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Archive for June 4th, 2014

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • John R. Bass – Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Department of State
  • Leslie Ann Bassett – Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay, Department of State
  • Allan P. Mustard – Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Department of State
  • Todd D. Robinson – Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala, Department of State

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Maurice Obstfeld – Member, Council of Economic Advisers
  • Shefali Razdan Duggal – Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

President Obama said, “The extraordinary dedication these men and women bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people.  I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Ambassador John R. Bass, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Department of State
Ambassador John R. Bass, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Executive Secretary of the Department of State, a position he has held since 2012.  Previously, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia from 2009 to 2012, the Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghdad, Iraq from 2008 to 2009, and the Director of the Operations Center at the Department of State from 2005 to 2008.  He served as a Special Advisor to the Vice President from 2004 to 2005, and from 2002 to 2004 he was a Labor Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. Ambassador Bass served as Chief of Staff and Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary at the Department of State from 1998 to 2001.  Before that, he was a NATO Desk Officer and Desk Officer for Belgium and the Netherlands in the Bureau of European Affairs.  He served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and his overseas assignments include serving at the U.S. Missions in Brussels, Belgium; Antwerp, Belgium; and Ndjamena, Chad. Ambassador Bass received an A.B. from Syracuse University.

Leslie Ann Bassett, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay, Department of State
Leslie Ann Bassett, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Deputy Chief of Mission in Seoul, Korea, a position she has held since 2012.  Previously, Ms. Bassett served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines from 2009 to 2012 and at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico from 2006 to 2009.  She served as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City from 2004 to 2006, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana from 2001 to 2004, and Counselor for Political-Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia from 1999 to 2001.  Ms. Bassett served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 1999, and as Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs from 1996 to 1997 at the Department of State.  Her overseas assignments include working at the U.S. Missions in Tel Aviv, Israel; San Salvador, El Salvador; Durban, South Africa; and Managua, Nicaragua.  In Washington, she was a Desk Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs and a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State.  Ms. Bassett received a B.A. from the University of California, Davis, an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University, and an M.S. from the National War College.

Allan P. Mustard, Nominee for Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Department of State
Allan P. Mustard, a career member of the Foreign Agricultural Service, Class of Career Minister, currently serves as Agricultural Minister-Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, a position he has held since 2011.  Previously, he served as Agricultural Minister-Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico from 2008 to 2011, and Agricultural Minister-Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia from 2003 to 2008.  Mr. Mustard served as a Fellow at the Senior Seminar in Foreign Relations at the Department of State from 2002 to 2003, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the Foreign Agricultural Service from 2000 to 2002, and Agricultural Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria from 1996 to 2000.  In addition, he served as Deputy Director of the Emerging Democracies Office of the Foreign Agricultural Service from 1992 to 1996, Deputy Coordinator for the Eastern Europe and Soviet Secretariat of the Foreign Agricultural Service from 1990 to 1992, and Agricultural Trade Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey from 1988 to 1990.  He was the Assistant Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USSR from 1986 to 1988, and Agricultural Economist at the Foreign Agricultural Service from 1982 to 1986.  Mr. Mustard received an A.S. from Grays Harbor College, a B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Todd D. Robinson, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala, Department of State
Todd D. Robinson, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2011.  Previously, Mr. Robinson served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 2009 to 2011, Principal Officer and Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, Spain from 2006 to 2009, and Political and Economic Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania from 2004 to 2006.  Before that, he was a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 2000 to 2003.  Mr. Robinson served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State from 1999 to 2000, and a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia from 1997 to 1999.  Mr. Robinson was a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Vatican City, Holy See from 1995 to 1997, Staff Assistant to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy from 1993 to 1995, and a Secretariat Staff Support Officer in the Department of State’s Office of the Executive Secretariat Support from 1992 to 1993.  Other positions he held with the Department of State include those of Watch Officer in the Operations Center, Political Officer at U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador, and Consular Officer at U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.  Mr. Robinson received a B.A. from Georgetown University.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Dr. Maurice Obstfeld, Appointee for Member, Council of Economic Advisers
Dr. Maurice Obstfeld is currently a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1989.  He previously served as Chair of the Economics Department for three years.  He was a Visiting Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1989 to 1991.  From 1986 to 1989, Dr. Obstfeld was a Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Obstfeld held various positions at Columbia University, including Professor of Economics from 1985 to 1986, Associate Professor from 1981 to 1985, and Assistant Professor of Economics from 1979 to 1981.  He has served on the Editorial Board of the IMF Economic Review since 2010 and on the Editorial Board of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics since 2007.  Dr. Obstfeld received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from King’s College, University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shefali Razdan Duggal, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Shefali Razdan Duggal is a political activist.  She is a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) National Finance Committee and is the DNC National Co-Chair for the Women’s Leadership Forum.  Previously, she was a member of the 2012 Obama for America National Finance Committee, a Co-Chair for Obama Victory Trustees, and a member of the Northern California Finance Committee.  Ms. Razdan Duggal was a Political Analyst for the Staton and Hughes Strategy Firm from April to November 2001.  She is a member of the National Board of Directors for EMILY’s List, the Human Rights Watch California Committee North, and the National Advisory Board of Doctors for America.  Ms. Razdan Duggal received a B.S. from Miami University of Ohio and an M.A. from New York University.

Kirk, McCain, Ayotte, Barrasso Urge Senate to Ratify Disability Treaty

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way for Senate Action on CRPD

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Bond v. United States on Monday, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the below statement. The Bond v. United States case dealt with a federal statute challenge of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was enacted after the Convention itself was ratified.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Bond is a positive development that should clear the way for Senate action on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD. The Court has made it clear that the Bond case should not in any way impede the ratification of the CRPD, and that the Senate can provide advice and consent to this important treaty while preserving American sovereignty and maintaining our Constitution’s balance of powers between the Federal government and the States. The CRPD will ensure that our wounded warriors and disabled citizens are entitled to the same rights and protections around the world that they enjoy here at home. We hope our Senate colleagues will join us to ratify the CPRD as soon as possible.”

CONSUMER ALERT: Email Scammers Posing as Attorney General’s Office to Collect Phony Debt

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinois residents about an email scam that uses her office’s name and falsely threatens prosecution to collect on supposed debts.

Madigan’s office is investigating the scam after Illinois residents reported receiving emails from accounts that fraudulently appear to be sent by a representative of the Attorney General’s office. The emails include an attached “final warning” letter stamped with an official-looking seal that alleges the recipient owes money on an outstanding loan and must pay off the balance or face prosecution by the office.

“This email is an outright scam,” Madigan said. “Do not respond to anyone claiming to represent my office with demands for money or threatening prosecution. Instead, call our Consumer Fraud Bureau immediately at 1-800-243-0618.”

Madigan’s office said people who have applied for loans online may be at particular risk for the scam because they have provided their personal and financial information to companies that in turn sell the information to either lenders or, in some cases, illegal fraudsters seeking to use the personal information for profit.

Madigan said Illinois residents should contact her Consumer Fraud Bureau at 1 (800) 243-0618, and out-of-state residents should contact her office at (312) 814-3000.

Session ends, but it’s “Same old, Same old” in Springfield: ILGOP Update

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Chairman Tim Schneider

ILGOP chairman

Last week, the Democrats in Springfield wrapped up their legislative session for the year, praising themselves for a job well done.

But here in the real world, Illinois still has the highest jobless rate in the Midwest (3rd worst in the country); a broken budget with billions in unpaid bills; the worst credit rating of any state; and a governor who desperately wants to make the biggest tax hike in Illinois history permanent.

The Democrats’ failure to address those challenges was shameful, but not surprising.

Here’s a snapshot of what the Democrats “accomplished”:

  • They passed a $35.7 billion state budget with no GOP support, which even their own members admit is “incomplete” at best.
  • They kicked the can down the road with a budget that fails to reform the broken system, and adds billions to Illinois’s backlog of unpaid bills.
  • Democrat leaders and Gov. Quinn pushed hard to make their 5% income tax permanent. Bipartisan opposition (only 34 of the 71 House Democrats were ready to vote for it) has killed the tax hike for now, but Quinn is pledging to keep up the fight.
  • Democrats ignored Republican calls to halt legislative pay raises, and to ban lame-duck tax hikes – remember, the biggest tax hike in Illinois history happened in lame-duck session following the 2010 election.

Last month also saw Democrats joining Republicans in demanding answers for Pat Quinn’s “political slush fund” before the 2010 election, and a court challenge over patronage hiring at Quinn’s Department of Transportation. Every week that passes brings more and more trouble for Gov. Quinn, it seems.

There’s only one way we can prevent the “same old, same old” from continuing in Springfield, and that’s by electing Bruce Rauner and Republicans up and down the ticket in November.

We need you – Volunteer – Contribute

We can’t do it without your help.

Volunteering with the Illinois Republican Party is something you can do in your own neighborhood, or even from home. There are many ways to pitch in, and you can sign up quickly and easily on our website at: http://www.weareillinois.org/get-involved.

The same goes for a financial contribution.  Your support will help us turn out Republican voters on Election Day, get our message out, counter the Democrats’ dirty political tricks, and support campaigns throughout Illinois. Click here to donate – http://www.weareillinois.org/give

Editorials Rip Democrats Statewide

It’s not just Republicans who are sick and tired of the constant failure of the Democrats in charge of our state. The following is a brief sampling of the editorials and headlines calling Gov. Quinn and the Democrats to task for their failures:

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Hey, Illinois legislators. Knock knock. Your promise is here.

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Part II: About your promise of an Illinois tax rollback, lawmakers

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Quinn should be livid about Illinois incidents: “Questionable spending, patronage hiring; the old Quinn would be livid.”

Chicago Tribune Editorial: New jobs for Illinois? No rush on that

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Protect Lincoln Library from sneaky Madigan maneuver

Daily Herald Editorial: House votes more about politics than responsible budgeting

Rockford Register Star Editorial: Our View: Illinois is a fairy tale without a happily ever after

Quad City Times Editorial: 500,000 Illinois voters take aim at Madigan “Illinoisans are disgusted with the results of Madigan’s rule.”

The Herald-News Editorial: Send Message to Lawmakers – No more tax hikes

The Pantagraph Editorial: Democrats need to wake up, smell their error

The Pantagraph Editorial: Madigan’s non-binding resolutions a waste of time

The Southern Illinoisan Editorial: Voice of The Southern: Budget crisis only an ugly symptom

ILGOP In The News

On the other side of the coin, the Illinois Republican Party has been aggressive in the press: pushing our message of more jobs, lower taxes, less wasteful spending, a high-quality education, and term limits. A sampling of our recent coverage:

WBEZ-FM: New state Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider talks politics and changes

Crain’s: What’s the top priority for new Illinois GOP chief?We have the third-highest unemployment rate in the country. Company CEOs say we’re the third-worst place in the nation to do business,” said Mr. Schneider, who will keep his day job as a suburban Cook County commissioner. “We’re ready to take over the governor’s mansion in November and win races top to bottom statewide.”

GOP Leader Tim Schneider: “We’re going to win in November”If Tim Schneider has his way, Bruce Rauner will be Illinois governor in 2015. “We have the third-highest unemployment rate in the country,” Schneider tells Crain’s Chicago Business. “Company CEOs say we’re the third-worst place in the nation to do business. We’re ready to take over the governor’s mansion in November and win races top to bottom statewide.”

Chicago Sun-Times: New Illinois GOP chairman sees energy, unity in party “I think the state GOP is energized and excited to be in the position where we’re at,” Schneider said. “Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan have nothing but failed policies. That perches us on the threshold of a great victory in November.”

Crain’s: Is national GOP putting serious money into Illinois?“It’s no secret that the national GOP is going to put some money behind the party’s nominee for governor here, Bruce Rauner, although Mr. Rauner has plenty of his own to spend on the campaign. But now comes word that the Republican National Committee is hiring 193 field staffers nationwide, boosting a variety of data collection and analytical tools and even springing for campaign offices as part of a Victory 365 program.

Chairman Schneider on CLTV – “Politics Tonight” – “My job is to grow the Republican Party in Illinois – my job is to get republicans elected up and down the ticket.” … “I bought into [Bruce Rauner’s] message after hearing what he had to say. He believes in lower taxes and less spending, term limits, a great education for our kids, and a booming economic climate for Illinois. That is not what we’re seeing right now.”

Chairman Schneider on WTTW – “Chicago Tonight” – “I think this is an exciting time for the Republican Party in Illinois. We are invigorated under the broken promises and failed policies of the Quinn administration in Springfield, we have an unemployment rate that is third worst in the nation, the largest in the Midwest, the third-worst environment for business in the United States… We can do much better in Illinois. The people are tired with the stats quo and need new direction.”?

ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider on Bloomington 92.9 FM (interview starts at 4:39) – “We are a big-tent party. We are not a big-government party, and I’ve never been a big-government person. We are going to unite Republicans around those values that unite us as a party. And that is Lower taxes, less wasteful spending, quality education for all the children of Illinois, term limits, and developing a blooming economy in Illinois.”

WLS-AM – Bruce and Dan interview with Chairman Tim Schneider 5/27/14 “My role as Republican Party Chairman is to grow and strengthen the Republican Party. I think we have a tremendous opportunity this November to elect Bruce Rauner as governor of Illinois. You’ve seen over the last years the failed policies and the broken promises of the Quinn/Madigan administration. And I think we’re going to take that to the voters in November. And tell them… Are you satisfied with the status quo? Are you satisfied with a governor who’s under investigation? With 5.4 billion in unpaid bills? With all the corruption, the waste that’s going on, the jobs leaving? I think there’ a clear-cut decision that Illinois voters will be making in November.”

The First Ward: I hope Tim Schneider can pull it off! The reason I generally vote Republican is because I’m bleepin’ sick and tired of other people spending my money. That resonates with voters. And as long as the Illinois GOP can stick to that single cohesive message, I guarantee you they’ll start kicking some Democratic butt. To make a long story short, I can’t tell you how much I’m pulling for Tim Schneider to pull this off. The problem is, he just got dropped into a mile wide minefield without a map. It will be interesting to see if he can find his way out.

News You Can Use

ObamaCare still unpopular despite enrollment numbers, poll finds

  • Although the Obama administration is boasting higher-than-expected enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, Americans’ attitudes toward the healthcare law have changed only marginally since the open enrollment period ended for 2014.
  • Fifty-one percent of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare.
  • Fewer than four in 10 adults (37%) say the law will ultimately make the healthcare situation better in the U.S., consistent with past measures. A plurality of Americans (44%) say it will make things worse, and another 16% say it won’t make much of a difference.

Bribery trial starts for Democrat Rep. Derrick Smith

Audit: $12.3M Illinois Medicaid benefits to dead

Washington Post Forecast: Republicans have a 77% chance of taking the Senate

Gov. Pat Quinn is listed at only a 25% chance for re-election on Nate Silver’s 538 website

Fake Ads, Empty Homes, Stolen I.D. Info Are All Vacation Rental Scams Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL -  The summer travel season is here and that means many consumers will try to find the best deals for travel and vacation rental homes. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers to keep a watchful eye for scams.

Scammers can trick people in a variety of ways. They place fake ads online and list vacation rentals for great prices. They steal property descriptions and photographs that are listed on legitimate real estate websites, then post addresses for homes that aren’t available. Sometimes they even make up fake addresses for these listings. In some cases, pretending to be the homeowner, scammers use information obtained from people who respond to the ads they’ve posted as part of an Identity Theft scam. This type of fraud usually happens in popular retirement areas or college towns. Some people also rent an empty house, and once the real tenants return, they come home to unwanted residents living in their home.

“Consumers must always check out the property before putting money down for a vacation home,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Many scammers list fake deals online in order steal money and personal information from innocent people.”

BBB advises consumers to do the following to avoid vacation rental scams:

  • Research the property. Check out the property before paying anything. Do an online search of the property, with names, phone numbers and addresses in the ad. If you can’t find search results saying the property is for rent or lease, it probably isn’t.
  • Communicate with the agent. Talk to the agent over the phone or in person, not via email. Be careful of foreign area codes or strange American ones. When emailing, watch for bad grammar or the person not responding.
  • Verify the agent or the owner. If working with a real estate agent, always check his or her qualifications.Search licensing information for realtors at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
  • Don’t pay with a debit card. When submitting money, credit cards or PayPal are the safest options. Never use a debit card or wire transfer because these are the payment methods that scammers prefer and offer fewer protections than credit cards.

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

IDOT Releases Human Capital Strategic Plan, Aims to Build 21st Century Transportation Workforce

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

State partners with industry to address transportation “skills gap”

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today released the Illinois Department of Transportation’s first Human Capital Strategic Plan to help create and foster a skilled, knowledgeable workforce that can meet and fulfill the emerging needs in transportation. The secretary kicked off the plan’s release by hosting a roundtable with more than 20 industry leaders in Chicago to begin building a 21st century workforce that supports the state’s multi-modal transportation system.

“Transportation drives economic development. As the country’s freight hub, we are in an enviable position in Illinois to take advantage of the opportunities to compete in today’s global economy,” Secretary Schneider said. “Both the public and private sectors are in agreement that we need to be doing everything we can to meet the workforce demands of our constantly changing industry. This Human Capital Strategic Plan will serve to build a common foundation on which we can work together to transform transportation for tomorrow.”

Jobs in the transportation sector are projected to grow 23 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But almost two out of three industry CEOs in surveys indicated they are worried they won’t have the workers they need to meet those goals due to retirements and a shortage of training opportunities.

The Human Capital Strategic Plan aims to address the “skills gap” by establishing a framework for IDOT and its industry partners to identify workforce trends, maximize existing resources, and develop solutions to attract new and diverse staff.

To view the plan, visit www.dot.state.il.us/opp/planning.html.

Secretary Schneider was appointed chairwoman of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee last year to begin addressing the evolving issues of the country’s freight and logistics industries. She built upon those efforts last month by teaming with industry leaders to form the Illinois State Freight Advisory Council. Each year, more than 700 million tons of freight moves in and out of Illinois across multiple modes of transportation.

SCurl® Heightens “Groom Esteem” Through Partnership with Steve Harvey’s National Mentoring Camp for Young Men

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) — In a year full of pivotal endeavors, SCurl adds a partnership with Steve Harvey’s National Mentoring Camp for Young Men, to its list.

Started in 2009 by radio, TV and film personality Steve Harvey, the national mentoring camp is held during the Father’s Day weekend at Harvey’s private ranch. Its goal is to teach young men from single-mother homes, the essential principles of manhood and dream-building.

According to Pamela Richardson, SCurl’s Senior Brand Manager, the partnership was a “natural alliance”. Says Richardson, “Luster Products has been giving back to the community for over 50 years – particularly to those programs dealing with the betterment of our youth. We believe that the same principles Mr. Harvey teaches about self-respect and self-confidence, begin with a positive self-image.. and good grooming is the physical expression of self-worth. That’s what SCurl is all about.”

SCurl will be making a product donation to the participants of the mentoring camp. Included will be daily care and styling products to help encourage and promote life-long grooming habits.

Luster Products is one of the few remaining African-American hair care companies in the U.S. Founded in 1957 by barber and hairstylist, Fred Luster, Sr., the company has expanded to markets such as the U.K., South Africa, Germany and Holland, and has a workforce of over 400 people in its south-side Chicago location.

For more information on the Steve Harvey National Mentoring Program, or how you can become involved, visit www.steveharveymentoring.com/camps. For more information on SCurl, visit www.scurl.com.

State’s Attorney Hosts Law Day for Local Students

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

More than 30 students from three area high schools recently spent the day at the George Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, getting a firsthand look at the criminal justice system, including a presentation from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

The students were participating in Law Day, an annual event sponsored by the American Bar Association that celebrates the rule of law in our society. The 2014 theme for Law Day, which was May 1st, was “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”

The students heard from several individuals who work in various areas of the criminal justice system and took a tour of the courthouse.

U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine: FACT SHEET

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The United States is working to bolster Ukraine’s ability to secure its borders and preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation of Crimea and a concerted effort by Russian-backed separatists to destabilize eastern Ukraine.  President Obama has approved more than $23 million in additional defensive security assistance since early March.

This assistance includes:

  • A new tranche of $5 million for the provision of body armor, night vision goggles, and additional communications equipment.  This is in addition to the approximately 300,000 Meals Ready to Eat (delivered in March), as well as assistance for the provision of materiel using Foreign Military Financing to support Ukraine’s armed forces with medical supplies, service member equipment (e.g., helmets, sleeping mats, water purification units), explosive ordnance disposal equipment, and handheld radios.
  • The United States also has allocated Cooperative Threat Reduction funding to support Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service with supplies (e.g., clothing, shelters, small power generators and hand fuel pumps, engineering equipment, communications equipment, vehicles, and non-lethal individual tactical gear).
  • To date, Embassy Kyiv has purchased and delivered 20-person shelters, sleeping bags, fuel filter adapters, barbed wire, patrol flashlights, perimeter alarm systems, fuel pumps, concertina wire, vehicle batteries, spare tires, binoculars, excavators, trucks, generators, food storage freezers, field stoves, and communications gear to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, for use in monitoring and securing their borders.

Senior Leader Engagement

  • On April 1, senior U.S. defense officials met with their Ukrainian counterparts in Kyiv for bilateral defense consultations, during which they held substantive discussions on regional security, defense cooperation, and areas for growth in the U.S.-Ukraine defense relationship.
  • Senior defense officials met with Ukrainian counterparts in Kyiv in early June to discuss ongoing U.S.-Ukraine defense cooperation and U.S. support to Ukraine’s defense reform efforts.
  • In early June, U.S. European Command will hold a general/flag officer steering group meeting with Ukrainian counterparts in Kyiv to set the strategic direction for future military-to-military cooperation.

ICYMI: Democrat Lieutenant Governor Candidate Attacks Democrat Treasurer Candidate on Home Turf

Posted by Admin On June - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Tom Cross  (Letters to Editors)

The interparty warfare starts as desperate Democrat candidates start blame game to save own candidacies

Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate, Paul Vallas, blasted the unbalanced state budget supported by Democrat Treasurer candidate and Champaign state Senator Mike Frerichs at the Champaign County Democrat “Unity” dinner this weekend.

“We’ve had decades of bad practices: borrowing, deferring, not funding your pensions, not paying your bills, not being willing to make the tough decisions on the revenue side,” Vallas told about 160 Democrats at a dinner at the Laborer’s Union Hall in Urbana as reported by the Champaign News-Gazette.

“It bothers me that we’re borrowing again and we seem to be relapsing into the same kinds of practices that got us into this position in the first place,” said Vallas.  “It’s unfortunate that we’re going to have to defer some obligations so that we’re not paying down the bills like we had planned.”

The unbalanced budget supported by Frerichs and opposed by Vallas spends $35.7 billion using gimmicks like borrowing, delaying payments and one-time revenue sources.  Because of the unbalanced budget and financial gimmicks, media outlets have reported that the state’s unpaid bill backlog is expected to increase by nearly $2 billion by the end of the fiscal year and Illinois could have a budget deficit of over $4 billion to start FY16.

Read the entire Champaign News-Gazette story by clicking this link.


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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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