UIUC College Dems

This blog is published by the UIUC College Democrats. We focus on state and local politics, but are willing to discuss pretty much anything.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mark Shelden a Jerk?

I guess Mark Shelden isn't just a jerk to college students and minorities. Former Champaign City Council Candidate Matt Varble wrote an e-mail to Shelden complaining that the vending machine in the County Clerk's office took his money without dispensing the product. This was old Marky-Mark's response(posted on Varble's blog):

From: "Mark Shelden, County Clerk" <mail@champaigncountyclerk.com>
To: mattvarble@hotmail.com
Subject: pepsi
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 11:13:13 -0500

There are signs on the machines informing customers how to contact Pepsi if they have problems with the machines. Would you like me to contact Pepsi to have them put a bigger sign on the machine? The number by the way is 352-4126.

Mark

P.S. Congratulations on your showing yesterday. You almost broke 25% in your own precinct!

Champaign County Clerk
1776 East Washington Street
Urbana, IL 61802
(217) 384-3720

How wonderfully mature, responding to an e-mail about the vending machine with sarcastic cracks about Varble's election loss. Mark Shelden is one class act.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Alabama Battles Gay Books

No, that isn't a headline from The Onion. A state legislator in Alabama has introduced a bill that would ban public school libraries from purchasing any book that is written by a gay author or contains any gay characters. Authors targeted include Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Alice Walker, and Gore Vidal. The legislator originally wanted to include Shakespeare, but relented. CBS-2 Chicago has a story on this here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

George Loves Abdullah

Who says President Bush is too close with the Saudi Royal Family?

Monday, April 25, 2005

New Officers

The following people were elected College Democrat Officers for 2005-2006:

President- Justin Cajindos
Vice President- Craig Colbrook
Secretary- Caitlin McDonald
Treasurer- Annie Creswell
Communications Director- Sky Andrecheck
Publicity Director- Emma Ott
Fundraising Director- Meagan McNamara
Voter Registration Chair- Jordan Garrison
Legislative Director- Allison Getty
Political Director- Stacie Barton
Outreach Director- Allison Lale
"Nick F. Dolce" Social Chair- Jake Smallhorn
Sergeant At Arms- Andy Munemoto
Recruitment Director- Aurelija Juska

We are still looking for a Webmaster/Technology Director. If you or anyone you know is interested in this position, please send an e-mail to democrat@uiuc.edu

Arch-Conservative lauds Blago

Sorry for the excessive amounts of G-Rod posts, but I thought this column was noteworthy. Sun-Times columnist Thomas Roeser, a very conservative Republican activist, published this column recently that applauds Rod for adding poor children and poor families to the state's welfare rolls. No, that wasn't an extended typo, a conservative Republican actually publicly praised our Governor. Hell has officially frozen over.

Dump Winkel Part I

This is the beginning of a new feature we like to call, "Reasons to Dump Rick Winkel." For those of you who don't know, Richard J. "Rick" Winkel Jr. (R-Urbana) is our reactionary right-wing country club Republican State Senator. Winkel is up for reelection in 2006, so we'll be using this feature to highlight reasons why we should dump Rick. So here goes:

Reason #1- Rick Winkel killed a bill that would have provided funding for stem cell research. The legislation was strongly supported by the University of Illinois because it would have spurred bio-medical reasearch on our campus that holds the potential to cure MS, ALS, paralyis, Parkinson's and other diseases. The bill failed in the Senate by a 28-29 vote, largely because of Winkel's opposition. Good going Rick, voting against sick people and the U of I.

Reporters Fired for Playing Beer Pong

I got this from The Hotline. Apparently two reporters from the Kalamazoo Gazette were assigned to write a series of stories about binge drinking on campus. For one story on beer pong, a popular drinking game, the reporters chose to participate to get a better sense of the game. The editors at the Kalamazoo Gazette fired the reporters for violating the newspaper's code of conduct. What a way to lose your job.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Primary for Rod?

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), a moderate Democrat from suburban McHenry County, is thinking about challenging G-Rod in the primary next year. Some people think that Franks may be able to capitalize on downstate hatred for Rod to give him a run for his money(even though Rod has plenty of it). This is an interesting analysis of the potential primary showdown. Does Franks have any chance?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

"TwinsGate"

This is hilarious. Julian Castro, a candidate for Mayor of San Antonio, was recently caught using his identical twin brother Joaquin to take his place at a parade. I guess they never got enough of switching classes in grade school. The local press has dubbed the scandal "TwinsGate"

Ouch!

"The nature of Garciaparra's injury was not immediately clear" (Yahoo News)

That was the caption for this picture.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

DeLay Speaks at NRA Convention

AOL News(yeah I know not exactly the NY Times) has a good story on Tom DeLay speaking at the NRA Convention this weekend(the link takes forever to load, it is AOL). My favorite quote,

"If you want to empower women in America, give 'em a gun." (Sounds like he's stealing lines from the Orange and Blue Observer. The AOL story also has some hilarious pics of DeLay holding guns.

Yahoo has a good story on Ted Nugent speaking at the NRA convention. Money quote:

"To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."

Lincoln Library Opening

All the political heavyweights, including President Bush, were in Springfield yesterday for the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Library. Obama gave the best speech, pointing out some of Lincoln's flaws and humanity and explaining how they make him even more impressive. He also had this cool line, which sounds like a subtle dig at President Bush:

"At a time when image all too often trumps substance, when our politics all too often feeds rather than bridges division, when the prospects of a poor youth rising out of poverty seem of no consequence to the powerful, and when we evoke our common God to condemn those who do not think as we do, rather than to seek God's mercy for our own lack of understanding - at such a time it is helpful to remember this man who was the real thing."

Everyone else pretty much gave a standard hero-worship speech. LaHood was terrible, Blago has nothing to worry about if he gets the nomination. Speaking of Blago, he bragged in his speech that he got an 18 on his ACT(it was out of 30 back then, but still not good).

Henry Hyde Retires

Congressman Henry Hyde, best known for leading the hyper-partisan GOP impeachment/persecution of Bill Clinton and the infamous Hyde Amendment(banning federal funding for abortions), announced his retirement yesterday. As you all recall, Hyde was exposed as hypocrite when it was revealed during Clinton's impeachment trial that Hyde himself had carried on an affair with a married woman. The Tribune had a good story today about the race for Hyde's now open seat.

Anti-Tim Johnson Blog

Someone has created a new blog devoted entirely to bashing our beloved Congressman, Tim "Who's Your Daddy" Johnson. You can check it out here. (I got this from Illini Pundit)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Chancellor

Interim Chancellor Richard Herman was named the new chancellor on Tuesday. He took over for Nancy "Go Tar Heels" Cantor last summer.

Bush's Approval Rating Tanks

President Bush's approval rating has dropped to an anemic 44% and his disapproval rating has climbed to over 50% for only the third time in his presidency, according to a new CBS News Poll. Looks like Dubya's plan to "save" Social Security still isn't going over so well, huh?

Ann Coulter

Ann "the anti-christ" Coulter, the darling of the conservative nut-jobs, is complaing about the picture that Time used of her for the cover of its current issue. Judge for yourself, I for one think she looks more evil than usual.

More on Blago and Contraceptives

The New York Times has a pretty good story on Governor Rod's clash with right-wing pharmacists over contraceptives. Excerpt:

"CHICAGO, April 18 - As a fourth-generation pharmacist whose drugstore still sits on the courthouse square of his conservative small town downstate, State Senator Frank Watson knew exactly what side to take when Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich ordered pharmacies to fill prescriptions for women wanting the new "morning after" pill, even if it meant putting aside their employees' personal views.
"The governor is trying to make a decision that must be left to the pharmacy," said Senator Watson, whose family business, Watson's Drug Store in Greenville, Ill., does not stock the pill. "It's an infringement on a business decision and also on the pharmacist's right of conscience."
Senator Watson, the Republican leader of the Senate, and Governor Blagojevich, a Democrat, are the latest combatants in a growing battle over emergency contraception. In at least 23 states, legislators and other elected officials have passed laws or are considering measures in a debate that has attracted many of the same advocates and prompted much of the same intensity as the fight over abortion.
In some states, legislators are pushing laws that would explicitly grant pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense drugs related to contraception or abortion on moral grounds. Others want to require pharmacies to fill any legal prescription for birth control, much like Governor Blagojevich's emergency rule in Illinois, which requires pharmacies that stock the morning-after pill to dispense it without delay. And in some states, there are proposals or newly enacted laws to make the morning-after pill more accessible, by requiring hospitals to offer it to rape victims or allowing certain pharmacists to sell it without a prescription.
Some of the bills could become moot if the Food and Drug Administration approves the morning-after pill for over-the-counter sale by pharmacists, something advocates for women's reproductive rights and several Democratic senators have pressured the agency to do.
If over-the-counter sales are allowed, experts on the issue say, pharmacists who do not want to provide the pill on moral grounds could simply decide not to stock it, which current state laws already allow them to do. If a large drugstore chain decided to stock it, but an individual pharmacist in the chain objected, such a dispute might be governed by the employment agreements between the chain and the pharmacist.
But the bills may also lay the groundwork for pharmacists' actions regarding future controversial medications. And both sides in the debate may consider the publicity generated by any proposed legislation to be beneficial to their cause.
"This is going to be a huge national issue in the future," said Paul Caprio, director of Family-Pac, a conservative group that urged pharmacists in Illinois to ignore Governor Blagojevich's rule. "Pharmacists are coming forward saying that they want to exercise their rights of conscience."
Nancy Keenan, the president of Naral Pro-Choice America, said she believed the issue was blocking women in many parts of the country from getting morning-after prescriptions filled, though she had no firm statistics. "It's difficult to get the hard numbers because there's not a mechanism for women to report this," she said. "But we have heard about cases from Beverly Hills to Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Chicago - it seems to be all over the country."
In Illinois, Governor Blagojevich enacted his emergency rule after hearing of two women who said a pharmacist had refused to fill their morning-after pill prescriptions at a drugstore downtown this year. Penalties against a pharmacy can range from a fine to revocation of its license to dispense drugs.
Since April 1, officials at the governor's office say, two more people have filed complaints to an emergency hot line about similar situations. On Monday, Governor Blagojevich submitted paperwork to try to make his emergency rule permanent.
On the other side of the debate, two pharmacists from downstate Edwardsville, Ill., filed suit against the governor and his emergency rule last week, saying it infringed on their right to weigh their own "conscientious convictions" while carrying out their work. A third pharmacist filed a similar suit on Friday. "

Blago's Challengers

This is a pretty interesting analysis of the Republican candidates for Governor. Will Topinka make it out of the primary?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Officer Elections

We will be holding officer elections at our upcoming general meeting(last of the semester) on Thursday, April 21st, at 7:00pm in 140 BURRILL, which is across Matthews from the Natural History Building. These are the offices up for election. After the meeting we'll be heading over to Murphy's to celebrate a succesful year!

Bob Jones University

To refresh your memory, Bob Jones University is the uncertified extreme Christian college in South Carolina that banned interracial dating until 2000. If you thought that was nutty, check this out. Under the listing of items students are not allowed to bring to the dorms: posters of music/movie stars, CD's not approved by the university(country, jazz, rock, or even Contemporary Christian), TV's, DVD's, computer games that contain rock music, and personal photos that feature "inappropriate physical contact." Items allowed: pistols as long as they have a trigger lock.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Gun Raffle

The Daily Illini ran a story on Friday about the Orange and Blue Observer gun raffle on the quad. The story features the now infamous chauvanist e-mail sent to Feminist Majority President Melissa Murphy by right-wing extraordinaire Leo Buchignani that we posted on this site last week. Did the DI get the e-mail from our blog? Probably not, but it's still cool that everyone on campus got to read that wonderful nugget of angry conservative blather.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Dumbening of America

Yes I know "dumbening isn't a word." Anyway, I thought this was interesting. I guess at the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield they have a re-creation of Lincoln's assasination featuring animatronic robots. Hold the laughs, that's not even the funny part. When robotic John Wilkes Booth shoots Honest Abe he doesn't say "Sic Semper Tyrannis(thus always to tyrants)," which is what the real Booth said. The curators of the museum thought that the Latin was too complicated for museum visitors, so they changed it to, ""I must kill Lincoln" and "vengeance shall be mine!" Yes, they turned John Wilkes Booth into a Steven Seagal movie.

Oberweis to run for Governor

Perennial losing candidate Jim Oberweis announced today that he will be running for office yet again in 2006. The wealthy milk/ice cream magnate(I'll admit I like the ice cream) is running for governor this time(that sound you heard was blago laughing with delight). I guess he's totally lost interest in ice cream. Anyway, Oberweis has lost races for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004 and a race for Illinois Republican Party Chairman. If you recall, his candidacy in 2004 tanked when he ran hilarious/spooky anti-immigrant commercials. He also was passed over to replace Jack Ryan on the ballot in favor of Alan "God Hates You" Keyes. This time, Oberweis is considered a serious contender for the nomination because of lingering right-wing bitterness towards Judy Baar Topinka, the early front-runner. I only wish we were that lucky :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blago and birth control

Kudos to Governor Rod for enforcing the law. It looks like the conservative right in Illinois is already launching an attack to get the rule reversed. I think this whole uproar is based on a profound misunderstanding of the Guv's executive order. The order does NOT force pharmacies to carry birth control/contraceptives. The order simply states that pharmacies that already do carry birth control cannot refuse to sell it to anyone with a valid prescription. If an invdividual pharmacist at the pharmacy refuses to fill the prescription for moral reasons, the pharmacy must find another pharmacist who will. That's all. It doesn't say anything about firing pharmacists nor does it violate the First Amendment. More on this story at the Sun-Times, the Tribune, and Archpundit.

Feinen Update

So it looks like the mini-uproar over Jim Green's attempt to quickly annoint Deb Feinen as his un-elected succesor on the Champaign City Council has backfired. In the News-Gazette today, Mayor Jerry Schweighart announced that he won't support appointing Feinen to Green's seat unless she pledges not to run for state rep against Naomi again in 2006. The article also reports that the new appointment won't be made until the first week of June, after the new council(which will have a 5-3 Democratic majority) takes office, meaning that old Deb probably doesn't have enough votes to get the seat anyway. Oh, darn.

Orange and Blue Observer

So our good friends at the Orange and Blue Observer, the campus right wing nut job newsletter, have decided to follow up on their wildly succesful AK-47 raffle(yeah that's right) by raffling off a few semi-automatic handguns on the quad this Thursday, April 14th. According to their brilliant editor in chief, Leo Buchignani, "If more women carried firearms, there would be fewer cases of rape." I know, he's a great feminist. Well Melissa Murphy, president of Feminist Majority, sent him an e-mail to complain and he responded with this enlightening discourse:

Now Miss Murphy, you really shouldn't talk like that. I'm very sorry that your daddy didn't bend you over his knee when you needed it. Hopefully you will one day discover the joys of submission and womanhood. Until then, no self respecting man will touch you. And those that aren't, will use you for the goods you no longer value. The good news is that the values of your kind reduce your average birthrate so much, there's little danger of you passing on your spirit to the next generation.
You've been removed,
Leo

Yes, this guy is for real. He's a class act through and through. Feel free to shoot him an e-mail letting him know what you think about his views on gender relations in America :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Better Republican Quote of the Day

I changed my mind, I found a better quote(actually I stole it from the ISU Dems Blog):

"I think it's a nutty idea to fool around with the Social Security system and run the risk of [hurting] the people who've been saving all their lives.... It may be a new idea, but it's a dumb one."
-then Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1987

Republican Quote of the Day

"Our intelligence effort has to generate better results"
-Director of National Intelligence nominee John Negroponte

Well, DUH!

The Go-Go White Sox

My new and improved Chicago White Sox are tearing it up with an impressive 5-2 start that has them in first place(yes I know it's very early). The new, speed oriented approach and revamped pitching staff seems to be working so far, but I've had my hopes shattered too many times to be too optimistic so early.

The Doc is Back

Our old friend Dr. David Gill has announced that he will be running against U.S. Rep. Tim "Skeletor" Johnson again in 2006. With an early start and better name ID, Doc should be able to improve on his performance from 2004. Best of luck to Dr. Gill!

Hamering "the Hammer"

It just keeps getting better and better. First DeLay uses the Department of Homeland Security to track down Democrats in Texas. Then we find out that he and his family take lavish vacations paid for by corporate lobbyists. After that, he grandstands on Terri Schiavo even though he and his family pulled the plug on his own father. Now we find out that he has been paying salaries to his wife and daughter from his political actions committee! I actually hope this clown doesn't resign so that we can keep hammering him during the next election cycle. More on DeLay here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7453969/

Last General Meeting of the Semester

Our last general meeting of the semester will on Thursday, April 21st at 7:00pm, we're still working on the room location. We will be holding elections for new officers! If you want to get more involved with our group, come to this meeting and run for an office. You can see what offices are up for election here: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ro/www/CollegeDemocrats/officers.html

Feinen Returns

Our old friend Deborah Frank "Deb" Feinen apparently didn't learn from the trouncing that Naomi gave her in November. She's actively considering running against Naomi AGAIN in 2006. In the mean time, Feinen is trying to get her Republican cronies on the Champaign City Council to appoint her to a newly vacant seat. Here's the fishy part: the seat became vacant when incumbent Jim Green resigned 3 Days after winning a new term! Green pulled this stunt so that Feinen could have the seat without running for it. How long do you think before old Deb starts calling Naomi racist again?

Caving in to the Blog Craze

We've created this blog for political nuts who can't get enough of political blogs(I confess I'm one of them). We'll mostly discuss U of I College Dems happenings and local politics, but I'm open to discussion on pretty much anything. So anyway, blog on!