Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Erika Harold: Harvard law graduate and former Miss America runs for Congress

Republican candidate Erika Harold

Republican candidate Erika Harold

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

The most interesting House primary of the 2014 cycle began in June in the 13th District of Illinois. It pits freshman Republican congressman Rodney Davis against an insurgent candidate named Erika Harold. Davis is a political operative who won his seat last year nearly by accident. Erika Harold is a 33-year-old lawyer. Who happens to have been Miss America.

[...]In addition to the charisma and poise native to good politicians, Harold has exhibited the principled toughness of the best pols. And again, to appreciate this aspect of her character, you need only go back to Miss America.

Her platform as a Miss America candidate included abstinence:

Harold competed three times for the Miss Illinois crown, which she finally won in 2003. Each time, she ran on a platform of abstinence. But one of the arcane traditions of Miss America is that while contestants choose their own platforms when competing for the state crown, it’s the state organization that decides what platform the winner will take to Atlantic City. The year Harold was named Miss Illinois, her state committee settled on a bland platform opposing “youth violence.” (Think of it as “world peace,” for the children.) Harold agreed to oppose youth violence.

After she was named Miss America, however, Harold decided to add abstinence to her platform for the year of her reign. She didn’t abandon “youth violence” but rather included it, along with abstinence, in a broad appeal to kids to respect themselves by standing up to bullies and avoiding sex, drugs, and alcohol. This was, as a matter of both intellectual coherence and moral sense, a significant improvement on the pure “youth violence” platform she’d been handed. The Miss America organization did not like it one bit.

The organization pushed back hard and told Harold to keep quiet—especially about sex. The disagreement made national headlines and culminated in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, where the newly crowned Harold told reporters, “I will not be bullied. I’ve gone through enough adversity in my life to stand up for what I believe in.” Miss America stared down the pageant and won.

Promotes fiscal conservativism to African Americans:

Harold was already interested in politics. During a Miss America appearance at East St. Louis High School, students asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She told them, “My ultimate goal is that I want to be the first black female president of the United States.” While still an undergraduate at Illinois, she volunteered for conservative Patrick O’Malley’s doomed 2002 Illinois gubernatorial campaign. She also volunteered with the Republican National Committee in an effort to promote conservative economic principles in African-American communities. After graduating from law school, she joined a Chicago firm where her practice has specialized in health care law and religious freedom.

[...][W]hile Harold tries to resist easy classification, her ideological markers are highly suggestive of a conservative worldview. There’s the abstinence, of course. She’s fiercely pro-life. She favors concealed-carry gun laws. And she’s on the board of Prison Fellowship Ministries, the program founded by Chuck Colson.

Focused on religious liberty:

The most interesting part of Harold’s legal practice has been her work defending faith-based entities. In one case, for example, she represented a retirement community affiliated with a religious group. The organization featured a cross on its logo and used a Bible verse in its mission statement—which attracted a lawsuit from an advocacy group contending that this amounted to discrimination. Describing this work, Harold says, “It’s a passion of mine.”

Looking across the broader national landscape, Harold sees ample reason to be concerned about religious freedom. “We’re starting to see ways in which our constitutional protections are being encroached upon,” she says. “We all are less free when any group isn’t afforded their constitutional protections.”

And not just less free, but less well off. Harold says that her time with Prison Fellowship Ministries has deepened her appreciation for the good religious organizations can do. “I’ve seen firsthand the need for there to be a space in public life for religious groups to be able to offer service to their fellow man,” she says. When government seeks to quarantine religious organizations, moving from freedom of religion to “freedom of worship” (to use the formulation President Obama favors), “it’s far too limiting in terms of the good they can do for the public, and it’s far too restrictive in terms of the protections which are afforded religious groups by the Constitution. We give something up when we say that certain voices aren’t welcome in the public square.”

Harold says she intends to make religious freedom an issue in her campaign. This is fitting at a time when the HHS mandate, the Hobby Lobby case, and the torrent of litigation about to be unleashed by the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decisions appear likely to make religious freedom a central front in the culture war.

We have such a deep bench, so there’s reason for optimism – if you’re a Republican like me! Here’s another story I found about another young, female Republican candidate Elise Stefanik. I would not be annoyed at all if all of our candidates were women or minorities or minority women. I wouldn’t even be annoyed if our candidates were some sort of dolphin-alligator hybrid monstrosities, (although I prefer pretty lawyers ladies). The main thing I want is that our candidates are conservative. That’s what really matters to me.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Natural marriage defenders defeat redefinition of marriage in Illinois

The National Organization for Marriage has the story.

Excerpt:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today celebrated the failure of legislation to come to a vote late this evening in Illinois seeking to redefine marriage, thus preserving marriage in the state as the union of one man and one woman. The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris, announced this evening that he did not have the votes to pass the measure and would not bring the legislation to a vote. Assuming this is the case, the bill is thus dead until the fall when the Legislature reconvenes for a veto session.

“This effort to redefine marriage in Illinois was one of the most fiercely contested legislative battles in the country this year,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “This is a great victory for our allies and supporters, as well as Illinois families who have worked tirelessly with us to preserve marriage in Illinois. We are gratified that our collective hard work has paid off in this stunning victory.”

Illinois is a heavily Democratic state and has been widely considered by the gay marriage lobby as virtually certain to redefine marriage. Backers of the legislation have frequently claimed, falsely, that they had the votes in hand to pass the legislation (SB 10). President Obama had urged his former colleagues to vote to redefine marriage, and it was a top priority of both Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn. It even was supported by a former Republican Chairman who was forced to resign from his post for advocating a position contrary to Republican principles.

“So much for the inevitability of gay marriage,” said Brian Brown. “With a coalition that included strong support from the African American community as well as so many others throughout the state, we did what nobody in the intelligentsia thought was possible. This is a huge victory at a pivotal time, and totally undercuts the lie that somehow same-sex marriage is inevitable.”

NOM spent well over $125,000 on grassroots activities to defeat the bill, but praised others in the coalition for securing the victory.

Good news for those of us who support the idea that natural marriage is the best arrangement for protecting the needs of children and the interests of society as a whole. Illinois is one of the bluest states in the country, but it’s nice to see that NOM was able to pull together enough people to get this legislation defeated.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

Chicago teacher strike: average pay $71K, 80% of 8th graders not proficient at math

CBS News reports:

Thousands of teachers, parents and supporters marched through downtown Chicago on the first day of a school strike.

The crowd Monday afternoon stretched for several blocks and was expected to swell through the early evening and into the city’s rush hour. Some protesters carried signs that said “Chicago Teachers United” and “Fair Contract Now.” Others waved red pom-poms and chanted. Earlier in the day, thousands of teachers picketed around neighborhood schools.

[...]The city’s public school teachers make an average of $71,000 a year. Both sides said they were close to an agreement on wages. What apparently remains are issues involving teacher performance and accountability, which the union saw as a threat to job security.

They don’t want to be held accountable for failing to provide outcomes for their customers, the children.

Why do you think they might fear being held accountable? Are they doing a poor job of teaching? Is that why they fear being accountable? Let’s see.

CNS News explains:

Chicago public school teachers went on strike on Monday and one of the major issues behind the strike is a new system Chicago plans to use for evaluating public school teachers in which student improvement on standardized tests will count for 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. Until now, the evaluations of Chicago public school teachers have been based on what a Chicago Sun Times editorial called a “meaningless checklist.”

[...]In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education administered National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests in reading and math to students around the country, including in the Chicago Public Schools. The tests were scored on a scale of 0 to 500, with 500 being the best possible score. Based on their scores, the U.S. Department of Education rated students’ skills in reading and math as either “below basic,” “basic,” “proficient” or “advanced.”

[...]79 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders were not grade-level proficient in reading. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this included 43 percent who rated “basic” and 36 percent who rated “below basic.”

[...]80 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders were not grade-level proficient in math. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this included 40 percent who rated “basic” in math and 40 percent who rated “below basic.”

Fire them all. Abolish the federal Department of Education. Make teacher unions illegal.

Education policy tutorial videos:

Related posts

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Caterpillar decides to not build its new manufacturing plant in Illinois

Central United States

Central United States

From the Peoria Journal Star.

Excerpt:

Caterpillar Inc. will not be building its new North American plant anywhere in the state of Illinois, officials with the company told local leaders Tuesday, with part of the reason being continued concerns about the business climate in the state.

The company will instead focus on a location closer to its division headquarters in Cary, N.C., Peoria County officials were told in an email sent to them shortly after the close of business and later obtained by the Journal Star. The plant stood to bring with it from Japan roughly 1,000 jobs manufacturing track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators.

Peoria County had submitted a regional proposal for the facility at the end of last year, and the Galesburg area also had a proposal on the table for the manufacturer. Peoria’s proposal reportedly included economic incentives as well as a promise of a legislative effort to establish a tax increment financing district to benefit the company.

At its core, Caterpillar’s decision reflects some concerns its officials had previously expressed about the economic condition of the Land of Lincoln.

“Please understand that even if your community had the right logistics for this project, Caterpillar’s previously documented concerns about the business climate and overall fiscal health of the state of Illinois still would have made it unpractical for us to select your community for this project,” the letter reads in part. “Caterpillar intends to continue calling for long-term changes in Illinois and to offer help to the state as it works toward real and fundamental reforms that will position communities like yours to compete for future projects.”

And:

Still, the rejection didn’t come as much of a surprise to state Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria.

“I think Caterpillar has been very frustrated by the state’s inability to improve the business climate,” he said. “I still think that workers’ comp is a very serious issue for Caterpillar and others. I think there’s great concern about the financial situation within the state itself. The precarious nature of the state’s finances and having the worst bond rating in the country and huge liabilities … have not been addressed.”

The decision to locate elsewhere — and the reasons for it — should serve as a wake-up call to the region and the state as a whole, Rand said.

“I think the lessons learned here shouldn’t read like recriminations but instead resonate like a call to action,” he said. “Perhaps someone in Springfield will take notice. It’s our job to make certain they do.

“You can’t move a mountain while wearing a pair of roller skates. The disadvantages Cat identifies in Illinois are all man-made. We have to make ourselves competitive. It won’t happen because of a wish.”

Illinois is one of the bluest states in the union – totally dominated by Democrats. It’s very important for working Americans to understand that a Democrat can stand up and complain about outsourcing and greed and corporations and income inequality until they are blue in the face. It doesn’t mean a thing. Democrats are for higher taxes and more regulations on businesses, and that’s what causes outsourcing. Democrats cause unemployment. It doesn’t matter what they say. What matters is how job creators respond to the incentives created by Democrat policies.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rick Santorum and Barbara Boxer debate partial birth abortion in 1999

First, let’s watch a video that explains what partial birth abortion looks like. (Using drawn images. Warning: Still graphic and disturbing, but no blood)

What is partial birth abortion? (from the South Dakota Department of Health):

Intact Dilation and Extraction (Partial Birth Abortion)

In this procedure, the physician pulls the fetus feet-first out of the uterus into the birth canal, except for the head which is kept lodged just inside the uterus.

The base of the fetus’s skull is punctured with a sharp instrument such as a long scissors or pointed metal tube.

A catheter is inserted into the wound and removes the fetus’s brain with a powerful suction machine.  This causes the skull to collapse, and allows for the expulsion of the fetus.

Here’s Rick Santorum on the floor of the Senate asking Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer to defend partial birth abortion in 1999, (when Mitt Romney was also pro-abortion).

(The clip is very low volume)

Transcript:

Santorum: Good! All I am asking you is, once the baby leaves the mother’s birth canal and is through the vaginal orifice and is in the hands of the obstetrician, you would agree that you cannot abort, kill the baby?

Boxer: I would say when the baby is born, the baby is born, and would then have every right of every other human being living in this country. And I don’t know why this would even be a question, to be honest with you.

Santorum: Because we are talking about a situation here where the baby is almost born. So I ask the question of the senator from California, if the baby was born except for the baby’s foot, if the baby’s foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside, could that baby be killed?

Boxer: The baby is born when the baby is born. That is the answer to the question.

Santorum: I am asking for you to define for me what that is.

Boxer: I don’t think anybody but the senator from Pennsylvania has a question with it. I have never been troubled by this question. You give birth to a baby. The baby is there, and it is born. That is my answer to the question.

Santorum: What we are talking about here with partial birth, as the senator from California knows, is a baby is in the process of being born –

Boxer: “The process of being born.” This is why this conversation makes no sense, because to me it is obvious when a baby is born. To you it isn’t obvious.

Santorum: Maybe you can make it obvious to me. So what you are suggesting is if the baby’s foot is still inside of the mother, that baby can then still be killed.

Boxer: No, I am not suggesting that in any way!

Santorum: I am asking.

Boxer: I am absolutely not suggesting that. You asked me a question, in essence, when the baby is born.

Santorum: I am asking you again. Can you answer that?

Boxer: I will answer the question when the baby is born. The baby is born when the baby is outside the mother’s body. The baby is born.

Santorum: I am not going to put words in your mouth –

Boxer: I hope not.

Santorum: But, again, what you are suggesting is if the baby’s toe is inside the mother, you can, in fact, kill that baby.

Boxer: Absolutely not.

Santorum: OK. So if the baby’s toe is in, you can’t kill the baby. How about if the baby’s foot is in?

Boxer: You are the one who is making these statements.

Santorum: We are trying to draw a line here.

Boxer: I am not answering these questions! I am not answering these questions.

The full transcript is here.

It’s important to note that Barack Obama is on record as a supporter of partial birth abortion. He voted for it several times.

The liberal Washington Post discusses Barack Obama’s voting record on abortion.

Excerpt:

Obama has had difficulty explaining some of his 129 “present” votes in the Illinois legislature on issues such as promoting school discipline and prohibiting sex shops near places of worship. In the case of his votes on the anti-abortion legislation, however, he has had a solid alibi. The Illinois branch of the Planned Parenthood organization has given him a”100 percent” pro-choice voting rating and depicted the present votes as part of a previously agreed strategy to provide political cover for other legislators.

Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, a present vote effectively functions as a no vote because only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Legislators vote “present” rather than “no” for a variety of tactical reasons, including making it more difficult for their political opponents to use their votes against them in campaign advertisements.

“We worked on the ‘present’ vote strategy with Obama,” said Pam Sutherland, chief lobbyist for the Illinois branch of Planned Parenthood, an abortion rights group. “He was willing to vote ‘no’, and was always going to be a ‘no’ vote for us.”

Sutherland said Planned Parenthood calculated that a ‘present’ vote by Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather than voting for the legislation. “They were worried about direct mail pieces against them. The more senators voted present, the harder it was to mount an issues campaign against the senator.”

Here is a full list of Obama’s seven ‘present’ votes on issues related to abortion:

1997 Votes

  •  SB 230 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Senate approved bill 44-7, with five senators voting present, including Obama.
  • HB 382 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. House version, passed Illinois State Senate, adopted as law. Under the bill, doctors who perform partial-birth abortions could be sent to prison for one to three years. The woman would not be held liable.

2001 Votes

  • HB 1900 Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Bill passed 38-10, with nine present votes, including Obama.
  • SB 562 Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Bill passed Senate 39-7, with11 present votes, including Obama.
  • SB 1093 Law to protect Liveborn children. Bill passed 34-6, with 12 present, including Obama.
  • SB 1094 Bill to protect children born as result of induced labor abortion. Bill passed 33-6, with 13 present, including Obama.
  • SB 1095 Bill defining “born alive” defines “born-alive infant” to include infant “born alive at any stage of development.” Bill passed 34-5, with nine present, including Obama.

Obama defended his voting record on abortion as recently as 2007.

If Rick Santorum were the nominee, he would ask Barack Obama about his views in the Presidential debates, just like he asked Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor. Wouldn’t you like to hear Obama defend partial birth abortion in a debate? I would. Maybe it’s about time that Obama had to do more than vote present to cover up his radical pro-abortion record.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wintery Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

RSS Intelligent Design podcast

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Evolution News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
Click to see recent visitors

  Visitors Online Now

Page views since 1/30/09

  • 4,513,969 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,157 other followers

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,157 other followers

%d bloggers like this: