Rezko dollars: Obama, Kerry, Jackson, Durbin

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is not the only politician to have received campaign finance money from Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), and Dick Durbin (R-Ill.), who have all endorsed Sen. Obama, also received campaign contributions directly from Obama's political patron "Tony" Rezko.

Sen. Dick Durbin - $1,250

Sen. John F. Kerry - $1,000

Barack Obama - $1,000

Barack Obama - $500

Barack Obama - $10,500

Sen. John F. Kerry - $2,000 for presidential primary
Sen. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. - $2,000

And, yes, there are more recipients, including George W. Bush, but then he's not running for office right now and it's too soon for a presidential pardon.


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Women's Rights as an Issue in the Primary Campaign

A woman named Hillary Clinton earlier this year won a  state primary for the first time in these United States! This is history in the making. And you would think it would be a  media-worthy event. But if you saw a headline remarking on that aspect of her success you saw it in your dreams. Women's rights and issues are being ignored in favor of the issue of race which now dominates a lot of the primary campaign!

Hillary is  the first woman in our history to mount a serious campaign for the Presidency.  But you would think that 'First' distinction belonged to Barack Obama, as the first black man to do so. Wrong. Jesse Jackson, more than 20 years ago, won 11 states when he ran for President. The person making history in this race by virtue of competing is Hillary Clinton.

CNN did a two hour special on race and the campaign. From Oprah to  Jesse Jackson to Magic Johnson, blacks  are weighing in and getting tons of media attention. I have no quarrel with that. I do believe, however, that the media should also be reporting how ground breaking Hillary's campaign is as well.

Roe v Wade got some attention yesterday. And so perhaps this is the right time to look at the issue of women's rights in this campaign. Women are doing it in the voting booth. They are turning out in record numbers for Hillary. Some of the eldest of the  female voters can even remember when women, the last group to be franchised in America, won the right to vote in 1920.

Women labor leaders like Mother Jones and Emma Goldman led the early labor movement, and female textile workers in Massachusetts inspired the labor movement for decades in this county. Now more than a century later, there is Delores Huerta,  who for decades organized farm workers in the agricultural fields around Salinias and Delano. She follows in a long line of courageous female labor leaders, and she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Working conditions for women in the early factories-- when it was deemed that their small hands were valuable-- died by the thousands from deplorable working conditions in tandem with malnutrition by virtue of wages which could not support life. Once they began to fail they were fired, and life on the streets led to prostitution the only other occupation available to unmarried women. Deaths in sweat shops came in a variety of ways such as in the Triangle Factory Fire in New York City when scores of women locked inside the factory could only jump to their deaths. Today the sweat shop has returned not only on our soil, but around the world supported by Nike and scores of other US campanies. Who works there? Women. At the same time the global traffic in women for sex slavery and abuse is on the rise; and the US is the biggest importer of female sex slaves for this under-the-radar industry fueled by an  insatiable appetite for pornography and child sex partners.

We do not honor the maimed and the dead from back alley, illegal abortions, another forgotten page out of US history. But thirty years on, the right for a  woman to make the decision about her own body is under assualt by the religious right as never before. The next President, who will appoint new members to the Supreme Court, will decide the issue of Roe v. Wade.

Here is a small and incomplete assessment of rights won and rights still to be earned:
. the right to make decisions with their own money;
. to get an education including the opportunity to  attend college;
.the right to earn as much as a man for equal work;
. the right to be free of sexual harasment in the workplace;
. the right to be free of rape at home and in the military overseas where sexual assault in Iraq and Afghanistan is at a staggering rate;
. the right to be seen as a human being first and a sex object second,
. the right to be referred to respectfully instead of as 'bitch,'
. the right to be treated as the equal of men by courts of law, in both civil and criminal cases;
. the right to work at any job that is available;
. the right to be seen and heard in numbers that equal those of  men who work in the sciences, the law, as teachers in universities and colleges, and in the world of books and magazines, and in the media.

We are in a period of retrenchment about women's rights. Much like the flappers after the first wave of feminism, sexual hedonism has been embraced by girls as liberation. Women today want parity with men in every aspect of their lives including sexual liberation. This aspiration has been met with roofies, sexual assualt, and widespread sexual abuse by men in every walk of life. The popularity of rap music and the demeaning of women as sex objects by both white and black men and boys is part of a widespread backlash against the rights of women to be equal partners in the human endeavor.

Hillary Clinton will do more for girls and women than a fistful of laws. She is Change! She is saying every day in a million ways both big and small that a woman can be a fully empowered human being. Hillary Clinton is a revolution happening right in front of your eyes. She is what is new and fresh and bright in this election.

She will also be a remarkable and courageous President of the United States who will leave a record unamatched in US history.

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The First Woman To Win a Presidential Primary

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

The press hasn't noted it, so I thought I should write a diary to celebrate that a first has occurred in the history of our republic.  An event without precedent in American history, a woman has won a primary in the nominating process for her party.  The woman who shattered that glass ceiling, of course, is none other than Hillary Clinton.

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Things I Didn't Know, Part 76,943,440

Who was the first black candidate to win a Democratic presidential primary or caucus? If you answered Barack Obama, on January 3, 2008, then you're 24 years late and more than a dozen contests off.

It wasn't the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. Or even the sixteenth. It turns out that Jesse Jackson won five primaries/caucuses in 1984 and eleven more in 1988, making him considerably more successful than all but a handful of candidates since then. Jackson may be something of a marginal figure these days, but back in the civil rights days and the 1980s he was a trailblazing and even visionary figure.

Like Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich this year, Jackson was probably not given much a chance when he ran in 1984, but surprisingly finished in third, taking well over 3 million votes while winning four southern states and DC. Walter Mondale won the nomination and later amassed 13 electoral votes, and Gary Hart came in second.

In 1988, Jackson was back and even stronger, eventually finishing second to Michael Dukakis in a race that lasted until June. This time he won nine states, DC, and Puerto Rico. While most of the states were again in the South, Jackson also carried Michigan and Vermont, and even took the lead in delegates at one point. These days, when the media wants the nominating process to be over after New Hampshire, it's hard to imagine that someone could win 11 contests and not take the nomination.

Nor was he being cautious. According to Wikipedia, he ran on a startlingly bold and daring platform, including a few positions that would be ambitious even today: single payer health care, support for a Palestinian state, supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, and reversing Reagan tax cuts among other things.

Some other entertaining facts about 1988:
- Joe Biden made one of his earlier runs for the presidency. He left the race following plagiarism charges leaked by the Dukakis campaign.

- The convention is perhaps most famous for Bill Clinton's long and rather boring introduction of Dukakis.

- Al Gore ran and finished third.

This year, much has been made, and rightfully so, of how three of the four Democratic finalists represent one or another traditionally marginalized group. But it's interesting to find out that we've finally almost caught up to where Jesse Jackson was way back in 1988, and in some ways, we're still not there.

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Will The Clintons Play The Race Card Against Obama

I watched a little Fox News yesterday which I never do, but I wanted to see what Fox is saying about the New Hampshire race.  While I was watching, Dick Morris came on who I admit hates the Clintons, but it was very informing on what he had to say.  I did not know or maybe I forgot that Bill Clinton played the race card against Jesse Jackson when Bill Clinton ran for president in Georgia during the democratic primaries in 1992 that eventually gave Bill Clinton the win to go on to win the presidency.  

Correction: Bill Clinton did not run against Jesse Jackson in 1992. But Bill Clinton did play the race card to win Georgia in 1992 and it was against Jesse Jackson.

Dick Morris thinks that the Clintons may try to do the same thing this time in Georgia.  I as a southernor thinks this type of politics is not what we democrats want as our legacy.  I feel that we are above this type of racist crap.  The repugs play this game all the time, and I hope that the Clintons do not do the same thing.  If anything that would put me off the Clintons for good this would be the thing.

AAs have supported and held up the democratic party to help Bill Clinton even though he played the race card against Jesse Jackson.  Obviously the AA community must have seen something good in Bill Clinton because they helped him go on to win the presidency.

I say to the Clintons, please don't go down that road again.

I hope we don't have another Sister Souljah Moment. jah_moment

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