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Archive for July 17th, 2014

Father Pfleger Blasts GOP’s Use of ‘Circus Tactics’ in Feds Probe of Youth Program

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

“Don’t play games with our children’

By Chinta Strausberg

Defending Gov. Pat Quinn’s embattled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) being probed by the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission (ILAC), Father Michael L. Pfleger and Elder Kevin Ford Wednesday called for an end to the political fighting that has the ILAC dead locked on minor details while children are still getting shot in Chicago.

At a press conference held outside of the Illinois State Bilandic Building, 160North La Salle St., Pfleger, who heads the Saint Sabina Church, and Elder Ford,who is executive director of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ Community Development Ministries, referred to the Fourth of July’s weekend of violence where 82 people were shot and 14 killed.

“To add insult to injury, we are saturated with the plague of hopelessness, abandonment, addiction and crime.” Ford told reporters.

“But when Democrats took the lead in trying to solve these social maladies, Republicans used the youth program as political fodder and of course without a viable plan,” he stated.

While upstairs in Room 600 C, the ILAC was meeting over the 2010 but now defunct youth program, outside where Pfleger and Ford were holding a press conference there appeared two men dressed as clowns including one impersonating Pinocchio symbolic of someone who is lying.

Outraged, Father Pfleger referred to the U.S. Justice Department’s saying the hearing would impede their criminal investigation of the youth program and had asked the ILAC to stand down and allow them to do their job.

Referring to Republican Bruce Rauner, Pfleger said, “I understand Rauner put out some stuff this morning” he said was not true. Pfleger, who held a folder full of receipts of checks where he sent back more than $180,000, voiced outrage at thet wo men in clown’s attire accusing them of playing politics with the lives of children.

Ford added,“It is imperative that our elected officials stand together, Democrats and Republicans, to create programs to restore, enrich, enhance, and create sustainability for our troubled youth. We are here today taking a stand to improve the quality of life for our young people. “

Upstairs a the meeting for the next seven-hours, the ILAC members remained deadlocked ove ra motion on how to handle federal prosecutors requests to stand down for90-days until they have completed their investigation.

Their arguments were sharply divided along political lines and often had the twoco-chairs, Senator Jason A. Barickman (R-53rd) and Rep. Frank J.Mautino (D-76th) butting heads over minor details on how to proceed with their probe without stepping on the toes of the feds who twice told them to ack off for 90-days until their investigation is completed.

Mautino said the feds specific request was that “they be the lead investigating agency.That’s what they are. We are the legislative support group and we are designed to fix things going forward…. I am hopeful we get an agreement….”

During them eeting, Mautino took a proverbial beating from Senator Jim Oberweis (R-25th)who accused him of not understanding his motion on how to proceed with thei nvestigation without violating the feds request to delay the probe for90-days. Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) took several swipes at Mautino and also complained that all but one witness showed up. Barickman often quibbled with Mautino who stood his ground saying he was not going to interfere with a federal investigation.

Rep. Rober tRita (D-28th) questioned why were they proceeding with thei nvestigation when U.S. Attorney James Lewis asked the commission not to call witnesses because it would compromise their own investigation. When Senator John Mulroe (D-10th) tried to be the peacemaker, he was quickly shotdown by the Republican faction.

After an eight-hour meeting where the commissioners often huddled and took several recesses, when Barickman was asked what is wrong with getting a green light letter from the U.S. attorney’s office before proceeding with the hearings, he told reporters, “I think the concerns are that that is not the normal procedure of the U.S. attorney’s office.

“They don’t give you a letter that says please proceed with what ever you were working on.They tell you when they would like you to defer. They’ve made that communication readily apparent to us today. We anticipate that in 90-days that the U.S. attorney’s office investigating this failed Quinn initiative determine that more time is necessary they have told us they would communicate that to us then.”

Barickmana dded, “They (the feds) want us to defer for 90-days if they want less time or more time, they will tell us and that we should act accordingly. There are concerns raised by certain members here they are not sure what happens in 90-days. The U.S. attorney’s office has made it very clear if they need more time they will let us know.”

Mautino told reporters “We are not going to interfere with a federal investigation…. What we’re arguing about is I think that the chairman and I should give the feds a call 10-days before (the 90-days) and if they say we’ve completed our investigation go ahead, then we can go back.

“I was concerned about the other motions that were made because if the feds are not done and ask us for additional time or say you can’t have these witnesses, then you get to witness what you say today,” Mautino said referring to the admitted frustration of not passing a motion. “We have to comply with the feds,” Mautino said.

He reminded the commission they are not investigators, the feds are. Mautino told reporters, “If I can keep everyone focused on what the audit actually is. This is an audit violence prevention authority which the governor dissolved two-years later and sent over to the Criminal Justice Information Authority.

“The program is not a failed initiative,” Mautino said. “It was badly managed. It’s got some very important pieces…mentoring…educational programs…..

“The audit itself has five areas where I believe we need to change the law to make sure this doesn’t happen again…RFP Request For Proposals so you won’t give contracts out to your friends. One of the big problems here these guys have the money, didn’t turn in their reports and got more money. We don’t require quarterly reports before you get your next set of money.”

Mautino said while overall crime is down “there are pockets in these communities where you get extreme violence. Some of these programs help. They were mismanaged on the front side and the feds are looking at it. We ought to step aside. I have no problem bringing those issues back,” he said.

Unable to get a vote on the motion on how to proceed, Rep. Fred Crespo, who also chairs the Appropriations Committee, asked how much is this hearing costing taxpayers. He was told the cost was $3,985.00.

When Mautino told the commission this could have been resolved between Barickman and him, they finally agreed to resume the meeting today at 9 a.m., in Room 600-C, 160 North LaSalle St. At 9:02 a.m., Mautino, Barickman and the four lawyerswill call the U.S. Attorney’s office for clarification then resume the meeting.

However, at 9:30 a.m., Pam Bosley, the violence prevention manager for The Brave Youth Leaders of the Ark of Saint Sabina, is holding a press conference outside of the building challenging the commissioners to come down and talk to the youth who were some of the beneficiaries of the $54.5 million NRI program and who want to tell their stories on how those grants helped turn their lives around.

Bosley, who lost her son, Terrell, 18, on April 4, 2006, to gun violence, said, “The grants they are talking about were in the urban community. The people on the sixth floor (of the 160 North LaSalle Building) did not come out to see what has taken place.  We know they did not visit Saint Sabina. They did not come out to see the positive things at Saint Sabina. They are judging us without seeing the facts.

“They are playing a political game with our children’s live. We’re upset, mad and we want them to come down and meet and talk to some of our youth. They can meet the real humans they are fighting over. They have put our children in a political battle and they already have enough to deal with,” she said referring to the daily shootings that are taking place in Chicago.

While upstairs in Room 600 C, the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission (ILAC), composed mostly of downstate officials, was meeting over the 2010 but now defunct youth program, outside where Pfleger and Ford were holding a press conference there appeared two men dressed as clowns including one impersonating Pinocchio symbolic of someone who is lying.  Outraged, Father Pfleger referred to the U.S. Justice Department’s saying the hearing would impede their criminal investigation of the youth program and had asked the ILAC to stand down and allow them to do their job.  (All photos by Chinta Strausberg)While upstairs in Room 600 C, the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission (ILAC), composed mostly of downstate officials, was meeting over the 2010 but now defunct youth program, outside where Pfleger and Ford were holding a press conference there appeared two men dressed as clowns including one impersonating Pinocchio symbolic of someone who is lying. Outraged, Father Pfleger referred to the U.S. Justice Department’s saying the hearing would impede their criminal investigation of the youth program and had asked the ILAC to stand down and allow them to do their job.

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.

(All photos by Chinta Strausberg)Father Pfleger strongly objected to the presence of the clowns hogging the cameras during his press conference. He accused the GOP of playing with the lives of children who are at risk of gun violence.Father Pfleger strongly objected to the presence of the clowns hogging the cameras during his press conference. He accused the GOP of playing with the lives of children who are at risk of gun violence.Rev. Paul Jakes, who is with the Quinn campaign, scurries to remove the clowns but they simply came back until the camera went upstairs to the hearing.Rev. Paul Jakes, who is with the Quinn campaign, scurries to remove the clowns but they simply came back until the camera went upstairs to the hearing.At a press conference held outside of the Illinois State Bilandic Building, 160 North LaSalle St., Pfleger, who heads the Saint Sabina Church, and Elder Ford, who is executive director of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ Community Development Ministries, referred to the Fourth of July’s weekend of violence where 82 people were shot and 14 killed.  “To add insult to injury, we are saturated with the plague of hopelessness, abandonment, addiction and crime.” Ford told reporters.  “But when Democrats took the lead in trying to solve these social maladies, Republicans used the youth program as political fodder and of course without a viable plan,” he stated.At a press conference held outside of the Illinois State Bilandic Building, 160 North LaSalle St., Pfleger, who heads the Saint Sabina Church, and Elder Ford, who is executive director of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ Community Development Ministries, referred to the Fourth of July’s weekend of violence where 82 people were shot and 14 killed. “To add insult to injury, we are saturated with the plague of hopelessness, abandonment, addiction and crime.” Ford told reporters. “But when Democrats took the lead in trying to solve these social maladies, Republicans used the youth program as political fodder and of course without a viable plan,” he stated.“We all remember one of the bloodiest Fourth of July’s in the history of Chicago—82 shot, 14 killed, according to the media,,” said Elder Ford.   “To add insult to injury, we are saturated with the plague of hopelessness, abandonment, addiction and crime.”“We all remember one of the bloodiest Fourth of July’s in the history of Chicago—82 shot, 14 killed, according to the media,,” said Elder Ford. “To add insult to injury, we are saturated with the plague of hopelessness, abandonment, addiction and crime.”The Illinois Legislative Audit Commission hears testimony in the ongoing investigation of Gov. Quinn's Neighborhood  Recovery Initiative anti-violence program.The Illinois Legislative Audit Commission hears testimony in the ongoing investigation of Gov. Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative anti-violence program.Rep. Robert Rita asks, "why are we here when the feds told us to stand down"?Rep. Robert Rita asks, “why are we here when the feds told us to stand down”?Senator Bill Brady was upset with the lawyers who represented witnesses. Only one witnessed, former Ald. Billy Oasio,  showed up. Brady said to one lawyer, "By what authority do you have to tell a client not to appear" before his committee?Senator Bill Brady was upset with the lawyers who represented witnesses. Only one witnessed, former Ald. Billy Oasio, showed up. Brady said to one lawyer, “By what authority do you have to tell a client not to appear” before his committee?Rep. Sanback questions witnesses as well.Rep. Sanback questions witnesses as well.

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President Obama and Vice President Biden Meet With Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama  and Vice President Joe Biden met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The President heard from members of the Caucus about ideas for actions to improve our immigration system. The President reaffirmed that he is focused on fixing as much of our broken immigration system as he can within the confines of the law, and has asked Secretary Johnson and the Attorney General to conduct a thorough review that produces recommendations before the end of the summer. The President made clear that regardless of the steps he takes through administrative action, nothing replaces the need for Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform, and he will continue to make the case for swift action by Congress on a comprehensive bill.

The President also emphasized the urgency for Congress to approve supplemental funding to aid the government response to the influx of migrants at the Rio Grande Valley. The supplemental request represents a balanced approach to increasing our law enforcement capacity, ensuring we have resources to offer migrants due process as required by law, and also helping our Central American partners deal with some of the challenges they face back home.

The situation in the Rio Grande Valley underscores how our immigration system is broken, and Republicans need to stop blocking comprehensive immigration reform so we can fix the system now. In the absence of Republican action, the President has mounted a significant effort to deal with this urgent humanitarian situation. The Administration is focused on addressing these immediate and pressing challenges to make sure we are responding in an efficient and timely way and confronting the root of the problem with top-level diplomatic efforts in Central America.

The President thanked the Members for their leadership and major accomplishments for the Latino community, including improvements in education, access to health care, and economic growth.

Senator Kirk Testifies at Senate Hearing: Stop Sewage Dumping in the Great Lakes

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Subcommittee Moves Kirk’s Great Lakes Legislation to Protect Drinking Water Highlights Dirty Dozen, Top Polluters in the Great Lakes

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today testified at an Environment and Public Works hearing in support of bipartisan legislation S. 571, the Great Lakes Water Protection Act. The Great Lakes Water Protection Act was introduced by Senators Kirk and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in 2013, and would set a date certain to end sewage dumping in the Great Lakes. Today’s hearing is an important step in moving the bill forward and ending the practice of diverting billions of gallons of untreated waste and stormwater into the Great Lakes, the drinking water source for millions of Americans.

The legislation would restrict dumping in the Lakes after 2033, which would give cities in the Great Lakes region the time necessary to upgrade their infrastructure to prevent sewage dumping. Beginning in 2033, polluters would be fined up to $100,000 a day per violation. The fines collected would flow into a Great Lakes Clean-Up Fund, generating resources for Great Lakes states to improve wastewater treatment systems, as well as habitat protection and wetland restoration.

“Each year more than 24 billion gallons of sewage are dumped into the Great Lakes, and ‘the Dirty Dozen’ are contributing to this pollution, threatening the drinking water for 30 million Americans,” Senator Kirk said. “Our water supply must remain clean and safe from toxins. The Great Lakes are America’s most precious natural resource, and as the Senator from Illinois I am committed to ensuring the Lakes are not polluted with sewage.”

The Committee also today considered S. 1232, the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act, introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senator Kirk. S. 1232 would formally authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)  to tackle the some of the most serious challeneges facing the Great Lakes, such as invasive species, non point source and nutrient pollution, and the clean-up of toxic hot spots across the basin.

To download video testimony from today’s hearing, please click here.

Atty. General Madigan: Winnebago County Man Arrested for Child Pornography

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL ─  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against a Winnebago County man on multiple counts of distributing and possessing child pornography as part of “Operation Glass House,” her statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Jordan Stoltz, 23, of Machesney Park, was arrested after investigators with Madigan’s office and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his home in the 1000 block of Kingsley Drive. Stoltz was charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography, a class X felony each punishable by six to 30 years in prison, and three counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony each punishable by three to seven years in prison. Bond was set at $250,000.

“The spread of child pornography online has led to an epidemic of child exploitation,” Madigan said. “These criminals are lurking behind closed doors, trading and downloading vile images of children being sexually abused. What they may not realize, though, is that we can track what they’re doing online, and we will continue to be relentless in apprehending the state’s worst offenders for destroying the lives of these innocent victims.”

This is the 62nd arrest of Madigan’s Operation Glass House that she launched in 2010 to investigate and arrest offenders trading child pornography online. The operation’s investigations conducted by Madigan’s High Tech Crimes Bureau have revealed a disturbing community of criminals who are trading and viewing extremely violent videos of children as young as infants being raped and abused.

Madigan’s investigation was assisted by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, and the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

“The Office of the State’s Attorney takes child pornography cases very seriously. These are not victimless crimes,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato. “Every time someone looks at these types of images, the child becomes a victim all over again. It is our duty as a prosecutor to seek justice for the victims, and seek convictions against those who choose to trade and view child pornography.”

In addition to Operation Glass House, Madigan leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Task Force investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local and county level law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois to do the same. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 770 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 367,400 parents, teachers and students and more than 17,500 law enforcement professionals.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Protestors Sit-In at Boeing Company Headquarters, Protest Weapons for Israeli Attack on Gaza

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

At 5:00 p.m. today, a group of activists from the Anti-War Committee – Chicago (AWC), the 8th Day Center for Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, the Episcopalian Peace Fellowship, and Jews for Justice in Palestine (JVP), entered the Boeing Company building and refused to leave. They went there to deliver a message: they oppose the Boeing Company providing weapons for the Israeli siege of Gaza. The action was initiated by JVP as one of a number of actions happening around the country in response to the vicious assault by Israel.

AWC – Chicago issued the following statement about their participation in the action. AWC has gone after Boeing for almost two years for their role as the second largest arms manufacturer. Kait McIntyre, one of the protesters, is a candidate for Boeing’s board of stock holders. Also among the AWC protesters are Joe Iosbaker, Newland Smith, and Bonnie Coyle.

www.antiwarcommitteechicago.blogspot.com

The Anti-War Committee – Chicago condemns Boeing Company for manufacturing weapons for targeted deaths of civilians in the Israeli siege of Gaza

In our campaign against Boeing we have routinely exposed their company as a key element of the U.S. war machine, which profits off the sale of weapons for U.S. wars and U.S. allies. Boeing reaps billions from the sale of weapons for use in the Israeli attacks on Gaza as part of its eight year old siege of Gaza. Boeing has provided the Israeli air force with several hundred F15 and F16 fighter planes and thousands of tail kits designed to make dumb bombs into “smart bombs,” improving accuracy. More recently Boeing designed a laser seeker to add to the nose of a bomb equipped with their tail kit, giving the ability to engage moving targets.

In addition Boeing has provided at least 60 of the Apache attack helicopters to Israel, as well as their payloads of “pinpoint accurate” Hellfire Missiles.

In observing the precision of Boeing’s products, we learn something about Israel’s bombing and missile strikes on Gaza.  As these weapons are so precise, then the deaths of civilian men, women and children – the vast majority of the 200 killed by Israel – are premeditated. The Israeli pilots know who is in their gun sights. They launch their weapons with full knowledge.

This means that the Israeli pilots are no different than the criminal settlers who burned Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive. They are killing in cold blood. They are killing civilians – men, children, women, and old people. They bomb food stores, hospitals, and even a center for the disabled.

The men who killed Mohammed Abu Khdeir have the sounds of their victim in their minds, but Israeli pilots have killed hundreds since Israel’s operation “Protective Edge” began, and thousands more throughout the history of the occupation.

Finally, Chicago is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities in the U.S.  Chicago is also home to the Boeing Company, whose stock price soars from the slaughter of countless Palestinians. This is a slap in the face we cannot abide.

End the siege of Gaza now! End U.S. aid to Israel! Free Palestine!

Vice President Joe Biden to Deliver Remarks to NAACP National Convention on July 23 in Las Vegas

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -  Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks to thousands of delegates, members and guests of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), at its annual convention on July 23. The event is being held from July 19-23 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vice President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. (PST)

The 2014 NAACP convention, “NAACP: All In for Justice and Equality,” occurs in a year of important civil rights anniversaries and milestones, including the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, and the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer. It also occurs on the heels of the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision, which invalidated Section IV of the Voting Rights Act.
To obtain press credentials, please provide your name and media organization to Michelle Nealy or Nicole Kenney at: http://action.naacp.org/page/s/press-registration-las-vegas. Additional logistical details for media are forthcoming. For more information, please visit http://www.naacp.org.

WHO:
National civil rights leaders, elected officials, and policymakers including: NAACP National Chairman Roslyn M. Brock; NAACP National Vice Chairman Leon Russell; NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks; former NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge; U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, and more.

WHAT:
105th National Convention of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, with members and digital activists worldwide.

WHEN:
July 19-23, 2014

WHERE:
Mandalay Bay Convention Center, 3950 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas NV 89119

MEDIA:

The Vice President’s remarks will be open press. Additional logistical details for media are forthcoming.

President Obama Announces Members of the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC –  President Barack Obama announced his appointment of the following individuals to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations:

  • J. David Cox – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations
  • Michael B. Filler – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations
  • David J. Holway – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations
  • H.T. Nguyen – Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

The Council, created in 2009 by Executive Order, is tasked with advising the President on matters involving labor-management relations in the executive branch.  The Council is co-chaired by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, Katherine Archuleta, and the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, Beth Cobert.

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these distinguished individuals have offered their wise counsel to help foster successful labor-management relations within the executive branch. I look forward to continuing this important dialogue with them for years to come.”

President Obama announced his appointment of the following individuals:

J. David Cox, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

J. David Cox is President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, a position he has held since 2012.  Mr. Cox has also served on the Federal Salary Council since 2010.  He was National Secretary-Treasurer of AFGE from 2006 to 2012.  Prior to joining AFGE’s leadership, Mr. Cox worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1983 to 2006.  He became a registered nurse in 1983.  Mr. Cox is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and has been Vice President of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO since 1993.  He is also Chairman of the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees (DPE) and Chairman of the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council.  Mr. Cox received an A.S. in nursing from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Michael B. Filler, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

Michael B. Filler is the Director of the Public Services Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), with responsibility for overseeing the representation of over 260,000 public and professional employees throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  He was first appointed to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations in 2010, and was appointed for a second term in 2012.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Filler was the Associate Director of the IBT’s Education Department.  Previously, Mr. Filler worked at the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), serving in various positions from 1985 to 1999, including Director of Negotiations, Northeast Regional Director, and National Field Representative.  Mr. Filler worked at the Federal Election Commission as a Branch Chief from 1981 to 1984 and as a Reports Analyst from 1976 to 1980.  In addition, he was a founding member of the Federal Workers Alliance, an active participant in the United Department of Defense Workers Coalition, and the Teamsters’ Delegate to the Public Services International Convention in Vienna, Austria in 2007.  Mr. Filler received a B.A. in Political Science from American University.

David J. Holway, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

David J. Holway is the President of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO).  He was first appointed to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations in 2010, and was appointed for a second term in 2012.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Holway served in many capacities at NAGE, including Lead Negotiator and Legislative Director.  He also previously held several government positions, including Deputy Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Chief Financial Officer at the Norfolk County Hospital, and Budget and Staff Director at the Massachusetts Legislative Committee on Counties.  Mr. Holway served on the Cambridge, Massachusetts School Committee from 1978 to 1979.  In 2011, he began serving his second four-year term as a member of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council.   Mr. Holway received a B.S. from Boston State College.

H.T. Nguyen, Appointee for Member, National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations

H.T. Nguyen is the Executive Director/General Counsel of the Federal Education Association (FEA), a state affiliate of the National Education Association representing federally-employed educators.  He was first appointed to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations in 2010, and was appointed for a second term in 2012.  Previously, Mr. Nguyen served as the Deputy General Counsel for the FEA from 1988 to 1998, where he was the FEA’s lead attorney in all major cases involving the Association.  From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Nguyen was a Staff Attorney with the Overseas Education Association, another affiliate of the National Education Association.  In 1983, Mr. Nguyen was an associate at Berger & Miranda in San Jose, CA.  From 1978 to 1980, he was a case worker for the International Rescue Committee in Washington, DC.  Mr. Nguyen received a B.A. in American Government and an M.A. in International Relations from The Catholic University of America, and a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.

Students to Stage ‘Die-In’ During Rally to Protest Assault on Gaza

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago / Protest Against Bombing of Gaza

CHICAGO, IL– Members of Students for Justice in Palestine Chicago, representing several universities in the city, on Sunday will honor the more than 200 victims of Israel’s indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza by staging a ‘die-in’ at Tribune Tower. The student protest will be part of the fourth rally convened by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine to demand an immediate end to Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinians of Gaza. A diverse crowd of thousands is expected to attend.

Organizers will hold a Press Conference and rally, Sunday, July 20, 2014  at the Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave., in Chicago from  2:30 – 5 p.m., which will feature interfaith speakers as well as Palestinian Americans impacted by the violence in Gaza. Details forthcoming.

The purpose of the rally is to show solidarity with the Palestinians under attack, to raise awareness and to demand an immediate end to Israeli aggression.

Since June 12th, Israel has engaged in a campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, bombing Gaza and raiding West Bank towns and villages, arresting hundreds of civilians, including children across the West Bank and 1948 Palestine. Israeli bombardments have killed more than 220 Palestinians in Gaza and injured more than 1,500.

Convened by:

– American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
– Chicago Islamic Center
– Islamic Community Center of Illinois
– Mosque Foundation
– Palestinian American Community Center
– Palestinian American Council
– Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-Chicago
– United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/733333243380607

For more information, contact:

Hatem Abudayyeh, 773-301-4108, hatem@aaan.org

Kristin Szremski, 708-717-4180, media@ampalestine.org

Replace Judge who Donated Millions to Defendant’s Torturers, say Odeh lawyers

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 1 COMMENT

From Hatem Abudayyeh

In a major development, attorneys for Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh filed a motion July 14th, calling for Judge Paul D. Borman to recuse himself from the case. The supporting brief argues that Borman, as a life-long and dedicated supporter of Israel, cannot play the “neutral and detached” role that the law requires.

A spurious report from the Associated Press irresponsibly presumes that the defense is bringing this motion because Judge Borman is an American Jew.  Odeh and her attorneys, including Michael Deutsch, who is an American Jew himself, deny this, noting that the motion and supporting brief extensively document Borman’s close ties to the State of Israel, never once mentioning his religion.  The AP article has been picked up across the country, and the national Rasmea Defense Committee demands a retraction.

Odeh has pled not guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, a charge alleging that she failed to mention, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago, and tried in an Israeli military court that “convicts” 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it.  Odeh was physically and sexually tortured into a confession by Israeli prison authorities in 1969.

The motion describes how this is important to her defense: “The defendant’s case directly raises issues about the legality of the continuing 47 year belligerent occupation of the West Bank by the State of Israel and the State’s policy of sanctioning the systematic torture of Palestinian detainees by the Israeli military and security police.”

In the papers filed with the court this week, attorneys Deutsch and James Fennerty describe Judge Borman’s long history of support for Israel, including fund raising for, and donating millions of dollars of his own money to the state.  They argue: “Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubts believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant.

“Further, it is reasonable to conclude that as a result of this Court’s many trips to Israel, and its active support and substantial efforts in fund raising for the State of Israel, that this Court has ‘personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning this case.’”

According to one of the defense committee’s spokespeople, Hatem Abudayyeh, “This motion is about trying to get Rasmea a fair trial.  Borman’s bias is clear.  He’s had a life-long association with explicitly pro-Israel organizations, but we also uncovered that he has donated thousands of dollars to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.  It is exactly the conduct and truthfulness of the IDF that is at issue in this case.  A ‘Friend’ of the IDF can hardly be seen as unbiased.

“Winning this case is not limited to a legal strategy,” Abudayyeh continued.  “Thousands of people from across the country are supporting and fighting for Rasmea Odeh. We are urging the government to drop the charges against her.  If they don’t, we are mobilizing to fill the courtroom every day of the trial.”

The trial is set for September 8 in Detroit.

www.uspcn.org

www.stopfbi.net

For more information, contact:  Hatem Abudayyeh, 773.301.4108, hatem@aaan.org

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this Letters to Editors are those of the writer and not CopyLine Magazine.

Harold “Noonie” Ward Releases Song, Book on Gangstanomics

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg

In an effort to educate the masses about the economics of entertainment and how it parallels corporate America, Harold “Noonie” Ward, a former high-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples, is releasing a book, Gangstanomics: The Hard Core Streets and the Corporate World are the Same,” along with a song, “Money In Your Hand,” by Kanye West, Trey Songz, Dwele and Twista, that talks about major entertainers who were broke and how they became rich.

The forward was written by 50 Cent along with a quote from Sean Puffy combs who said, “Put God First! Get Money! And Don’t Stop.”

Noonie Ward, who is running for Illinois State Representative of the 29th District in the upcoming Nov. 4, 2014, general election, is giving away the song at his upcoming book signings.

“The book is about the hard core streets and the corporate world how they are one because they cannot exist without the other. The streets lay the foundation for the corporate world, which is a part of the streets. Many people think the streets ire all about drugs but it is not. It is the making of the corporate world.”

On violence, Ward said, “I know how the violence started, and I know how to fix it.”

For interviews, contact Theresa Bradley at: 312.437.1018.

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.

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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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