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Schilling Leads by Example, Supports the STOCK Act PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:43

Votes to Hold the Administration and Congress to the Same Standards as Other Americans

Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today joined many of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle in supporting the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, legislation to ensure that those serving in the federal government cannot profit from participating in and profiting from the nonpublic information they gain from their positions.  Schilling was the first House Republican freshman to cosponsor H.R. 1148, the original House version of the STOCK Act. 

“This bill helps to make clear to folks across the country that my colleagues and I are working to create a new Washington – one where we are cutting our own office budgets, one where we have cut discretionary spending two years in a row for the first time in modern history, one where our benefits are brought in line with those of our constituents, and one in which we are held to the same standards as our constituents,” Schilling said.  “Serving in Congress and abiding by the public trust should be an honor, not an opportunity to manipulate the system and prosper.  This common-sense bill increases public disclosure, and will make certain that those who lead our government are abiding by the trust of the folks that sent us here.”

The version of the STOCK Act that passed the House today includes text referred to as the ‘Pelosi Provision’ – language to ensure that Legislative and Executive branch officials and their staff are unable to receive special access to initial public offerings because of their position.  A recent report on “60 Minutes” said that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-08) and her husband participated in a credit card initial public offering while credit card legislation was pending in Congress.  It also includes H.R. 2162, the Congressional Integrity and Pension Forfeiture Act also known as ‘No Pensions for Felons,’ written by Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) and cosponsored by Schilling.  This language would ensure that former Members of Congress – like former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich – who are convicted of public corruption crimes are not eligible to receive a taxpayer-funded pension down the line.  Former Congressman and Governor Blagojevich remains eligible to draw a roughly $15,000 annual retirement payment under current law given that his crimes were committed after serving in Congress.  ‘No Pensions for Felons’ would guarantee that criminals like Blagojevich would forfeit their right to collect the taxpayer-funded retirement payments accrued during their tenure in Congress.

“The people who have placed their trust in us to serve in Washington sent us here to represent their interests – not our own,” Schilling said.  “I am pleased that these provisions were included.  This is the right thing for us to do to hold those who serve in Congress – both past and present – to the same standards as other Americans.”

The STOCK Act passed the House in a vote of 417-2, and now heads to a formal conference committee to work out differences between the Senate-passed and House-passed versions of the bill.

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3 Tips for Finding True Love Any Time of the Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:32
By: Shay Dawkins

So many people go searching for their true love in nightclubs, singles clubs, through online dating sites and among friends of friends. The truth is, finding true love starts right in your own home – or, more accurately, in your own heart.

Before you can find true love in a relationship, you must find it within yourself.

Here are three simple ways to attain true love for you, yourself, and your life as a whole. You’ll be amazed at how quickly romantic love will follow.

• Be thankful for everything (including your mistakes). Learn to be thankful for the good things in your life. That will help you appreciate all the small things and give you a happier, positive outlook (which, by the way, is very attractive.) Be thankful for your mistakes, too. Everything in your life, both the triumphs and the stumbles, shape us as people. Mistakes are valuable learning experiences and, when viewed as such and appreciated, regrets and bitterness of yesterday will fade away. Peace and love will enter in to your life immediately!

• Forgive others so that you can forgive yourself. Forgiving is as much for you as  it is for the person who did you wrong. For starters, when you can forgive others, you can forgive yourself. Some of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else would ever be. We need to be as forgiving of our own faults and misdeeds as we are other people’s. Holding onto anger and resentment, whether it’s directed at someone else or ourselves, robs us of opportunities for joy. Truly forgive whoever’s hurt you – you don’t have to like them! – and fully experience happiness.

• Find enjoyment and satisfaction in every day. Strive to find the happiness in your average, workaday life. For most of us, a typical Friday will be a much happier day than a typical Monday, but live each average Monday to its fullest as you would live each fun Friday to the fullest!  If you strive to live in love each day, then you will have no regrets. There are many more average days than holidays and vacations – don’t waste them! Find satisfaction in your work, enjoy the process of doing a good job and learning new skills, and every day will be an abundance of joy.

In my book, The Good News: How Revealing Delusions In Christianity Will Bring Peace To All (www.thegoodnewsbook.com), I lay out the numerous biblical instructions to love, forgive and be grateful. If we each apply these simple teachings to our own lives, no matter what our religion, we’ll create a happier world.

To both the people with a special someone and those without – be thankful. Love and happiness come from within, not from another person. We all have something to celebrate, not only at Valentine’s Day but all year long.

About Shay Dawkins

Shay Dawkins is a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, businessman who grew up in Baptist and Pentecostal churches. His observances about how Christianity can be divisive despite being based on one book led to his analysis of the Bible. Check out his YouTube video, “Why It Should Be About Love, Not Religion.”

 
Simon calls on Senate to pass victims Bill of Rights amendment PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:13

SPRINGFIELD – February 8, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon commended state representatives today on their 116-2 passage of House Joint Resolution 29 and urged senators to approve the Constitutional amendment. The resolution amends the section of the Illinois Bill of Rights concerning crime victims.

Currently, the Bill of Rights outlines certain protections for crime victims, but fails to offer any sort remedy if a right is violated. The resolution permits crime victims to ask that their rights be enforced and requires the court to act promptly on such a request. For example, if a hearing is held without the victim being notified by the court, the victim could assert the right to timely notification and ask the hearing be held again. Illinois is the only state in the union that does not provide such a remedy for its crime victims.

“The criminal justice system affords many protections for crime victims, but without proper enforcement, the protections are barely of any use,” Simon said. “By adopting this resolution, representatives have brought this critical issue to light and give Illinois residents the opportunity to make these changes to the state Constitution.”

The resolution will now move to the Senate. If passed by a 3/5 majority in that chamber, the amendment will be placed on the November 2012 ballot where it will require a 3/5 vote of Illinois citizens to be accepted.

Simon, a former Jackson County prosecutor, founded the domestic violence legal clinic at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.

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News Release from the Iowa Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:09

Iowa Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Council Bluffs

Des Moines, February 8, 2012— On March 7, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Council Bluffs. The proceeding will take place in the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College, 2700 College Road. The session will begin at 7 p.m.

The court will hear lawyers argue in two cases:

Mall Real Estate v. City of Hamburg

Plaintiff, Mall Real Estate, asked the Iowa District Court for Fremont County to declare that the City of Hamburg's "sexually-oriented business" ordinance either did not apply to plaintiff's business or that it was an unconstitutional regulation and could not be enforced against plaintiff's business. The district court found the ordinance did apply to plaintiff's business and that it was a constitutional regulation. Plaintiff appeals the district court determination.

The lawyers for Mall Real Estate are: Brian B. Vakulskas and Daniel P. Vakulskas, Sioux City, and W. Andrew McCullough, Utah. The lawyer for the City of Hamburg is Raymond R. Aranza, Cedar Rapids.

American Civil Liberties Union v. Atlantic School District

Petitioner, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), seeks additional information regarding discipline imposed on two school district employees after a "locker room strip search" of five female students. The Atlantic School District claims Iowa law does not require public disclosure of such job performance documents. The ACLU argues the Iowa Court of Appeals incorrectly interpreted a recent legislative amendment that should have permitted disclosure of the disciplinary action.

The lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union is: Randall C. Wilson, Des Moines. The lawyers for the Atlantic Community School District are: Brett S. Nitzschke, and Emily K. Ellingson, Cedar Rapids.

"The Court looks forward to visiting Council Bluffs and appreciates the hospitality of Iowa Western Community College," Chief Justice Mark Cady said. "We received tremendous response from the three communities we traveled to last year. There was a great community turnout in each city and the people saw a court in action and how we work to resolve very complex issues. This is an opportunity for Iowans to see firsthand how legal matters that involve important issues can arise in the lives of Iowans and how the justice system and the rule of law operate to settle disputes and ensure the rights of all Iowans are fairly and impartially protected."

 

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House removes political intelligence registration requirement PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:46

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the House Republicans’ version of a bill to ban insider trading by lawmakers that removes a Grassley-added provision to require political-intelligence practitioners to disclose their activities for the first time and make them adhere to the same registration requirements of lobbyists.  The growing industry collects information that it sells to Wall Street, which uses the information to make money.  The House legislation replaces Grassley’s disclosure requirements with a study of the industry.  Grassley’s provision passed the Senate 60 to 39.

“It’s astonishing and extremely disappointing that the House would fulfill Wall Street’s wishes by killing this provision.   The Senate clearly voted to try to shed light on an industry that’s behind the scenes.  If the Senate language is too broad, as opponents say, why not propose a solution instead of scrapping the provision altogether?   I hope to see a vehicle for meaningful transparency through a House-Senate conference or other means.   If Congress delays action, the political intelligence industry will stay in the shadows, just the way Wall Street likes it.”

 
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