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Archive for January 16th, 2017

Civil Rights Icon Addresses FBI Employees

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Congressman John Lewis Tells His Inspirational Story 

Congressman John Lewis Speaks at FBI Headquarters

On January 12, 2017, longtime civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis visited FBI Headquarters and spoke to Bureau employees during a commemorative program heralding the legacy of the man who invited Lewis to join his civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Introduced by FBI Director James Comey, Lewis—the son of sharecroppers—spoke of his childhood in rural Alabama and hearing his parents tell him “that’s the way it is” when he questioned signs that marked the water fountains and bathrooms African-Americans could use. “Don’t get in the way,” his parents cautioned their son. “Don’t get into trouble.” But according to Lewis, by 1955—when he was 15 years old—Dr. King and Rosa Parks “inspired me to find a way to get in the way.”

And over the next five decades, he found many nonviolent ways to combat racism and segregation—including taking part in lunch counter sit-ins, joining up with King and taking part in the Freedom Rides, speaking at the 1963 March on Washington, organizing the Selma to Montgomery March, and working toward the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“Voting,” said Lewis, “is the most powerful nonviolent tool that we have, and everybody must use it to make the world a better place.”

During his remarks, Lewis appealed to FBI employees—who gave the congressman a rousing standing ovation—to “stand up, speak up, and speak out,” and that “we cannot afford to be silent.”

Protest on MLK Day: No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

From: Refuse Fascism Chicago


MLK Day highlights the determined struggle of Black people against the many forms of hell they have been put through from slavery days, continuing right up to today.


Last week the Department of Justice released a Report detailing massive and continuing violation of the Civil Rights of Black people and Latinos by the Chicago Police Department in violation of many laws and supposed protections.  This report shows the Chicago Police Department behaving as an occupying army murdering and brutalizing in the streets of Chicago. YET IT DOES NOT RECOMMEND CHARGES AGAINST ONE COP OR CITY OFFICIAL. This came of the eve of MLK Day AND the installation of a president, Donald Trump, who has installed a white Supremacist as his chief advisor.  A president who fits the text book definition of a fascist.


The Justice Department would not have come to Chicago had thousands not taken to the streets Day after Day, Night after Night.  Yet while no perpetrators of crimes revealed in the report face charges important leaders of that movement face heavy trumped up charges which MUST BE DROPPED!


Trump’s Choice for Attorney General opposes the very concept of the type of Consent Decrees that the existing Department of Justice proposes to address the gross violations of civil rights taking place daily by police in Chicago and around the Country.  While the proposed reforms fail to address the depth of the systemic horrors visited on citizens by the Chicago police, if the Trump/Pence regime takes power there will be a whole worse world of hurt for Black people, other people of color, Muslims, the LGBT Community and people around the world.


In the face of this hundreds of thousands have been called to DC to Flood the Streets with protest and STOP THE TRUMP & PENCE REGIME FROM COMING TO POWER.




The Rally and March will demand JUSTICE NOW for the many outrages and crimes committed on every level revealed in the Justice Department Report!


For more information, call 1-312-933-9586.



Madigan, DOJ & States Announce $864 Million Settlement With Moody’s Investors Service

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Madigan, DOJ & States Reach Settlement with Moody’s for Misleading Investors in Lead Up to Economic Collapse


CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced an $864 million settlement with Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and Moody’s Analytics Inc. to resolve allegations that the credit ratings agency compromised its independence and objectivity in assigning its highest ratings to risky mortgage-backed securities and other structured finance securities in the lead up to the 2008 economic collapse.


Illinois will receive $19.5 million under the joint state-federal settlement forged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Madigan and 21 other attorneys general with Moody’s, one of the nation’s largest credit ratings agencies responsible for independently rating risk on behalf of clients and investors.


“Moody’s conduct directly contributed to our country’s economic collapse,” Madigan said. “Moody’s did not do its job and lured state pension funds into risky mortgage-backed securities. The settlement with Moody’s is the latest effort in my commitment to recover critical funds for the state due to Wall Street’s corruption and greed.”


According to the settlement, Moody’s consistently made misrepresentations about the processes it used to assign credit ratings to structured finance securities. While publicly promising independent, objective analyses, the company privately relaxed its ratings criteria to ensure its clients’ residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) would achieve higher ratings than the actual quality of the assets supported. Structured finance securities, including RMBS and CDOs, derive their value from the monthly payments consumers make on their mortgages. The alleged misconduct began as early as 2001 and became particularly rampant between 2004 and 2007.


Specifically, Moody’s represented to consumers that its Aaa rating carried a specific level of risk, and the investigation found evidence that Moody’s altered its process so that the Aaa rating represented a greater risk than Moody’s disclosed to investors and consumers. The investigation also found evidence that Moody’s gave in to pressure from big banks, which were powerful and repeat customers that paid Moody’s millions of dollars to rate these securities.


Mortgage-backed securities are financial products made up of a pool of mortgages that are bundled together and sold as a security. The assets are backed by residential mortgages, including subprime mortgages. The performance of these investment products have significant, real-world implications for Illinois institutional investors, such as pension funds and 401(k) managers that make decisions about whether, and which, of these securities are appropriate investments. It was the misrepresentation of the true risk of these mortgage securities that helped the housing market skyrocket and ultimately led to its collapse in 2008.


In addition to the monetary settlement, Moody’s has agreed to: 1) a detailed statement of facts in connection with the way it rated RMBS and CDOs leading up to the financial crisis, and 2) significant compliance terms, including an annual certification by the CEO of Moody’s Corporation, which will be provided to Illinois every year for the next four years, certifying that Moody’s is following certain compliance requirements.


The Moody’s settlement is the latest in a long line of enforcement actions Madigan has taken against banks, lenders and other contributors of the financial crisis. As a result of all of Madigan’s enforcement actions, she has recovered more than $3 billion for Illinois homeowners, communities, pension funds and county recorders.


Joining Madigan and DOJ in today’s settlement were attorneys general from: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.


Consumer Protection Division Chief Deborah Hagan, Consumer Protection Chicago Bureau Chief Susan Ellis, Supervising Attorney Vaishali Rao and Assistant Attorneys General Vijay Raghavan and Andrea Law handled the case for Madigan’s office.


NNPA’s Chavis Receives Promise of First Press Interview with President Trump

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Omarosa Manigault, recently named assistant to the president and director of communications in the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump Administration, has promised the first press interview with President Trump to Benjamin Chavis, president/CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, according to sources who attended a private meeting with the Trump transition team Jan. 4.

Manigault’s promise of the interview was disclosed after a representative of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) stressed the importance of Black reporters interfacing with the president. Both Chavis and NABJ representatives participated in the closed door meeting at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Northwest DC.

“When NABJ said we need to make sure that somebody Black interviews the President first, [Omarosa] said, ‘Oh no. Ben Chavis and I have already spoken and he’s going to be the first interview,'” recounted veteran civil rights leader Barbara Arnwine, president/CEO of the Transformative Justice Coalition, in an interview this week. Arnwine said Chavis then “acknowledged that that was correct – that they had already been in touch with him about it.”

No working press was allowed inside the meeting, described as “off the record” for those in attendance. The meeting, billed as a “listening session” with Manigault and other senior members of the Trump transition team, drew dozens of Black leaders representing approximately 30 different mostly non-partisan and non-profit organizations.

This reporter and CNN’s Betsy Klein staked out the meeting for more than three hours standing outside the building on the sidewalk. Some organizational leaders spoke guardedly after the meeting while others declined comment.

Leaving the meeting, Chavis gave no details on what happened inside. However, reached by phone, he gave a general statement.

“2017 marks the 190th year of the Black Press in America. And the tradition of the Black press has been to engage whoever is in the White House on behalf of Black America. There are issues that affect our quality of life and we cannot afford to be excluded from the position and the power that would impact the quality of life of Black people,” Chavis said.

Manigault and Trump team members departed after the meeting without making any comments to the media.

If Chavis is granted the interview, it would mark a departure from the Obama treatment of Black newspaper reporters. Despite numerous requests, no one-on-one interviews were awarded to NNPA representatives after this reporter interviewed Obama as president-elect on Jan. 19, 2009, the eve of his first inauguration. However, Obama did grant interviews to Black radio talk show hosts Al Sharpton and Joe “The Black Eagle” Madison. Journalist and communications specialist Jeff Johnson also interviewed the president on BET amidst racial unrest following police shootings of Black people two years ago.

It remains to be seen whether Chavis’ interview with Trump will reveal what sensitivities Trump may have to African-American issues. So far, the President-elect has only spoken of dealing with the high homicide rates in Black communities and building the infrastructure in “inner cities”. He has said little or nothing in favor of civil rights agendas or of police shootings and abuses of Black people.

Trump’s presidential campaign was marked by racial animus.  Since his election to the presidency, he has called for America to unite across divisive political and racial lines while simultaneously making nominations and appointments of people who are racial lightning rods. His appointments include Steve Bannon, former head of the alt-right, White supremacist voice, Breitbart News, as a chief advisor. He has also nominated Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general. Civil rights leaders and more than 1,000 law professors are protesting Sessions confirmation because of what they describe as a history of racial insensitivity.

According to multiple sources who were inside the meeting, some civil rights representatives expressed strong opposition to the controversial nomination of Sessions. However, based on interviews, the Trump team remained in “listening” mode on that topic, simply nodding without comment.

Arnwine, widely known for her passion on civil rights and social justice issues, said she told the Trump team that the President-elect needed to “withdraw the nomination of Sessions and that there would be no real rapport with the African-American community until that was done. And that no matter what they did, that would be something that they could not overcome.”

Manigault was joined by a number of transition colleagues, including Ken Blackwell, Trump’s domestic policy chair, and Katrina Pierson, a chief advisor.

The team did not respond, except Manigault explained to her colleagues who Arnwine is and her reputation of outspokenness in the civil rights community, Arnwine said, “There was chill in there. You could tell they were pissed off.”

President-elect Trump himself appeared to dismiss the concerns of the civil rights leaders. He told a CNN reporter that Sessions is a “high quality man” who would be “good” as attorney general.

Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, said it is a “tough thing to gauge” where the relationships between the Trump Administration and Black leaders will go from here. He quoted Sessions as having described the NAACP as “‘one of the most un-American organizations in the United States of America’ because we’ve been trying to, quote, ‘shove civil rights down the throats of the American people.'”
Questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee about his posture on race-related civil rights issues, Sessions insisted during confirmation hearings that he will uphold civil rights laws.

Conservative pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, praised the administration for “giving significant grass roots leaders an opportunity to state what they’re about, what their agenda is, and what they’d like to see happen.” He called Manigault a “great leader.”

Most of the organizations represented in the meeting were non-partisan, with Black Republicans and Democrats participating. Among others observed by this reporter leaving the meeting were Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Dr. Barbara Skinner of the Skinner Leadership Institute; Deana Bass of Bass Public Affairs; Dr. Elsie Scott of the Ron Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University; Ron Busby of the U. S. Black Chambers Inc.; Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Dr. E. Faye Williams of the National Congress of Black women; Rev. Charles Steele of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Lezli Baskerville of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and Janice Mathis of the National Council of Negro Women. Journalist and communications specialist Jeff Johnson was also seen leaving.

Other organizations listed on the emailed invitation, obtained by the Trice Edney News Wire, were the National Association of Blacks in Broadcasting; the American Association of Blacks in Energy; the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the National Action Network; and the National Urban League. Sources said several sororities and fraternities, the Concerned Black Men and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives were also represented.

In the emailed invitation they were told that the meeting “will allow for an opportunity to briefly share your priority issues with the official Transition Team.”

According to interviews with Arnwine and other organizational representatives, the Trump team mostly just listened, but appeared overtly interested in the organizations’ positions on school choice and vouchers. Some civil rights leaders say school vouchers siphon money away from public schools.

“They asked every single group what’s your position on vouchers,” Arnwine said, describing the Trump team as “laser focused” on that issue. “They were really trying to get the optics of how the groups would react to school choice and voucher initiatives. That was very clear.”

They also seemed overtly interested in the funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as building up the infrastructure of the nation, sources said.

Shelton, of the NAACP, praised Manigault for her handling of the meeting, saying he has known her for years.

“It will be fascinating to see how things move ahead with her. I have a lot of respect for her,” he said. “The question is how affective will Omarosa be able to be in an administration like this one.”
Photo: Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president/CEO, National Newspaper Publishers Association

Illinois Schools to Test for Lead in Drinking Water

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS


Collins: “It is our duty to keep our students healthy and safe.”


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Elementary schools and daycare facilities must regularly test drinking water for lead contamination under legislation supported by State Sen. Jacqueline Collins. The governor signed the proposal into law today.

“Lead exposure in children is a serious issue that can cause developmental delays and learning disabilities,” said Collins, D-Chicago, prior to the governor’s signing. “It’s our duty to keep our students healthy and safe, and this measure will ensure that.”

Senate Bill 550 requires schools and daycare facilities constructed before 2000 that are attended by students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to test drinking water and water used for food preparation for lead contamination. The school district is required to notify parents and legal guardians if dangerous levels are discovered.

The new law is effective immediately.

Congressman Maxine Waters Announces her Endorsement for Lorna M. Johnson for DNC Vice-Chair

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – California Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced her support for business woman, philanthropist and political organizer, Lorna Johnson in her pursuit to become a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

For many years, Lorna Johnson has supported the Democratic Party as a compassionate advocate and effective fundraiser. With more than 15 years’ experience as a political organizer and philanthropist, she has served tirelessly as a member of the National Advisory Board and National Finance Committee since 2008. Over the past 8 years she has been touted as a strong political advocate in the democratic party raising millions both domestically and internationally to support the party’s causes.

A proud American of Jamaican-Cuban decent and a successful business owner in the real estate and healthcare industries, Johnson has also been a devout champion for the less fortunate. In 1999, as part of her “Education and Advocacy” platform she launched the Compassion for Teen Life Foundation. Recognized for her commitment and strong leadership, she was selected to collaborate with Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, to successfully launch his Building Community Foundation campaign in Jamaica.

US House Representative Maxine Waters applauded Lorna for her decision to run for one of the available slots as DNC Vice-Chair, “Lorna is a champion for the underserved and has raised millions of dollors for the deomoctratic party. Her tireless and amazing philanthropic work, as well as her dedication to providing health resources and education to the underserved, is exemplary!”

Humbled by Waters’ support, Lorna Johnson is poised to begin a successful campaign to build a more diverse and healthier Democratic Party as vice chair for the DNC.

#DNCVoices #DNCDiversity
Bringing Your Voice to the Table

For more information about Lorna Johnson visit www.LornaMaeJohnson.com

Illinois Targeted Violence Prevention Program Receives $187,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Funding will support community training and engagement programs


CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) Executive Director John Maki today announced a $187,877 grant award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to support efforts of the Targeted Violence Prevention Program (TVPP).

Administered by ICJIA, TVPP takes a public health approach to preventing ideologically inspired targeted violence. The program offers resources to communities that want to prevent their members from being recruited to commit ideologically inspired violence. TVPP engages a wide range of partners throughout society, including faith-based and community-based organizations, academia, social service provides, schools, and law enforcement, because preventing ideologically inspired targeted violence requires a whole of society commitment.

“Whether it takes the form of domestic terrorism or violent hate crime, ideologically inspired targeted violence strains the healthy social cohesion essential to our diverse communities,” said Executive Director Maki. “This grant will help Illinois build additional capacity for communities and law enforcement to identify and prevent this type of violence.” 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requested proposals for $10 million in grants to counter violent extremism. This funding will allow TVPP to build community-based prevention programs that off-ramp individuals who may be at risk for engaging in ideologically-inspired violence.


ICJIA will collaborate with experts in violence risk assessment, bystander and suicide prevention trainings, and violent extremism prevention, and communities to create a curriculum and training. 

“This training will be designed to empower community members to intervene to help their peers and loved ones long before police interdiction becomes necessary,” said TVPP Director Junaid Afeef.

ICJIA researchers will conduct focus groups to help guide and adapt the program while ensuring the community’s voice is included in the development. Researchers also will conduct surveys of program participants to measure effectiveness of program content, conduct observations of the trainings, and collect administrative data to document program activities and outcomes. These measures will inform program refinement. The data also will be used to support a third-party evaluation in the future.

ICJIA is dedicated to improving the administration of criminal justice with work in the areas of grants administration, research and analysis, policy and planning, and information systems and technology. Visit www.icjia.state.il.us.

Payback for a Debt Collector

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Illegal, Aggressive Tactics Result in Jail Time 

Debt Collector on Phone (Stock Image)

John Todd Williams, the owner of a debt collection company based in Georgia, used illegal and aggressive tactics to squeeze millions of dollars from thousands of victims. Now Williams is paying his own debt—to society—in the form of a five-year prison sentence.

The debt collection fraud scheme went on for nearly five years as Williams and those he employed ruthlessly tricked their victims into paying by pretending to be law enforcement officers and lawyers and illegally threatening arrest and other legal action. Some of the victims were so intimidated that they paid debts that had already been paid.

“It was no holds barred in terms of what they told people over the phone,” said Special Agent Brian Comisky, who investigated the case from the FBI’s New York Division. “They yelled, screamed, harassed. They said, ‘We’re going to revoke your driver’s license. We’re going to send you to jail.’ It was nasty.”

Often working from scripts, Williams and his employees at Williams, Scott & Associates (WSA) gave themselves fake “dunning” names and personas, telling victims they were detectives or investigators. They falsely claimed to be affiliated with law enforcement agencies such as the Department of Justice and the FBI, and regularly used legal jargon to scare and confuse victims.

“They would take legal terms and throw them around,” Comisky said, “even though they made no sense.” During Williams’ July 2016 trial, for example, evidence showed that victims were told that the “statute of limitations” on their “civil legal rights” had expired and that their debt was now a criminal matter that could only be resolved by voluntary payment or arrest.

Debt collection companies like WSA buy debts—referred to in the industry as “paper”—from businesses whose customers failed to pay. WSA and other third-party collectors buy that debt at a fraction of the debt’s value, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. Then whatever they collect is profit. Although the industry has come under scrutiny for predatory collection practices, Comisky noted, “WSA broke all the rules.”

“The fact that some of the victims did owe money is not what this case was about,” he said. “What Williams and his collectors were saying—scaring the victims into paying by threatening them with arrest and jail—was fraudulent and illegal.”

“What Williams and his collectors were saying—scaring the victims into paying by threatening them with arrest and jail—was fraudulent and illegal.”

Brian Comisky, special agent, FBI New York
An employee of unscrupulous debt collector John Todd Williams tricks a victim into paying by pretending to be a law enforcement officer and illegally threatening arrest and other legal action. Transcript/Download

The Federal Trade Commission, mandated to protect consumers, had received multiple complaints about WSA’s tactics, and in 2014, prosecutors at the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York alerted the FBI about possible criminal activity on the part of the company.

An investigation was opened, and a search warrant executed in May 2014 at WSA’s office revealed the bogus scripts employees used to coerce victims. Testimony at trial revealed that approximately 6,000 victims nationwide paid WSA nearly $4 million.

After a jury found Williams guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a federal judge in November ordered the 50-year-old to serve five years in prison and pay nearly $4 million in restitution to victims.

Comisky, who specializes in white-collar crime and financial fraud investigations, said it was gratifying to put a stop to WSA’s illegal practices. “When you heard some of the victims’ stories,” he said, “you realized that Williams and his employees would go to any lengths to collect.

If you would like to report a crime by a debt collector, contact the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

For information about dealing with debt collection companies, the FTC offers valuable information on its website.

Source: FBI

IDoA Tips for Winter Weather Preparedness

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Health hazards to be aware of during the winter months that could affect older adults


SPRINGFIELD, IL – To combat the dangers of extreme winter weather, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has compiled a list of tips and signs to look out for to avoid serious safety and health complications. The environmental conditions during winter in Illinois pose a health risk to all residents, especially those in the older adult community. Older residents who do not have full mobility or live in isolation should have a plan of action in emergency weather conditions, such as snow storms and extremely cold temperatures. Those living in isolation should also have a contact to check in with during extreme winter weather situations.

IDoA has identified some health problems that can be brought on by severe winter weather:


  • The “flu” is a contagious respiratory infection. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose and soreness and aching in the back, arms and legs.

  • For older persons who have a chronic health problem, the flu can result in serious complications, such as pneumonia.
  • Flu shots are recommended for all persons aged 65 years and older and for those who suffer from chronic health problems, such as heart disease, respiratory problems, renal disease, diabetes, anemia or any disease that weakens the body’s immune system (consult your doctor before getting a flu shot on your own).


  • This is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to 95 degrees or less.
  • Symptoms include slow or slurred speech, incoherence, memory loss, disorientation, uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, repeated stumbling and apparent exhaustion.

  • It is recommended that older persons should not set their thermostats below 65 degrees during the winter months.

  • Even mild indoor temperatures of 60- 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia.


  • Exposed areas of the face (cheeks, nose, chin and forehead), ears, wrists, hands and feet are most affected by frostbite.
  • Symptoms are loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance to the skin.
  • To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually. Wrap the frostbitten area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc.
  • Caution: Do not rub the affected areas, serious damage to the tissue can occur.The State of Illinois offers warming centers for all individuals to escape harsh winter cold. Local warming centers can be found at: https://www.illinois.gov/KeepWarm/SitePages/WarmingCenters.aspx

Please visit the IDoA website for more information on winter storm safety preparedness at: https://www.illinois.gov/aging/Documents/winter_storm_preparedness_guidebook.pdf  

Windy City Times Releases 2004 Tapes of Obama Discussing LGBT Issues During Senate Campaign

Posted by Admin On January - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Two audio tapes from Barack Obama’s campaign for U.S. Senate from Illinois have been released by Windy City Times newspaper. The audio is in the online version of this story: http://tinyurl.com/Obama2004LGBT .Both tapes were recorded by WCT Publisher Tracy Baim, the first on Jan. 7, 2004 in a one-on-one interview during the crowded Democratic primary, the second on May 7, 2004, after he won the primary and attended a stand-room-only LGBT fundraiser for his campaign.

The transcript of the interview was published Feb. 4, 2004 in full, and also ran in Baim’s 2010 book, Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage. The speech from May 7 was never published, but event photos ran in Windy City Times. A week after the interview was published, Obama responded with a letter to the editor clarifying his views.

The release of the tapes is timed for the president’s final days in office. The tapes are among thousands of archival materials in the Windy City Times collection, and the paper is just now starting to digitize cassette audio tapes used by reporters during the weekly newspaper’s first 31 years in business.

In 2009, soon after Obama was first elected president, Windy City Times released a copy found in its archives from a 1996 written candidate’s questionnaire in which Obama said he was in favor of same-sex marriage. He later changed course and opposed it in favor of a compromise, but before his 2012 race for a second term, he revolved back to his 1996 position, as stated to Outlines newspaper (which merged with Windy City Times in 2000).

The May 7, 2004 benefit was a politically packed event, with local and national politicians, including a lot of prominent LGBT donors. As WCT stated at the time: “GLBTs raised nearly $100,000 for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama for U.S. Senate from Illinois last Friday night downtown. U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was supposed to speak, but her flight was delayed after a long day of Senate hearings. Two other U.S. Senators and two U.S. Reps did attend in support of Obama: Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), and Illinois Democrats Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rahm Emanuel. Ald. Tom Tunney and Michael Bauer hosted the event.”

See http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Windy-City-Times-releases-2004-tapes-of-Obama-during-Senate-campaign-/57756.html for audio links plus related links to transcript of the original interview, and more.

Photo Caption:    Obama at the Chicago LGBT fundraiser May 7, 2004. Photo by: Tracy Baim

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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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