Rep. William “Sam” McCann is a Republican currently representing the 50th district in central Illinois. He turned heads when he announced he was running for governor as the nominee of the newly founded Conservative Party in April 2018. He is now turning heads for a very different reason and it has many Conservatives as well as many other residents of the city of Chicago cheering.
McCann has filed a bill in an effort to redirect $180 million set aside in a grant by the state of Illinois for infrastructure surrounding the Obama Presidential Center. It is a grant the heavily indebted state can ill afford. McCann states it is not fair to the people residing downstate to see their already high taxes increase even further to pay for infrastructure improvements in the Chicagoland area that they may never see or receive any benefit from.
The project has faced a significant amount of criticism even from those local to Chicago’s South Side. Professors and faculty members from the University of Chicago, where former President Barack Obama once taught, voiced significant objections as well. They along with many neighborhood residents and activists do not believe the Obama Center will deliver any sort of “economic benefits” to Chicago’s South Side.
Other critics say that the use of government-owned land to build a private facility will hurt instead of help Chicago’s South Side neighborhood.
“We remain steadfast in our opposition to the confiscation of public parkland for the Obama Presidential Center, which is a private facility,” Charles A. Birnbaum, President & CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
Birnbaum added – “The people of Chicago were told they would get a presidential library administered by the National Archives, a federal facility, in exchange for the confiscation of historic parkland, listed in the National Register of Historic Places – instead, they’re getting a privately-operated entertainment campus with a 235-foot-tall tower, a recording studio, auditorium, and sports facility, and other amenities.”
The Obama Foundation has stated that the proposed site on designated historic parkland would not be administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and would not function as a presidential library housing records, manuscripts, and papers from the Obama White House, as is the norm. Instead, the proposed center would include a museum, a public plaza, a library, and an athletic center, essentially functioning as a community center for the privileged. This announcement has sparked significant questions of just how useful is a presidential library if there is nothing for scholars to research housed within it.
“According to the Chicago Tribune, the Obama library seems more like a playland, than a presidential archive. The facility will house, “a children’s play garden, sledding hill, green spaces for picnics and outdoor gatherings, basketball courts, and even a recording studio.”
After months of deliberations and planning with the University of Chicago, the University of Hawaii, and New York City’s Columbia University all vying for the honor of hosting the Obama library, in April 2015 the Obamas chose Chicago as the location for the facility. Yet many months later the University of Chicago is wondering if all they are actually getting is an overgrown community center.
Other presidential libraries hold the full archives of its namesake’s papers and it is a place where scholars go to do deep and extensive research in an effort to discover what happened during a president’s time in office as well as their life prior to the White House. Many of Obama’s classified documents are still in the hands of the federal government in Washington D.C., but the remainder of his records are currently located in a suburban storage facility near Chicago.
Without these papers and archives exactly what use will Obama’s library be for the city of Chicago? Why would the state grant land, reduce the city’s green space in a historic parkland, forgo future profits from the parking garage, and force the entirety of the already overburdened tax paying populace of the state of Illinois to pay for it?
These are the questions McCann is asking and he states it is the exact reason for the bill’s proposal. In a statement, McCann announced that he filed legislation to reverse the $180 million appropriation on grounds that there are better uses for the money than dropping it on a “high-profile luxury project.”
“I am calling on my fellow legislators to join me in making the fiscally responsible decision to put this $180 million back in our Road Fund,” McCann said. “Illinois hasn’t had a comprehensive capital bill since 2010 and the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our roads a ‘D’ grade last year. If we cannot provide central and southern Illinois with safe and efficient roads, we cannot afford to pump money into high-profile luxury projects.
“Citizens in central and southern Illinois are counting on us to make sure that their tax dollars make a positive difference in their lives, and that is what this bill will do,” McCann added. “It also sends an important message that we will support economic development efforts throughout the entire state.”
There has also been significant pushback from within the Hyde Park community, yet critics are attempting to silence these criticisms with cries of racism, class, segregation, and so-called privilege.
The Chicago Tribune reports – “The Obama Foundation’s plans to build the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park have sparked a complicated, and at times emotional, conversation about race, class, segregation, privilege and power on the South Side.
The conversation has raised delicate and fragile issues: who gets a voice in the discussion, who gets heard, who gets action, and how the history of racial and class segregation shapes expectations.
There are those who see the development as an opportunity for longtime homeowners to finally get investment and an increase in property values.
Others worry that rising rents will push out poor African-Americans. They fear development will cater to elite, highly educated blacks while working-class families lose access to lakefront communities. Residents who are pushing for a community benefits agreement (CBA) — a contract guaranteeing property tax freezes and jobs — have been told they should find entrepreneurial ways to benefit from the coming attraction.
Meanwhile, white Hyde Park residents have been accused of being silent about displacement, affordable housing and unemployment — while using their voices to save birds, butterflies and nature sanctuaries, or to object to longer commute times. And when black residents have voiced their desire to preserve park and green space, they have been told that with all the inequities African-Americans have to deal with, parkland should be the least of their worries.
In some ways, it’s the collision of issues facing the entire city, but playing out dramatically in four neighborhoods: Hyde Park, Washington Park, South Shore and Woodlawn. The center will cost more than $300 million to build and is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and visitors that could ultimately transform the South Side. Yet what that will mean varies among the different constituencies that share the neighborhood.”
Colorado Christian Cake Shop Owner Exonerated By Supreme Court Just Got Really Bad News
This is outrageous!
Here we go again. I’m sure you are familiar with the Colorado Christian cake shop owner who just won a huge case in front of the Supreme Court this last June. Jack Phillips is the Christian baker who made history by prevailing in front of the High Court after he refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of religious beliefs. Most of America celebrated with Phillips when he won the case and it provided a glimmer of hope for religious freedom once again here in the United States.
At the time of Phillips case, the Supreme Court admonished the state’s attorney who was standing against the baker for religious intolerance. He allegedly made a number of comments that gave the court pause on First Amendment grounds. The Supreme Court issued a powerful rebuke to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its “religious hostility” toward Christian baker Jack Phillips. They were right to think that and it has been proven even more to be true this week as this baker just got really bad news. Phillips just filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. From what I am seeing he is being set up to be taken down in a different legalistic move… this time it involves gender issues.
Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom contend that the Commission has revived its campaign against him following June’s High Court decision, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs. It’s like deja vu all over again.
“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, who is an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney that represents Phillips. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”
The person allegedly behind all of this is an attorney named Autumn Scardina. She reportedly called Phillips’ shop the day the decision in his favor was rendered and asked him to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. The caller asked that the cake be blue on the outside and pink on the inside. Over several months after that, Phillips received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, s******y explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. He’s convinced that Scardina was the one who made all of the requests to set him up for legal action.
From PJ Media:
“To forestall a second round of litigation, ADF filed suit against the commission in federal court. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of U.S. Advocacy and Administration, told PJ Media his firm would “preemptively file a lawsuit in federal court to try to stop what the commission is doing.”
“‘We think the circumstances are uniquely aligned to do that,” Tedesco explained.
“Especially since the Supreme Court ruled that the commission had treated Phillips unfairly on the basis of his religion, thus violating his right to free exercise, this follow-up round seems particularly noxious. “It seems like another round of targeting him and putting him through this very difficult process simply because he wants to be faithful in his business in what he creates through his art,” Tedesco said.
“The commission could have decided not to pursue this second case against Phillips. The ADF lawyer explained that, when a Colorado citizen thinks he or she has been discriminated against, they file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division, which then conducts an investigation and determines probable cause.
“When Autumn Scardina filed this complaint, Tedesco would have expected the civil rights commission to reject it. “After Masterpiece came down from the Supreme Court, we expected Colorado to take that into account and realize that it was a bad decision to keep targeting Jack for his religious convictions,” the lawyer explained. “Instead, they found probable cause.”
“‘He’s going to be fully investigated again, there will be hearings from an administrative law judge,” Tedesco said. “It’s restarting the entire scenario.”
“‘It’s appalling,” the lawyer declared. “It’s unconscionable that they would go after him again right on the heels of losing a case because they were openly hostile to his religious beliefs.'”
Scardina has now filed a complaint with the civil rights commission. She is alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The complaint was held aside while the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ other case. Just three weeks after Phillips won his case, the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination. This sure looks as though it was all planned out this way. “Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit states. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”
The freedom of religion is sacrosanct in this nation as a First Amendment right. Weaponizing lawfare to take it apart is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable. I sincerely hope that Phillips prevails once more and that a more solid ruling by the Supreme Court puts an end to this form of religious bigotry.
Judge Who Let Compound Muslims Walk Free Before Trial Exposed For What Else She Did
She supported Obama of course!
The New Mexico judge who on Monday set a ridiculous $20,000 bail for five defendants arrested at a remote New Mexico compound where authorities say children were being trained to conduct school shootings seems to have a history of issuing low bail to violent offenders, especially when it comes to crimes against children.
Judge Sarah Backus (let’s remember the name), who is an elected Democrat is the judge who ordered the two men and three women to wear ankle monitors, have weekly contact with their attorneys and not consume alcohol or own firearms while on bail, after paying the 20k. And what’s possibly the worst part of all this is she actually said that although she was concerned by the “troubling facts” in this case, prosecutors failed to make the case for any specific threats to the community. What????
Here is more on this case via NBC News:
“A 3-year-old boy died — allegedly during a religious ritual. Children said they were being trained to commit mass shootings. A large weapons cache was found, with practice targets.
On Monday, prosecutors detailed horrifying allegations against five adults who were found with 11 starving children in a makeshift compound in Taos County, New Mexico — but the judge said they weren’t backed by enough evidence to keep the defendants behind bars as they await their trial.
“The state alleges that there was a big plan afoot,” state District Judge Sarah Backus said in court. “But the state hasn’t shown to my satisfaction, in clear and convincing evidence, what that plan was.”
The decision stunned many, and prompted threats against Backus. But experts say the move is the result of a series of recent changes to how the state treats defendants before their trials, with “clear and convincing evidence” of being a danger to the community a legal requirement for pre-trial detention with no bail.
“These people have been charged. They have not been convicted,” said Leo Romero, a law professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico and the chairman of a committee that made recommendations on reforming cash bail in the state, which were adopted by the state Supreme Court in 2017.
“So you’re balancing individual rights versus safety of the community, and the judge is weighing that when she is determining the evidence presented by the prosecutor,” he said.
New Mexico is part of a wave of a states that, in recent years, have re-examined how they handle bail and pretrial detention.
In 2014, the state Supreme Court, in New Mexico vs. Walter Ernest Brown, deemed that even if someone is charged with a serious offense, a judge has to make an individual determination on whether to detain the defendant before trial.
“Just because someone is charged with first-degree m****r or first-degree sexual assault, that by itself is insufficient,” Romero said. “The court’s got to consider other evidence of whether the person might be a danger or a flight risk, such as the nature and circumstances, which is different than the charge itself.”
Authorities have “no excuse,” said Jason Badger, who reported seeing missing boy months ago.
And in 2016, an overwhelming number of voters agreed to a constitutional amendment that moved the state away from the traditional money-based bail system to an evidence-of-risk-based system of release and detention, in an effort to bring more fairness. The new system took effect last year.
Backus would not comment on the case because it is still pending. Barry Massey, a spokesman for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, said that “what she said in court yesterday is as much explanation for her decisions as she can provide.”
“Prosecutors have to file a motion, and then they have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that no other conditions of release will reasonably protect the public’s safety,” he said. “What the judge said yesterday is that they didn’t meet that burden.”
While Backus agreed to release the defendants from jail to house arrest, she required them to wear GPS ankle monitors and to check in weekly with their attorneys, plus cooperate with the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Division.
The decision not to hold the defendants spurred a backlash on social media, with some calling for Backus to resign. The New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts said the judge had also received threatening phone calls and emails.
State Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, a former law enforcement officer, said he felt Backus had not been tough enough.
“There’s the remains of a young child found here,” he said. “Someone should be charged with some kind of homicide or m****r. Whoever did that clearly is a violent person, and so they should be detained.”
Bail was set at $20,000 for each defendant, but Backus said she would allow the defendants to walk out on what’s called a signature bond — in which case they don’t have to post any cash.
The case has yet another twist: While the five were released to house arrest, because they were living on a makeshift compound on someone else’s property, they don’t technically have a house to go to.
Massey said that had been solved by offers from residents in Taos County to let them stay with them.
Marie Legrand Miller, a public defender for one of the defendants, Hujrah Wahhaj, confirmed her client had received such offers, but would not say from whom, other than to say the residents didn’t have any criminal problems and were in good standing.
“My client would like to obviously get out of jail and she has no desire to go back to the compound property,” Legrand Miller said. “The judge has ordered that they not return there, and she has no desire to return there.”
Fox News has reported that this isn’t the first time judge Backus has pulled a stunt like this. Just last month, she set a $10,000 bond for 24-year-old Rafael Orozco from Taos who was accused of beating his girlfriend, his newborn child and even a healthcare worker at Holy Cross Hospital in September 2016. He then prompted a lockdown at Holy Cross Hospital after allegedly attacking those 3 individuals.
Police later confirmed that Orozco prompted the lockdown at the hospital after punching his girlfriend as she breastfed their newborn in front of a male doctor, grabbing the mother by the throat and slapping the baby. Orozco then fled the hospital and was arrested in Rio Arriba County a few months later.
During his time in prison, Orozco was accused of other crimes, including obtaining Suboxone, an opioid medication, and pulling a fire alarm. A year later, he and his brother, Cristian Orozco, were charged with assaulting and threatening a guard. In September, Backus approved an order to incarcerate Orozco at the Lea County Correctional Facility until his trial.
Orozco’s defense attorney recently filed a motion arguing for his release and last month, Backus ruled in his favor.
Of course, with a little research, we here at RWN found that Judge Backus apparently gave money to Barack Obama for his 2008 campaign for president.
WATCH: Portland Police Chief Asks Press ‘Why isn’t Antifa EVER Held Accountable?!’
This is another reason why we don't trust the media!
It’s Over: Ellison Learns His Fate Right After 911 Call Comes Out From 2nd ‘Abused’ Woman
WATCH: Woman Arrested At The NM Muslim Compound Was Discovered On CNN!
Funny how CNN forgot to mention this.
Rock Star Sees Trump Supporter In Crowd, Jumps Off Stage And Makes Him Pay Vile Price [Video]
This has to be the worst case of Trump Derangement Syndrome to date!
It’s Over For Omarosa After Her Past Skeletons Just Totally Destroyed Her Case Against Trump
Omarosa is toast!