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Archive for December 15th, 2010

Attorney General Madigan, 49 other states and the District of Columbia announce $13 million settlement with DIRECTV

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS


DIRECTV must change its marketing practices and refund eligible consumers impacted by these practices


Chicago, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined state attorneys general across the country to announce a $13.25 million settlement with DIRECTV over the way its offers are marketed to consumers. Madigan said the satellite TV provider must change its marketing practices to more accurately describe promotional offers and must make refunds to eligible consumers affected by these practices in the past four years. 

Madigan and the other attorneys general launched their investigation into DIRECTV after receiving numerous complaints from consumers about billing problems, programming problems and DIRECTV’s practice of charging early termination fees after consumers cancelled their service. This settlement requires DIRECTV to clearly explain its offers and provide fine print details to consumers before they contract for the service.

“Consumers need to know the exact details of their contract before they sign up. This settlement requires that DIRECTV provide that information to consumers,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Consumers who think DIRECTV unfairly charged them for canceling the service should file a complaint with my office to see if they are eligible for a refund.”

Madigan and the other attorneys general received consumer complaints alleging that DIRECTV:

  • Did not clearly disclose the price the consumer would be charged and the commitment term that the consumer would be required to keep DIRECTV services;
  • Did not clearly disclose to consumers limitations on getting a certain price for DIRECTV;
  • Enrolled consumers in additional contracts or contract terms without clearly disclosing the terms;
  • Enrolled consumers in additional contracts when replacing defective equipment;
  • Did not clearly disclose to consumers automatic renewal of a seasonal sports package; and
  • Offered cash back to consumers but, instead, provided bill credits to consumers.

Under the settlement, DIRECTV must:

  • Clearly disclose all material terms to consumers;
  • Replace leased equipment that is defective free of charge except for shipping costs;
  • Stop the practice of requiring consumers to enter into an additional contract when DIRECTV simply replaced defective equipment;
  • Clearly disclose when a consumer is entering into a contract;
  • Clearly notify consumers before they are obligated to pay for a seasonal sports package;
  • Clearly disclose all limitations on the availability of local channels;
  • Stop the practice of misrepresenting the availability of sports programming;
  • Stop promising cash back when consumers actually get a bill credit; and
  • Clearly notify consumers that they will be charged a cancellation or equipment fee at least 10 days before charging the fee.

Consumers with unresolved complaints already on file with DIRECTV or Madigan’s office alleging that they experienced any of these unfair practices after Jan. 1, 2007 may be eligible for a refund.

Consumers can also file a complaint with DIRECTV or Madigan’s office to be considered for a refund if the problem with DIRECTV occurred after Jan. 1, 2007.

Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Feltman handled this matter for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Bureau.


Kirk’s Key Appointments to Newly Formed Advisory Boards

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
 Chairs of advisory boards offer geographic balance among team of experts 

 Kirk: “These individuals–who come from across the Land of Lincoln–will provide expert advice on major issues facing the residents of Illinois.”
Chicago, IL – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced the chairs of five newly formed advisory boards created to help address major issues facing residents of Illinois.
Kirk, a former five-term congressman who was sworn into the Senate on Nov. 29, said he selected advisory board chairs from across the state based on their experience and to provide geographic balance to his team of experts.
“These individuals—who come from across the Land of Lincoln—will provide expert advice on major issues facing the residents of Illinois,” Kirk said.
Kirk formed similar advisory boards while serving as congressman of the north suburban 10th Congressional District for the past decade.
“The best thoughts and ideas regarding federal policy come from those who deal with the decisions Washington makes every day,” Kirk said.  “These key leaders will help assemble boards that represent Illinois’ diverse needs and provide feedback on some of the most important issues we will tackle in the Senate.”
In addition to the eight appointments to the five advisory boards, Kirk said he will appoint experts to additional advisory boards as he prepares for the 112th Congress.
The advisors and the committees they will chair are:
Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage County regional superintendent of schools, and Schaumburg High School teacher Kathi Griffin, an Illinois Education Association board member and National Education Association director, will serve as co-chairs of the Education Advisory Board.
Health Care
Dr. Jay Alexander, a partner at North Shore Cardiologists in Lake County for nearly 30 years, and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, will chair the Health Care Advisory Board.
Terry Ferguson of Clinton is a past president and current board member of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau.  A former DeWitt County Board member and Harp Township highway commissioner, Ferguson is well known for bringing attention to the needs of farmers in central Illinois.  He will chair the Agriculture Advisory Board.
Small Business
Zachary Hoffman of Springfield is co-owner of Wiley Office Furniture, a small business that has been in his family since the late 1960s when Hoffman’s grandfather, Ray, purchased the company.  The firm, which provides office planning, furniture products and related services, has worked extensively with local municipalities and state and federal agencies.  Hoffman will chair the Small Business Advisory Board.
Former U.S. Army Capt. Carrie Hoza of Winnetka, who was awarded a Bronze Star for Leadership and Service during an 11-month tour of duty in Iraq, will chair the Veterans Advisory Board.  Gurnee resident Allen Lynch, an Army veteran who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in the Vietnam War, and state Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), a former Marine who is currently the GOP spokesman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will serve as honorary chairs.
Kirk won a special election to serve an unexpired Senate term on Nov. 2—the same day he won election to a full six-year term.  Kirk will be sworn into the full Senate term on Jan. 5.

Virginia Federal District Judge declares One Provision of Affordable Care Act “Unconstitutional”

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
Bush appointee is first of fifteen federal district judges to do so                                                                                                      
(From the Campaign for Better Health Care)
Chicago, IL – A federal district judge in Virginia became the first judge in the country to declare the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. 
Judge Henry E. Hudson, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, owns a sizable stake of the Republican political consulting firm Campaign Solutions, Inc.  Campaign Solutions’ clients from the most recent election cycle include John Boehner, Michelle Bachmann, John McCain, and many other GOP candidates who ran on the promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general who filed the lawsuit that Hudson ruled in favor of today, is a Campaign Solutions client who in 2010 paid the firm $9,000 for services rendered.
Despite his ruling on the individual mandate, Judge Hudson declined a request by the plaintiff to freeze implementation of the law pending appeal – meaning that the continuing rollout of the new law will not be stopped because of this ruling. 
Prior to today’s Virginia federal court ruling, 14 other federal district judges rejected lawsuits charging that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Today’s ruling bears no more authority than the other 14 court rulings by federal judges who all determined that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional or rejected the lawsuits on procedural grounds. 
Jim Duffett, Executive Director for the Campaign for Better Health Care, said, “Just like they did with the Civil Rights Act and the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, the opponents of fairness will continue to try every means available to overturn federal law that has brought fairness, equally and justice to our great nation.”
“Just like in these historical cases, if this case even makes it to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will rule like the other 14 federal judges have ruled.  Today’s ruling is more political hype than sound legal judgment,” Duffett concluded.
About the Campaign for Better Health Care
We believe that accessible, affordable, quality health care is a basic human right for ALL people.  The Campaign for Better Health Care the state’s largest coalition representing over 300 diverse organizations, organizing to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system for all.  For more information, visit www.cbhconline.org.

Tips for safe holiday shopping

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

From Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez


 The holiday season is in full swing and many of us are going out to local stores and malls to do our holiday shopping.  Unfortunately, thieves and pickpockets will also be heading out to the stores and malls, looking for easy targets.  By taking a few precautions you can make yourself less likely to become the victim of a holiday theft.

  • Make note of where you park your car so you will be able to quickly return to it when leaving.  If shopping in the evening, try to park under or near a light.  When returning to your car, always have your keys out and ready to use.
  • If you are carrying a purse, be sure it is closed and that your wallet is tucked securely inside.  Carry your purse on your shoulder and under your arm, making it less accessible to others.
  • If you are only carrying a wallet, keep it either in an inside pocket of your coat or jacket or in a front pants pocket.  Keeping a wallet in a back pocket can make it very easy for a pickpocket to grab.
  • Don’t get overburdened with packages. If you will be purchasing several small items, consider bringing a larger bag to put them all in.  If your purchases become difficult to carry, take them out to your vehicle or rent a storage locker at the mall.  Just be sure to retrieve your packages when you have finished all of your shopping.
  • If you do put your purchases in your car, be sure to put them in the trunk or in a location in the vehicle where they cannot be seen by someone walking by.  Make sure all the windows are closed and that all the doors are locked.
  • When you set bags down to make a new purchase, always put them between you and the counter.  Be sure you have picked up all your bags, including your newest purchase, before leaving the counter.
  • Always make sure you check your receipt and count your change before leaving the cashier. 
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.  Distracted individuals are easy targets for pickpockets.

By remembering to take these few common sense precautions, you can have a safer and more enjoyable shopping trip.

Happy Holidays!

Anita Alvarez

Cook County State’s Attorney

BET Networks celebrates its 30th Anniversary with “BET 30: Moments and Movements” – a look at 30 significant events of the past three decades

Posted by Admin On December - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Network Premiere, Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 8 P.M.

This Two-Hour Special Features Commentary from Artists and Celebrities Including Michael Jordan, Vanessa Williams, Magic Johnson, Bob Johnson, Jay Z, Tyra Banks, Donnie Simpson, Pharrell, El Debarge, and Wyclef Jean among many others

New York City, NY (BlackNews.com) — On Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 8:00 PM*, BET will revisit 30 memorable moments and movements in the three decades since its birth with the network, prime-time premiere of BET 30: MOMENTS & MOVEMENTS. From entertainment empires, to world-shifting disasters, to incidents that have changed our world, this special takes a distinctive look at the events that have shaped Black culture and consciousness over the past 30 years from a personal and intimate narrative. This two-hour special shines a light on the seminal moments in American culture that were shaped and created by rare and remarkable African-American personalities.

BET 30: MOMENTS AND MOVEMENTS includes a look at “police brutality” through the eyes of Rodney King; “the September 11 attacks” from the personal insight of Melodie Homer, widow of one of the pilots of Flight 93; and explores hip-hop’s commercial rise from the perspective of rap icon Jay-Z. From the effect the Cosby family had in American households to Obama’s meteoric rise to Spike Lee and the emergence of black filmmakers to the crack and HIV/AIDS epidemics devastating urban communities, BET 30:MOMENTS AND MOVEMENTS covers these moments and their influence on African-American and world culture from a distinctive viewpoint.

BET 30: MOMENTS AND MOVEMENTS explores the significance of these events with pioneers, celebrities and everyday people who helped impact and who were impacted by these thirty unique focal points. Featuring poignant, emotional interviews with luminaries like Jay-Z, Tyra Banks, John Singleton, Vanessa Williams, Lisa Leslie, Ed Gordon, Rodney King and many more, this retrospective examines these occasions through their surprisingly personal and candid narratives.

BET 30: MOMENTS AND MOVEMENTS was executive produced by Donna Michelle Anderson and produced by Nancy Oey for BET Networks and premieres Sunday, December 19th at 8pm ET/7pm CT.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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