NOW Equality PAC and Chicago NOW PAC Endorse Carol Moseley Braun for Mayor of Chicago

January 18, 2011

The National Organization for Women Equality PAC and the Chicago NOW PAC are proud to endorse former Ambassador and Senator Carol Moseley Braun in perhaps the most important election of 2011 — mayor of Chicago. Moseley Braun has an impressive resume of 25 years of public service fighting for the rights of women at the local, state, national and international level.

NOW and Carol Moseley Braun have been longtime allies, from planning the campaign to pass the ERA in Illinois to working for women’s rights during her tenure in the Illinois state legislature, U.S. Senate, and as co-chair of the National NOW Board’s advisory committee.

“NOW can always count on Carol’s unwavering support for women’s, LGBTQ, and civil rights,” said Terry O’Neill, chair of the NOW Equality PAC.

Moseley Braun broke down barriers and made history when she became the first African-American woman to serve as assistant majority leader in the Illinois House, the first woman and African-American to hold executive office in Cook County Government, and in 1992 when she was the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Moseley Braun, known for her ability to bring people together to get things done, will use these abilities to make government work for all the people of Chicago,” said Melissa Satterlee, president of Chicago NOW.

Upcoming campaign events include A Conversation with Carol (town hall) on Thursday, Jan. 20. More information is available at: www.carolforchicago.com.

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Graffiti death threats made against Gov. Jerry Brown

From The Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-graffiti-threats-20110122,0,3576960.story

Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times

January 22, 2011

The first reports came in early last week. Someone had scrawled a death threat to parishioners on the walkway of a Catholic church in Irvine. Just miles away in Anaheim, a similar message was painted on a sidewall at St. Boniface Catholic Church.

For two weeks, Orange County cities have seen a spate of graffiti calling on people to kill Catholics, blacks, Asians and Latinos. Then, on Thursday someone painted graffiti in Santa Ana threatening to kill Gov. Jerry Brown on Valentine’s Day.

“Every community experiences some form of graffiti,” said Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez, “but to see hateful messages like this is rare, especially when you’re dealing with the message of killing added to religion, ethnicities and now aimed at a politician.”

“It’s more than just a little graffiti,” said Rusty Kennedy, executive director of the Orange County Human Relations Committee. “This is graffiti that has the intent of terrifying and scaring a specific group of people…it’s being targeted at people in an effort to pick them out and bully them.”

Continue reading at: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-graffiti-threats-20110122,0,3576960.story

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Power to the Corporations, Baby!

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/citizens-united-anniversary-money-politics

AT&T’s “personal” rights, campaign donations from China, and other absurdities one year after Citizens United

By Andy Kroll

Fri Jan. 21, 2011

A year ago today, the Supreme Court handed down its game-changing decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The 5-4 ruling threw out decades of limitations on the amount of cash corporations and unions could spend to influence elections. Arguing that those limitations curtailed the First Amendment rights of corporations and unions, the majority of the high court effectively opened the campaign-cash spigot to its maximum setting, enabling a spending free-for-all.

Outside donors, most of them anonymous, dumped almost $300 million into last year’s midterms. Among them were rich individuals, such as housing titan and GOP benefactor Bob Perry, and corporations and unions, like Dow Chemical and the AFL-CIO.

So where do we stand 365 days later? How dramatically has Citizens United altered the way our leaders get elected? And can we expect more changes to campaign finance law in its wake?

It was the post-Citizens United political playing field that defined the 2010 midterm elections. Shadowy groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, American Action Network, and Commonsense Ten sprung up to capitalize on the new ground rules. The rush of outside spending came mostly from the right, which outspent the left by more than a two-to-one average, $191 million to $94 million.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/citizens-united-anniversary-money-politics

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HUD Unveils Proposed Housing Nondiscrimination Rules

From Metro Weekly: http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2011/01/hud-unveils-proposed-housing-n.html

Posted by Chris Geidner

January 20, 2011

Today, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled new regulations being proposed by HUD that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in several of the federal agency’s programs — from government-backed mortgages to public housing.

The summary of the proposed rule states, “There is evidence … that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families are being arbitrarily excluded from some housing opportunities in the private sector. Through this proposed rule, HUD strives to ensure that its core programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Donovan today told reporters on a conference call that “over the last 24 months, we have worked to ensure that HUD’s programs are open to all.” Today’s action, he explained, was “another important step” in doing that.

Most notably, the rules would prohibit lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower’s eligibility for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage financing.

Donovan noted that this rule would have a significant impact because the “FHA represents one-third of all mortgages in this country.” HUD officials later clarified that this would mean that private lenders seeking to issue FHA-insured loans would be required to follow the new rules.

Continue reading at:  http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2011/01/hud-unveils-proposed-housing-n.html

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