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Archive for May 13th, 2015

Madigan: $158 Million Settlement With Sprint & Verizon Over Wireless Phone Bill Cramming

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorneys General Settlements Over Scam Now Total $353 Million

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with her counterparts around the country, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission to announce settlements with Sprint Corporation and Verizon Wireless totaling $158 million to resolve allegations that the companies placed third-party charges on their customers’ cell phone bills, a practice known as “cramming.”

Madigan, the other attorneys general, the CFPB and the FCC reached the settlement following reports of cramming from mobile customers who were billed for services by third-party companies that they never authorized or wanted, such as “premium” text message subscription services (PSMS) that sent customers horoscopes, trivia and sports updates for $9.99 a month.

Cramming happens when third-party vendors use consumers’ phone numbers much like a credit card. Vendors add charges to phone bills for bogus products or services, such as celebrity gossip items, horoscopes, trivia and joke-of-the-day offerings, that consumers and businesses never requested or authorized. But because consumers rarely, if ever, detect the scam, the scammers often illegally profit for months at a time.

“The protections set forth in these settlements will go a long way toward preventing illegal third-party charges from suspiciously appearing on mobile phone bills,” Madigan said. “This settlement is another major victory for consumers.”

Sprint and Verizon are the third and fourth mobile telephone providers to enter into a nationwide settlement to resolve allegations regarding cramming. Madigan has previously settled with AT&T for $105 million and T-Mobile for $90 million. All four mobile carriers announced they would cease billing customers for commercial PSMS in the fall of 2013. Wireless cramming has become a major consumer fraud concern, much like it did on landline phones before Madigan worked to ban the practice in Illinois.

Under the terms of the settlements, Sprint will pay $68 million and Verizon will pay $90 million, of which Sprint and Verizon must provide $50 million and $70 million in restitution, respectively. Sprint and Verizon will each distribute refunds to harmed consumers through redress programs overseen by the CFPB. Sprint must also pay $12 million to the attorneys general and $6 million to the FCC. Verizon must pay $16 million to the attorneys general and $4 million to the FCC.

Consumers can submit claims for restitution by visiting www.SprintRefundPSMS.com and/or www.CFPBSettlementVerizon.com. The websites will provide information on how to submit a claim, find information about refund eligibility, and request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts. For questions, visit the websites or contact the settlement administrators: for Sprint, (877) 389-8787 and for Verizon, (888) 726-7063.

The settlements ban Sprint and Verizon from the commercial PSMS business. It also requires the companies take a number of steps designed to ensure that the company only bills consumers for third-party charges that have been authorized, including the following:

* The carriers must obtain consumers’ express consent before billing consumers for third-party charges, and must ensure that consumers are only charged for services if the consumers have been informed of all material terms and conditions of their payment;

* The carriers must give consumers an opportunity to obtain a full refund or credit when they are billed for unauthorized third-party charges;

* The carriers must inform their customers when they sign up for services that their mobile phone can be used to pay for third-party charges, and they must inform consumers of how those third-party charges can be blocked if the consumers do not want to use their phone to pay for third-party products; and

* The carriers must present third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, must clearly distinguish them from the carrier’s own charges, and must include in that same section information about the consumers’ ability to block third-party charges.

Attorney General Madigan has advocated for a nationwide ban on phone bill cramming, testifying before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and filing comments with the Federal Communications Commission. In total, the Attorney General’s office has filed 30 lawsuits against phone crammers.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Heimlich handled this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Attorney General Lynch Statement on Officer Shootings in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement on the death of two officers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi:

“The shocking assault on law enforcement officers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, struck at the heart of that great city.  The Department of Justice stands ready to offer any possible aid to the Hattiesburg community as they investigate this appalling incident.  And we will continue to do all that we can to protect our officers across the country and support all those who wear the badge.

“Officer Benjamin Deen and Officer Liquori Tate were committed and courageous public safety officials, dedicated to their community and devoted to their mission.  They exemplified the very best that our country has to offer.  And as we go forward, the Department of Justice intends to honor their service and their sacrifice by fighting for the values they protected every day, and defending the American people they were proud to serve.

“Their loss is made even more tragic by the fact that, on the day they were killed this past Saturday, the country began observing Police Week – a time when we pause to remember and honor the more than 20,000 law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  The murder of these young men is a devastating reminder that the work our brave police officers perform every day is extremely dangerous, profoundly heroic, and deeply deserving of our unequivocal support.  All Americans owe these courageous citizens a debt of gratitude.  The Department of Justice stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at every level of law enforcement as we mourn this most recent loss.”

Chicago visit of Venezuela Ambassador Designate Maximilien Sánchez Arvelaiz, May 14

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

“Venezuela is not a Threat; We are Hope”

DePaul University Department of History and Chicago Stands with Venezuela welcome Venezuela Ambassador designate Maximilien Sánchez Arvelaiz. His presentation, “Venezuela is not a Threat, We are Hope,” will address the important achievements of the Bolivarian revolution – in education, health care, human rights, worker rights, participatory democracy.

Ambassador Sánchez Arvelaiz will also address the issue of President Obama’s Executive Order declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States. Every single country of Latin America and the Caribbean called on Obama to revoke his Executive Order.

Ambassador Sánchez Arvelaiz will address the issues Thursday, May 14, 7:00 p.m., at DePaul University Schmitt Academic Center, Room 254, 2320 N. Kenmore, in Chicago.

IDOT, ISP, Local Law Enforcement Begin Click It or Ticket Campaign

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – With Memorial Day approaching and summer right around the corner, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 300 local law enforcement agencies today are announcing the Click It or Ticket campaign over the next two weeks to crack down on seat belt law violators and impaired drivers.

“Every day in Illinois, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. We and our partners in law enforcement are saying that needs to change,” said Randy Blankenhorn, Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary. “As we approach the busy Memorial Day weekend and the summer travel season, we want to make sure people are buckling up and making it to their destinations safely.”

Kicking off the busy summer travel season, the Click It or Ticket law enforcement mobilization begins this week and lasts through Memorial Day. During this time, police will be enforcing seat belt laws, looking for drunk or drugged drivers and other traffic violations 24/7, with a large number of patrols occurring during the late-night hours when the most unbuckled and impaired fatalities occur on Illinois roads.

The increase in traffic that comes during summer holiday weekends almost always correlates with an increase in fatalities. In past years, there have been as many as 20 or more traffic fatalities in Illinois over Memorial Day weekend. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend – the period from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday – saw 10 crashes resulting in 12 fatalities.

Preliminary IDOT data show that between 2010 and 2014, 3,075 people riding in vehicles died in crashes. Of those, 1,492, or about 48 percent, were properly buckled in a seat belt or car seats. That means more than 50 percent of those who died in crashes during this timeframe were not buckled properly, despite observational surveys that show an all-time record rate of roughly nine out of 10 drivers and front-seat passengers wearing seat belts in Illinois.              505**15

During the Click It or Ticket enforcement period, motorists caught not buckling up will be ticketed. Motorists caught driving impaired will be arrested.

“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season. Many motorists, including teens, will be traveling across Illinois highways. We want everyone to arrive safely at their final destinations,” said Illinois State Police Lt. Col. Tad Williams. “We want to take this opportunity to remind motorists to buckle up. If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”

For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.

Also taking place during May, in conjunction with the Click It or Ticket crackdown, is the 2nd Annual Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician month, which recognizes these important people who play a critical role in the efforts to lower fatalities and injuries on Illinois roads. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children.  While the best way to protect a child in a car crash is with a properly installed car seat, some people find installing one a challenge.  The technician’s role is to offer support and training to parents.

Currently, Illinois has 1,700 certified CPS technicians who help keep children on our roadways safe.  Each technician has undergone four days of training and must earn continuing education units every two years in order to stay certified.

Illinois Treasurer Frerichs Opens Applications For New Internship Program

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Report: Former Program “Clout Heavy” and Wasteful

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced a new, unpaid internship program to provide Illinois students with hands-on experience in public service. Interns can earn college credit and work in areas such as legal, investment operations, marketing, unclaimed property, and policy.

“We want to provide students with a real-world, hands-on learning experience in public service,” Frerichs said. “With the right tools and a solid understanding of how government works, we can put Illinois students on the path to success.”

When Treasurer Frerichs took office in 2015, he called for an independent performance review to identify strengths, opportunities, and inherited challenges from the previous administration. The Plante Moran review identified a paid internship program that was “clout heavy.” The lack of formal policies, procedures and supervision led to inaccurate time sheets, excessive expense claims, and travel voucher errors. It recommended the program’s complete revision.

Frerichs’ new, unpaid program will have an internship coordinator, job descriptions, interview process, scoring criteria, and performance evaluations. None of these existed previously.

“We will build a real internship program with proper controls to ensure a professional learning experience that shows students first-hand how government entities work together to provide important services and make sure everyone is following the rules,” Frerichs said.

Applicants must be Illinois residents, 18 years of age or older, and enrolled as a full-time student with an accredited college, university, or law school. The deadline to submit applications is May 22, 2015. For more information or to apply, visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov

About Plante Moran

Plante Moran is a large, Midwestern-based accounting and consulting firm with offices in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It is ranked 13th nationally in size and 6th largest in the state of Illinois. The company specializes in various industries, including government. It has a deep understanding of the unique accounting, financial, operational and technology needs of government organizations.

About the Illinois Treasurer

The Illinois Treasurer is the state’s chief investment officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. He protects consumers by encouraging savings plans for college or trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, and removing barriers to a secured retirement. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, he actively manages approximately $25 billion. Currently, the portfolio includes $13 billion in state funds, $7 billion in college savings plans, and $5 billion on behalf of state and local governments. The investment approach is conservative to ensure the preservation of principal and returns $28 to the state for every $1 spent in operations. The Treasurer’s Office predates Illinois’ incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office.

Former CTA Board Member Howard Medley Files Petition Pro Se Seeking a New Trial

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Former CTA board member Howard C. Medley is representing himself in filing a petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis asking for a new trial 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at 219 South Dearborn.

The petition will prove (a) that Medley was denied effective assistance of counsel at his first and second trials in violations of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and (b) there was insufficient evidence at his second trial resulting in his conviction. Mr. Medley should have these principles which are his fundamental Constitutional rights.

“This petition is based on exculpatory tapes which Mr. Medley did not become aware of until both trials had been concluded. However, these tapes were in the possession of both counsels who represented Mr. Medley during both trials. The first trial ended in a hung jury. The second trial ended in being convicted and his being sentenced to 30-months for bribery along with a fine of $10,000.

It is Mr. Medley’s contention that had he been allowed to participate in the tactical planning and been informed of the existence of the exculpatory tapes, he would have been exonerated of all charges. He is now seeking a new trial so that a judge and/or jury can consider all of the evidence including the exculpatory tapes and clear his family’s good name.

The Goodman Becomes the First Chicago Theater to Establish a Facility for Educational Programs With the “Alice B. Rapoport Center for Education & Engagement”

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

More than $11 million has been secured for the $15 Million project, including Michael Sachs’ naming gift in memory of his late wife Alice B. Rapoport, Trustee and Arts Education Advocate

Theater Completes its $15 Million “Endowing Excellence” Campaign for the Future”

CHICAGO, IL – Goodman Theatre Board of Directors Chair Joan Clifford, Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer announce plans to establish the “Alice B. Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement”—a $15 million expansion effort that realizes the theater’s 30-year commitment to using its art as education: empowering and inspiring individuals through the process of creating and experiencing live theater. Working with Wheeler Kearns Architects on a lease agreement with Friedman Properties, the Goodman will connect its current facility at 170 N. Dearborn with an adjacent upper-level space (at the northwest corner of Dearborn and Randolph, above Petterino’s restaurant) and transform 7,800 square feet into classrooms, a hands-on STEM learning lab, rehearsal spaces and more. The new facility will enable the Goodman to grow its education and outreach programs by 30%—tripling the number of educators served in its teacher training program, doubling the number of young people reached through youth intensive activities, and enabling year-round adult and intergenerational activity. In addition, the Center provides greater space for audiences to engage in performance-related dialogue and discussion; patrons will access the Center though the Goodman’s second-floor lobby.

Private contributions from the theater’s longtime education and engagement champions exceed $11 million, including: a naming gift by Michael A. Sachs in memory of his late wife and Trustee Alice B. Rapoport; Trustee Roger and Julie Baskes (naming the “Baskes Rotunda” meeting room); Trustee Joan and Robert Clifford (naming the Center lobby); and Trustee Kimbra and Mark Walter (Walter Family Foundation naming the Director of Education and Engagement’s position and endowing PlayBuild Youth Intensive). Under the leadership of Trustee Michael O’Halleran, the theater launches its “Engaging Community, Expanding Minds” fundraising campaign for the Center.

In addition, the Goodman announces its completion of the “Endowing Excellence” campaign initiated in 2011—a $15 million initiative designed to ensure permanent resources for the theater.

“For 90 years the Goodman has been one of the biggest stars on the Chicago stage—an essential cultural asset to our city—and I congratulate them on this ground-breaking next step,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This expansion will provide even greater arts opportunities to reach deeper into our neighborhoods, providing thought-provoking and innovative education programs, engaging a new generation.”

“This is an exciting moment for Goodman Theatre, as the Center actualizes our long term commitment to being an institution that is dedicated to artistic achievement and community engagement in equal measure,” said Robert Falls, who established the Goodman’s education programs when he became artistic director in 1986. “As demand for our programs has increased in the past decade during the leadership of Willa Taylor—a remarkable artist, educator and activist—our ability to meet our participants’ needs has become limited due to lack of space in the current facility. It’s time to grow.”

Executive Director Roche Schulfer added, “The Center is a major development in our history as it builds on our values as a cultural institution: investing in the highest quality on stage, promoting aesthetic and cultural diversity, and forging an intrinsic connection to the Chicago community. The Center will enable us to engage with a wider range of education, business, social service, health and civic organizations and audiences in ways that stem from the content on stage.”

“Arts as education means using our art to move our community beyond the volitional acts of looking and hearing to more transformative acts of seeing, listening and witnessing. Every adult and teen who builds a spoken word piece together witnesses the commonalities in their shared experience—and learns to be less afraid of each other,” said Willa J. Taylor, the Goodman’s newly retitled Walter Director of Education and Engagement. “I am grateful to all who have made the Center possible, and particularly thrilled that this special space will bear the name of one of our greatest advocates, who radically transformed the way we approach our work with schools.”

Chicago civic leader Michael A. Sachs’ gift honors Rapoport, an active Goodman Trustee and past chair of the theater’s Education Committee who was heavily involved in the theater’s education and outreach efforts from 2000 until her untimely death in 2014.

“Alice loved nothing more than to see young people exposed to the magic of theater; she would marvel at the interaction between students and the artists. ‘The Alice’ will provide the Goodman with a unique venue to carry on Alice’s dream: bringing people together, helping students achieve their potential and making Chicago a better place,” said Sachs, Chairman of TLSG, Inc., an investment advisory and consulting firm.

About the Goodman’s Education and Engagement Programs

  • Student Subscription Series (SSS) is the theater’s longest running program, a unique process-oriented series that serves 2,800 students and 70 teachers currently, primarily from Chicago public high schools. The SSS unites Goodman staff with teachers—two to three per school, including at least one non-humanities teacher—who attend professional development workshops to learn how to use the tools of the industry to differentiate instruction, build curriculum that connects the plays on stage with students’ classroom studies and activate student engagement. Students attend special matinee performances with post-show discussions. The Center will enable the Goodman to triple the number of teacher training participants working with Golden Apple Foundation and the Chicago Teacher’s Union.
  • PlayBuild: Youth Intensive is a comprehensive six-week summer workshop focused on empowering young people through the act of creating theater. This program currently serves approximately 80 young people, between the age of 14 and 18, from a wide variety of backgrounds. The Center will enable the Goodman to expand Play Build: Youth Intensive to a year round program, at least doubling the number of participants.
  • PlayBuild: Third Age is a program for older adults that combines writing personal narrative with the act of creating theater, culminating in a performance.
  • GeNarrations is a personal narrative performance workshop for adults 55+. Using the themes of Goodman productions as a foundation, participants develop personal performance pieces which they are able to present to an audience. The Goodman offers three, six-week sessions each season, which will increase to four in the Center with more than 100 participants.
  • InterGens is an intergenerational summer program in which participants in GeNarrations collaborate with youth in PlayBuild to create performance works. InterGens will expand to a year-round program in the Center.
  • Stage Chemistry is Goodman Theatre’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards-based curriculum developed in partnership with GCE Lab School. Stage Chemistry introduces teachers and students to the math, science and technology of theatrical production. The Center will enable the Goodman to develop STEM in theater lab space to provide students with interactive experiences in the geometry, chemistry and physics of technical theater.
  • Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program, named for the Goodman’s longtime press director Cindy Bandle (1955 -2005), is an initiative that increases awareness of arts journalism and involves 25-30 teenage women each year from the metropolitan area, working with the guidance of mentors from the Association of Women Journalists. These young women receive full press credentials and review each Goodman production. The Goodman and mentors then work to place the reviews on a Goodman blog and in a variety of media outlets. The Center will make it possible to increase participation in this program by providing space for mentor meetings and evaluations.
  • Community Engagement Series offers five annual events at which specific constituencies are celebrated and/or a free performance is provided for military families, first responders and community-based organizations. In FY13, this diversity effort attracted over 1,000 people, most of whom were attending a Goodman production or program for the first time. The Center will enhance the experience of the series for participants by providing room for ancillary activities such as lectures, classes, receptions and artist encounters.
  • Goodman Youth Arts Council allows young alumni of Goodman programs to stay involved with the theater by being ambassadors in their communities and schools, promoting young audience development events and volunteering at major events at the Goodman (such as opening nights and benefits). The Center would provide the opportunity for more gatherings of the YACS throughout the year.
  • CONTEXT: Discourse and Discussion is a series involving approximately 500 participants each season in public discussions with artists and civic leaders about contemporary issues related to each Goodman productions. The Center will provide space for additional CONTEXT events, increasing the annual participation.
  • Teaching August Wilson is a weeks-long blended learning course for teachers to develop skills and techniques  to incorporate August Wilson’s work into high school curricula. While many high school teachers are interested in Wilson’s plays, most feel culturally unprepared to adequately explore the work with their students. Goodman teaching artists will conduct classes in the Center to “teach the teacher.”
  • Teaching Artists Training. The Center will provide classrooms that will lead to an expanded roster of qualified Goodman teaching artists which in turn will allow us to work more closely with community organizations around the city.

Illinois Criminal Justice Reform Must Include Funds for Re-Entry and Prevention Services

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director, Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention

The Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP) applauds Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent decision to restore almost $26 million in grant cuts to services that directly affect the livelihood of Illinois’ underserved communities.

We also commend Governor Rauner’s establishment of an Illinois Criminal Justice Reform Commission, which signals a long overdue shift in the way our state seeks to address the unsustainable drain that the criminal justice system inflicts upon our economy and communities. However, we, the governor, commissioners, and state legislators must keep in mind that any serious discussion about reform and release must be accompanied by an equally serious discussion about restoring, and potentially increasing, funds for supportive services that help ex-offenders get re-acclimated and keep youth from coming into contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.

The report, After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry, published by the Legal Action Center, documents the astronomical challenges faced by previously incarcerated individuals. Without a job, it is impossible to provide for oneself and one’s family. Without a driver’s license, it is harder to find or keep a job. Without affordable housing, or food stamps, or access to alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment, it is harder to lead a stable, productive life. Without the ability to adopt or raise foster children, or access a college loan, it is harder to become a fully engaged citizen. These challenges hinder the reintegration of people with criminal records, which, in turn, compromises everyone’s safety and the well-being of our communities.

As much as we want to have individuals without violent backgrounds released from prison, we understand that the pipeline to prison is a cycle that can only be broken with support. We are justifiably concerned that reform and release without jobs and support will especially and adversely affect Illinois’ African American communities. While African Americans are only 14% of Illinois’ population, we represent 56% of those who are incarcerated in state prisons and jails. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 97% of ex-offenders, when released, return to the communities from which they came. As one can reasonably surmise, our state’s African American communities, which are already struggling with open-air drug markets, wanton violence, and economic destabilization, have the most at stake when it comes to criminal justice reform. And it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether we would even entertain reform while at the same time cutting prevention and re-entry services if these same prisoners were going to be returning to high net-worth Illinois communities like Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, or Highland Park.

After watching the recent events unfold in New York, Baltimore, and Ferguson, and acknowledging the disproportionate number of African Americans that have been incarcerated for non-violent offenses, it is undeniable that we have a criminal justice system in desperate need of reform. At the same time, however, implementing reform and release without providing a coordinated service delivery system for ex-offenders, or cutting funding for prevention services that steer youth toward paths of opportunity, unfairly risks the safety of communities that are already under siege. While no one wants to see Chicago, Peoria, or East St. Louis go the way of New York, Baltimore, or Ferguson, in the absence of these types of programs, we are simply biding our time. To that end, we call on Governor Rauner and our state legislators to demonstrate compassion by restoring funds for re-entry and prevention programs in the state’s FY16 budget. This is not only the right thing to do but it will go a long way toward ensuring safer, healthier, and more resilient children, families, and communities.

In service,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director

Congressional Black Caucus Launches CBC TECH 2020

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will launch CBC TECH 2020, a new initiative aimed at engaging the tech sector in increasing African American representation and inclusion in the industry.  CBC members will encourage the industry to use the same entrepreneurial spirit they use when creating new technologies to become innovators in diversifying tech.  During the launch event, CBC members will outline diversity principles, discuss industry best practices, highlight African American students and entrepreneurs, and present legislation focused on increasing STEM education.

WHO: CBC Diversity Task Force Members:

  • Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC), CBC Chairman
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), Co-Chair, Diversity Taskforce
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (CA)
  • Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA)
  • Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO)
  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY)

WHAT: Launch of CBC TECH 2020, a new initiative aimed at increasing African American inclusion in the tech sector.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (EDT)

WHERE: Madison Building, Library of Congress

101 Independence Avenue SE — Montpelier Room (6th Floor)

Washington, DC  20540

Issues: Technology & Infrastructure

Fight Fallout Won’t Hurt Pacquiao’s Legacy, Say Fil-Am Journalists

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Fight Fallout Won’t Hurt Pacquiao’s Legacy, Say Fil-Am Journalists

New America Media
By Odette Keeley

SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino media are reporting that the legacy of Manny Pacquiao is untainted by his loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in their mega fight in Las Vegas. But some wonder whether the scandal over his injury could be a different story.

Since the May 2 fight, Pacquiao has been dogged with controversy over claims that a shoulder injury hampered him during the bout. In a press conference immediately after the fight, Pacquiao admitted that he had a torn rotator cuff, but claimed he was not allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to take an anti-inflammatory shot even when he had asked for it. In a report on that press conference by GMA News Online, the Filipino boxer stated that he didn’t want to complain and that “it was part of the game.”

Tale of the Fight

Floyd Mayweather, Jr.:
Record: 48-0
Total Punches Landed: 148 (34%)
Est. Total Earnings: $250-275 million

Manny Pacquiao:
Record: 57-6-2
Total Punches Landed: 81 (19%)
Est. Total Earnings: $170-$190 million

Belts at Stake:
WBC World welterweight title
WBA Super World welterweight title
WBO World welterweight title

Total Fight Revenue:
Estimated $400-500 million

Price Range of Tickets:
$1,500 to $125,000

Estimated Total Pay-Per-View Sales: 5.5 million

Judges’ Scores:
116-112 Mayweather
118-110 Mayweather
116-112 Mayweather

Referee: Kenny Bayless

Text by Nicholas von Wettberg/
FilAm Star

Philippine News also reported on the press conference, citing “the right shoulder injury which he suffered several weeks ago [during training]…was severe enough to get Pacquiao contemplating on postponing the fight…but the fighter stated he didn’t want to make any alibis.”

The injury scandal has sparked criticism and even lawsuits against Pacquiao and his promoters for allegedly not disclosing the injury. Some wonder if his defeat and the controversy in its wake will mar his status as the Philippine People’s Champion, an elected official in his homeland and a hero to the Filipino diaspora.

“No, not at all,” says Nicholas von Wettberg, managing and sports editor for the weekly FilAm Star, who has covered Pacquiao’s last 12 fights. “I think Manny’s legacy is secure, his stature in the Philippines will always be the one of highest regard….Think about it, we’ve talked about the Philippines…we’ve talked about the Filipino people for years and years now, on a platform that would not have been there had Manny Pacquiao [not been there].”

Von Wettberg adds that one factor that Pacquiao is also widely admired for might explain his mindset about the shoulder tear. “I think it all comes down to once again, Manny’s faith,” says von Wettberg. “Once the injury took place, the faith kind of kicked in.”

Von Wettberg believes that Pacquiao thought he was going to be fine, up until the fight. He explains, “I saw his smile…even when he made his entrance. The time that I saw fear in his face was when he finally got into the ring. That’s when I think he knew that his faith could only get him so far.. and that now he was going have to fight the fight…and that physically, he knew that he wasn’t ready for the fight.”

Manila Mail via INQUIRER.net reports that the public’s admiration for Pacquiao was evident inside the MGM Grand Arena on fight night, “as the audience’s cheers and applause each time Manny scored were thunderous. In the Philippines and around the world, millions rooted for the charismatic and God-fearing prizefighter.”

Joseph Peralta, NorCAL VP/GM and associate editor of Asian Journal, agrees that Pacquiao remains well respected for his legacy, but believes the injury scandal might affect the fighter’s image. He says that before the controversy erupted, Pacquaio’s stature was intact. “People in the boxing world were empathetic to him, even when he lost…Evander Holyfield was saying, he thinks Pacquiao should have won,” he adds. Everybody was saying he was the people’s champ.”

With the fallout casting a cloud on Pacquiao’s revered status, Peralta thinks Pacquiao will overcome it and can win back the public’s admiration, especially among his fellow countrymen who might doubt him now. “Filipinos always love this situation where you do wrong, and then you repent, when you revert back to your faith… [and say], ‘I’ve seen the error of my ways,’ explains Peralta. “Filipinos love that.”

Peralta believes Pacquiao’s philanthropy is also at the core of why many continue to support him. “I think at the core, he really is genuine about giving, in the charity that he does.” Reports state that Pacquiao intends to donate about half of his earnings from this latest fight to charities.

But in Asian Journal’s coverage of community sentiments before the fight, and in his own circle, Peralta adds, it was ultimately not about Manny winning. “This fight was deemed as the most important fight he’ll have in his career, because he was battling a person who has not lost.”

That’s echoed by columnist Emil Guillermo in his INQUIRER.net op-ed, saying Pacquiao is “the most distinguished overseas Filipino worker today,” someone he says “embodies the modern global Filipino who must go abroad to earn a living.”

Pacquiao is now focused on healing from his recent surgery and is reportedly preparing to go back home to the Philippines. “Balitang America [News in America]” and its Manila-based parent media network ABS-CBN News report that the Filipino fighter had surgery on Wednesday “to repair the significant tear on his right rotator cuff.”

Pacquiao was originally scheduled to return to Manila on Thursday, but had to postpone the trip because of the procedure on his shoulder. He said in the same report that he hopes to be back in the Philippines by Sunday, May 10.

Though many fans may be criticizing Pacquiao for his performance in the fight, he still enjoys support in his homeland. Perhaps one indication that many of them are still in his corner is the banner on INQUIRER.net with Pacquiao’s smiling face in the ring that declares: “You’re Still Our Champ!”

Odette Keeley is the TV News Anchor & Executive Producer of New America Media, as well as NAM’s Director of National Media Network Building.

Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea

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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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