“In what sounds like a comedy sketch from the Bob and Tom Show, but isn’t, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots and causes and citizens of those who criticize Congress.
Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting laws by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.
My jaw dropped when I received this in an email from my friend and attorney.
The email stated:
“Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even blogger’s, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big Washington lobbyists.
“On January 9 2007, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone knowingly and willingly fails to file or report to congress.’ “That amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). trying to make a blatant attempt to take mine and your Freedom away. The Right of Freedom of Speech.
Yet this legislation, which is well known to be targeted at rights of speech, the press, association and them that petition the government, is being withheld intentionally from the public to prevent a debate.
Senator Vitter, however, is now a co-sponsor of Amendment 20 by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) to remove Section 220 from the bill. if so the Senate will have criminalized the exercise of First Amendment rights. We’d be living under totalitarianism, not democracy.
“Thousands of nonprofit leaders, blogger’s, Chatters and other citizens I hope will hammer the Senate with calls and emails in opposition to Section 220, which seeks to silence the grassroots and the blog. The criminal provisions will scare citizens into SILENCE unless this is stopped.
“We the People.” What a grand and magnificent concept! With these words we began the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.
From the First Amendment (in the “Bill of Rights”) to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“NO LAW”! We the people have the right to freely communicate with each other and to petition the government WITHOUT INTERFERENCE.
Current attempts to regulate grassroots activists, under the guise of “lobbying reform,” would overturn this core concept behind the American Republic. These attempts must be stopped. This is one more attempt to tell the American people to shutup and sit down and never mind what what congress is doing behind our backs. The grassroots legislation is not only unconstitutional on its face, it will certainly lead to further governmental abuses of rights of citizens.
Daily the Will County Watchers reach out to 3,500 readers and we are growing daily, I currently receive 119 to 436 emails daily this is on average and respond to as many as possible, It is even unclear if I will be breaking the law by responding back to said emails.
“The bill would require reporting of ‘ paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying. ‘ Grassroots is defined merely as communications of and to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.
I strongly oppose as we all should the required registration and reporting of efforts to communicate to the general public that urges citizens and informs the public relating Congresses actions. Personally I need less government not more government, Americans have fought and died for the rights enumerated in our Constitution, and now at our finger tips we have computers that allows us to chat vast distances, yet Congress wants to take away this right to discuss what’s going on in our country and to legislate away the free exercise of those rights, this brings Americans closer to tyranny. We have men and women, soldiers, American solders fighting to give another county a voice yet our own congress wants to take away our voices, this will have made our own solders on their return to have fought and died in vain.
A Public Housing & Section 8 Alternative
I would like to propose an alternative to public housing and Section 8 vouchers in Will county. It is apparent that public housing projects are failures here and elsewhere. Chicago is tearing theirs down as quickly as they can. Joliet has plans to bulldoze Poole Gardens. And it is hard to see Evergreen Terrace as anything, but a dangerous, blighted failure. The government’s solution has been to try to spread public housing out throughout the community by offering Section 8 vouchers. This has allowed the problems of the projects to spread to previously stable residential neighborhoods and to hurt property values of existing homes.
My proposed alternative is to build multi-income new subdivisions. This means not simply redeveloping a small area in an existing neighborhood or renting houses in middle class neighborhoods to those on public assistance. It means building whole new neighborhoods on undeveloped land without neighboring subdivisions. Joliet, Plainfield, and numerous other communities build whole new neighborhoods of high priced homes where just last year farm animals grazed. So new neighborhoods of a different type certainly can be built.
The neighborhoods I envision would include a mix of home styles. Some duplexes, some small ranch homes, some mid-size split levels, some larger homes. Basically a mix of what one would find if they took random homes from every neighborhood in Joliet. These homes would then be sold to whomever desired to buy one. However, there would be assistance for low income families to purchase homes.
The type of assistance I am proposing would be to offer 30 year fixed term mortgages that would have the payments split between the buyers and the government. The government would pay the interest using the funds they now spend on Section 8 vouchers and housing projects. The buyers would be responsible for the principle and for property taxes. They would own their homes and be able to sell them and any rise in property values would accrue to them. There should be a method by which continued eligibility for housing assistance is determined. This would mean that if a family’s income rose to there they no longer qualified for assistance the government would stop paying the interest and it would become the responsibility of the family. There could even be a sliding scale.
This arrangement provides several positives. First, it provides low income families with an investment in their homes and communities. They stand to profit or lose based upon their upkeep of their homes. They are rooted in the community instead of moving from apartment to apartment. They pay taxes so they now have a financial interest in what local governments are doing with tax dollars. Second, it protects the property values of surrounding homes. When your neighbors have an incentive to maintain their homes and to keep the neighborhood safe and clean, the value of your property is protected and enhanced. An enhanced tax base would also occur. The families moving into these new neighborhoods already send their kids to our schools. Only now instead of living in a housing project that pays no taxes, they live in a home that is taxable. They share in the costs of the government services they utilize.
These neighborhoods would be open to anyone who wished to buy a home in them regardless of their income status. Those who do not qualify for assistance would purchase a home just like they would anywhere else. Of course a home in a mixed income neighborhood would have a lower property value than a home in a neighborhood of only high end homes. But, this reduced value occurs from the moment it is built so the buyer pays a lower price. This is in contrast to existing homes that have low income families move in next door and see the home they paid full price for fall in value. If these neighborhoods prove to be safer and better maintained that most people would expect a mixed income neighborhood to be, then property values will rise as people change their opinions of such areas. This would provide a profit potential to middle and upper income people willing to take a risk and buy in these new neighborhoods.
The key question is who would build such neighborhoods since there is less profit to be made from smaller homes and the profit on any larger homes would be reduced because of reduced property values due to it being a mixed income neighborhood. We all know housing developers make their money by buying land, building oversized homes for the upper middle class, and tacking on a $100,000 premium over what they cost to build. This results in big profits for the developers and lots of new homes for those who can afford $300,000 and $400,000 homes. My proposal would be to force these same developers to build these mixed income neighborhoods. This would be done by requiring that for every building permit issued in one of their exclusive new subdivisions they build a home in one of these mixed-income subdivisions. There would need to be set quotas on how many of different size and types houses were built so that developers would build what is needed and not just what they think is profitable. This would create two benefits. First, it would mean multiple builders in each of these mixed income neighborhoods which would lead to a greater variety of homes instead of cookie-cutter homes. Second, since building these homes would be tied to getting permits for their own subdivisions, it would become a cost of doing business passed along to homebuyers who desire to live in economically segregated subdivisions.
I am sure there are numerous problems and inadequacies with this proposal. However, I think it would be a considerable improvement over the current system. It focuses on not just providing current housing for low income persons. Instead, it looks to improve their long term housing status, to create economically integrated neighborhoods, to bring people together, to maintain and enhance property values, and to create stable communities where we all have a stake and in which we all can raise our families in safety.
Source: Crest Hill 2007 A little more fine tuning to this option of home purchase and sec 8 could be a thing of the past, Sec 8 housing causes what I like to call nothing to lose rental of property. The object is basically to reduce the dependence on government for housing, the above program would do just that reduce dependency while “not” causing a cascade of property values of surrounding homes.
Nobody is going to build a $1 million dollar home next to the Evergreen terrace in Joliet because the value of the home would be immediately lost the day of completion, I think if a person has some thing to lose then something should be gained. Placement of sec 8 housing does not reduce the taxes on a homes, Sec 8 reduces what others my perceive the homes value is to them as a purchaser which then reflects as dollars lost to a seller.
And the name of the game is home sales, you as a seller want the max amount of money you are entitled to when you sell your home, but sec 8 reduces that, so if the owner next door to your property rents sec 8 and the home becomes poorly maintained it is you that suffers a financial loss also with sec 8 housing there is a stigma of crime being attached to it and this is what cause the unseen losses to value. I think this Idea from Crest Hill 2007 may work……What do you think as a home owner?
Do women have right to choose abortion or not:
I would like to ask you how you feel on the subject, abortion. This subject seems to brought up quite often during election time. JJ you and many others here seem to be quite opinionated so I thought you might like take a crack at this subject.
Deanna H. Email from reader
Anwser to Question:
I being a male and speaking on the abortion issue will not really hold very much validity. I will try to make an attempt.
first off: it is not my body to begin with nor is it my decision when a women is pregnant to keep or abort a child.
What is my decision, lets say a women that I am in love with decides to abort and not keep the child, but in her decision to abort she wants me to pay for the abortion. In conscience I would never pay for any abortion, to me that would be like hiring a hit man to take out a baby and I would rather spend time in jail.
To me there is no such thing as a illegitimate child born in or out of wedlock, there is only illegitimate parents. But it is not my decision to abort it, it is hers and hers alone. Some will say that men have a choice if or not an abortion is to take place, it is her body that has to carry a child and ultimately her decision. It takes 2 to lay down and make a child, it takes a parent to stand up and say I will raise that child, it takes a parent to instill in that child manners, and hopefully a conscience and an inner well being. Who am I to tell a women what she can and can’t do with her body, there is a thing called the Era this was meant to guarantee women their rights, so no matter how I view abortion the law gives women the right in Roe Vs. Wade. “It is the law” I do not anilize the law nor will I try too…that is for courts to decide and people have to live with their own decisions in life. There is no simple answer in this matter, there is to many variables.
Anyone that would like to comment feel free to do so….I don’t have the answers all I can say on this subject is how I feel.
MORRIS — Officials have determined the General Electric Co.’s Morris-area site is environmentally suitable for a proposed nuclear-spent fuel rod recycling facility.GE held a public meeting Wednesday to share the results of the site study. Following the presentation, people were able to ask questions of the GE and research officials.
Now this just shows how stupid the government is by wanting to put a radioactive dumpsite Near strategic areas like fuel refineries, we already have 2 nuclear power plants.
The surrounding areas Channahon, Plainfield, Coal city, Joliet and Wilmington IL is soon to be the back yard of this project and with the leaks that were found to be coming from 1 of the nuclear plants you would think that the local and state politicians would say hell NO..to this project.
Also with the major push of a new storage area from the people at Centerpoint properties where they want to use an area near Wilmington IL to store rusting and chemical contaminated boxes that are no longer needed, is it just me or can we now see the possible tie in of both projects, the questions that have not been asked: How is the spent rods getting to the plant to be recycled in Morris IL ?
Whats going to happen in case of a radioactive accident ?
If the radioactive rods come by truck were are they going to bury the trailers used to haul the rods, if they come by train where will they bury the train, both will be radioactive and in both case the rods are being transported through our neighborhoods.
If this new facility is to be so “safe” to operate then force the CEO of GE to live right next to it and see how he likes it being his back yard. I wonder how long it will take before the surrounding children born in the future will look like the kid from the movie deliverance.
(Onolia Anreen thank you for the above email of a transport flask.)
Managing editor Dave Monaghan Herald news
Ok’ the emails have asked for this one and a comment or two also.
lets get down to the brass of this story, clearly this News paper the Herald (spew) news is trying to entice its falling readership in to returning and anyone with a clear sense of mind will see this as just as one more attempt to bring attention to this rag of a paper. Maybe Managing editor Dave Monaghan could have the sign finger printed and run through the DNA labs of the FBI and catch the news worthy perpetrator. As to my self I now see why Dave Monaghan has never been in the paper before and stays on the other side of the camera, but I as a compassionate person will not point out flaws or cast stones at his suspenders.
Bravo to who ever put the sign up, Dave Monaghan?….
Glad to see your getting out side of that office and continuing to scare your world wide wonderful employees into publishing hard core get er’ done news..
I say this Dave Monaghan you must have thought long and hard to come up with such a riveting story, now that your in the public view, I hope as so does so many others in Joliet that you continue to be the rock that make the Hahaaahhh herald news so strong…..Dave Monaghan for mayor!…Rock on DUDE.
PS…You may try to Get Er’ Done but we Blogger’s Get Er’ Did.
We came, We saw, We Blogged. you asked for it and we gave it to ya, heres your sign back.
LOCKPORT — A sports dome is being planned for land near the future tollway extension, and the complex would include diamonds for baseball training, facilities for speed and agility training, batting cages and pitching mounds.
The 88,000-square-foot dome — accessible from a road leading south of Division Street — would be just east of Interstate 355 as the tollway is extended through Lockport.
How many people are going to actually use this sports dome and what is the cost going to be to the residents of Lockport and to the people of Will County IL, How come the political members of Lockport, Joliet, Plainfield and other Will County towns push so hard for things that really are not a betterment for the people of the related communities but are in fact a waste of money, How many residents will actually use this dome?
Just like the Joliet Water park and it’s ability to waste tax dollars, this Sports dome was put on the table for future votes and can be viewed as nothing more. It’s nice that these city councils and Board members have all this money to waste instead of fixing the roads, the parks, the baseball diamonds and other infrastructure related areas. yet we hear “oh” we need more taxes…..
Why not fix what’s needed first and then branch out from there instead of putting a pretty band aid on it so politicians can say later; look what I did for you while elected.
During the race for Joliet Mayor there was a dissatisfied amount of residents when the vote became a loss for the tax payers of the East side even though the city limits is now farther into the Ridgewood area of Joliet, certain areas of Ridgewood area had no ability to vote for the candidates, Schultz has long ignored the best interest of its Joliet citizens and has forgotten that there is more to being mayor than just the downtown area. Art Schultz brags about how all new subdivisions are gated communities. His idea of development is to have developers build homes that the rest of us cannot afford and to erect gates to keep us out, but the East side is allowed to pay for schools and roads to serve these new residents while actually receiving no representation. New leadership was needed but not received, the vote showed that the voters were for a familiar figure and not for change.
Back a few months ago mayor Schultz’s comprehensive plan was the talk of the town, where is the east side to be placed in this plan even though the residents of the east side are now at the tale end of the I-355 project coming to Rt6 and Cedar Rd. How much will the East Side residents have to pay the city of Joliet due to the soon and up coming strip annexation soon to take place, the closed door tactics are getting to the point that people are worried about what benefits and liabilities that may or will be held against East side property owners, traffic concerns and now the over weight traffic that is sneaking through the Ridgewood area that avoids the highway weight scales are becoming a major concern. The Ridgewood area is now becoming a major area for traffic, Briggs St is now a mini highway, personally I do not know what the bridge weight limits are, the bridge that spans from Cass St to Washington street and the one that crosses I-80 are being utilized heavily by trucks headed to Elwood and are currently using this road Briggs St.
East side and West side residents are asking Questions:
How will the West side be affected by the major shift of businesses picking up and moving to the East side so that they are near the I-355 arteries, true this is just speculation at this point in time but developers are buying up large amounts of property on the East side of Joliet, this raises eyebrows of east side and west side residents and red flags start popping, the fears of the residents are starting to surface.
Only time will tell but the shift of property values may change drastically over the next 5 years on the East side, values on the east side may become extremely high while the values on the west side may drop because of the limited expansion that is still available on the Joliet’s west side.
Only time will tell.