Green Party leaders sharply criticized Governor Pat Quinn and the Democratic State Central Committee for bypassing State Rep. Art Turner and other more qualified candidates in nominating Sheila Simon for Lieutenant Governor.
“Pat Quinn’s message is that he can take the black vote for granted,” said Phil Huckelberry, Illinois Green Party Chair. “Our message is that those days are over. Many of our core issues – especially education funding reform and the lack of economic development in the most struggling areas – are at the top of the list across black communities throughout the state. It’s clearer than ever that those issues are not going to be meaningfully addressed by Pat Quinn and the Democrats. But they’re going to be addressed by the Green Party.”
Simon, a former city council member in Carbondale, is from the same relatively small community as Green gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney.
“Targeting Rich Whitney’s geographical base is a little short-sighted. There are a lot of black voters very upset right now, and Pat Quinn just gave them all even more reason to look to Whitney and the Green Party as a positive alternative,” said Huckelberry.
Number of African Americans in the US Senate since Reconstruction: 4
Number of those African American US Senators who were Illinois Democrats: 3
I just like to include the last one to remind out of state twits who bemoan the loss of the only African-American seat in the US Senate. While I’d love to see another African-American from Illinois in the US Senate, the other states might want to join us someday.
None of this means Illinois Democrats can or should stop pressing for inclusion of African Americans and other underrepresented minorities. However, lecturing a party on racial inclusion from a party that is fielding fewer African-American candidate and have never elected a candidate to major office is bloviating nonsense.
Now the Club for Growth, the powerful, well-funded conservative group, is putting Kirk on notice, and making it clear that they expect him to live up to his promise.
“He said that he’s going to do this,” Club for Growth spokesman Mike Connolly just said by phone. “We expect him to live up to his pledge.”
Kirk has signed on to the Club’s repeal pledge, which states: “I hereby pledge to the people of my state to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”
“He’s made a promise to the people of Illinois,” Connolly continued. Asked if failing to follow through could cost Kirk the Club’s support in a general election, Connolly said: “We’ll have to see.”
Poor Mark Kirk, he must feel like a ping pong ball jumping around issues like this.
CHICAGO — Republican Mark Kirk isn’t say if he’ll work to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
Kirk was asked repeatedly Tuesday whether he wants the legislation repealed. He would only say that he opposes the new taxes and Medicare cuts to pay for it.
The congressman who’s running for Obama’s old Senate seat says the GOP failed to block the legislation that’s now the law of the land. Like all the other House Republicans, Kirk voted against it.
Now, he says it’s his job to explain what it means to his constituents.
1) He won’t talk about how he wants to stop Barack Obama’s agenda in public, but only to Republican audiences
2) He won’t talk about a promise he made to the Republican base to repeal health care reform legislation
3) He is against climate change legislation that he voted for in Congress. He claimed it was for national security reasons he voted for it initially and then claimed it was only because his North Shore District wanted it.
4) He wouldn’t decide on which office to run for until Lisa Madigan made a choice
5) He supports closing Gitmo, but then doesn’t want the detainees in America
6) He votes to strip funding for high speed rail and then says he is a big time supporter of high speed rail
What a principled moderate centrist who the Tribune can get behind and extol his virtues of being on every side of every issue.
Both parties have nominated four people at the top of their ticket who while thinking they are trying to win an election, are more likely to attempt to lose the election leaving this entire election dependent upon who can screw up the most with the winner being the one who doesn’t achieve the biggest screw-up.
Right now, that might be the 27 year old intern guy who is running for Lt. Gov. While he’s been a bit rough around the edges and is very young for a 27 year old, he knows to shut up every once in a while.
Sheila Simon is an incredibly nice person from all accounts, and as honest as can be–and shares the same fatal flaw Pat Quinn does–neither can see the smart political move to save their life.
And then there’s the guy who sponsored a puppy gas chamber bill.
If you think the campaign is going to be funny, wait until we get to watch one of them actually run state government.
Say what you will about him allegedly trying to sell Obama’s senatorial seat. Say what you will about his seeming inability to accept one single ounce of blame for his actions. And say what you will about his wife appearing alongside Spencer Pratt on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. But say this also: The guy is a reality TV goldmine. Because reality TV is all about buffoonery, and Rod Blagojevich may just be the biggest buffoon in reality TV history. He’s like the bastard lovechild of Joe Schmo and Coach from Survivor. He just walks around as clueless as clueless can be with his goofy grin on. Ignorance must truly be bliss because this guy seemingly has no skills whatsoever and is caught up in a huge political scandal, yet walks around like he just ate up a huge bowl of sunshine. I wonder what the voters of Illinois — especially the ones that voted for him — think when they see how incompetent he is. Probably the same way I felt watching my hometown of Washington D.C. reelect Marion Barry after he was caught smoking crack and fondling a woman’s breast.
But I’m not here to hate on Blago. I’m here to show the love. Because all I want from the hours of 9 and 11 on a Sunday night is to be entertained by dolts, and as far as television goes, he is the most entertaining dolt I have seen in years. And in the defense of Rod Blagojevich as a television superstar, I would like to present the following exhibits into evidence, all from the most recent episode of Celebrity Apprentice:
“We’re prematurely ejaculating. We need more foreplay.”
In a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group, Mr. Netanyahu reiterated that Israel had no plans to freeze housing in Jerusalem, the trigger for a recent row between Israel and the United States. He rejected the administration’s contention that Israel’s policies were impeding the peace process.
“The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today,” Mr. Netanyahu said to the group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Jerusalem is not a settlement; It’s our capital.”
Apparently then, the descendants of the forefathers of the Mississippians (who didn’t appear until about 1000 AD) will be building on my block with no worry about modern property rights and such because they did it a long time ago. I may be calling for friends to move quickly if that is the standard for booting people out of a neighborhood.
Being as stupid and obstinate at the Palestinian leadership is not going to create a peaceful and secure Israel. It is going to creating a toxic situation to a democracy where the rule of law and essential due process is denied to a people because of their ethnicity. The building of settlements on property currently owned and housing Palestinians is nothing more than racial discrimination.
Beyond that, it makes moving forward towards permanent peace talks with at least the Palestinians in the West Bank impossible (Hamas makes Gaza impossible regardless of Israel). It provides cover within the Muslim world for Iran to escape unanimous condemnation for expanding its nuclear program. But most of all, it tears at the rule of law that all democracies thrive on. The reason the US shares such a special relationship with Israel is an acknowledgment of its status as the only stable democracy in that area of the world. If that status chances, the entire reason for that special relationship disappears. Netanyahu seems to not care.
It’s hard for me to imagine that there are enough stupid people to watch Glenn Beck because I know a fair number of conservatives and none of them are stupid enough to watch him other than for the humor of watching a jackass be a jackass.
Today’s edition is the best yet:
How dare John Lewis compare himself to a Civil Rights Activist?
On May 20, the Nashville riders were back in Birmingham where there were no incidents. Then all of the Freedom Riders traveled on to Montgomery where a mob of men, women and children carrying baseball bats, tire irons and bricks met them at the terminal. As the riders departed from the bus, the angry gang swarmed, beating the passengers. They attacked SNCC activists John Lewis and Jim Zwerg, who both sustained severe injuries. When White House observer John Seigenthaler attempted to protect two of the Freedom Riders, Susan Wilbur and Susan Hermann, an attacker knocked him unconscious.
Did your belief in nonviolence ever waiver? Did you ever question the method?
John Lewis: As a participant, and even today, I have never ever questioned the method, never questioned this idea, this concept of passive resistance. I believe in nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living. I believe that this idea is one of those immutable principles that is nonnegotiable if you’re going to create a world community at peace with itself. You have to accept nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living. I thought I was going to die a few times. On the Freedom Rides in the year 1961, when I was beaten at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery, I thought I was going to die. On March 7th, 1965, when I was hit in the head with a night stick by a State Trooper at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death, but nothing can make me question the philosophy of nonviolence.
Or want to retaliate?
John Lewis: No, I cannot and will not retaliate. We grew to respect the dignity and the worth of every human being. When we were harassed by Sheriff Clark in Selma or Bull Connor in Birmingham, when I was being beaten by an angry mob in Montgomery, you try to put yourself in the place of the people that are abusing you, and see that person as a human being, and try to do what you can to win that person over, to change that person. In a sense we all were victims, victims of a system.
Let me ask about March 7th, known as Bloody Sunday. What was going through your mind when you saw the array of State Troopers on horseback, and you and Hosea Williams at the front of that line walked into that?
John Lewis: As we started walking across the Alabama River, across the Edmund Pettus bridge, I really thought that we would be arrested and taken to jail. I was prepared to be arrested, and I was wearing a backpack, and in this backpack I had two books, an apple, an orange, toothbrush and toothpaste. I thought we were going to go to jail. I wanted to have something to read, something to eat, and since I was going to be in jail with my friends, colleagues and neighbors, I wanted to be able to brush my teeth. And we get to the high point, highest point on that bridge. Down below we saw the Alabama State Troopers, the Sheriff’s Deputies, members of Sheriff Clark’s posse, and when Major John Claude said, “This is an unlawful march.” I think he said, “I am Major John Claude of the Alabama State Troopers. This is an unlawful march. You will not be allowed to continue. I give you three minutes to disperse and return to your church.” And I think Hosea Williams said, “Major, will you give us a moment to pray?” And before we could even get word back, he said, “Troopers advance.” I knew then that we were going to be beaten. And you saw these men putting on their gas masks and they came towards us beating us with night sticks, pushing us, trampling us with horses, and releasing the tear gas. I became very concerned about the other people in the march, because I thought I was going to die. I just sort of said to myself, “This is it. This is the end of the road for me. I’m going to die right here on this bridge.” And to this day, 39 years later, I don’t know how I made it back across the bridge, through the streets of Selma, back to that little church that we left from, but I do recall being back at that church that Sunday afternoon.
It was Brown Chapel AME Church. When we got back, the church was full to capacity. Several hundred people on the outside were trying to get in to protest what had happened. Someone asked me to say something to the audience, and I stood up and said, “I don’t understand it. President Johnson can send troops to Vietnam but cannot send troops to Selma, Alabama to protect people whose only desire is to register to vote.” The next thing I knew I had been admitted to the Good Samaritan hospital in Selma.
I don’t have many heroes. I understand humans to be imperfect beings who may perform amazing feats one moment and be a weak human the next. John Lewis is one of my few heroes. When he’s called racial epithets by buffoons he calmly continues walking. He probably will get a good laugh out of Beck’s incredible ignorance, but make no mistake about it, the man has earned the right to walk like the civil rights hero he is anytime he wants.
Looks like black and gay lawmakers aren’t the only ones being pelted with vicious slurs by folks who oppose the health reform proposal. Add a Hispanic lawmaker to the list. Trifecta!
Rep Ciro Rodriguez of Texas has confided to colleages that he was hammered by ethnic slurs by people opposed to reform passing, one of those colleagues tells me.
Rep March Kaptur told me in the hallway today that Rodriguez privately told her he’d been called “some names” back in his district. She confirmed that they were ethnic slurs, but declined to elaborate.
Separately, Kaptur said that Rep Phil Hare of Illinois had told her that someone had grabbed his jacket today, which suggests a threat of violence.
This comes after we learned that protestors screamed the “N” word at John Lewis and the “F” word at Barney Frank. Emanuel Cleaver was even spat at. Now add Rodriguez to the list.
Now look, admittedly, politics is a rough business. It’s not for the squeamish. But this stuff is way beyond the pale, and deserves serious condemnation from senior lawmakers in both parties.
I’ve checked in with Rodriguez’s and Hare’s offices for more detail, and will keep you posted if I hear back.
Update: Rodriguez’s spokesperson, Rebeca Chapa, gets in touch to say that he was slammed as a “wetback” by an anti-reform protestor at a town meeting this week.
And another opponent called Rodriguez’ home and told the family member who answered to “go back to Mexico.”
City officials do not give official crowd estimates, so it is difficult to determine whether turnout reached the more than 200,000 estimated by organizers. However, the demonstration stretched from 7th street to 12th street in a dense carpet of humanity–the movement’s largest show of strength since 2006, when a series of mass rallies in favor of the legalization plan erupted in cities across the country.
Also, The Hill reports: “Frank, an openly gay lawmaker, had to call the Captiol Police “to move away” five or six protesters who were banging on his office door and shouting through the mail slot…While making the trek across the street from his office to the Capitol, Frank was called a ‘Homo Communist’ and told to ‘go homo to Massachusetts’ by several protesters, according to witnesses and confirmed by Frank…Frank, a longtime advocate for lesbian and gay rights, called it ‘unfortunate’ that people protesting in the Tea Party event took to spewing ‘bigoted, abusive, personal things’ at him and some African-American members. ‘If this was a movement that I was part of, I’d be doing more than I think the Republicans are, to differentiate myself,’ Frank said in an interview with The Hill that afternoon.”
People remember that former Rep. Bill Lipinski (D-Ill.) used political trickery to line-up his Third Congressional District seat for Dan Lipinski, who returned to Illinois from Tennessee to get to Congress through a rigged 2004 nomination. At the time, the scuttlebutt was Bill Lipinski wanted his son in the seat long enough in order to have him vested in the congressional insurance coverage plan for life. Other well connected Southwest Siders stood down at the time to help out Dan Lipinski.
With his expected re-election in November, Lipinski becomes vested in a plan that will give him lifetime coverage. “It’s kind if stunning that he would deprive millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions the same security he is given as a member of Congress,” a vote counter close to the situation told me. “That is exactly the kind of thing that enrages folks who are out there struggling.”
I actually thought he was vested at the end of this term, but she may well be correct that he is after the next term begins.
Since Monday, the President had at least 64 meetings or phone calls with Members of Congress on health insurance reform. I hear Lipinski is one of them.
I put calls e-mails into Lipinski and his spokesman to ask about whether an executive order would remedy his objections. And I want to ask how his own diabetic condition–and his ability to get health insurance– is balanced against his opposition to abortion. I will update later with developments.
Of course, he was the only Democrat in the Illinois caucus to not back Obama early on in the Presidential race. I believe everyone would love to hear Rahm’s description of the guy unedited.
As long as choice isn’t compromised anymore in the bill.
Good for him
“I was pleased yesterday to hear that the ‘deem and pass’ maneuver was abandoned and that the House will have a fair and transparent up-or-down vote on the Senate health care bill today. My constituents voted for me to have a vote, and it’s only right that I am able to use it on an issue this critical to the American people.
I was also glad to hear that House leadership refused to entertain any side deal with anti-choice lawmakers in exchange for their support. I made it clear to the leadership of the House that I would not support a bill which included such a deal.
As for my vote, I understand many would have preferred that I announce my intentions sooner, some perhaps before the final bill text was even released. However, this bill and this process have changed so drastically in the last 24 hours, particularly when it came to the issue of choice, that I could not commit myself to a bill of this importance before knowing what it would contain. Even now, hours before the final vote, there is a chance for a last-minute amendment that could compromise women’s health care.
In the end, I have always been committed to reforming the status quo to bring health care access to the 69,500 people in Illinois’ Fifth District who currently do not have it and improve it for the half-million who do, but not at the expense of a woman’s ability to choose. Unless there is a last-minute change to the bill that compromises this right, I plan to vote ‘yes.’
No one can claim that this bill is perfect. It is rather a historic place to start from which we will review, refine, and most importantly, help millions of American families for the first time in generations. We are on the brink of history, and it is honor to be a part of it.”
Cook County Board antics are good training for Congress. Just stick by your position and you end up doing fine.
Dan Lipinski has been most influenced by a vote made by his father, former Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.), in 1993, against former President Bill Clinton’s deficit-reduction package — a must win, back then, for Clinton. The senior Lipinski was the only Illinois Democrat and one of 38 Democrats in Congress to say no to Clinton and he wasn’t punished and his son pointed out to me he went on to serve another decade on Congress with no punishment. Said Lipinski of his fathers’s no vote back then, “I think it served him well.”
Of course, the old man is now a ‘consultant’ and lobbyist for transportation issues while his son sits on the Transportation Committee. All for principle–the principle of taking care of themselves. It should be noted that Dan Lipinski has diabetes and is now denying access to care to some of those not lucky enough to have Congressional health care. But that’s not his problem..