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Blog, Featured: Schneider Releases General Election Debate Schedule

NORTHBROOK, IL – U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) will participate in five debates and forums, including two televised debates, ahead of the November 4th election. schneider dold Schneider will also participate in appearances in front of the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Wednesday, Oct. 8 and in front of the Chicago Daily Herald editorial board on Friday, Oct. 3. The joint appearances will provide voters a clear contrast between the two candidates’ records and visions for our country’s future. “I look forward to continuing to share with voters the stark contrast between my record of standing up to the Tea Party and fighting for the values and priorities of the 10th district versus Bob Dold’s record as reliable Republican,” Schneider said. The list of current confirmed debates and forums is included below: Stevenson High School Candidate Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 23. North Shore Jewish Community Candidate Forum hosted by B’nai Jehoshua Beth Eiohim on Monday, Oct. 6. ABC7 and the League of Women Voters televised debate, airing Sunday, Oct. 19. North Suburban Beth El Candidates Forum on Sunday, Oct. 19. Chicago Tonight live televised debate on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Blog, Events: Reeling 32: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival

When: Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Thursday, September 25, 2014

Where: Please go to the Festival website (http://reelingfilmfestival.org) for times, theaters and schedules. Locations include Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St. and Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St.

Blog: Why we fight! Democrat, Progressive, and PROUD

By Laurence D. Schiller

As the election season bursts upon us, I have to admit there are times I despair of America. Fueled by GOP PAC dark money, the airwaves are filled with the distortions of the Corporatist wealthy in political ads designed to appeal to our basest instincts of ‘whats in it for me’ and ‘the other guy is getting something unfairly that I’m not’. The news is replete with images of ‘Open Carry Texas’, Tea Party rallies, and secret desert gatherings of GOP leaders kowtowing to the Koch brothers and their agenda to have the wealthy few rule America. But I can always lift myself from the slough of despond by remembering WHY we are Progressives and Democrats. When folks state, ‘why vote, there’s no difference between the parties, and all politicians are the same’, I point out that while there are certainly bad politicians in both parties, there is a fundamental difference between between Republicans and Democrats. A completely different view of what America is and should be.

The GOP is ruled absolutely by a very small group of very wealthy white men, whose agenda is very clear and has not changed much since the American Revolution except in so far as capital has adapted to the Industrial Revolution. There has always been a party of privilege, men of property and capital who see the role of government as being to defend our national borders (and their property) and to promote their ability to make wealth. Otherwise, as the Libertarians/Tea Party propose, the less government the better. They expound the myth of the free market while buying up competitors to create monopolies which can charge the public higher prices for less quality and service. Before the Depression, they used local police and hired goons to suppress labor unions because they dared demand a living wage and benefits. We too often forget the martyrs of those battles. Now they use Scott Walker to ban public employees from bargaining for better wages and, in Illinois, run ads attacking teachers and other public employees for the pension crisis that was caused by state politicians who didn’t pay into the pension fund. Rich men such as Bruce Rauner and Jim Oberweis want to do away with the minimum wage because they think only in terms of profits and not about the people who work for them. They oppose the entire safety net of the New Deal and Great Society because it costs them money and taxes. So they hide their money in the Cayman Islands (Rauner) and support the election of politicians such as Bob Dold who will do their bidding.

Their soldiers are the extreme right. Full of bigots, religious and racial,  the extremely ignorant, and the fearful, they spread the corporatist lies about the Affordable Health Care Act, the minimum wage, unions, and everything else. This group has always been a part of the Republican mix, beginning with the absorption of the No-Nothing American Party into the newly formed Republican Party in 1856.  At that time, though, the Party also contained the former Whigs, or pro-business party, and the Free Soilers, who were abolitionists and formed a progressive element. Unfortunately, that element dried up after Reconstruction and any strain of progressivism was suppressed after the Presidency of Teddy Roosevelt, who was given the Vice Presidency under McKinley to get him out of NYC and shut him up. It was bad luck for the Guilded Age magnates that an assassins bullet made TR President, allowing him to establish National Parks and much else. But, with the advent of Ronald Reagan, the moderate element in the GOP has been driven out and only the basest elements of the Party remain. The GOP today is the definition of cruelty and greed and can be summed up by “I got mine, sucks to be you”. Libertarianism is at heart a selfish and uncaring philosophy, about as far from what was preached by Jesus, whom they so often turn to, as can be.

But what of us, those contentious Democrats? There is no question we often disagree, which is rather healthy. But fundamentally we believe that every American has the right to have enough to eat, be sheltered, educated, and have the right to be paid a living wage for a full week’s work. We believe that government is there to protect the constitutional rights of EVERY American, to promote the opportunity for people to advance, and help provide for the weak and vulnerable. Too often these days, though, Democrats run away from what we stand for, which is why I really like Brad Schneider’s new ad campaign. He embraces what we are and I am proud of his courage.  We Democrats should be proud of what we stand for.

September reminded me of just that. September 1st was Labor Day, commemorating the long struggle of labor to force capital to pay a living wage. September 11, the 13th anniversary of the attacks in NY and DC and September 13th, the 200th anniversary of the penning of the Star Spangled Banner in our second War of Independence, remind us that Freedom is not free and requires constant diligence against enemies foreign and domestic, which includes those who would buy our government. And tomorrow, September 17th, is the 152nd anniversary of the battle of Antietam, where a Union victory allowed Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation proclamation,  spelling the end of slavery and the beginning of the still continuing fight for full civil rights for African Americans, a fight embraced by us, Progressive Democrats. Lincoln was a Republican in 1863, but were he here today, I guarantee that great humanitarian’s affiliation would not be with his old party. He would be morally repulsed by today’s Republicans, as we are. Democrats need to embrace what we stand for. Its not scary, it is good.

So, when I feel down, I remember why we struggle and think of the Story of Joe Hill, the labor organizer, popularized in song by Joan Baez, Paul Robeson, and Bruce Springsteen amongst others:

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me.
Says I “But Joe, you’re ten years dead”
“I never died” said he,
“I never died” said he.
“The Copper Bosses killed you Joe,
They shot you Joe” says I.

“Takes more than guns to kill a man”
Says Joe “I didn’t die”
Says Joe “I didn’t die”
And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes.

Says Joe “What they can never kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize”
From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill,
Where working-men defend their rights,
It’s there you find Joe Hill,
It’s there you find Joe Hill!
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me.

Says I “But Joe, you’re ten years dead”
“I never died” said he,
“I never died” said he.

“Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win,” Victor Lazlo to Rick (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca 1942.

Blog: Legislators Who Work for the People

By Nels Howardvote

 

Earlier this month, as House Speaker John Boehner was getting headlines with his talk of suing the President and all the hints of impeachment that implied, I thought about the many months that the Republicans in Congress have frittered away on unproductive activity. And I thought about how their ongoing obstructionism and truly stupid behavior give a bad name to every person holding a political office at any level of government. And that got me thinking how unfair that is to all those officeholders who are trying to make a positive difference.

The reality is that, despite all the game playing by politicians like John Boehner and his political equivalents across the country, good laws still do get written. They just aren’t laws that produce big headlines. They’re simply laws that do something to make life safer or fairer or more promising for all of us.

Blockbuster laws are rare. It’s the “smaller” bills passed in Washington or Springfield or Cook or Lake County that keep the legislative process vital; laws that, without fanfare, improve things incrementally. And the best of this legislation is written by legislators who have chosen to be in politics for the right reasons.  Not for power or wealth or prestige — and certainly not for glamour if they’re spending big chunks of each year in Springfield.  Those conscientious officeholders are devoting their time and energy toward developing specific bills simply because they believe their work can make life better in the long run for all of us.

A good example of such public service is our 17th District State Representative Laura Fine.  Laura’s being challenged in November by a Tea Party Republican whose right-wing supporters thrive on the cynicism and distrust of government that Boehner’s Congress has nurtured.  Meanwhile, Laura has quietly played a part in a number of thoughtful pieces of legislation that received little publicity but will touch the lives of many Illinoisans in important ways.  She wrote and passed legislation (HB 4207) that takes on cyber-bullying by allowing schools to investigate bullying that occurs outside of the school. She has supported bills targeting sexual predators, improving growth opportunities for small businesses, securing quality healthcare for all Illinoisans, and much more.

The fact is, our region has an impressive array of solid legislators working for us. If you have the time, you’ll find a visit to the websites of any of our area’s county, state or federal officeholders an interesting venture. Laura Fine, Daniel Biss, Robyn Gabel, Larry Suffredin, Dick Durbin, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, Scott Drury, Julie Morrison… . Navigating through the legislation that they’ve supported gives you an appreciation of the breadth of issues that they have positively affected. It’s remarkable–even though most voters will never read about what they’ve accomplished.

So, when the antics of a Congressman Boehner or a Senator McConnell get you started wondering if anything good can be produced by our form of representative government, consider the quality of the legislators that we’ve elected to represent us here in the 9th and 10th Congressional Districts and how they continue to stay focused on shaping legislation, little by little, into a body of good law.

Blog: Volunteer with Loren Karner

Help Loren Karner become our next State Representative so he can fight for our families!

WALKING

We will walk door-to-door in pairs for Loren.
• Saturdays – starting at 10:00 a.m.
• Sundays – starting at 12:00 p.m.
Can’t make it on the weekend? Loren walks every day and would love to have your company. Call our office to let us know when you’re available!

PHONE BANKING

We will phone bank at our office every Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call to sign up!

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

All you need to do is put together a list of your friends and family who live in the district and approve a letter encouraging them to vote for Loren. We do the rest. It’s that simple! Call us to get started.

MAILINGS

Our office is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays and there is almost always mail to fold, stuff, stamp and seal.

YARD SIGNS

Please let us know if we can put up a yard sign at your house. We could also use help delivering the yard signs that have already been requested.

ELECTION DAY

Help us out on Election Day and then attend the victory party afterwards! Please let us know if you can help out for the full day, or even just for a few hours. Any time you can give will help!

Please let us know how you can help!

Our office is located at 34121 N US Hwy 45, Unit 3 in Grayslake. Call (224) 419-5312 or email lorenkarner61@gmail.com.