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Archive for March 20th, 2012

2012 Primary Election Overview

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on 2012 Primary Election Overview

(From the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners)


The March 20, 2012 Primary Election will nominate candidates to a variety of offices at the federal, state and local levels. In addition to party nominations, voters in all 50 wards will elect ward committeemen and delegates to the Republican and Democratic parties’ conventions.

Because it is a primary election to nominate candidates for political parties, voters must declare a party affiliation. All wards will offer Democratic or Republican ballots. Only certain wards with committeeman contests will offer Green Party ballots. There also will be a non-partisan ballot in a limited number of precincts in the 35th and 46th Wards that have advisory referendum questions.

To ensure a trouble and fraud-free election, the Chicago Election Board will have more than 200 investigators assigned to Election Day duty. This will include roving investigators assigned to every ward who will be making unannounced inspections of polling places – and investigators who are assigned to respond to calls for assistance.

Voters who witness anything irregular or encounter a problem on Election Day are urged to call the Board’s “Election Central” hotline at (312) 269-7870. These telephone lines will be staffed by Board personnel and attorneys versed in election law. “Election Central” hotlines will be operational on Election Day only.

On Election Day, registered voters may cast ballots only at the polling place assigned to their precinct. Voters who cast ballots in Grace Period Voting or Early Voting cannot return to change their votes. Lists of voters who have already cast ballots will be supplied to every polling place.

69 West Washington Street, Suites 600/800, Chicago IL 60602 ● 1.312.269.7900 ● fax 1.312.263.3649 ● TTY 1.312.269.0027 chicagoelections.com ● email: cboe@chicagoelections.com

Election Board Chairman Langdon D. Neal said voters are strongly encouraged to check their sample ballots and polling places before going to the polls. “Because of recent re-districting, millions of voters across Illinois will be in new local, state and federal election districts. If you can, please visit your local election agency web site to review a sample ballot before you go to the polls.”

The Chicago Election Board web site at www.chicagoelections.com gives voters their: 

  • ·Voter registration status
  • · Polling place for that precinct, with a map
  • · Sample ballots for the Democratic and Republican parties, and, where applicable, the Green Party.
  • · Absentee or early-voting ballot status.

For more information before Election Day, voters may visit other sections of the web site or call (312) 269-7900.

New Texting System to Find Your Polling Place

The Election Board also has introduced a new system for Chicago voters to find their polling places by texting the simplified version of their Chicago address (such as 1000 W Washington) to 312-361-8846. The system will send a text with the name and address of the polling place. Voters should text only the basic street address – and not a name, unit, city or ZIP code.

Absentee Ballot Postmark Deadline: Mon., March 19

Absentee voters must return their ballots with a postmark no later than Mon., March 19. Absentee ballots can be counted even if they arrive up to two weeks after the election on April 3. However, absentee ballots postmarked after March 19 cannot be counted.

Voters whose absentee ballots do not arrive in time or whose ballots cannot be returned by that deadline must go to the Polling Place and either surrender their absentee ballot to the Judges of Election and/or sign an affidavit to cast a ballot.

Voter Registration Rolls

A total of 1,288,293 Chicagoans are registered to vote in the upcoming election. The city has 2,369 precincts.

To prepare for the Primary Election, the Election Board completed a mail canvass in the fall and winter of 2011 to determine whether any voters had moved. Under federal law, any voters who might be listed as “inactive” can easily restore their voting rights on Election Day in the polling place by simply showing identification and signing an affidavit to show that they still live at the addresses listed on their registrations.

Also, persons who claim to be legally registered but whose registration records cannot be found may vote a provisional ballot. This ballot will be kept separately. The voter has two days to submit proof of their registration, and the election authority then has 14 days from the election to determine if the voter was qualified and whether that ballot can be added to the count. Ballots cast by eligible voters are then added to the election totals. Two to three weeks after the election, the status of all provisional ballots will be available for voters to check on the Board’s web site.

State’s Attorney’s Office announces Election Day hotline

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on State’s Attorney’s Office announces Election Day hotline

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has designated nearly two hundred prosecutors to respond to complaints at polling places today, Tuesday, March 20, according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

A hotline will be in operation on March 20th for voters to report any suspicious activity they may witness at any polling place in Chicago or Cook County suburbs.

Voters with complaints can contact the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Election Day hotline by calling (312) 603-7960.

Illinois Attorney General assigns teams to monitor Illinois Primary Election

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois Attorney General assigns teams to monitor Illinois Primary Election

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that more than 160 teams of assistant attorneys general and investigators from her staff will be working throughout the state on Tuesday, Mar. 20, to monitor the primary elections to ensure that Illinoisans’ voting rights are protected and that polling places are accessible.

Madigan urges voters to call her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity.

Chicago and northern Illinois voters can call: 1-866-536-3496 (TTY 1-800-964-3013).

Downstate voters can call: 1-866-559-6812 (TTY 1-877-844-5461).

Attorney General Madigan reminded voters of some of their basic voting rights:

  • Voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. or at any other time between

           6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day (10 ILCS 5/17-1).

  • If a voter makes a mistake or “spoils” a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has

          the right to receive a replacement ballot (10 ILCS 5/17-11).

  • If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English, or is disabled, that voter has the right to request

          assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of

          his or her union (10 ILCS 5/17-14).

  • Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote, but no more than two successive hours,

          as long as they have applied with their employer before Election Day. The employer may set the time of day (10 ILCS 5/17-15).

  • No one is allowed to try to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place (10 ILCS 5/17-29).

Editor’s Note: First published on March 16, 2012.


U.S. Congressman Rush fires up Election Day workers and voters

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on U.S. Congressman Rush fires up Election Day workers and voters

Urges them to come out in huge numbers on Tuesday


By Chinta Strausberg


U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) spent the weekend rallying Democrats including his constituents to come out in record numbers on Tuesday not just to send him back to Washington but also to show Illinois they are an historic and political force to be reckoned with and a powerhouse other Democrats must ultimately meet along the road to victory.

The long anticipated Election Day is less than 24-hours away. Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, a day when temperatures are expected to be an unprecedented 82 degrees and a time when voters will once again flex their political muscle.

Last month, Chicago Board of Elections Chairman Langdon Neal announced that 1.28 million people were registered to vote in Chicago, which he says is the lowest number of registered voters since 1944. Turnout is key to victory.

With a history of service, a commitment to progress, and a track record of legislative success, Rep. Rush met with Eighth Ward Democratic leaders Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-33rd) at the 8th Ward Regular Democratic Organization’s office, 8539 South Cottage Grove, where he was enthusiastically welcomed by scores of energetic precinct captains.  He also spoke at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Hall at 600 W. Washington, where he urged everyone to exercise their right to vote come Tuesday.

At the 8th ward headquarters in introducing Rush, Ald. Harris said, he takes care of his constituents.  “He’s involved in the process. He’s involved with the community. He’s involved in the Eighth Ward in bringing dollars back…..  I can tell you that Congressman Bobby Rush has brought the dollars home. This is the name that we are pushing….”

After an extended applause, Rush looked out over the early morning standing-room only crowd said, “This is a phenomenon that you don’t see in the black community much anymore. Good ward organizations, precinct captains the weekend before the election is almost something that none of us have in the African American community anymore and it’s part of our problem in terms of why we are not realizing our potential in the body politics of the city, state and the nation,” he said.

Calling Harris, who is also the ward committeeman, a “wonderful, outstanding, overwhelming, and most excellent alderman in the city of Chicago,” Rush praised the 8th Ward Organization calling it “an historic organization.”

While he grew up in the Second Ward where he was once the alderman and the ward committeeman, Rush said, “I was always proud of the legacy in the 8th Ward Democratic organization.”

Rush spoke of the late Congressman Ralph Metcalfe, once the ward committeeman of the 3rd Ward and a product of the late Congressman William Dawson’s organization and how a precinct captain came to the 3rd Ward named John Stroger “and he learned at Metcalfe’s and Dawson’s knees and what he learned as a precinct captain in the 3rd Ward, when it became his turn to become a committeeman in the 8th Ward, he carried that knowledge and understanding into the 8th Ward.

“He built this organization and made it the best ward organization within the city of Chicago,” Rush said “If you look at the record, the 8th Ward was always up there either number one or two in turns of turnout, in terms of vote, in terms of who they elected.

“The 8th Ward set the pace out here for many years, and it’s still setting the pace,” said Rush who gave them a history lesson in Chicago politics. “You ought to know where you’re at. You ought to know how God has prepared you and blessed you where you’re at. If you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t know where you’re arriving….

“This organization is one of strongest organizations in the city of Chicago. Rush said no candidate seeking election could win if they don’t carry this ward overwhelmingly. “That’s the key,” he told the precinct captains.” “You have long legacy, a long history, and you’ve been fortunate to have some outstanding, consistent political leadership down the line and this ward is one of the best wards in the country, one of the highest voting wards in the country, one of the best producing wards in the country.”

Rush, who said Ald. Harris’ friendship means a great deal to him, reminded them of how he brought back a million dollars to help build a new addition to the Jackson Park Hospital, and earmarked $200,000 for the 8th Ward-based South Central Community Services organization, along with the millions that have come to the ward via the 2009 federal stimulus package. Rush also spoke of his plans for restoring the Metra Station at 95th and Cottage Grove Avenue.

He told the precinct captains that the people of the ward need them especially their leadership. “The question is whether you can deliver,” Rush said referring to the low voter turnout predicted by the Chicago Board of Election. “They are going to judge you not in November but in March as to how tough you are and how many voters you can deliver. Take this weekend and make it work for you and for your community. We are all counting on you.”

Referring to President Barack Obama, Rush urged them to tell voters to vote for the President. “Not withstanding what they are saying,  he is the best president that we got,” he told a cheering crowd. “If he gets four more years, he will be the best president that we’ve ever had….. As soon as they go into the poll, look for Obama’s name, then mosey on down and punch 11” to return Rush to congress. “Don’t stop with Obama now…,” he said. “Make sure they vote for Bobby Rush.

“There are two things I’ve always said I didn’t want to do in office, one is that never wanted to embarrass my constituents, and I wanted to deliver to my constituents.” Rush said he has kept both commitments and want to continue.

Harris said, “In our community, everybody loves Congressman Rush; so he’s an easy sell…. He’s working hard for the community.” Harris told her precinct captains “we need to deliver big numbers.” 

She added “the people have a lot of confidence in this organization and that we are going to do the right thing.”

Before Rush left, he recognized Gwen Duncan-Alexander who was the assistant to the late John Stroger. He also recognized Rep. Colvin and thanked him for his leadership in Springfield.  “He’s mature. He’s articulate. He is one of the best-elected officials. I know he is qualified and capable and he has demonstrated a record of accomplishments….”

Colvin said the good weather “gives us no excuses for touching as many voters between now and election day as possible.” He said what Obama needs is a big vote. “He needs your momentum to send a strong signal that he is going to be in a very difficult race and the votes we give him today will probably change the way they strategize against him.”

Colvin said if voters come out and vote for Obama, they will vote for others the 8th Ward is pushing. Colvin too called for a huge voter turnout. He praised Rush for surviving 19-years as a member of Congress which greatly “speaks to his character.”

“One thing that John Stroger always talked about was how character always counts. You can’t ignore it. We’re under constant scrutiny and the only thing you have to do is to keep your nose clean….”

Colvin said of the 8th Ward, “We’ve had some difficult times here. We’ve had some great times here but through it all we’ve had you and that is why we’re still here…. This is a small and dinky place, but the power that emanates from here is enormous.” He praised Harris for becoming the President Pro Tem of the City Council. “That speaks of who we are….”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) to offer his best wishes for the Senator’s speedy recovery.  Senator Kirk expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister’s kind words during the AIPAC Policy Conference and reaffirmed his resolve to strengthen the security of the State of Israel.  The two discussed issues related to Iran and the urgent need for tougher sanctions.  They agreed to remain in close contact on issues of mutual concern.

The 46th Ward Democrats Team recommends candidates for today’s election

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on The 46th Ward Democrats Team recommends candidates for today’s election

(From 46th Ward Democrats)

Today’s election is critical to the future of the 46th Ward.  We must elected strong candidates to represent our party at all levels of government.  From the White House to the Court House, we need to support qualified leaders who share our values. 

Please take the time to vote – and visit www.ChicagoElections.com to find your polling place and other election details.  You can also call the Chicago Board of Elections at 312-269-7900.

46th Ward Democrats – Recommended Candidates in the March 20, 2012 Democratic Primary Election

President of the United States
Barack Obama

Representative in Congress
Jan Schakowsky (9th Congressional District)
Mike Quigley (5th Congressional District)

State Senator
Heather Steans (7th District)
John Cullerton (6th District)

State Representative
Greg Harris (13th District)
Sara Feigenholtz (12th District)

Cook County State’s Attorney
Anita Alvarez

Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Karen Yarbrough

Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (vote for three)
Debra Shore
Kari Steele
Stella Black

Cook County Board of Review Commissioner
Michael Cabonargi

Supreme Court
Mary Jane Theis

Appellate Court
Maureen Connors
Terrence Lavin
Jesse Reyes
Nathaniel Howse
P. Scott Neville
Matt Delort

Circuit Court (Countywide)
Stanley Hill
Jean Prendergast Rooney
Diann Marsalek
Erica Reddick
Russell Hartigan
Alfred Swanson
Cynthia Ramirez
Pamela Leeming
Michael Forti
Lorna Propes
Michael Mullen

Circuit Court (Subcircuit)
Laura Liu
Deborah Gubin
James Kaplan

46th Ward Democratic Committeeman
James Cappleman

Thank you for reading our recommendations and please remember to vote!
The 46th Ward Democrats Team

Atty. General Madigan testifies in D.C. on alarming student debt level in for-profit schools industry

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on Atty. General Madigan testifies in D.C. on alarming student debt level in for-profit schools industry

Attorney General relays abusive tactics seen in Illinois for-profit colleges to support

Durbin’s Bill to allow student debt to be discharged in bankruptcy


WASHINGTON, DC — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan testified on the increasingly high level of debt students are undertaking to obtain a degree in the for-profit schools industry in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.

“We’ve seen first-hand the damage done to the lives of students burdened with enormous debt from for-profit schools. These students wanted nothing more than to go to school and better their lives, but too many of them end up struggling to pay for an expensive education with few job prospects in their chosen field,” Madigan said. “The abuses in the for-profit schools industry are rampant. Left unchecked, I fear this troubling trend will produce a generation of students saddled with crushing debt and years of financial insecurity.”

Madigan testified earlier today on Capitol Hill in a hearing called by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, “The Looming Student Debt Crisis: Providing Fairness for Struggling Students.”

The Attorney General warned committee members that student debt poses a large and growing threat to the stability of the economy. Madigan said that just as the housing crisis has trapped millions of borrowers in underwater mortgages, student debt could prevent millions of Americans from achieving financial security.

As part of her testimony, Madigan detailed a lawsuit she filed earlier this year against the national, for-profit Westwood College, which has campuses in the Chicago Loop, O’Hare, Woodridge and Calumet City. The lawsuit alleges Westwood used deceptive marketing that left students with thousands of dollars of debt and limited job opportunities. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that, through marketing its criminal justice program, Westwood falsely convinced students they could pursue a law enforcement career with such agencies as the Illinois State Police and suburban police departments, even though those employers don’t recognize a Westwood degree due to its lack of regional accreditation.

Many students learned only after graduation – and after racking up thousands in student loan debt – that their degrees would not land them the law enforcement jobs they originally sought. Additionally, because Westwood isn’t recognized by regionally accredited colleges, students found they couldn’t transfer their coursework to alternative programs to complete a degree. Lacking a regionally accredited degree and unable to transfer their coursework, Westwood students were left with anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 in student loan debt.

Since filing the Westwood case, Madigan’s office has received 1,007 calls from students with similar stories of taking out private loans for degrees that failed to qualify them for careers in criminal justice. The Attorney General encouraged current and former students of Westwood College seeking more information to contact her office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline, (800) 386-5438.

Madigan’s testimony today is part of her ongoing effort to crack down on fraudulent and deceptive practices in the for-profit college industry. In 2011, Madigan filed a complaint in a whistleblower suit against Education Management Corporation and the Illinois Institutes of Art in Chicago and Schaumburg for allegedly incentivizing admissions recruiters based on enrollment numbers and thereby defrauding the state of education grant dollars.

Earlier, in 2007, Madigan reached a settlement with Illinois-based DeVry University and Career Education Corporation concerning student loan practices involving the schools and lenders. The settlements required the schools to adopt a College Code of Conduct and to return the money paid by lenders to schools.

Immigrant families and supporters announce a three-day walk to Crete in response to planned “detention center”

Posted by Admin On March - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on Immigrant families and supporters announce a three-day walk to Crete in response to planned “detention center”

CHICAGO, IL – Immigrant Families, activists, and supporters will embark on a three-day walk from Little Village, Chicago to Crete Illinois. This action is in response to the “detention center” planned by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the village of Crete.

Planners of the three-day walk stated that while immigrant rights advocates have been demanding an end to all deportations and immigration reform, the Obama administration has instead done the opposite; deporting over 1 million immigrants and pushing “Immigration Detention Reform.” ICE is currently planning to build at least five detention centers nationwide located in states that have a high concentration of immigrants (California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey)

A press conference will be held to announce the three-day walk action to Crete, IL Wednesday, March 21st at 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, 3442 W. 26th St., in Chicago.

Families affected by the immigration system, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission/Justice Mission, Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) and other organizations will attend the press conference.


ICE is negotiating with the village of Crete and Corrections Corporation of America to build a new Immigrant Detention Center, a prison with the capacity to incarcerate 700-800 immigrants, just South of Chicago. The contract has not yet been signed – and until it is, this new prison can still be stopped. “Our families are being torn apart, so we come together and walk as one large family.” stated the Organizers’ website for the Walk to Crete. “Detention is about an open market in the business of selling human lives – Detention centers are a new prison experiment, an old product re-packaged in new ways.”

Participants in the walk will be available for interviews.

Itinerary for the 3-day Action

For daily updates visit: www.moratoriumondeportations.org


Friday, March 30

3-4 p.m.: Departure event

3 p.m.: Gather at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, 3442 W 26th St, Chicago

3:30 p.m.: March together to Cook County Jail , 26th St and California Ave. RALLY:  a gathering to make commitments about the future we want to build together – one which knows no detention or mass incarceration. Add your own sign. Wish the walkers a good journey!

4:30-8 p.m.: Walk through Back of the Yards, Chicago Lawn, Wrightwood, arrive in Evergreen Park 

Saturday, March 31

9a.m. -8p.m.: Walk through Beverly, Blue Island, Harvey, Homewood, arrive in Chicago Heights – rallies along the way, times/locations TBA. 

Sunday, April 1

9a.m.-12 p.m.: Arrive in Crete

1-4 p.m.: Rally and procession in Crete, action at site of proposed Detention Center

6-7 p.m.: Return to Chicago

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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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