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Judicial conference on Maui scrutiny continues PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:44
Monday, July 16, 2012

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Budget Committee, have been scrutinizing the expense of the Ninth Judicial Circuit’s upcoming conference in Hawaii.  The Ninth Circuit announced that it will cancel next year’s conference.  Grassley and Sessions are seeking cost containment for the Hawaii conference this year, as well as for future conferences.  Grassley made the following comment.

“After weeks of scrutiny, it’s good to see a response at last to criticism of expensive conferences.  However, while an encouraging sign, cancelling next year’s conference does not necessarily signal lasting change.  This year’s conference is likely to be expensive, and future events could be expensive, as well.  I’m looking for long-term spending reductions and restraint on conference expenditures.”

The Ninth Circuit’s 2013 conference cancellation announcement is available here.

Grassley and Sessions sent a second letter to the Ninth Circuit on Friday.  That letter is available here.

 
Governor Quinn Names Kelly Kraft Director of Communications PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:31

Kraft to Oversee State Communication Operations;

Mica Matsoff to Serve as a Senior Advisor

CHICAGO – July 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Kelly Kraft will serve as his Director of Communications, effective on Monday. Kraft has served as the Assistant Director and Communications Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). Mica Matsoff will become Senior Advisor to the Governor. As communications director, Kraft will work closely with Brooke Anderson, who continues to serve as Press Secretary to the Governor.

"Kelly Kraft is a true professional who will do an excellent job communicating major policy issues to the people of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. "I thank Mica for her great work as communication director, and appreciate her willingness to step up and into this new role to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the state.”

As Director of Communications, Kraft will plan and oversee the execution of the administration’s internal and external communications. She will work closely with senior members of the Governor’s staff and cabinet to develop policies that impact the people of Illinois and move the state forward.

Kraft has served as Assistant Budget Director, helping to guide Illinois' pension reforms, Medicaid restructuring, and Budgeting for Results initiatives. She has also managed complex subjects like debt issuance, financial reporting and budget policy. Prior to her career in public service, Kraft was an award winning and Emmy nominated journalist. She worked as a news anchor, reporter, producer and editor in major television markets such as Las Vegas, Buffalo, San Diego and Chicago. Kraft has also hosted and narrated the award-winning PBS documentaries “Kids in Peril” for law enforcement agencies and students in criminal justice programs.

Kraft earned her bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where she studied Journalism and Political Science. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Ross Hazeltine Scholarship, which allowed her to live in Eastern Europe to research life after the fall of communism.  She also studied at Thames Valley University in England. She grew up in Peru, Illinois in La Salle County.

As Senior Advisor, Matsoff will oversee key agencies, develop and implement strategies on high-profile issues, and coordinate policies and initiatives across various agencies of government. Matsoff has been with the Governor’s Office since January 2011 as communications director. Prior to that, she managed press operations at Quinn for Illinois, Chicago 2016, and the departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Employment Security. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:21
CHICAGO – July 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today granted 43 and denied 102 clemency petitions. This action marks another step in a series of clemency decisions aimed at eliminating a backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.

The 145 clemency petitions acted upon by Governor Quinn are part of dockets ranging from 2005 through 2011.  Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police’s Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS). A granted clemency request for a pardon with expungement allows the petitioner to seek expungement of their conviction through the court system.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has acted on 2068 clemency petitions. Governor Quinn has granted 761 and denied 1307 petitions. Those actions include granting 743 pardons and authorizing 17 people who had previously received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions.

For additional information on the granted clemency cases, please contact Ken Tupy at the Prisoner Review Board at (217) 782-7274 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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Disciplinary Spanking Gets a Bum Rap PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by American College of Pediatricians   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:28

Gainesville, Florida – July 12, 2012 - With the release of a biased report in the journal Pediatrics implying that spanking causes mental disorders, researcher Afifi continues the all-too-common unscientific assault on disciplinary spanking.

By studying the experience of "harsh physical punishment" defined as “pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by their parents," Afif discovered a small association (not causation) with mental disorders in adults.  The survey used to gather the data never asked about "spanking" and never limited the experience to that of a defiant child who may have received an ordinary spanking.  Yet, the researchers conclude that all physical punishment (including spanking) "should not be used with children of any age.”

Furthermore, participants in the study were most likely recalling experiences as teens, since retrospective reports correlate highest with events occurring at this age.   Adolescence is certainly not a recommended age for the use of any physical punishment.

The researchers gloss over their finding that "individuals with a family history of dysfunction were more likely to experience harsh physical punishment."  That is a better explanation for this association than the one they postulate.  It is well known that the use of harsh discipline is often a marker for trouble families and such an unhealthy environment takes its toll on a child.

So, the researchers study the inappropriate use of harsh physical punishment used at inappropriate ages within dysfunctional families, and state that all spanking should be prohibited.  The American College of Pediatricians calls upon researchers and medical publishers to stop this unwarranted assault and return to evidence-based research. Visit www.Best4Children.org for details on the appropriate use of disciplinary spanking.

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The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. The mission of the College is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. For more information about the College, please visit our website www.Best4Children.org.

 
Disciplinary Spanking Gets a Bum Rap PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by American College of Pediatricians   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:28

Gainesville, Florida – July 12, 2012 - With the release of a biased report in the journal Pediatrics implying that spanking causes mental disorders, researcher Afifi continues the all-too-common unscientific assault on disciplinary spanking.

By studying the experience of "harsh physical punishment" defined as “pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by their parents," Afif discovered a small association (not causation) with mental disorders in adults.  The survey used to gather the data never asked about "spanking" and never limited the experience to that of a defiant child who may have received an ordinary spanking.  Yet, the researchers conclude that all physical punishment (including spanking) "should not be used with children of any age.”

Furthermore, participants in the study were most likely recalling experiences as teens, since retrospective reports correlate highest with events occurring at this age.   Adolescence is certainly not a recommended age for the use of any physical punishment.

The researchers gloss over their finding that "individuals with a family history of dysfunction were more likely to experience harsh physical punishment."  That is a better explanation for this association than the one they postulate.  It is well known that the use of harsh discipline is often a marker for trouble families and such an unhealthy environment takes its toll on a child.

So, the researchers study the inappropriate use of harsh physical punishment used at inappropriate ages within dysfunctional families, and state that all spanking should be prohibited.  The American College of Pediatricians calls upon researchers and medical publishers to stop this unwarranted assault and return to evidence-based research. Visit www.Best4Children.org for details on the appropriate use of disciplinary spanking.

###

The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. The mission of the College is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. For more information about the College, please visit our website www.Best4Children.org.

 
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