General Info
FCC Should Open Up Regarding LightSquared PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 24 February 2012 09:41

Monday, February 20, 2012

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley explains why the Federal Communications Commission should provide documents about its preliminary approval of the LightSquared broadband project now that the agency has withdrawn its approval.  Senator Grassley has been seeking full disclosure for nearly a year, arguing that the public’s business ought to be public.  He said he is seeking accountability for the way the FCC administers valuable spectrum space.

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of Senator Grassley's address:

Since last April, I’ve asked the Federal Communications Commission for documents related to the agency’s decision to fast-track the LightSquared broadband wireless project, despite concerns of widespread interference with global-positioning system devices.

The agency has refused to provide any documents.

This week, the FCC withdrew the preliminary approval it gave to LightSquared saying it was because of interference with GPS devices.

The FCC’s action seems to acknowledge the point I’ve been making since April.  Prematurely granting a conditional waiver in a rush process is not the way to get the right result.

Now that the interference issue is settled, we need to find out more than ever why the FCC did what it did.  The agency put this project on a fast track for approval with what appears to have been completely inadequate technical research.  After all of this time and expense, still, no one outside of the agency knows why.

That’s not the way the people’s government should work.  The public’s business ought to be public.  The FCC has backtracked on LightSquared.  If we don’t find out how and why the FCC failed avoid this controversy, then it will keep operating as a closed shop instead of the open, publicly accountable agency it should be.

 
Simon: Strip clubs should fund rape crisis centers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:43

Lt. Governor to work with lawmakers to fund violence prevention

CHICAGO – February 17, 2012. An advocate for sexual and domestic violence survivors, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today pledged to work with State Sen. Toi Hutchinson and the General Assembly to pass legislation that would fund rape crisis centers through an entrance fee on strip clubs that permit alcohol.

Simon said adult entertainment facilities that profit from the combination of nude dancing and alcohol should help pick up the tab for related social ills, such as rape, sexual assault, prostitution and other crimes. She likened the surcharge to using a gasoline tax to pay for road construction or gambling fees to pay for addiction services.

“As a former domestic battery prosecutor, I see a connection between the alcohol-fueled exploitation of women and violence against women,” Simon said. “It is only fair to require the people who profit from the adult entertainment industry to finance those who provide advocacy and counseling services to the victims of sexual assault.”

Simon, who founded the domestic violence legal clinic at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, announced her support for Senate Bill 3348 on Friday alongside the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Hutchinson, advocates from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, and survivors of the commercial sex trade.

“Illinois’ budget woes have forced cuts to many social service organizations, including many that serve victims of rape and sexual assault, limiting the ability of sexually abused women to receive the treatment they need,” Hutchinson said.  “The legislation I have introduced is still in its infancy and is by no means a final plan for how we can deal with this issue.  I am looking forward to sitting down with the adult entertainment industry to discuss ways they can be a part of the solution to this problem.”

As introduced, the legislation would require strip club owners who serve or allow alcohol to be consumed on their premises to pay a $5-per-patron fee. The money would be funneled to the new Sexual Assault Prevention Fund, and the state would fund grants to community-based organizations that work to reduce sexual assault or aid crime victims. Similar legislation was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court last year.

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault asked Simon and Hutchinson to support the Illinois legislation as it deals with the state’s budget constraints. The coalition’s funding decreased $1.2 million the past three budget years, and one Chicago crisis center closed Dec. 31 due to funding struggles.

The strip club surcharge is a proactive, budget-neutral way to restore funding for critical violence prevention and rehabilitation services for women, Simon said.

“Strip clubs contribute to the objectification and sexual exploitation of women. Rape crisis centers respond to women exploited by sexual harassment, abuse, rape and trafficking.  Our doors are open 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. SB3348 is not the end of strip clubs, but a new beginning for helping victims recover from the trauma of sexual violence,” said Polly Poskin, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, a not-for-profit corporation of 33 community-based sexual assault crisis centers and 26 satellite offices across Illinois.

Illinois is home to more than 100 strip clubs, and many serve or permit alcohol on their premises. Women who dance in strip clubs report a wide range of verbal, physical and sexual abuse at the workplace. Research also links strip clubs to trafficking, prostitution, and an increase in male sexual violence against both the women who work in the clubs and those who live and work in the surrounding areas.

“Strip clubs can increase the demand for other sexual services in a community. When more men are seeking to buy sex, pimps report to researchers that they meet the demand by bringing prostituted women and girls to the area,” said Lynne Johnson, director of policy and advocacy for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, a non-profit that addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation.

Simon and Hutchinson said the next step is to work with Senate leaders to pass the regulatory legislation.

###

 
Supreme Court to Stream Item Veto Case Live on the Internet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:14

Supreme Court to Stream Item Veto Case Live on the Internet

 

Des Moines, February 16, 2012 —The February 21 special evening session of the Iowa Supreme Court oral arguments in the item veto case of Homan v. Branstad will be streamed live on the Internet beginning at 7:00 p.m. Oral arguments are always open to the public and the special session is scheduled for the evening primarily for the convenience of members of the public and state officials who would like to attend. The oral arguments will be heard in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines.

 

A link to live streaming of oral arguments is on the judicial branch website at:

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Oral_Argument_Video/

 

The legal briefs are posted on the judicial branch website at:

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Homan_v_Branstad/

 
Want to Get in the Game? You’ll Need a Coach PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 08:39

By: Marsha Friedman

We recently lost a legend, boxing coach and trainer Angelo Dundee, the cornerman for world heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali.

I’m a huge fan of world championship boxing – and boxing doesn’t get huger than Ali!

He was one of the great athletes who relied on “Angie” to advise him in the ring. Neither Ali nor Sugar Ray Leonard, both powerful and gifted, were crazy enough to think they could win all by themselves.

And yet, look at how many of us make that very mistake!

I published Celebritize Yourself in the spring of 2009. At the time, I’d been in public relations for nearly 19 years. My book was a how-to, based on my experience, for building yourself as an expert in your field – an expert celebrity, if you will.  Part of the method in my book is how to get lots of media exposure and how to be a great guest. Hello!? Of course I didn’t need anyone’s help with media for Celebritize Yourself! And even if I thought I did, how foolish would that look – the PR expert getting help with her PR?

But the reality is, we all need a coach. Ali and Leonard needed Coach Dundee. Giants quarterback Eli Manning needed Coach Tom Coughlin on Super Bowl Sunday. Tiger Woods has a swing coach and he had a life coach, his dad Earl Woods. Judging from the way things turned out after the elder Woods passed away, Tiger still needed a life coach.

When I set out to develop my media message for Celebritize Yourself, I found it a much bigger challenge than I’d expected. What comes completely naturally for me in helping clients was not at all natural when it came to my own book. Spending months immersed in writing will do that to a person. I became so involved in writing, I had a hard time stepping back and objectively assessing the options.

So I called my good friend Lee Habeeb, a media coach to many of the stars of talk radio: Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt and Bill Bennett.

Lee readily came to my rescue – and assured me that getting some coaching for my own book promotion was not only quite all right, it was essential. We spent many hours discussing critical messages he saw in Celebritize Yourself that I never would have spotted on my own – being too blinded by the trees to have any view of the forest.  We worked on sound-bite answers and alternate ways to get my message out.  He shared experiences from his days as executive producer of The Laura Ingraham Show, when guests would be cut short because of how boring they were or their infomercial approach. All good lessons from a pro.

So often I’ve heard writers and entrepreneurs, some of whom have spent years on their projects, say they plan to “handle the marketing” alone after they’ve finally finished. That’s like entering a crowded playing field wearing blinders. When you’re so close to what you’ve created, when you’ve been living with it in your head for so long, it’s difficult to see the full spectrum of marketing angles and possibilities.

Your novel about brothers fighting against each other in the Civil War could also make you the perfect person to talk about patriotism, family, fraternal bondsand the importance of standing up for personal convictions.

Your supplement for joint pain could be a springboard for a Valentine’s Day talk radio discussion of enjoying romance despite chronic pain; it could become an article with tips for exercises to supplement the supplement; it could even turn into a story about active grandparenting.

After you’ve poured heart and soul into a book, product or business, at the very least, get some coaching from friends who know your project, or fellow writers and entrepreneurs who have had their own successes.  Best of all would be finding people with experience in the media. Brainstorm the possibilities for publicizing your effort and you’ll soon see the potential for angles and messages that are far greater than you might have imagined alone.

If you’ve set high goals and you’re serious about the results, consider hiring a professional. It worked for Muhammad Ali!

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 21-year veteran of the public relations industry and a sought after national public speaker on the power of publicity. She is the founder and CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.GuaranteedNationalPR.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy, promotion and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is also the author of the book, Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business. When she is not running her business, she has Cherish the Children, a non-profit foundation that helps under-privileged local foster children.

 
Judiciary Exec: Gimmicks in President's Justice Dept. Budget PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 20 February 2012 15:40

Prepared Opening Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley

Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

Thursday, February 16, 2012

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

We have a request to hold over the Hurwitz nomination.  We can voice vote out the remaining nominees – Baker, Lee, Tharp and Russell.

 

Before we vote on the nominations, I’d like to say a few words about the release of the President’s fiscal 2013 budget that was released earlier this week.  Specifically, I want to talk about the Department of Justice budget which this committee has a distinct interest in reviewing.

 

The Justice Department budget, like the rest of the President’s fiscal 2013 budget, is loaded full of budgetary gimmicks and sleight of hand.

 

While the budget claims to be nearly $1.8 billion below the fiscal 2012 appropriations, many of the savings achieved in this budget are one-time recessions from existing balances that remain in Justice Department accounts.  These one-time recessions are more than just deceiving, they are actually harmful to the long-term viability of the federal government’s budget.

 

For example, those who attended yesterday’s hearing heard from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about how the Justice Department has been carrying over a balance in the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program dating back as far as fiscal 1999.  According to GAO, those funds include $27 million sitting in an account that could be deobligated and used to offset future appropriations.  This is the same tactic being used by the department throughout the rest of its budget.

 

Now, using unspent or unallocated funds is a good thing—and the department shouldn’t be carrying over significant balances—otherwise, we’ll need to cut down future appropriations.  However, this becomes a problem when these one-time recessions are used to offset base-line spending increases—as the department’s fiscal 2013 budget does.

 

These one-time recessions are used to mask spending increases for a variety of Justice Department accounts.  For instance, the Marshals Service has a net increase of $29 million, but it only appears to be a $12 million increase to the baseline when offset with $17 million in one-time recessions from construction and salary funds.  The FBI appears to be reduced by $48 million, but in reality the FBI sees a net budget increase of $114 million, offset by a one-time recession of $162 million.

 

Same story with the Drug Enforcement Administration budget where they show a net increase of only $10 million, when in fact the baseline increase is $25 million offset by $15 million in recessions.  The list goes on and on throughout the rest of the budget.

 

Perhaps the most concerning part of the department’s budget is the fact that many of the spending increases will be paid for out of the Crime Victims Fund.  This fund was created in 1984 by the Victims of Crime Act.  It is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars.  The funds in the account are to be used for victim’s services and assistance.

 

For years, the fund has had an administrative cap placed on it by the Appropriations Committee.  This arbitrary cap limits the amount of funds that go to help victims, creating an additional funding stream for appropriators to pay for programs they want to fund.

 

The fiscal 2013 budget does manage to increase this cap from $705 million, to just over $1 billion.  This should be good news for victims, but it is not.

 

Instead of providing this money to victims, the department’s budget, in the department’s own words, “proposes to preserve important OVW and OJP grant programs that directly or indirectly assist victims of crime by funding them through [Crime Victims Fund] receipts…rather than with discretionary budget authority.”  So, instead of asking Congress to fund grant programs, the department is asking to use Crime Victims Fund money to pay for programs that “indirectly assist victims”.

 

This is a significant change and one that allows the Justice Department to continue to increase funding for bureaucratic components like the Criminal Division, Civil Division, Tax Division, and law enforcement components like the FBI, DEA, and Marshals, while decreasing net expenditures.

 

What this does is essentially allow the Justice Department to increase the size of the bureaucracy, without looking like they’re spending more money.  Instead, the crime victims fund takes the hit.

 

This is not a budget that seeks to lead for the future.  It is not a budget that faces the reality that the federal government is too big already.  It is an election year ploy to say they are cutting the budget while using gimmicks to pay for it.

 

The only solace is that Majority Leader Reid has already signaled that he has no intention of bringing such a dead on arrival budget to the Senate floor.

 

So, keeping with the practice that the Senate Majority has followed for more than 1,000 days, we don’t really need to worry about voting for the gimmicks in the department’s budget.  However, we’ll need to keep an eye out so that these gimmicks don’t find their way into an appropriations bill.

 

Thank you.

 
<< Start < Prev 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 Next > End >>

Page 364 of 469