: The first one is definitely the Bush tax cuts. ... I am for making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent. Melissa Bean refuses to take a stand on that. ... One minute she was for the tax cuts originally, the next minute she was against it. Now she says that she doesn’t have a firm stand on making the tax cuts permanent. It’s not rocket science — either you’re for it or you’re against it. That’s a big issue in the race.

Lawsuit reform is a big issue in the race. ... I favor HR 5 — legislation that came to the floor last year that would cap the non-economic damages, so that we can help our doctors, our OB-GYNs, our neurosurgeons here in Illinois. ...

Energy policy. I favor the GAS Act that passed Congress [last October], which facilitates and streamlines the process for building new refineries. We haven’t built a refinery in this country since 1976. She voted against that [bill], clearly. She voted against safe drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife region [a refuge in Alaska]. ... I think energy policy is a big difference. ...

This seat may decide who is going to control the U.S. House of Representatives, and her first vote is for Nancy Pelosi [of California] for Speaker of the House. And I think it would be a disaster to have Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. ...

We have differences on the issues. I’m willing to debate those issues — from taxes, energy policy, to immigration, to spending to national defense. And the people of the district deserve to hear where I stand versus Melissa Bean.

CQ: On immigration ... what would you like to see emerge if the two sides can come together? What would you like the final product to look like?

McSweeney: I’d like to see an enforcement bill. ... We have to be tolerant — I am a supporter of legal immigration. I think we should increase the caps for legal immigration. But I don’t favor a path to citizenship for people in this country illegally. I oppose the Senate bill. If we included that path to citizenship, I think that would be worse than having no bill at all at this point. ...

What I’d like to see is [the House bill, sponsored by Wisconsin Rep. F. James] Sensenbrenner, with modifications. ... I’d also like to see an exemption for religious organizations. ... I’d like to see an enforcement bill.

CQ: ... What is the general feeling of the [Republican] base? There’s been some talk that they’re not as enamored [with the Bush administration] or energized as they once were.

McSweeney: There is concern. The things the base is upset about right now — spending in Washington. ... There is a lot of concern about what they perceive as special interest earmarks. ... That’s No. 1.

No. 2, there is a lot of frustration on the Senate bill on immigration. And No. 3 is, what I hear over and over again is, when is the Republican Party going to get back on the offensive and draw the issue differentials? ...

Those are the three things that I hear about over and over and over again. And that’s why I’ve been pounding away, over and over again, in a positive way on spending. I’ve been talking about that when I joined the campaign — that we need to cut spending in Washington, D.C. We need to reform Congress. ...

As a party, to get our base out, we need to talk about those three issues. Talk about cutting spending. Talking about enforcing the borders, but do it in a positive way that doesn’t turn people off. ... and talk about energy policy. I think those are three important issues for the base. ...

With independents, it’s less immigration — it’s economic. It’s a combination of gas prices and pensions. That’s a big issue because we have United Airlines — not in my district, but right next door. ...

[Independents are] concerned about their jobs, they’re concerned about pensions, they’re concerned about gas prices, they’re concerned about trade.

CQ: Where do you really start to make a dent in the deficit? Where are you willing to cut?

McSweeney: ... I favor a three-year freeze on the total level of federal spending, excluding national defense, homeland security and Social Security. ... So let’s be specific: $2.7 trillion, as you know, is roughly the [size of the] budget. You exclude those three areas, that’s about $1.1 trillion. So that leaves you with about $1.6 trillion in the remaining budget. So what I’m talking about doing is freezing that $1.6 trillion, the total level, for three years. ... which means that if you’re going to allow, which I support, full veterans’ benefits, you’ve got to cut other programs to make up for that. ...

We have to eliminate programs like the National Endowment for the Arts [and] the Legal Services Corporation. I favor cutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by 50 percent. And you have to reform the entitlements. ... I favor block-granting the Medicaid program back to the states — with the funding, but so that the states don’t have to come back hat in hand for the waivers. ...

I believe we need to means-test the Part D prescription drug program that was just adopted by Congress. It doesn’t make any sense for me at all, why the richest people in this country are getting subsidized prescription drug coverage. ... Effectively what we’re doing is, we’re borrowing money from the Chinese to pay for Donald Trump’s prescription drugs. It doesn’t make any sense. ... We need to repeal the 1974 Budget Act and go to zero-based budgeting. ...

I’ve been very specific on the spending side. Bean won’t tell you where she stands.

CQ: I presume that the two of you also have differences on, for lack of a better term, the so-called social issues.

McSweeney: ... I’m pro-life; I’m proud of it. They’re going to attack me on that right and left. ... I don’t focus on it as a major issue, but if they want to talk about it, I’m going to talk about the fact that Melissa Bean favors partial-birth abortions — she said she would oppose a ban [on the procedure]. She favors federal funding of abortion. So who’s the extremist? If she wants to talk up that issue, I’m more than willing to do it.

[ note: Bean has voiced opposition to a bill, passed by the House in October 2003, aimed at banning a medical procedure opponents call “partial-birth” abortion, on grounds that the measure failed to provide sufficient protections for the health of the pregnant woman.]

I’m pro-Second Amendment. I don’t favor additional gun control. I believe that we should put criminals behind bars, not law-abiding citizens. ... I favor strict laws to go after criminals.

On the whole issue of marriage, I want to be tolerant, but I do favor defining marriage between a man and a woman. ...

The other two things she is going to hit me on. Stem cells. I’m a big supporter of non-embryonic stem cell research. I favor [New Jersey Republican Rep.] Chris Smith’s bill, using umbilical cord blood [and] using skin cells. ... I oppose embryonic stem cell [research]. I’m a big supporter of non-embryonic — that’s where the promise is. ...

Intelligent design — what I said on intelligent design is, evolution of course should always be taught. But if a local school district wants to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution, not replacing it, they should have the right.

CQ: How do you appeal to independent voters?

McSweeney: The economic issues. ... there’s a lot of economic anxiety — I think you see it in the numbers about wrong direction in the country. I know the pundits seem to think it’s just Iraq. I don’t see it in my district. ... there’s a lot of unease. Part of that is gas prices, and again, in my district, because of the United [Airlines] situation ... I hear about this pension issue a lot. ... There is a real economic unease out there and a concern that things will be worse off in this country.

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