GOPUSA ILLINOIS
  David John Diersen, GOPUSA Illinois Editor
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Weekly Poll
Welcome to CampaignSiteBuilder
February 2, 2007 News Clips
Posted by Diersen on 15-Mar-2007

FOR TEXT, SCROLL DOWN

QUESTION: What role did the Combine play in electing Lyon's replacement?  What role is the Combine playing in electing Skoien's replacement?
 
PIONEER LOCAL
Illinois GOP needs true leadership - Editorial
Dysfunctional is perhaps a nice description of the Republican party in Illinois. The latest act in the GOP follies involves the Illinois Republican State Central Committee denial of the Republican Assembly of Lake County's request to use the word "Republican" in its name. The Republican Assembly of Lake County is vocal and probably far more conservative than the current state leadership team. Its chairman, Raymond True and five other Republican precinct committeemen filed a lawsuit against the state party and the Lake County Republican Party, disputing the outcome of the election for Republican state central committeeman in the 10th Congressional District. The lawsuit by the Assembly and the counter-punch by state Republican party leaders does not serve the best interests of rank and file Republicans who want to see the party rebuilt and become a force once again in statewide politics. The Republican party in Illinois needs true leadership not petty bickering. 
 
DAILY HERALD
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Daily Herald displays its bias against conservatives again, calls the Illinois Family Institute a "self-described" pro-family organization
(FROM THE ARTICLE: One self-described pro-family organization argues parents, not the state, should make these decisions. David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, also said the proposal “sends a subtle message to young people condoning sexual activity before marriage.” “This is not something you get by sharing pencils or touching doorknobs. This is something that is an STD,” said Smith. “We’re concerned that it will give a false sense of security to young girls who will still be vulnerable to STDs.”)
-- Madigan, White, & Giannoulias: Handing out a trio of props to statewide officials - Eric
http://www.dailyherald.com/opinion/krol.asp
-- New Cook Democratic chief Joseph Berrios vows openness - 
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cookstory.asp?id=276438&cc=c&tc=&t=
-- Berrios new Cook Dem chairman - Eric Krol
-- DuPage County zoning board even on shelter for 30 foreign children in wealthy Lisle Township neighborhood    3-3 vote leaves issue fully in county board’s hands
http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=276531
-- Cigarette tax wrong for many reasons - Gary Patterson, West Chicago
(DIERSEN: Tragically, nicotine addicts often have other addictions.  Because people with addictions place far greater burdens on government than people without addictions, they should pay more taxes.  It is beyond outrageous that three groups in DuPage County -- limousine liberals, Democrats, and RINOs - who invite people to come to DuPage County who want DuPage County to provide more services -- demand that a forth group - typical DuPage County taxpayers, most of whom are Republican -- pay more taxes so that DuPage County can provide those services.  DuPage County residents who invite people who need more government services to come to DuPage County should be the ones who pay more taxes to pay for those services.)
-- Gun ban bill a sign of tyranny to come? - Donald J. Dwyer, Lake Villa
(DIERSEN: I have owned a shotgun with a bore greater than .410 since the 1960s.  FROM THE LETTER: Under HR 2414, the “Daley Assault Weapons Ban,” thousands of models of popular firearms will be banned and subject to confiscation, including .50 AE Desert Eagles, MIA match rifles, all shotguns with bores greater than .410, all black powder firearms, and most semi-automatic rifles.)
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
-- Berrios named county Dem chief - Abdon Pallasch
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/240385,CST-NWS-dems02.article
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
-- Cook Democrats pick new central committee chief - Mickey Ciokajlo
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070201berrios,1,5142789.story?coll=chi-newsroom-hed
ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
-- Non-profits fail to disclose funding of political campaigns - Adam Jadhav
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Two nonprofit groups that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Southern Illinois appellate judge this past fall appear to have violated the state's election laws. Together, the American Tort Reform Association and the American Justice Partnership, both business-friendly groups that have supported calls for tort reform, pumped $785,000 into Illinois politics this year...Even if the two groups eventually disclose their own funding sources, Alpert said, she's concerned with another contribution — $1.8 million donated to the Illinois Republican Party by the Washington-based Institute for Legal Reform, a wing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Because that lobby group gave the money to a political party — and not an individual candidate — it doesn't have to disclose its funding sources. The Illinois Republican Party gave sizable amounts — more than $1.2 million — to McGlynn, but both groups told the Post-Dispatch last year that no money had been earmarked that way."This was legal, but we know they've got an agenda." Alpert said. "We just don't know who specifically was behind the money," Alpert said.)
-- Statewide Democrats blank their opponents with money, new records show - Adam Jadhav
CAPITOL FAX
-- VERY SAD: Gallup: Illinois is very "Blue" - Rich Miller
SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL REGISTER
-- Legislation proposed by Republicans would target message sites on Internet   MySpace, Facebook are focus of proposal to give schools authority - Jeremy Pelzer
ILLINOIS FAMILY INSTITUTE
-- Illinois Lawmakers Consider Mandatory HPV Vaccine - David E. Smith
NEW YORK TIMES
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: McCain donors include Peter Fitzgerald
GOPUSA
-- English As Our National Language - To Benefit All Of Us - Paul M. Weyrich
http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/pweyrich/2007/pmw_01311.shtml
WHEATON LEADER
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Wheaton Leader promotes Henry who promotes Gresk
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Steven O'Malley of Wheaton blasts "elitists"
 
GOPUSA ILLINOIS
Questions - Dave Diersen
-- Where are the by-laws for the Cook County Republican Party posted on the Internet?  What do the by-laws say about filling the vacancy when the chairman resigns?  Who is interested in filling the vacancy?  What are their qualifications?  Do they support all the planks in the Illinois Republican Party (IRP) platform?  Which planks do they reject and why? 
-- On January 13, the IRP State Central Committee (SCC) voted to prohibit the Republican Assembly of Lake County's (RALC) from using "Republican" in its name because the IRP SCC disapproved of RALC's actions.  Does the IRP SCC disapprove of George Ryan's and his supporters' actions?  Why hasn't the IRP SCC voted to prohibit George Ryan and his supporters from calling themselves Republicans?
-- The IRP says it wants conservative voters, that is, voters who support the IRP platform, back in the party, but actions speak louder than words.  Arguably, the RALC does more to help candidates who support the IRP platform than any other organization in Illinois.  When will the IRP SCC reverse its January 13 vote, apologize to the RALC, and apologize to each and every RALC member?
-- When will the IRP release a copy of its letter to the RALC?  
-- When will the IRP issue a press release on what happened at the January 13 IRP SCC meeting?
-- Kjellander rejects the IRP SCC call for him to resign, says he has "done absolutely nothing wrong," says his critics are "disgruntled," and says he is being made into a "scapegoat."  Did the Republican National Committee make Kjellander the Treasurer of its 2008 convention?  If Kjellander continues to refuse to resign as IRP National Committeeman, what should the next step be?  If/when Kjellander resigns, who would be the best person to fill the vacancyand why?
-- What should the IRP SCC do to discourage Republican candidates, Republican elected officials, and especially Republican party leaders from praising Democrat candidates, Democrat elected officials, and Democrat party leaders, especially from praising extremely liberal Democrats like Obama?
 
What saddens, de-motivates, and/or irritates Illinois "Platform" Republicans more? - Dave Diersen
-- The IRP's efforts to punish the RALC, and therefore, to punish RALC's members
-- The IRP's failure do more to encourage Kjellander to resign
-- The punishment and/or demonization of those who come to RALC's defense and/or call for Kjellander to resign
-- Republican candidates, elected officials, and party leaders who praise Obama and/or publicly reject the platform
 
PIONEER LOCAL
Illinois GOP needs true leadership - Editorial
Dysfunctional is perhaps a nice description of the Republican party in Illinois. The latest act in the GOP follies involves the Illinois Republican State Central Committee denial of the Republican Assembly of Lake County's request to use the word "Republican" in its name. The Republican Assembly of Lake County is vocal and probably far more conservative than the current state leadership team. Its chairman, Raymond True and five other Republican precinct committeemen filed a lawsuit against the state party and the Lake County Republican Party, disputing the outcome of the election for Republican state central committeeman in the 10th Congressional District. The lawsuit by the Assembly and the counter-punch by state Republican party leaders does not serve the best interests of rank and file Republicans who want to see the party rebuilt and become a force once again in statewide politics. The Republican party in Illinois needs true leadership not petty bickering. 
 
DAILY HERALD
DIERSEN HEADLINE: Daily Herald displays its bias against conservatives again, calls the Illinois Family Institute a "self-described" pro-family organization
(FROM THE ARTICLE: One self-described pro-family organization argues parents, not the state, should make these decisions. David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, also said the proposal “sends a subtle message to young people condoning sexual activity before marriage.” “This is not something you get by sharing pencils or touching doorknobs. This is something that is an STD,” said Smith. “We’re concerned that it will give a false sense of security to young girls who will still be vulnerable to STDs.”)
 
Suburban parents debate STD vaccination - 

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois joined nearly two dozen other states this week in considering whether young girls should receive vaccinations against a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer.

The proposal would require 11- or 12-year-old girls to show proof that they’ve had the shots. Parents could decline the vaccinations.

Although the idea is relatively new, it already has sparked heated conversations from those who say the measure is a “no-brainer” that could save lives, and others who question whether the state would be crossing into parental territory or promoting sex.

“This is about cancer — not sex,” said state Sen. Debbie Halvorson, a Crete Democrat and cervical cancer survivor.

Cancer has haunted Deirdre White’s family, claiming both her parents. Now, her aunt has waged a battle against cervical cancer. Genetics are part of the reason the Elgin mom is going to take a closer look at the HPV vaccine, but she says there’s still research to be done before doctors give the shot to her daughter, 10-year-old Chloe.

On the other hand, Bonnie Kas is convinced. She has already scheduled a May appointment for her 11-year-old daughter.

“I think it should be mandatory,” said the Glen Ellyn mom, who believes the health benefits outweigh perceived problems.

Not every suburban parent agrees.

Debbie Schoenherr of Algonquin is concerned about possible drug side effects.

“This, to me, needs a little bit more study,” said Schoenherr, who has two daughters, ages 13 and 24. “That’s scary to me. That’s something I should decide on my own.”

One self-described pro-family organization argues parents, not the state, should make these decisions. David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, also said the proposal “sends a subtle message to young people condoning sexual activity before marriage.”

“This is not something you get by sharing pencils or touching doorknobs. This is something that is an STD,” said Smith. “We’re concerned that it will give a false sense of security to young girls who will still be vulnerable to STDs.”

Gale Ganet isn’t naive. She’s aware children experiment and don’t always do what their parents say. But the Naperville mom doesn’t think the vaccine would make her 14-year-old daughter promiscuous.

“She’s got a stronger moral background that we’ve tried to instill in her,” said Ganet.

The notion that these shots may give girls a feeling of sexual invincibility is no reason to forgo a vaccination that could save lives, said White, the Elgin mom.

“If a kid’s going to do it, a kid’s going to do it,” she said. “I still don’t think that children are going to go out and have sex because they think they’re safe (from cervical cancer.)”

A state pediatrics group is in favor of the vaccination effort but has two main problems with the proposal: First, how the $360, three-shot regimen would be paid for. Second, when the vaccinations would be given. The proposed vaccination ages don’t coincide with the existing school physical schedule, said Dr. Edward Pont, president of the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Gardasil, approved by the federal government in June, protects both girls and women from the strains of HPV that cause nearly 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.

Drug maker Merck & Co. would stand to inject billions of dollars into its sales profits if the vaccine is mandated across the country. The pharmaceutical giant has refused to say how much money the company spends lobbying lawmakers.

Halvorson, the sponsor, accepted a $1,000 campaign donation from Merck this summer. The Senate majority leader denied any political maneuvering on the company’s part and insisted she’s pushing the vaccine because of its health merits.

“To say that they’ve done anything more than educate us on the issue is crazy,” said Halvorson.

If approved, the vaccines would be phased in over the next two years and take effect in 2009.

Madigan, White, & Giannoulias: Handing out a trio of props to statewide officials - Eric
http://www.dailyherald.com/opinion/krol.asp
There’s an adage about covering politics that if it’s not bad news, it’s not news at all.

And that’s tended to be the philosophy in this weekly column. But a trio of developments is allowing me to take a breather from all the corruption scandals, petty bickering and general duplicity that make up the state political beat.

In recent weeks, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias each have made decisions that marry good politics with what much of the public will find to be smart policy. Let’s break them down:

•Madigan: The Democratic attorney general might not believe parents should be required to be notified before their minor girls get an abortion, but she still went to court to enforce that law.

Madigan asked a federal judge to lift the injunction on the state’s 1995 parental notification law now that the Illinois Supreme Court has written the rules allowing abused minors to talk to a judge instead.

The move allows Madigan to say she did her job as the state’s top lawyer, taking away a potential criticism should she run for governor in 2010. Support of parental notification has been the mainstream position — otherwise the law wouldn’t have passed in the first place.

The upside for her own philosophical opposition to the law is that the Democrats control the General Assembly and governor’s mansion. Her party is in a position to pass a revamped version of parental notification that would widen the circle of confidants to include priests and also provide exemptions.

Critics say that would gut the law. But Madigan wouldn’t have to be tarred with that law in any way. She gets to have her proverbial cake and eat it, too.

•White: The three-term secretary of state pushed a package of legislation to crack down on teen driving. Soon after he did so, a national study came out that showed distractions during driving are part of what makes car crashes the No. 1 cause of death among U.S. teens.

White wants lawmakers to extend the learner permit phase from three to nine months, move up teen driving curfews to 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on weekends and require ticketed teens to appear before a judge with their parents before getting court supervision.

White, 72, is unlikely to run again. As such, he could have coasted. But this legislation shows he’s not afraid to push a public policy that some parents might not like due to its inconvenience.

If it passes, even in a compromise form, and saves the life of one teen (or potentially an older victims in another vehicle), it’d be tough to argue the crackdown was a bad idea.

•Giannoulias. The rookie state treasurer avoided fumbling on one of his first big plays this month when he rejected a plan to allow the city of Springfield to buy the mortgage of a long-floundering hotel that’s cost taxpayers dearly.

The hotel is the former Renaissance, infamous in political circles for being owned by insiders like GOP powerbroker Bill Cellini and for not paying back very much of its $28 million taxpayer-backed loan.

Cellini and his fellow investors lose their tax shelter if the bank goes into foreclosure. Springfield city leaders asked Giannoulias if he’d delay the foreclosure proceedings while they tried to put a deal together.

Giannoulias said no, the foreclosure process will proceed. For Giannoulias, it was a move editorial boards lauded as wise public policy. Politically, it’s wise because Giannoulias avoids giving future rivals ammunition to lob at him.

Giannoulias’ family banking money — he took a lot of hits last fall for loans granted to reputed mobsters — gives him a measure of political independence. He doesn’t need the Cellinis of the world to raise money.

New Cook Democratic chief Joseph Berrios vows openness - 
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cookstory.asp?id=276438&cc=c&tc=&t=

New Cook County Democratic Chairman Joseph Berrios pledged more party openness Thursday, moments after cutting a private deal to get his competitors to drop out.

“It wasn’t a backroom deal. If you really think about it, it was open to everyone who wanted to run,” said Berrios, a lobbyist and 19-year county tax appeals board member.

Heading into the open-door meeting at a Chicago hotel, Berrios faced competition for the unpaid leadership post from state Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie and Chicago Alderman Isaac Carothers. But Lang and Carothers both withdrew after getting promises from Berrios that the party would allow greater participation by committeemen.

If the promises are kept, they’d be a change from a county Democratic Party that in the past has met only to slate candidates that usually were preordained by a select few leaders. Berrios promised new committees and bylaws, more party officers and voter registration drives.

“There will be full, across-the-board participation,” said Berrios, who turns 55 on Valentine’s Day.

Berrios, who was the first Hispanic elected to the General Assembly in 1982, becomes the first Hispanic elected to the Cook chairmanship, which hasn’t been particularly clout-heavy in recent decades.

“This is a proud moment for the Hispanic community,” Berrios said. “We showed that the Democratic Party does believe that Hispanics can hold party offices and lead this party to a new tomorrow.”

Answering reporters’ questions afterward, Berrios would not blame Democrats for the major county budget mess even though they’ve been in control of county government for decades.

Carothers pointed out there wasn’t a long line of people who wanted the chairman’s post, leading him to believe “there must be something wrong with it.”

Lang said it’s important that suburban committeemen be allowed their say, since “we have felt left out for a very long time.”

Palatine Township Democratic Committeeman Sue Walton said she thinks the new structure will work.

“I think the growing numbers of the Hispanic population in Palatine Township, they will be delighted to see this kind of leadership,” she said.

Berrios succeeds Thomas G. Lyons, who died last month after serving 17 years in the post. A half-dozen leaders offered remembrances, with Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael J. Madigan paying Lyons the ultimate compliment for a politician in this scandal-strewn state: “I never questioned his honesty.”

Berrios, a University of Illinois graduate, is a lobbyist whose clients include the coin machine operators, bowling alley owners, school bus owners and Sun Microsystems.

Berrios new Cook Dem chairman - Eric Krol
An early look at the Cook County Democratic chairman story for Friday's print edition:

New Cook County Democratic Chairman Joseph Berrios pledged more party openness Thursday, moments after cutting a private deal to get his competitors to drop out.

"It wasn’t a back room deal. If you really think about it, it was open to everyone who wanted to run," said Berrios, a lobbyist and 19-year county tax appeals board member.

Heading into the open-door meeting at a Chicago hotel, Berrios faced competition for the unpaid leadership post from state Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie and Chicago alderman Isaac Carothers. But Lang and Carothers both withdrew after getting promises from Berrios that the party would allow greater participation by committeemen.

If the promises are kept, they’d be a change from a county Democratic party that in the past has only met to slate candidates that usually were pre-ordained by a select few leaders. Berrios promised new committees and bylaws, more party officers and voter registration drives. "There will be full, across-the-board participation," said Berrios, who turns 55 on Valentine’s Day.

Berrios, who was the first Hispanic elected to the General Assembly in 1982, becomes the first Hispanic elected to the Cook chairmanship, which hasn’t been particularly clout-heavy in recent decades.

"This is a proud moment for the Hispanic community," Berrios said. "We showed that the Democratic Party does believe that Hispanics can hold party offices and lead this party to a new tomorrow."

Answering reporters’ questions afterward, Berrios would not blame Democrats for the major county budget mess even though they’ve been in control of county government for decades.

Carothers pointed out there wasn’t a long line of people who wanted the chairman’s post, leading him to believe "there must be something wrong with it."

Lang said it’s important that suburban committeemen be allowed their say, since "we have felt left out for a very long time."

Palatine Township Democratic committeeman Sue Walton said she thinks the new structure will work. "I think the growing numbers of the Hispanic population in Palatine Township, they will be delighted to see this kind of leadership," she said.

Berrios succeeds Thomas G. Lyons, who died last month after serving 17 years in the post. A half-dozen leaders offered remembrances, with Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael J. Madigan paying Lyons the ultimate compliment for a politician in this scandal-strewn state: "I never questioned his honesty."

Berrios, a University of Illinois graduate, is a lobbyist whose clients include the coin machine operators, bowling alley owners, school bus owners and Sun Microsystems.
 
DuPage County zoning board even on shelter for 30 foreign children in wealthy Lisle Township neighborhood    3-3 vote leaves issue fully in county board’s hands
http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=276531
DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals officials punted Thursday when it came to deciding on a shelter for immigrant children.

The 3-3 vote leaves the request by Heartland Human Care Services to locate a residence for up to 30 foreign children in a wealthy Lisle Township neighborhood up to the DuPage County Board.

Heartland is seeking a conditional use permit. The shelter would serve kids who arrive in the country unaccompanied by adults. Heartland, which works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cares for the youngsters until immigration authorities settle their fate.

Heartland intends to place children up to 17 mainly from India and China in the home. The typical stay ranges from 60 to 90 days.

Numerous residents of the area near Naperville argue the shelter is too high a density for the area and would lower property values. They also criticized Heartland for failing to consider traffic, fire safety and water and sewer services.

“Our objections have nothing do with children, age, race, ethnicity. It’s purely a land-use issue,” attorney Shelly Hurta said.

Heartland attorney Jim Durkin said a similar shelter operated by the agency, the International Children’s Center in Chicago, had increased property values of neighboring homes. He said local fire authorities supported the project and that car traffic to the house would be limited.

“We’re watching over 30 kids who are lonely, tired and frightened and seeking to be reunited with their families,” he said. “They just want to be loved.”

Zoning board member Barry Ketter argued the conditional use wasn’t justified.

“I believe there will be diminishment in value,” he said. “The number of people in there creates a problem for me. It could increase the possibility of fire there.”

But board member Bob Grogan said Heartland seemed qualified to operate the shelter and that arguments about traffic problems were “quite weak.”

Board member Michael Loftus recused himself from the decision, saying misleading fliers by residents indicating he supported their cause had “cheated him out of a vote.”

Board members stipulated they wanted the conditional use permit to last for only three years.

Muddying the waters was the introduction of a list of police activity on the block where a similar shelter operated by Heartland is located. Attorneys for neighbors who oppose the DuPage shelter and obtained the police report pointed out there were 29 incidents in 10 years, including criminal damage to property and drug possession.

Heartland officials said there were no crimes connected with the shelter but explained they had filed missing persons reports when children run away. Forty-one kids have left since the International Children’s Center opened in 1995, mainly teenage boys from Central America.

ICC Child Welfare Director Susan Trudeau said in many cases, the children who run away have relatives in the United States and are trying to reach them.

Cigarette tax wrong for many reasons - Gary Patterson, West Chicago

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

(DIERSEN: Tragically, nicotine addicts often have other addictions.  Because people with addictions place far greater burdens on government than people without addictions, they should pay more taxes.  It is beyond outrageous that three groups in DuPage County -- limousine liberals, Democrats, and RINOs - who invite people to come to DuPage County who want DuPage County to provide more services -- demand that a forth group - typical DuPage County taxpayers, most of whom are Republican -- pay more taxes so that DuPage County can provide those services.  DuPage County residents who invite people who need more government services to come to DuPage County should be the ones who pay more taxes to pay for those services.)

I was disappointed with your Jan. 7 editorial favoring a $2 increase in the cigarette tax. (As I am not a smoker, this injustice would not affect me.)

Contrary to your headline, this tax increase is for all the wrong reasons.

Taxes rightfully should benefit the taxpayers in some way. You cite programs due to suffer cuts or extinction under the “doomsday budget”: the Extension Service, 4-H, the historical museum, new carpet for the courthouse (Jan. 6 editorial). One-hundred employees may lose their jobs.

Perhaps worthy causes, but in what way do you think 20.9 percent of the population who smoke are obligated to bear the burden of these programs?

Could 4-H parents (and donors) pay for their kids’ activity, as do parents of Boy/Girl Scouts, YMCA, Little League, etc.? Could visitors to the museum pay an increased admission fee?

While I’m sure many of the jobs to be lost are worthwhile, the county’s mission is not to provide jobs.

You further state, “And it would preserve services everyone rightfully demands and expects…”

If DuPage citizens rightfully demand and expect these services, it is incumbent upon all the taxpayers to fund them.

The most outrageous opinion in the entire piece is that “It’s one of the least offensive ways for government to raise revenue.”

It is nothing but offensive to tax the sale of a product to multiples of its retail cost because “we need the money.”

The real problem is that those in DuPage government lack the courage of their convictions. If they truly believe that they need this increase in revenue (but that’s another editorial) then they should support a general increase in the tax rate and face the voters.

Like too many other legislative officials, there seems to be more interest in preserving their office than using it to do what is right.

Gun ban bill a sign of tyranny to come? - Donald J. Dwyer, Lake Villa 

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

(DIERSEN: I have owned a shotgun with a bore greater than .410 since the 1960s.  FROM THE LETTER: Under HR 2414, the “Daley Assault Weapons Ban,” thousands of models of popular firearms will be banned and subject to confiscation, including .50 AE Desert Eagles, MIA match rifles, all shotguns with bores greater than .410, all black powder firearms, and most semi-automatic rifles.)

Governor Blagojevich has reported that passage of an “assault weapons ban” is his top legislative priority for 2007.

Under HR 2414, the “Daley Assault Weapons Ban,” thousands of models of popular firearms will be banned and subject to confiscation, including .50 AE Desert Eagles, MIA match rifles, all shotguns with bores greater than .410, all black powder firearms, and most semi-automatic rifles.

Three quarters of Illinois gun-owning households would have at least one gun that would be banned. One million families would be turned into criminals overnight. The penalty provision could condemn you to life in prison if you do not surrender the banned firearms. Gov. Blagojevich could authorize the use of deadly force under the guise of “homeland security” and order the state police to raid hold-out’s homes. Gun owners who refuse to turn in their banned firearms could be forcibly dragged out of their homes in plain view of their neighbors, “roughed and cuffed,” and dragged off to jail. Illinois could become another Nazi Germany unless HB 2414 is defeated.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Berrios named county Dem chief - Abdon Pallasch
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/240385,CST-NWS-dems02.article

The contest for Cook County Democratic chairman was over before the meeting began.

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the candidate of suburban committeemen, and Ald. Ike Carothers (29th), the candidate of the black caucus, both withdrew and allowed Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Joe Berrios -- the choice of many Hispanic committeemen and the regulars -- to win unanimously.

Madigan brokered vote

Berrios becomes the first Hispanic to hold the post. He was also the first Hispanic elected to the state Legislature in 1982.

State Democratic Chairman Mike Madigan chaired the meeting and had called committeemen who had been leaning toward Lang or Carothers and helped bring them into the Berrios fold. Berrios lobbies part time in Springfield, and Madigan practices law before Berrios' board.

Many of the bigger-name committeemen -- Ald. Edward Burke (14th), Dick Mell (33rd), Bill Banks (36th) and Bill Beavers (7th) -- had been approached but declined what some see as a thankless job leading a party that often splits its support.

All three candidates pledged to work for unity and to end the practice of some party leaders working against the slated candidates in the Democratic primary election.

'Vice co-chairs' part of deal

Does that mean Democrats such as those who backed Sen. Barack Obama over slated candidate Dan Hynes for senator two years ago would be disciplined?

No, Berrios said after the meeting. But party officers should back the slated candidate, he said.

Part of the deal for Lang and Carothers withdrawing their candidacies involved Berrios naming them "executive vice co-chairs of the party." State Rep. Kim Yarbrough, committeewoman of vote-rich Maywood Township, was named sergeant-at-arms.

Berrios replaced longtime leader Thomas Lyons, who died last month.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Cook Democrats pick new central committee chief - Mickey Ciokajlo
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070201berrios,1,5142789.story?coll=chi-newsroom-hed

Top Cook County Democrats on Thursday elected Joseph Berrios as the first Hispanic to hold the position of county Democratic chairman.

Although an important title, the unpaid job is not what it was when the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley wielded almost unilateral authority to slate candidates for local and state office and to make other influential decisions on the fate of Democratic officeholders.

Now, Mayor Richard M. Daley operates largely separate of the county organization's apparatus. Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago holds the title of state Democratic chairman and Berrios, a Springfield lobbyist and a commissioner on the County Board of Review, is a close Madigan ally.

Berrios replaces Thomas Lyons, who died last month.

"This is a proud moment for the Hispanic community," Berrios said. "We showed that the Democratic Party does believe that Hispanics as one can hold party offices and can lead this party to a new tomorrow."

Berrios is the Democratic committeeman of the 31st Ward on Chicago's Northwest Side. He vowed to revamp the party's committee structure and to encourage more participation from minorities and suburban Democrats.

Berrios was selected unanimously by city ward and suburban township committeemen after two other candidates, Chicago Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) and state Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), withdrew their names from consideration.

Carothers and Lang were appointed as co-vice chairmen in a deal Lang described as "power sharing."

"What we've created over the last several weeks are new coalitions, new opportunities and new energy to make our Democratic Party what we need it to be," Lang said.

Carothers predicted the party would become more progressive and more transparent during slatemaking, when the organization formally endorses candidates for various offices. A former state lawmaker, Berrios was elected in 1988 to the Board of Review, which was then called the Cook County Board of (Tax) Appeals.

The Board of Review was the subject of a federal ghost-payrolling investigation in the 1990s. Berrios was never charged with any wrongdoing, and in 1998 the County Board paid $275,000 in legal fees for outside lawyers obtained by a dozen employees as well as Berrios and former tax appeals board member Wilson Frost.

Also Thursday, the central committee appointed County Board President Todd Stroger as the 8th Ward committeeman, replacing his father. Appointed in 1968, John Stroger had been the longest serving committeeman, followed by Lyons and Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who were both appointed later that year.

State Sen. Louis Viverito (D-Burbank), who has served as Stickney Township Democratic committeemen since 1969, stepped down from his township party post Thursday and was replaced by Michael Looney.

Madigan, who presided over Thursday's meeting, said change is to be expected.

"The party's been going through transition for a long time," said Madigan, whom the late Mayor Daley appointed as 13th Ward Democratic committeemen in 1969. "This is a completely different Democratic Party than the one I joined in 1969."

ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH

Non-profits fail to disclose funding of political campaigns - Adam Jadhav
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Two nonprofit groups that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Southern Illinois appellate judge this past fall appear to have violated the state's election laws. Together, the American Tort Reform Association and the American Justice Partnership, both business-friendly groups that have supported calls for tort reform, pumped $785,000 into Illinois politics this year...Even if the two groups eventually disclose their own funding sources, Alpert said, she's concerned with another contribution — $1.8 million donated to the Illinois Republican Party by the Washington-based Institute for Legal Reform, a wing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Because that lobby group gave the money to a political party — and not an individual candidate — it doesn't have to disclose its funding sources. The Illinois Republican Party gave sizable amounts — more than $1.2 million — to McGlynn, but both groups told the Post-Dispatch last year that no money had been earmarked that way."This was legal, but we know they've got an agenda." Alpert said. "We just don't know who specifically was behind the money," Alpert said.)

The Illinois Republican Party gave sizable amounts — more than $1.2 million —
to McGlynn, but both groups told the Post-Dispatch last year that no money had
been earmarked that way.

"This was legal, but we know they've got an agenda." Alpert said. "We just
don't know who specifically was behind the money," Alpert said.
 
 
Two nonprofit groups that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Southern
Illinois appellate judge this past fall appear to have violated the state's
election laws.

Together, the American Tort Reform Association and the American Justice
Partnership, both business-friendly groups that have supported calls for tort
reform, pumped $785,000 into Illinois politics this year.

That includes $425,000 given to Belleville attorney Steve McGlynn, the
Republican who ran for but lost the Southern Illinois appellate seat to which
he had been appointed.

By donating directly to McGlynn, both groups triggered campaign finance
reporting requirements under Illinois' election law, the State Board of
Elections confirmed to the Post-Dispatch on Thursday. But as the deadline
passed Wednesday, the groups, based in Washington, had neither registered as
nonprofits with the board nor filed disclosure reports detailing where they got
their funding.

"According to the statute, they should be filing," said Rupert Borgsmiller,
director of the election board's campaign finance division. "We're still
sorting things out, but it would appear they are in violation."

A lawyer for American Justice Partnership promised to investigate and comply
with the law if necessary; a spokesman for the American Tort Reform Association
said he didn't know about the requirements and that the group's president was
unavailable.

Critics say that disclosing the ultimate source of the money — in other words,
who provided the dollars to the nonprofits — would make it clear exactly who
may be trying to buy political influence.

"They've got to get their money from somewhere, and because they supported this
candidate, the public in Illinois has a right to know where that money came
from," said Margo Alpert, an analyst with the Illinois Campaign for Political
Reform, a watchdog group.

No one has suggested that McGlynn himself did anything wrong.

His campaign alone spent more than $730,000 during the election cycle. The
Illinois Republican Party and other groups paid for another $1.5 million in
services — mostly TV ads on behalf of McGlynn.

His opponent, Democrat Bruce Stewart, a Harrisburg circuit judge, spent more
than $620,000 and accepted another $416,000 in services — most of it for TV ads
paid for by the Democratic Party of Illinois. Stewart ultimately won what was
downstate's most heated race this past November.

The race pitted pro-business groups and Republican interests against
traditional Democratic supporters such as lawyers and labor.

Dan Pero, president of the Justice Partnership, said he thought his group had
complied with the law when it gave McGlynn money, and Cleta Mitchell, the
group's attorney, said she would make sure the law was followed.

"We support candidates for office where we can under the law, like Judge
McGlynn there and others around the country who support the rule of law," Pero
said.

The rules at issue were added after two nonprofit groups fueled the bitter race
for the Illinois Supreme Court between Democrat Gordon Maag and Republican
Lloyd Karmeier in 2004. Karmeier ultimately won as the two campaigns set
national spending records — going through some $9 million.

At the time, the nonprofits — later determined to be opposing groups of trial
lawyers and business interests — were not required to disclose their funding
sources.

"There was a way in the law to get around full disclosure," said Kent Redfield,
a campaign finance expert at the University of Illinois at Springfield. "That's
what prompted the changes in the law. Apparently, these groups didn't get the
notice or just didn't follow it."

Even if the two groups eventually disclose their own funding sources, Alpert
said, she's concerned with another contribution — $1.8 million donated to the
Illinois Republican Party by the Washington-based Institute for Legal Reform, a
wing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Because that lobby group gave the money
to a political party — and not an individual candidate — it doesn't have to
disclose its funding sources.

The Illinois Republican Party gave sizable amounts — more than $1.2 million —
to McGlynn, but both groups told the Post-Dispatch last year that no money had
been earmarked that way.

"This was legal, but we know they've got an agenda." Alpert said. "We just
don't know who specifically was behind the money," Alpert said.
 
Statewide Democrats blank their opponents with money, new records show - Adam Jadhav
Trouncing his opponent in spending, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent more
than $16 million during the last half of 2006 to win a second term in November.

Altogether, the governor used more than $26.3 million last year during his
primary and general election bids, to beat three-term State Treasurer Judy
Baar Topinka. She spent $9.3 million during the same time period.

She was especially outgunned at the end, spending $6.2 million in the last half
of the year.

Blagojevich waged a massive TV campaign that Topinka only began to answer in
the final months. She did actually out-raise him between July 1 and Dec. 31,
bringing in $4.9 million with the help of fundraisers by a high-profile visit
from President George W. Bush.

Blagojevich raised $4.8 million during the same time.

The numbers were revealed in campaign finance reports filed with the State
Board of Elections this week.

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Joe Birkett, a state's attorney, was
the only GOP contestant to outspend his Democratic counterpart during the last
six months of the year. Democratic incumbent Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn spent just
$130,000. The two men ran on joint tickets with their gubernatorial candidates.

During the second half of the year, other statewide Democratic candidates far
outspent their Republicans counterparts. GOP candidates in those races lost
across the board.

In wining his first term, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a Democrat, spent
$2.8 million to beat state Sen. Christine Radogno, R-Lemont.

Radogno spent only $800,000.

Incumbent Secretary of State Jesse White, a Democrat, spent $1.9 million to
best state Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Pontiac, who spent $976,000.

Incumbent Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also a Democrat, spent almost $1.7
million to win over GOP challenger Stu Umholtz, a state's attorney, who spent
just shy of $73,000.

Incumbent Comptroller Dan Hynes, a Democrat, spent $526,000 to beat state Sen.
Carole Pankau, R-Bloomingdale, who spent $200,000.
 
CAPITOL FAX
VERY SAD: Gallup: Illinois is very "Blue" - Rich Miller
Illinois is the 16th most Democratic state in the nation, according to Gallup.

A review of Gallup polling data from 2006 underscores the relative strength the Democratic Party currently enjoys versus the Republican Party in American politics. For the year, Democrats averaged a nearly four point advantage over the Republicans on national party identification and an even larger 10-point advantage when independents’ partisan “leanings” are taken into account.

In an analysis of 2006 partisanship at the state level, 33 states show a statistically significant advantage in favor of the Democratic Party, six states show a statistically significant Republican advantage, and the remainder can be considered competitive.

Democratic strength in the United States has grown in each of the last three years. The trends are fueled more by movement away from the Republican Party and into independent status than by movement toward the Democratic Party.

According to Gallup, Democrats have a 13-point advantage over Republicans here in Illinois. That ties us with Kentucky and New Mexico. The polling showed 52 percent of voters identified themselves as Democrat or leaning Democrat, 9 percent said they were independents and 39 percent said they were Republicans or leaned Republican.

Gallup’s numbers are somewhat different than exit polling conducted during the November election here. That poll, which was pretty much dead-on at predicting the outcome of the governor’s race, had 46 percent identifying themselves as Democrats, 23 percent saying they were independents and 31 percent claiming they were Republicans.

Either way, we’re still a Democratic state. The exit polling, by the way, also showed that 52 percent of Illinois voters identified themselves as “moderates,” while 25 percent said they were “conservatives” and 23 percent said they were “liberals.”

SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL REGISTER
Legislation proposed by Republicans would target message sites on Internet   MySpace, Facebook are focus of proposal to give schools authority - Jeremy Pelzer
Concerned about online threats to children from adults - and to adults from children - Illinois House Republicans unveiled legislation Wednesday to crack down on Internet sex predators and students who post death threats.

One proposal would allow school districts to discipline students who make threats against school officials, teachers or other students on social networking Web sites such as MySpace or Facebook, or on instant messaging programs such as AOL Instant Messenger.

School administrators would have this authority even if the student made the threat from a home computer or after school hours.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross said the proposal came after a student in Cross' hometown of Oswego recently posted a death threat against his school's principal on a social networking site.

The school wanted to suspend the student, Cross said, but administrators were unclear about whether they were allowed to do that.

Clarifiying that authority gives educators "another tool" to address such problems, he said.

However, Ed Yohnka, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said the proposal "seems redundant," as "students who made threats, whether online or in person, already can be disciplined by schools."

Yohnka also voiced concern that, if the legislation is passed, school administrators would punish students not just for posting death threats online, but also for legitimate speech, such as criticism or satire of school officials.

Acknowledging there "could be" First Amendment issues with the proposal, Rep. Bob Biggins, R-Elmhurst, said, "With this new technology comes new crimes, and new ways to commit them. Maybe there'll be different ways to interpret our laws as well."

Another GOP proposal would prohibit adults from discussing sex acts with a minor online.

Currently, it's legal for an adult to hold a sexually explicit conversation with a child and even arrange a meeting - as long as no substantial steps are taken to actually meet the child, said Rep. Sandra Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn.

During hearings held last year by the House Republican Internet Safety Task Force, law enforcement officials posing as children demonstrated how easy it was for sex predators to pounce.

"At every one of those demonstrations, sometimes within minutes or within seconds of entering into a chat room, the officer posing as the child was solicited for conversations by an adult," Pihos said. "In many cases the adult wanted to have sexually explicit conversations."

"It was really very alarming," she added.

A third GOP proposal would ease state eavesdropping laws so law enforcement officials can intercept child pornography transmissions.

Currently, police officials looking to intercept such transmissions must first get permission from both parties - a rule, Biggins said, that makes it almost impossible to catch the swapping of child pornography.

The proposal would allow law enforcement, after winning court approval, to intercept transmissions of child pornography without the offender's knowledge.

Other proposals would increase the penalties for Internet death threats to a Class 3 felony and force those convicted of distributing harmful material to minors to register as sex offenders.

Biggins said the legislation would be "a top priority" for Republican lawmakers this spring.

The bills are HB37, HB38, HB39, HB40, and HB41.

ILLINOIS FAMILY INSTITUTE
Illinois Lawmakers Consider Mandatory HPV Vaccine - David E. Smith
You are probably asking: what in the world is HPV, and why do we need a vaccine for it? HPV is the abbreviation for the Human Papillomavirus, and it is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). HPV can lead to cervical cancer or genital warts.

Liberal activist want to mandate the use an FDA approved vaccine for school girls 12 and older. The idea is to reach girls before they begin sexual activity. The Left claims that this drug will save lives, but in reality, it tramples all over the God-given rights of parents to oversee the well-being of their children. Worse yet, the proposed mandated vaccine sends a subtle message to young people condoning sexual activity before marriage.

The fact is, cervical cancer is virtually 100 percent avoidable without a vaccine -- it is behaviorally avoidable. Also, a New England Journal of Medicine study found the use of condoms reduces the incidence of HPV by 70 percent. Of course, so-called health "experts" and liberal lawmakers are none too quick to admit that students can reduce the chance of contracting HPV by 100 percent by practicing abstinence! I guess injecting a vaccine in a young girl is easier than instilling self-respect and self-control.

It must be noted that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America -- more than 6 million women contract it annually -- yet the immune systems of many women are strong enough to clear up these infections on their own, which is why it only causes 3,700 deaths each year.

This vaccine will cost as much as 10 times more than other vaccines. Nearly $400 for the three-dose series, costing taxpayers billions of dollars (nationally) for an absolutely unnecessary vaccine.

This seems like an appropriate place to post a quote from the late Dr. Herbert M. Shelton (1895--1985). He was a great health educator, and he gave this warning for our careful consideration:
Doctors are not supermen and superwomen, elevated above the great mass of mankind and freed from the immoral and selfish interests and forces against which we all struggle and to which many of us frequently succumb. No 'healer' and no school of 'healing' should be regarded as any more than it is -- a tradesperson and a tradeschool, exploiting the sick for profit.

Why one cult should be woven into the warp and woof of our government, exalted -- by law -- to the position of deity, and permitted to use the advantages thus gained, to crush out all other cults and all anti-medical movements, is difficult to understand. Why in choosing the cult to thus enthrone, was the most destructive and deadly of all the cults selected?

This cult has been permitted to use public funds to carry on its propaganda and to employ the police power to force its schemes and methods upon the indifferent or even antagonistic public. It has gradually worked its way into the public schools, the army and navy, and among the elderly, and has gained complete control of these. State medicine is the result.

All of this has been done, of course, under the pretense of 'protecting the public health.' But their real motives are both apparent and transparent.

The Allopathic Cult has no more interest in the public health than any of the other cults; and none of them are bent on preserving public health, since this would ruin their incomes! The Physician does not secure his fees from the well, but from the sick. He is, therefore, interested in the sick -- not in the well!
Moreover, IFI agrees with Linda Klepaki, analyst for sexual health at Focus on the Family Action, who asserts that parents should have the final say whether their daughter receives the vaccine, not the government. Many state lawmakers agree and have written opt-in or opt-out provisions into legislation.

"Opt-in programs are really the best programs for states to have," Klepacki said. "That puts the burden on the states to educate the parents about this virus and about the vaccine. And then the parents actually have to sign a form for their child to have this vaccine."

The bottom line: Parents have the God-given responsibility to attend to their child's health and wellbeing -- not the government.
 
NEW YORK TIMES
DIERSEN HEADLINE: McCain donors include Peter Fitzgerald
McCain’s Campaign: Major Donors - Greg Giroux

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain formed an “exploratory” committee for his likely 2008 presidential campaign back in mid-November of 2006. That move gave McCain a jump on the bevy of candidates in both parties who, since the first of the year, have entered or started officially exploring White House bids.

And, with McCain’s year-end campaign finance report filed to the Federal Election Commission by the deadline Wednesday, political analysts and potential opponents have a window on how much money McCain is raising — and from whom.

McCain’s presidential campaign reported receipts of $1.7 million in late 2006, according to a CQPolitics.com analysis of the report. Reported expenditures amounted to $1.2 million, leaving the committee with $472,000 cash on hand as the new year began. The committee also reported $335,000 in debts and obligations.

The total receipts reported by McCain’s committee do not mean he has already received that big a surge of fresh cash. In fact, most of the total — $1.05 million — came in the form of transfers from his Senate campaign committee, Friends of John McCain.

Federal campaign finance law allows members who run for the White House to transfer money from their House or Senate campaign committees to their presidential committees. McCain ended up with a sizable surplus following a 2004 campaign in which McCain coasted to a fourth Senate term by an overwhelming margin.

McCain’s presidential campaign did, however, take in about $650,000 from individual donors and $10,000 from political committees.

The following are brief sketches of some notable individuals who donated to McCain’s exploratory campaign late last year. The donors are listed alphabetically by last name.

Unless otherwise noted, the donors gave $2,100 — the maximum then in effect that an individual donor could give to a candidate in a single election (campaign finance law considers a primary election and a general election to be two separate contests). The Federal Election Commission announced last week that the limit has been raised to $2,300 per candidate per election, under provisions of the campaign finance law that allows for inflation-related adjustments.

McCain donors include:

• Jonathan E. Colby, managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm.

• Edward F. Cox Jr., a partner at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. Cox, a son-in-law to the late President Richard M. Nixon, in 2005 launched a challenge to New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the next year’s election, but withdrew after then-Republican Gov. George E. Pataki stated a preference for another candidate.

Patricia Nixon Cox, Ed Cox’s wife and the former president’s daughter, also donated to McCain’s campaign.

• Arthur B. Culvahouse, attorney and chairman of the firm O’Melveny & Myers. Culvahouse served as White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989.

• Becki Donatelli, president of Campaign Solutions Inc. Donatelli’s biography describes her as the “lead Internet consultant” to McCain’s 2000 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, and his 2008 exploratory campaign is a Donatelli client.

• Roger J. Enrico, chairman of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO and chairman of the board of the Hewlett-Packard technology company.

• Peter G. Fitzgerald, chairman of Chain Bridge Bancorp Inc. and former U.S. senator of Illinois. Fitzgerald was elected in 1998 but retired after just one term, with Democrat Barack Obama winning his open seat in 2004. Like McCain, Fitzgerald developed a reputation as a “maverick” within the ranks of Senate Republicans.

Phil Gramm, an investment banker at UBS who, as a U.S. senator of Texas from 1985 to 2002, was a longtime McCain colleague. McCain chaired Gramm’s ultimately short-lived campaign for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination. Gramm’s wife Wendy, an economist, also donated to McCain’s exploratory effort.

• Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Holtz-Eakin is the economic policy chairman for McCain’s bid.

Henry A. Kissinger, the U.S. secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, who is president of the consulting firm Kissinger and Associates.

• John F. Lehman, chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, an investment firm that specializes in defense-related industries. Lehman served as a Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan and more recently served as a member of the federal commission that investigated the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks.

• Mark McKinnon, vice chairman of Public Strategies Inc. ($500 donation). McKinnon is advising McCain’s presidential campaign and directed advertising for George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

• Bob Perry, homebuilder ($4,200 donation). A prominent donor to Republican committees and candidates and conservative-leaning “527” political organizations, Perry was a major financial backer of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the organization that assailed the military credentials of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. Perry’s contribution was included among the $1.05 million that McCain transferred from his Senate campaign committee.

• Theodore Roosevelt IV, a managing director at the investment brokerage Lehman Brothers. McCain has long considered himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican,” so it should come as no surprise that the great-grandson and namesake of the late Republican president is backing McCain.

• Orson Swindle, consultant for Orson Swindle Associates LLC ($1,000 donation). Like McCain, Swindle is a former Vietnam prisoner of war. Swindle ran respectable but losing House campaigns in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 1994 and 1996, falling to Democratic incumbent Neil Abercrombie. He later served as a member of the Federal Trade Commission.

• John W. Timmons, founding partner of The Cormac Group, a consulting and lobbying firm. Timmons is a former legislative director to McCain.

GOPUSA
English As Our National Language - To Benefit All Of Us - Paul M. Weyrich
http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/pweyrich/2007/pmw_01311.shtml
Like Henry A. Kissinger, former Speaker Newt Gingrich is brilliant out of office. But many observers agree that both left something to be desired. Kissinger said all the correct things about defeating the communists at their own game of power politics. That caused no less than William F. Buckley to introduce Kissinger to President-elect Richard M. Nixon. Once in office, first as National Security Advisor and later as Secretary of State, Kissinger proved to be a disaster. Gingrich in office was only a disappointment, not a disaster. We now know that there were things in his personal life which at times clouded his vision. Remember, it was conservatives who did him in, not Democrats. After the 1998 election, with its razor-thin victory for Republicans in the House of Representatives, a dozen conservatives informed the Republican Leadership that they would not vote for Gingrich as Speaker under any circumstance. That was when Tom DeLay and others in the GOP Leadership told Gingrich that the ball game was over.

Republicans probably were rescued for the moment. But Gingrich's issue-driven philosophy, which brought the Republicans to power for the first time in 40 years, was and remains the right way to go. I mention all of this because Gingrich, while not running for President, is pushing various issues and issue clusters, which are right on.

I don't know how Gingrich would perform if he were elected to the highest office in the land but these days he is responsible in that each time I read one of his policy initiatives I want to stand up and cheer.

His latest initiative is to push for English as the official language of the United States. A well respected radio talk show host in Washington, Chris Core, suggested last week that the immigration issue well might be at least partially solved if English were the official language. He is absolutely correct. Much of his audience agreed with him and so do I. When my father came to the United States in 1923 he was here for only a few weeks when he began attending night school at the Stephen Bull Elementary Public Facility in Racine, Wisconsin. Although he still spoke with an accent, which bothered him to the day he died, he nevertheless developed a superb understanding and command of the English language. He could explain the most complex ideas in ways that easily could be understood. He developed a great sense of humor. He taught me how to tell jokes. He also taught me my politics and our faith, which was mostly by example.

My relatives and others who knew him told me that he was super anxious to find a school in which he could learn English. He wanted to start a few days after he came here was disappointed that he had to wait a matter of weeks to enroll.

While he never achieved great economic status, he did have a first-class engineer's license. He bought and paid for a home in seven years. Moreover, he spoke out at Racine City Council hearings and saw his views adopted. When he came to America his family in Germany was in a state of poverty. Sound familiar? Post-World War I inflation had wiped out the savings of his father and mother as well as those of a wealthier aunt. He didn't think he was entitled to documents in German. By the time he became a citizen six years after immigrating he didn't expect to vote with a German ballot either. We lived in a neighborhood filled with ethnic folks: Slovaks, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Italians and so on. There was only one other German family in the neighborhood. He did not seek to live in an enclave of people who came from the same country as he did. In fact, my father was known as being so anxious to be seen as an American, family lore has it that when he brought his two sisters to America in 1935 as my aunt began to speak of the ordeal of their trip he exclaimed, "Speak English."

That is the precise point Gingrich is making very eloquently. People who wish to assimilate will want to learn English. They will be required to do so if all governmental documents are in English. American citizens are apprehensive of those who come to this country and want to continue to speak and read their language. Many openly talk of "taking back" parts of the United States to form their own country. This is dangerous, as everyone understands. If the various Hispanic organizations would endorse the concept of official English things would turn around in a short while. My concern is not to deny workers money to send home. My concern is with those who defiantly refuse to adopt the language of this nation. And certain liberal leaders are encouraging them in that stance because they don't want them to move ahead. If they live in an enclave and all speak Spanish liberals will be able to control them politically. It is the worst kind of racism imaginable.

When I was advising parliamentary leaders in the Baltic states they presented me with this problem. There were so many Russians living in these small countries that they could overcome the Baltic leadership if they put their minds to it. Despite Soviet control, life was vastly better in the Baltic states than in the Soviet Union itself. These Russians didn't want to go back. I suggested to them that they adopt as part of their constitution that Estonian or Latvian or Lithuanian, as applicable, be the official language. Those who wanted to learn it could stay and become genuine citizens of those small nations. Those who refused to learn the language of the nation state would be obliged to leave. So far as I understand it, some of the Baltic states have taken initiatives along those lines. When I last discussed this with a prominent official in Estonia he told me that the suggestion was working and that the situation where there were as many or more Russians as Estonians has been partially rectified.

The United States welcomed with open arms all of the different ethnic groups which began coming here in the 19th Century or even before. Of course, some of them encountered roadblocks and prejudice. We have yet to be able to repeal human nature. As late as the years following the Viet Nam defeat thousands of Vietnamese came here. We did not object. Why? Because they showed clear signs of wanting to assimilate. What is different now? Do we hate Spanish-speaking people? I suppose a few do. But the vast majority of Americans want to welcome them if they choose to assimilate.

They will learn English at adult schools. They will send their children to schools where there is no bilingual nonsense. They will be taught in English after a reasonable time to learn it.

Gingrich says it correctly when he opines, "If you are pro-immigration to America, you should be pro-assimilation into English as the common language because in fact your children and grandchildren will have a dramatically better future if they are part of the common commercial civilization." Gingrich recommends shifting funding for bilingual education to English immersion programs. Bilingual education has trapped people in what he termed "linguistic ghettos."

Here is a proposition which has the support of more than 80% of Americans. It will not see the light of day. Why? Because the leftist special-interest groups are against official English. The Democratic Party is beholden to these groups. Especially with both Houses of Congress in liberal hands, this very important program never will be enacted. Gingrich has said that this early autumn he will decide whether to run for the Presidency. If he doesn't run one can only hope he will obtain a commitment of support from another candidate who will raise the issue.

WHEATON LEADER

DIERSEN HEADLINE: Wheaton Leader promotes Henry who promotes Gresk

http://www.chicagosuburbannews.com/story.php?pub=2&sid=80547

Mayoral candidate endorsed by county treasurer - Jessica Young

It may be a little disconcerting to picture the bearded Wheaton mayoral candidate Mike Gresk as a pompom-adorned "Rah rah, sis boom bah" chanter wearing the requisite short, pleated skirt. But DuPage County Treasurer Gwen Henry often conjures up the image anyway.

Well, at least metaphorically.

"I always refer to him as Wheaton's cheerleader," said Henry, who recently endorsed Gresk in the crowded race to succeed retiring 14-year veteran James Carr. "He's very much in tune with all facets of the community and has great vision, so I think he's the best qualified for the job.

"This is a critical election since leadership will be changing hands for the first time in many years, and I want to make sure it stays in competent hands," she added. "(Gresk) is eternally positive, a good listener, available, experienced, independent and doesn't always give people the answer they want to hear, which is a crucial skill."

Henry, who served as mayor in Wheaton before Carr's reign, said her familiarity with the office allows her to use a measuring stick on the contenders. Gresk, a branch manager at First Choice Bank in Wheaton and former city councilman, agreed.

"With her breadth of experience, she obviously surveyed the scene and knows the players, so her support is even more meaningful," he said.

The two have been acquainted for more than 20 years; politically, professionally and socially. Henry is even Gresk's personal accountant.

Working as the county's financial top dog also gives Henry ample insight when evaluating Gresk's business and budgeting credentials and policies, she said. Henry believes he will diligently safeguard the city's money.

"Mike understands that Wheaton's business community is the economic engine that keeps Wheaton a vibrant place where our residents live, raise their families and retire," she said. "He will ... keep Wheaton's business environment strong and economically viable."

Henry does not think that Gresk's hiatus from the City Council would work against him.

"It's a positive thing to have a neutral person coming in from the outside to lead," she said. "I don't believe that he has a personal agenda, and that makes him ideal."

Gresk's public service has included stints as a Wheaton Park District commissioner, president of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce and president of the Downtown Wheaton Association.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 27, primary election, Gresk will face off with City Councilmen Tom Mouhelis, Alan Bolds and Phil Suess for two ballot slots on the municipal ballot for the Tuesday, April 17, consolidated election.

Although ultimately only Wheaton residents will be able to vote in the mayoral election, Gresk is casting a wide net. He believes Henry's position as a county official will help get his name out to neighboring municipalities.

"Practically without fail, everyone I talk to has some connection to Wheaton, so I just tell them to pass it on," Gresk said. "I was in Springfield chatting with the parking guy taking my $3 and found out he has a mother who lives in Wheaton, so I gave him a packet. The city really has a positive image that extends beyond its borders, and I'd like to be the one to maintain it."

DIERSEN HEADLINE: Steven O'Malley of Wheaton blasts "elitists" 

http://www.chicagosuburbannews.com/story.php?sid=80534&pub=

Elitists want Hubble to remain in Wheaton - Steven O'Malley, Wheaton  

I am the father of three boys -- one went to Hubble; one is at Hubble; and one will go to Hubble in two years. I have watched with disgust the debate over the new Hubble site.

Now a third study has been released showing that the site is clean. Of course everyone knew that would be the case, but a small group is still not satisfied.

The reason is that they will never be satisfied because the whole BP "controversy" and now historic site push are false issues raised for only one reason. They want the school to remain in Wheaton.

The School Board, elected by the people, is unanimously in favor of the BP site, as is our excellent superintendent. However, this group, who have no children at Hubble, has used lies and distortions and wasted untold time and money to block the board's efforts.

Even their lawyer's office is close to the BP site -- unbelievable. Unfortunately, the press refuses to cover the true story here: A shameless bunch of elitists who do not want the school to move.

I want the school to move to the BP site and allow the site be developed commercially. It is time to let the people decide, have a vote and move forward.

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