illinois: Page 1
Erika Johnsen of HotAir and other fiscal conservatives have a habit of showing their low level of patriotism by turning their backs on their fellow citizens in California.
Reuters says, "[r]ed states give more money to charity than blue states, according to a new study" (link, ). Just one problem: that's not true. In fact, blue states gave over twice as much in dollar terms than red (depending on the blue/red definition).
The latest example of a harebrained, anti- and un-American idea from the Tea Parties comes via email from Judson Phillips of the Teaparty Nation group:
...Illinois and California are poised to become America’s Greece. Both have out of control spending problems. They have raised taxes and regulations to the point where businesses and the wealthy are fleeing those states as fast as they can.
...We need to break up both California and Illinois into smaller states.
Illinois' state Senate recently passed a state version of the DREAM Act; the bill is designed to make it easier for illegal aliens to attend college (and, it's not the same as the national bill; see ). One Tea Parties group in that state is opposing it, but for the completely wrong reasons; see below.
About eight months ago, a congressional candidate conducted an overt publicity stunt, asking why a public meeting wasn't being started with the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, something similar is playing out - perhaps spontaneously or perhaps covertly - involving the congressional campaign of Joe Walsh of Illinois, who's running against Melissa Bean. Spontaneous or not, the latest incident has the hallmarks of a "boob bait for Bubba" GOTV propaganda effort, and that's heightened because one of those involved is Glenn Reynolds .
First, I'd like to ask you to read this post about "Allez Java". Then, compare that to this Don Surber post: link. Aside from the French locution, aren't they very similar? The post Surber links to is here. And, as a capper, a Joe Walsh video where he takes advantage of the Pledge incident is at http://peekURL.com/vbxj1xy That has a description of "The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum featuring Joe Walsh & Melissa Bean running for the 8th Congressional District in Illinois. The League of Women voters got schooled on what it means to be an American".
At this point hopefully you're asking yourself why a pompous, posturing goof like Joe Walsh is questioning the patriotism of the League of Women Voters. They're a leftwing group masquerading as non-partisan and they support amnesty, but that doesn't mean they aren't patriotic. It's valid to question the patriotism of some of those at the other meeting earlier this year, but that's because they obviously have divided loyalties. The same isn't true of the LWV as a whole. It's also valid to question whether Walsh knew the LWV didn't plan on having a Pledge, and whether the person in the audience is a shill who works or volunteers for his campaign. It would also be good journalism for the three sources of this story - including Surber, who works for a regional newspaper - to get the moderator's side of things.
And, one aspect of real patriotism is realizing that Americans have different opinions about various topics. Those in the tea parties orbit take the opposite position: they lie and smear, they put symbolism over substance (causing them to think George W Bush is more a patriot than those who didn't allow 14% of Mexico's working-age population to move to the U.S.), they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a socialist, they engage in other forms of red-baiting, and they use the "patriot" label as if the rest of us aren't.
And, all to support an agenda that, were voters informed of everything it entails, would be rejected by the vast majority of Americans. Some patriots.
UPDATE: From this:
[Illinois LWV Executive Director Jan Czarnik] said someone is not a better American just by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance... “It's a phony patriotism issue is what it is,” she said. “They must think it helps their campaign.”
She's not helping herself by putting things that way rather than making the points above. Also, the Walsh campaign claims they had nothing to do with the audience member who asked for the Pledge, and a Walsh supporter has come forward claiming to be that audience member. We also learn that none of the campaigns requested the Pledge beforehand, and as can be seen on the video Walsh doesn't request it at the start of the debate. Using his own standards, should we question his patriotism? No, because we don't want to do things his way.
UPDATE 2: Updated to spell "propaganda" right. Doh!
We wanted to look at the moderator, Kathy Tate-Bradish, from the League of Women Voters. Oh, she sounds so neutral and everything. I mean, she’s even neutral on the Pledge, apparently — just a typical woman voter trying to get the truth out. No, not so much — not so much... She is on fire for Obama. She is a big-time Obama supporter. In fact, so much so, she’s part of his Organizing for America arm. Hmm. She’s even hosted campaign event in her home in 2007, part of her post on OFA’s, Organizing for America Web site, "Hope Action Change."
Mary Schaafsma, the issues and advocacy coordinator for the Illinois League, told ThinkProgress this afternoon that the only reason Tate-Bradish resisted reciting the Pledge was because it had not been included in the debate format, which the candidates had agreed to ahead of time, noting that the League has been doing candiate forums and debates like the one Beck highlighted "for decades." She also said that following the threats, the League locked the doors to its Chicago offices for several days and alerted the building management of the possible threat. “I’ve been working in politics and nonprofits for a long long time and I never seen this level and pitch of vitriol,” she said.
 He links to Surber's post at pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/108375
Illinois Business Immigration Coalition: Republican gov. Jim Edgar joins with Mexico-linked ICIRR - 04/09/10
Former Illinois governor Jim Edgar - a Republican - has joined with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - a group whose president is linked to the Mexican government - to form the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition  . The links between the two groups are close: if you visit icirr.org/Business you'll be redirected to illinoisbic.biz/get_involved.html, and in the videos below you'll note the ICIRR background. And:
[The IBIC is] an iniative [sic] spearheaded by the Illinois Coailition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The coalition includes over 200 businesses that "support comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes the current undocumented workforce, creates new legal channels for future foreign workers and implements smart and effective enforcement measures." ...While it's rare to see a high-profile Illinois Republican standing with ICIRR and the immigrant rights community, it shouldn't be surprising in this particular case. Since 2008, Edgar has been warning his GOP colleagues that they oppose immigration reform efforts at their own peril. Talking to reporters after the event today, he did the same, saying that this could be a "disastrous political issue for the Republican Party if we are viewed as anti-immigration."
Why are a Republican and over 200 businesses joining with a far-left group whose president (Juan Salgado) clearly has divided loyalties, if he has any to the U.S. at all? Shouldn't Republicans oppose such groups rather than collaborating with them?
On the video at peekURL.com/v9nvlau (part of the longer version available here: peekURL.com/vviftrt )Edgar says among many other things:
“It is impractical to think that we can deport 12 million people. We have to face reality, we have to deal with those 12 million people. To deport would cost billions and billions of dollars in taxes that we don't have. And, it would cost trillions of dollars to our economy we cannot afford to lose... [the more important reason for "reform" is] this is America, this is a nation that was built on immigrants..."
See deportations false choice and immigration tradition fallacy and the posts in immigration economics for why that's wrong, and note also that Edgar seems to be parroting a highly-flawed study from the far-left Center for American Progress for his claim about the costs of mass deportations (not that anyone in a position of power is suggesting that of course; see the first link in this paragraph). Given that he's just spouting false or misleading talking points, can you trust Jim Edgar?
Just in case you do, see peekURL.com/v179ri3 where he sticks up for John McCain's immigration position and for George W Bush's amnesty plan and then plays the "Whig card", claiming that it could be "disastrous" for the Republican Party if they're viewed as "anti-immigration". The only people doing that are the far-left and their helpers like Jim Edgar. If you're a Republican, he's not on your side: he's helping the Democrats and the far-left gain more political power at the same time as he's helping them falsely portray the GOP. He also says that "we need to make sure that that position [that of McCain and Bush]] becomes the majority position in the Republican Party."
 icirr.org/en/reform-immigration-america/business-adds-voice-call-reform/4576 A quote source at that link is Billy Lawless, identified as a "business owner and board member of the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights"; he is or was the head of Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, which were mentioned here.
Ohio, Illinois, NY, NJ, Penn to lose political power due to massive immigration (House seats; also: IA, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO) - 11/19/09
According to a new study (americasvoiceonline.org/pages/the_new_constituents), due to massive immigration particularly by Latinos, the results of the 2010 Census - used to apportion congressional districts - will result in the following changes (chart from the HuffPost article discussed here):
States losing House seats: Ohio (-2), Illinois (-1), Iowa (-1), Louisiana (-1), Massachusetts (-1), Michigan (-1), Minnesota (-1), Missouri (-1), New Jersey (-1), New York (-1), and Pennsylvania (-1).
If you're located in one of the states in the latter group, that means you're going to lose power. In that case, organize a local effort to take smart action to reduce immigration.
Source: press release located here. See the first item in the history for the full text.
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tides (www.tides.org) hasawarded a total of $22,500 to the 2009 recipients of the JBL Awards forExcellence in Public Advocacy. Tides' JBL Awards honor policy activists andadvocates by recognizing work that demonstrates innovative approaches tosocial change and a deep commitment to the public interest.
A few days ago, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said that the tea parties are "despicable" and "shameful." Now, Glenn Reynolds informs us (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/76900) that she'll be making an appearance at the Peoria County Democratic Women's May Day Dinner on May 3 (link), saying:
I WONDER IF ANY “TEA PARTY” PROTESTERS WILL SHOW UP?... There were 3,000 Tea Party protesters in Peoria. They might take exception to her calling them despicable and shameful.
If you'd like to do something about this, there are two basic ways to do it:
1. Stand around outside with signs. However, there are several problems with that approach: some of the signs might be loopy and make your protest look bad. And, you're relying on the local media to cover your protest; they may or may not mention it and even if they do it will only be briefly. And, politicians are used to being protested by small groups. Schakowsky isn't going to be overly concerned.
2. Engage Schakowsky in debate in an attempt to make her look bad and have an impact on her political career. If someone can get video of the exchange, it could be uploaded to video sharing sites where large numbers of potential voters can see it; her opponents in future elections might even use it in their ads.
The second choice is by far the smarter and more effective. Far-left groups like ACORN are only capable of holding street protests; the tea partiers can try to rise above that level and engage politicians in an intellectual debate about what those politicians support. To pursue it, see the basic action plan in the question authority summary.
One of the best questions you can ask is the one in the DREAM Act summary; Schakowsky isn't a co-sponsor of the 2009 version, but she did co-sponsor the 2007 version. If she tries to bluff her way out of it by claiming that there's some difference between the 2009 and 2007 versions, point out that both will have the same impact of allowing those former illegal aliens covered under the bill to take college educations away from U.S. citizens.
Another question would be timely, regarding the fact that on May Day 2006 she spoke at an immigration march that was organized by those linked to the Mexican government.
However, I don't suggest asking her about her comments about the tea parties. All that will do is result in a useless back and forth regarding differing opinions. The tea partiers have one take on the protests, Schakowsky has another, and there's no way to resolve that.
I'll be contacting the local tea party organizers letting them know about this better proposal, and if anyone is in the area or knows those who are please send them this page.
Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich arrested by FBI on federal corruption charges; accused of trying to sell Obama's senate seat - 12/09/08
From a U.S. Department of Justice press release (usdoj.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2008/pr1209_01.pdf, text version here):
Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.
Shorter version: link
Dick Durbin calls for a special election: link
Obama's big donors involved: link
Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley responds: link
And, the guessing game now will be to find out who the various "Senate Candidates", "Contributors", and "Lobbyists" mentioned are:
Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached ‘pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."Marc Ambinder thinks #5 is Jesse Jackson Jr. Here's a table:
Senate Candidate 1 (Obama's choice): Valerie Jarrett (source)
Senate Candidate 2: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan? (see 'columnist' below)
Senate Candidate 3:
Senate Candidate 4: Dean Martinez?
Senate Candidate 5: Jesse Jackson Jr.?
Senate Candidate 6: wealthy, has an in with Warren Buffet
Are Tammy Duckworth or Rep. Jan Schakowsky on the list?
While the charges concentrate on Blago's dealings since October, it also includes past activities that may have some direct connection to Barack Obama:
The charges include historical allegations that Blagojevich and Harris schemed with others - including previously convicted defendants Antoin Rezko, Stuart Levine, Ali Ata and others - since becoming governor in 2002 to obtain and attempt to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and third parties, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state employment, state contracts and access to state funds. A portion of the affidavit recounts the testimony of various witnesses at Rezko's trial earlier this year.One payoff Blago considered was a job at a union:
Two days later, in a three-way call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant in Washington, Blagojevich and the others allegedly discussed the prospect of a three-way deal for the Senate appointment involving an organization called "Change to Win," which is affiliated with various unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)... On November 10, Blagojevich, his wife, Harris, Governor General Counsel, Advisor B and other Washington-based advisors participated at different times in a two-hour phone call in which they allegedly discussed, among other things, a deal involving the SEIU. Harris said they could work out a deal with the union and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with Blagojevich's appointment of Senate Candidate 1, while Blagojevich would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future. Also during that call, Blagojevich agreed it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding him.Change to Win denies any contact (link); note that that group is linked into the George Soros/Center for American Progress network.
From the complaint:
On November 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Spokesman. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Spokesman to leak to a particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Senate Candidate 2 is in the running for the vacant Senate seat. According to ROD BLAGOJEVICH, by doing this, he wanted "to send a message to the [President-elect's] people," but did not want it known that the message was from ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman discussed specific language that should be used in the Sun Times column and arguments as to why Senate Candidate 2 made sense for the vacant Senate seat. A review of this particular Sun Times column on November 7, 2008, indicates references to the specific language and arguments regarding Senate Candidate 2 as a potential candidate for the Senate seat, as discussed by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman.A search didn't turn up who that could be; if anyone can find that please leave a comment. Ambinder thinks it's Madigan, and the columnist is Michael Sneed (marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/the_blago_indictment_fun_with.php)
Blago also wanted to start a 501(c)4 organization that others would fund and he'd be employed by. And, he wanted Warren Buffett to come up with millions for it:
Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A again discussed the possibility of a 501(c)(4) organization, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH again noted that "[Senate Candidate 6]" could "do it." ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A discussed who might be close to Senate Candidate 6 to talk with him about the issue, because ROD BLAGOJEVICH did not "want to be the one to ask something like that." Advisor A agreed to find out who is close to Senate Candidate 6.And, it looks like the Barack Obama circle knew that Blago wanted something in exchange for appointing Jarrett:
On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat. SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that "one thing I'd be interested in" is a 501(c)(4) organization. ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4)could help "our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1]." SEIU Official agreed to "put that flag up and see where it goes."There's no proof offered that the "SEIU official" then spoke with Obama's advisor Valerie Jarrett, but it is likely.
UPDATE: Expect Obama's supporters to try to help him come out of this unscathed by pointing to Blago's various Obama-directed expletives as well as his statements that Obama doesn't want to give him anything. However, who knows what would have happened if the investigation had continued?
And, from Jake Tapper (link):
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.UPDATE 2: Trouble in paradise! Now, an unnamed Obama aide says about the foregoing Axelrod statement: "What the president-elect said today is correct, David Axelrod misspoke." That would seem to be moving beyond simply distancing himself from Blago and moving into "we're scared" mode.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
There are no allegations that President-elect Obama or anyone close to him had anything to do with any of the crimes Gov. Blagojevich is accused of having committed.
In fact, there are indications that Mr. Obama and his team refused to go along with the "pay to play" way Blagojevich is accused of operating, offering only "gratitude" if the governor appointed his friend Valerie Jarrett to take his U.S. Senate seat, much to the governor's chagrin.
But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the authorities?
And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.
That 2002 endorsement came at the same time that Axelrod had such serious concerns about whether Blagojevich was ready for governing he refused to work for his one-time client.
Also, per this, other possibilities for Candidate 5 are Art Turner and Obama's partial mentor Emil Jones.
UPDATE 3: There are lists of the financial ties that bind Tony Rezko and Blago and Rezko and Barack Obama here.
Obama is calling for Blago to resign.
Brian Ross of ABC News says that Jesse Jackson Jr. is "Candidate 5".
There's a timeline here.
On the morning of 11/5, KHQA said that BHO and Blago would be meeting that afternoon; they then pulled the article, a copy of which is here On November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m. at Alexis Hunt from the same station said ''Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss [the Senate seat]" (link). However, an Associated Press article by Dennis Conrad - posted here at November 5, 2008 6:58 PM CST says "[Blago] said he has not yet spoken to Obama, whose timeline for resigning his Senate seat was unclear Wednesday."
UPDATE 4: Now KHQA has pulled both articles, and posted this:
KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website ConnectTristates.com. The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama’in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.UPDATE 5: Some initial reports said the SEIU official was Andy Stern, but the New York Times says:
The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.
Several union officials in Chicago and Washington said that the service employees official approached by Mr. Harris was Tom Balanoff, the president of the union’s giant janitors’ local in Chicago and head of the union’s Illinois state council. Mr. Balanoff, one of the union officials closest to Mr. Obama, is widely seen as an aggressive, successful labor leader, who has helped unionize thousands of janitors not just in the Chicago area but also in Texas.
You don't have to be a conservative or a Republican to be opposed to Barack Obama. Here are some of the reasons that almost anyone should oppose him:
1. One of the organizers of the March 24 Georgia boycott was Teodoro Maus, a former Mexican consul general. He was also one of the organizers of the October 7 Atlanta march. That march was led by GA state Senator Sam Zamarripa and GA state representative Pedro Marin, both members of the Democratic Party.
Also known as the March 10 Movement, March 10 Coalition, Diez de Marzo Committee.
Home page at movimiento10demarzo.org
At their site, they declare their unconditional support for Elvira Arellano as well as all other "immigrants" who are in the process of being deported. They also call on all those immigrants who are being deported to apply for asylum and to seek asylum in local churches.
They also oppose employer sanctions and programs to check the SSNs of employees.
[[March 10, 2006]]/[[Ana Maria u. Montes de Oca]]/Editor of [[El Dia News]]/ link
From their site somosunpueblo.com: "Our campaign has the support of the Governor of Illinois (Rod Blagojevich) and a broad base of Illinois elected officials, religious and civic leaders. We have made a campaign so that the nation might know that the "immigration debate" is about real, human families, and their struggle to stay together."
Executive director is Emma Lozano.
First Data Corporation - the current or former parent company of Western Union - conducted several immigration "reform" panels around the country in 2004. The [[July 22, 2004]] version was held in Denver and is described here.
That page describes how a fight broke out, which appears to have been initiated by an illegal immigration supporter.
A small group of illegal immigration supporters walked the 42 to 50 miles (reports vary) from Chicago's Chinatown (meant to symbolize that we're a nation of immigrants) to Dennis Hastert's office in Batavia, Illinois. It took them four days, starting [[September 1, 2006]] and finishing [[September 4, 2006]]. Only "around 3000" showed up for the final rally. AKA the "Immigrant Workers Justice Walk".
[[Progressive Democrats of America]]//[[February 26th, 2007]]/ link
This is a press release printed/reprinted at their site:
Latino Leaders Protest In Front of the Most Powerful Democrat in the Nation today, Rahm Emanuel
To Request an Immediate Moratorium on the Deportations
Chicago Business/Lorene Yue/[[April 28, 2006]]/ link
... organizers of May 1 Chicago march [include] the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Casa Michoacan and the Local 1 and 73 chapters of the Service Employees International Union, have chosen not to bill their event as a boycott.
Newstips(Community Media Workshop)/Gordon Mayer/[[April 25, 2006]]/ link
More than 100 leaders of the immigration rallies that have swept from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. since early March gathered Saturday ([[April 22, 2006]]) at the UNITE HERE union headquarters, 333 S. Ashland, for an all-day meeting to discuss the movement behind the marches.
The following letter was sent by Juan Salgado - president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - to Mexican president [[Vicente Fox]]. URL: www.ime.gob.mx/ccime/discursos/js7.htm
New America Media/Naomi Briley[[February 8, 2007]]/ link
WASHINGTON--Last week over 200 immigrant rights leaders from across the country joined together, building strategies for immigration reform. The three-day conference, hosted by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), was held at the Galludet University in Washington, D.C.
A group convened by the Migration Policy Institute in partnership with Manhattan Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which published "Immigration and America's Future:A New Chapter" ( link) in [[September, 2006]]. Supports a "new, secure Social Security card" (possibly a national ID card) and "path to legal status for unauthorized immigrants" (a massive amnesty for illegal aliens).
As of creation time, this is the list of those involved:
In November 2005, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich - a very strong supporter of illegal immigration - created the "New Americans Immigrant Policy Council" (press release link) to come up with ways to deal with immigrants in his state. The report from the NAIPC has been released, as has a report from a similar panel. Blago has endorsed their findings, but has not committed any money. And, whether any money will be found is still to be determined.
As even the WaPo discloses ("Ill. Governor To Announce New Benefits For Immigrants" by Kari Lydersen), these benefits would be for both legal and illegal immigrants:
Key points of the New Americans program include increasing the number of dual-language schools, English-as-a-second-language programs and bilingual staff members at state agencies, as well as providing job training for skilled and unskilled immigrants. The program is described as the first of its kind nationwide.
Tom Vilsack and Mike Huckabee might beg to differ; the "welcoming centers" proposed in one of the reports matches those offered in Iowa. There are only two points worth noting in the WaPo coverage: that one of the members of one of the panels is "former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner Doris Meissner", and this:
Susan Tully, national field director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the program will put Blagojevich in violation of U.S. immigration law... "He does not have the right under the Constitution, even as governor of Illinois, to grant benefits to people who haven't been cleared by immigration and customs agents," she said.
Now, let's look at the seamy underbelly of Blago's scheme.
The 11/2005 press release doesn't differentiate between illegal and legal immigrants. And:
The Governor shall appoint a 15-person New Americans Immigrant Policy Council comprised of the chairs of the Joint Legislative Immigrant and Refugee Policy Task Force, a representative of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and other appropriate parties.
Like Blago, the ICIRR is a strong supporter of illegal immigration. They were involved in the Jim Oberweis smear. And, they helped organize some of the Chicago illegal immigration marches; Blago spoke at at least one of those. Not only that, but after the first march their president Juan Salgado spoke at Los Pinos, the Mexican White House. And, their president is Josh Hoyt.
I look forward to the WaPo and the Chicago Tribune disclosing who Blago is affiliated with.