Blue Island Attorney ShawnTe Raines Against 1st Amendment Rights
Posted in the Dixmoor Forum
#1 Jan 20, 2014
Forum: Get involved in your town, schools
This year, more than ever, I suggest that every citizen resolve to get involved with their local government and schools. The threat of losing our basic freedoms, having a voice in the direction of our country and the values we teach our children is growing.
This nation of government by the people, for the people and of the people is being guided by very vocal groups with special interest agendas that run contrary to many of the basic values that this county was founded on. The more that we citizens sit by and allow our elected officials to take away our basic freedoms and dictate how we are to think and what values we are to hold dear, the quicker we become a socialist society.
I urge you to question everything the government does and, more importantly, everything your school board does because its members make the decisions that mold our childrens minds and future.
It sickens me as a school board member to see only a few people attend school board meetings and even fewer calling to suggest, question or complain. The true killer of freedom is apathy, and it is running rampant. Stop it dead in its tracks and resolve to get involved in 2014!
Michael D. Turay
Mr. Turay you are very accurate in your description and analysis of Citizens Apathy in the State of Illinois today. The elected leadership in the city of Blue Island is attempting to DUMB DOWN and SILENCE the residents, and the. This campaign is being spearheaded by the taxpayer paid city Attorney ShawnTe Raines.
#2 Jan 20, 2014
Please! How can somebody be so fill of hubris? You should take your arrogance as a school board member& find out what has been going on in the schools you are suppose to be overseeing. There has been plenty to investigate just by some things parents have been posting here on Topix.
The quality of the people teaching our children or worse, the people these teachers consort with!! Get off your high horse & do your job.
the reason parents & taxpayers don't come to the meeting is because even if they did show up & ask you about the problems, you people on the board just look the other way. Or worse, make an excuse to not look into it.
#3 Jan 20, 2014
When you have municipal attorneys failing to follow Roberts Rules of Order and convincing council members to write ordinances to protect the council collectively and suggesting council members will be protected individually; who gets paid? Who gets paid for writing the ordinance? Who gets paid when there is a lawsuit? And; WHO PAID for all of this?
#4 Jan 20, 2014
The taxpayers of Blue Island have lost far to much money over the last 30+ years as taxpayer dollars have been diverted to make the few rich. Get the Division St. Bridge open, fix the neglected streets, and sidewalks.
#5 Jan 20, 2014
1.) Open the Division St. Bridge.
2.) Fill Pot Holes.
3.) Replace and Repair Streets.
4.) Replace and Repair Sidewalks.
5.) Balance the Budget.
6.) Set Open and Fair Hiring Practices.
7.) Eliminate All Conflicts of Interest.
8.) Set a Time Table to Accomplish All Goals.
#6 Jun 10, 2014
Judge Laura Sullivan, take note
A law professor schools a Cook County judge in the First Amendment
June 9, 2014
If Samuel V. Jones wasn't a law professor, he might have put away his pen and pad when a deputy in Cook County Circuit Judge Laura Sullivan's courtroom told him, "There is no note-taking in here."
Instead, Jones ended up giving court officials a refresher course in the First Amendment.
He asked whether he had broken the law or disturbed anyone. He questioned deputies' authority to confiscate his notes. They had no good answers. After detaining him for 30 minutes, they let him go, notes and all.
So he sat down and wrote about it. In a May 16 essay in the Tribune, Jones described his experience: He was ordered to sit on a bench, surrounded by officers, and told not to write or move. He also described the "abusive conduct" of deputies toward members of the public who were there to witness bond hearings.
It was a poor reflection on the judge and her courtroom, which is precisely the point.
"Justice flourishes when interested citizens may report, discuss or even condemn observed courtroom proceedings," Jones wrote. "But for the people, who would tell of my fate and the government's conduct?"
That's the thinking behind the Illinois Supreme Court's decision to allow cameras in courtrooms. Cook County is still awaiting approval to roll them out, but dozens of Illinois counties (and 36 other states) go about their daily business under those watchful lenses, and we're all the better for it. Yet Sullivan and several other Cook County judges, based on the feedback to Jones' essay would not allow citizens to record their observations with a pencil and paper.
It turns out that in 2004, a different Cook County judge threw a different law professor out of her courtroom for taking notes. Judge Gloria Coco forbade reading and writing in her courtroom, along with sleeping, talking, gum chewing, hats and sunglasses.
That time, it ended up in federal court. A judge said the First Amendment protects public access to the courts so that citizens can observe and critique their government, and note-taking helps ensure an informed discussion.
Sullivan apparently missed that ruling, as well as the part of law school where the constitution is explained. So we hope she got the memo from Chief Judge Timothy Evans, who recently signed an administrative order spelling out that note-taking is permitted in court.
Judges have discretion to maintain decorum in their courtrooms, he said, but a blanket ban on note-taking goes too far. He reminded judges of the federal court's ruling in the Coco case, which was based on an earlier ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. We hope no further remedial instruction is needed.
Judge Sullivan: The courtroom does not belong to you. It belongs to the people. You might want to write that down.
#7 Jun 10, 2014
I am a lawyer in Chicago, fighting corruption and I can tell you over a hundred stories on that issue (there is a reason it is "crook county"). but my story today is HEY, THAT WAS ME. I was told just weeks ago in court room 1804 that I could not blog with my computer. I put it away. Then I was told no note taking, I had to sit there and do nothing. This is FROM THE DEPUTIES OF COOK COUNTY. I had a fit and published on my blog. I gave the deputies a lecture impromptu on first amendment rights. What did they respond? It would LOOK BAD to our supervisor so they have to do this (abrogate the first amendment). I faxed Timothy Evans, presiding judge of the entire Cook County Court system and Sheriff Dart that this looks like corruption. How did they respond? When I went to renew my attorney ID so I do not have to stand in line in security and go through the scanner and xray for my belongings, they TOOK IT AWAY. Are we in US of Russia or what? But it is the public that has to DEMAND democracy. I am nearly a lone attorney (Kenneth Ditkowsky is another brave attorney fighting for your first amendment rights and so is Michael Gearheart and Lanre Amu) but the public has to demand respect for our rights. Us few attorneys, not believing in the "powers that be" and an "attorney code of silence" cannot do it alone. Please, write, fax and contact Sheriff Dart, Presiding Judge Timothy Evans and the ARDC and tell them YOU DEMAND YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
#8 Jun 10, 2014
Thank you for writing this article. It's so very timely written too, because Judge Laura Sullivan is up for re-election this year. She is the one who let that rapist go free, the one who envitably beat and raped the 13 year old school girl last winter and left her for dead in the back of someones yard. Why, you ask? Because the deaf/mute perp had an interpreter and his spanish speaking victim did not. Sullivan let an illegal immigrant out on bail after killing a homeless man in a DUI accident last week.
#9 Jun 10, 2014
Learn so they can earn your VOTE!
#10 Jun 11, 2014
Rep. Derrick Smith: Another Illinois corruption conviction
'One, two, three, four, five. Damn, stuck together. Six, seven.'
June 11, 2014
The saga of Derrick Smith has been one long exercise in mixed messages. This one's unequivocal: guilty.
A federal jury took only four hours to convict the lame-duck state representative of bribery and attempted extortion for pocketing $7,000 in exchange for his signature on a letter seeking a state grant for a day care center.
Tuesday's verdict means the Chicago Democrat, who rose from sanitation worker to Illinois lawmaker, has now been booted from the General Assembly for the second or third time, depending on how you count. Under state law, the conviction strips him of his seat immediately.
A lifelong Democratic loyalist his resume includes stints as the 27th Ward superintendent for Ald. Walter Burnett and in the office of Secretary of State Jesse White Smith was clouted into a vacant House seat in March 2011.
He was arrested a year later in the middle of a heated primary which he won anyway, with the backing of Democratic leaders whose plan was for him to then quit so they could appoint someone else.
Smith refused to give up his seat, so his House colleagues voted in August 2012 to expel him.
But it was too late for Smith's name to be removed from the November ballot, and nothing in state law to prevent him from being elected again. The party leaders who'd backed him in the primary election drummed up an independent candidate to run against him in the general, but Smith won.
That's how the first lawmaker to be expelled in more than a century came to be sworn back into office five months later.
Still with us?
Up for election again this year, Smith found himself in a five-way primary race. This time, voters sent him packing despite the $70,000 that state Democratic chairman and House Speaker Michael Madigan spent trying to get Smith re-elected.
Madigan and fellow Democratic leaders just couldn't make up their minds if Smith was a good guy or a bad guy.
Or maybe they just didn't care.
So we owe a debt of gratitude to the federal jurors for imposing some moral clarity on this tale. Smith traded his office for a $7,000 bribe, they concluded. That's an unacceptable breach of public trust.
The jurors had to sort through some doubts about the motives of "Pete," the FBI snitch who brokered the phony deal. On the day the money changed hands, it was Pete who wore a wire as he counted out the seven stacks of $100 bills: "One, two, three, four, five. Damn, stuck together. Six, seven."
After the verdict, one juror described Pete as "a slippery and disgusting character" and called the FBI's investigation "somewhat sleazy."
Pete's criminal record is a lot longer than Smith's. He's been arrested more than 20 times and convicted of burglary and drug charges. Over the last two decades, he's worked as a paid informant on all sorts of cases, from food stamp fraud to insurance scams to a bribery case involving Chicago cops.
The feds acknowledged in court that Pete didn't follow their instructions fully and that they'd once stopped doing business with him for a while after he was arrested for stealing bricks.
Defense attorneys said Pete was a hustler who badgered a reluctant Smith for three months before the deal finally went down. On one of dozens of secretly recorded conversations played at trial, Smith told Pete to make sure the person paying the bribe understood that his signature might not carry enough weight to secure the grant anyway. He didn't have a lot of influence to peddle, in other words. That's not a very forceful shakedown.
"Man, you'd better come on," Pete prods in one recording. In another, he accuses Smith of "talking in circles."
#11 Jun 11, 2014
So maybe Smith thought twice before he sold out the voters of the 10th District. But he did it. That's why the verdict came into focus so quickly.
In the words of juror Jason Carter: "He never said,'Hey, listen Pete, I do these letters all the time and they are to help my constituents, not for my own personal gain.'"
#13 Jun 11, 2014
Looking at the big picture the $70,000 that state Democratic chairman and House Speaker Michael Madigan spent trying to get Smith re-elected; was just a drop in the bucket; to retain the seat Democratic. A WIN WIN for Mike Madigan; that's it that's ALL. Have a good day.
#14 Oct 20, 2015
Sandi Jackson to report to prison this week, likely Tuesday
WRITTEN BY LYNN SWEET POSTED: 10/19/2015
WASHINGTON Former Ald. Sandi Jackson is starting her prison sentence this week likely on Tuesday with her time to be served at a minimum-security camp in Alderson, West Virginia.
Her husband, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., completed his prison sentence on Sept. 18, finishing up his last weeks of time in home confinement at their DuPont Circle neighborhood home in northwest Washington.
The sentencing judge ordered Sandi Jackson to report to prison 30 days after the release of Jackson Jr. The Jacksons were sentenced to staggered prison terms so one parent would remain home to care for their son and daughter.
A source confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that Sandi Jackson will be reporting to Alderson, a facility with 1,031 inmates in southern West Virginia.
In 2013, Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty to looting $750,000 from his campaign fund, which the couple spent on items ranging from lavish trips to mundane sundries. Specifically, Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit false statements and mail and wire fraud.
Sandi Jackson at the same time pleaded guilty to filing a false federal income tax return and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Even when Sandi Jackson was the 8th Ward alderman in Chicago, the Jackson children attended and continue at a private school in Washington.
The Illinois Democrat, who represented the 2nd Congressional District anchored on Chicagos South Side and southern suburbs, was sentenced originally to 30 months. His time served was cut, most likely because of good behavior and completion of a substance-abuse program.
In all, Jesse Jackson Jr. served 23 months. He entered a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, on Oct. 29, 2013. He was transferred to a minimum security section of a prison complex in Montgomery, Alabama, on April 4, 2014. He was transferred to a Baltimore halfway house on March 26.
#15 Oct 22, 2015
Ex-Rep. Derrick Smith's last-minute bid to avoid prison fails
WRITTEN BY JON SEIDEL POSTED: 10/20/2015
Breaking News Alerts
Former state Rep. Derrick Smith leaves the Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, after a sentencing hearing on April 23, 2015.| Brian Jackson/For The Sun-Times
Its finally time for former state Rep. Derrick Smith to face the music.
A federal judge has ordered the West Side Democrat to report to prison by Friday and begin serving his five-month sentence for taking a $7,000 cash bribe.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman put Smiths surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on hold late last month after Smiths defense attorney asked the judge to first let his appeal process play out. After hearing arguments, the judge shot down his request Tuesday and gave Smith three days to surrender.
Last month, she pointed out in court that Smiths sentence could have already been behind him had he started serving it immediately.
He would have been done by now, Coleman said.It would have been over.
The feds caught Smith on tape accepting a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for a letter of support for a state grant application roughly a year after hed been appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives.
Smith thought the cash he was pocketing from an FBI mole in March 2012 was coming from the owner of a day care center in his district, prosecutors have said. He later handed back to the FBI $2,500 of the bribe that hed stashed in his bedroom, telling an agent hed f up.
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