Margaret Brent: First American Woman to Request the Right to Vote Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

  Margaret Brent emigrated to Maryland at the age of 37.  She never married, thus becoming a thriving businesswoman and landowner.   Upon the death of Governor Calvert, the Proprietor of Maryland, Margaret–not her brother Giles–was named executor of his affairs and charged with handling his debts, including those to soldiers under his command.

   She went to the General Assembly, knowing that they wished to repeal the tobacco tax, probably hoping that with her vote and voice she could convince the colony to pay the soldiers who protected them with the tobacco tax.  When she was denied a vote, she publicly protested all proceedings that took place.

 Came Mrs Margarett Brent and requested to have vote in the
howse for her selfe and voyce allso for that att the last Court
3d Jan: it was ordered that the said Mrs Brent was to be lookd
uppon and received as his Lps Attorney. The Gour denyed
that the sd Mrs Brent should have any uote in the howse. And
the sd Mrs Brent protested agst all proceedings in this pfit
Assembly, unlesse shee may be pnt. and have vote as aforesd

  Using her authority as the executor for Governor Calvert, Margaret then made a bold move: she began selling off cattle to pay the soldiers and prevent an uprising.  Lord Baltimore objected, but the General Assembly stuck up for her and wrote this letter as commendation:

We do Verily Believe and in Conscience report that it was better for the Collonys safety at that time in her hands than in any mans else in the whole Province… for the Soldiers would never have treated any other with that Civility and respect and though they were even ready at several times to run into mutiny yet she still pacified them… She rather deserved favour and thanks from your Honour for her so much Concurring to the publick safety then to be justly liable to… bitter invectives.

  Historians speculate that Lord Baltimore never forgave her over the cattle, and thus she moved to Virginia,  She acquired a large tract of land in Virginia, which she named “Peace” and lived there until her death in 1671.


Speaking of Words… Friday, Dec 19 2008 

    The media has fallen to a new low: “Man in shotgun case barred from contacting ill wife” is the latest in the list of examples of shoddy, biased reporting.  Do they mention he had intended to shoot his “ill wife”?  Or the entire family?  Of course not.  Do they mention his long history of violence, including taking a hammer to his “ill wife”‘s head in June 2008 where he earned a whopping 3 months of jail time?  Yes, she was dying of ovarian cancer then as well.  How did his “ill wife” survive?  A cell phone text message to some male relatives who happened to be nearby.

   Instead of questioning the system–which allows violent crime offenders back out on the streets just because the person they attacked happened to be a family member, the news outlets try to make the attacker look like a “victim”.  It’s pathetic.  Before you think that this is the only article like this, I’ve found at least 7 others: A woman was in critical condition Tuesday after being shot in the face during an argument between two estranged lovers the evening before, according to police–which makes it sound like a simple lovers’ quarrel that got out of hand; Bergen County’s prosecutor says a Hackensack woman is in critical condition after she was shot in the face by an ex-boyfriend–which doesn’t even realize that it was not her ex-boyfriend, but her brother-in-law;  Lodi man accused of shooting sister-in-law–which implies that he wasn’t caught with a gun in hand at the scene.  “Accused” implies there is a  shadow of a doubt that he might be innocent.  There is none; Tempers flared between a woman and her estranged boyfriend in Lodi last night leading to a shooting that critically injured the woman’s sister–again trying to make it sound like a simple lovers’ quarrel; Bergen County’s prosecutor says a Hackensack woman is in critical condition after she was shot in the face by an ex-boyfriend.–again, brother-in-law, not ex-boyfriend; He allegedly returned to Richardson’s home that evening with a loaded shotgun, Molinelli said yesterday–again, implies that there is a shadow of doubt of innocence; The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office says a Hackensack woman is in critical condition after being shot in the face by her brother-in-law.–now, this article is the most objective, but again does not report on the history of the case.

   Is the media trying to quell a public outcry against a system which allows repeat violent offenders out on the streets?  Sure, prisons are overcrowded, but violent offenders need to be there.  I’ve seen two very logical ideas for legislation come out of this, and I’m sure there are many others.  One being the use of a GPS as an alert system for restraining order violations.  Another being barring those with histories of domestic violence from owning guns–and this is from someone who accepts hunting deer.  However, the only way we will have solutions to such horrible problems is if the media reports these problems accurately and without bias.

  See Betty Jean’s full story here:   She is one of the few PUMAs that I have gotten to meet in person, and believe me, this is a tragedy–not just that it happened, but the way it is being swept under the rug.

More Choices for the Illinois Senate Seat with Resumes Sunday, Dec 7 2008 

Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Veterans Affairs Director

–Disabled Iraq war veteran

–Major in Illinois National Guard

–Coordinator of Center for Nursing Research

–Fluent in Thai and Indonesian

–Manager at Rotary International handling offices in Tokyo; Seoul, South Korea; New Delhi; and Sydney, Australia

–Helped open a rotary club in Afghanistan

–Unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2006 and was promoted by Obama during that run

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General

–Attorney General since 2002

–Served in Illinois Senate

–Litigator for Chicago law firm

–High school teacher in South Africa during apartheid

–Community advocate, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs

–Received recognition from Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, Equality Illinois, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Illinois Environmental Council.

Janice Schakowsky, Congresswoman (see previous post for links)

–U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District

–Appointed by Nancy Pelosi as Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership team.

–Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee

–Sponsoring legislation that would prevent violence against immigrant women, establish transitional housing for women and children who are victims of abuse, and commemorate International Women’s Day

–During the 110th Congress, Schakowsky serves as Democratic Vice Chair of the bipartisan Women’s Caucus

–8 years as Representative for 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly

–Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990

–Program Director of Illinois Public Action (1976-1985)

Not on the Short List but Should Be:

Judy Biggert, Illinois Congresswoman, Moderate Pro-Choice Republican who is for Human Rights

–13th district of Illinois

United States Congress

   * Ranking Member: House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit   
   * Co-Chair: Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus  
   * Subcommittee Assignments: Housing and Community Opportunity (Financial Services); Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit (Financial Services); Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education(Education and Labor); Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness(Education and Labor); Energy and Environment (Science & Technology), Technology and Innovation (Science & Technology)

   * Elected Republican Co-Chair of the Caucus on Women’s Issues


   * Increasing Corporate Accountability: Wrote law that makes executives repay their ill-gotten gains and bans officers who abuse their power from serving on another corporate board

   * Enhancing Lakefront Security: Secured $2 million in federal funding to help construct a new marine safety facility at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago

   * Improving Education: Wrote law that removes barriers in current federal law preventing homeless children from receiving an education

   * Protecting Our Children: Wrote law that improves law enforcement’s ability to investigate incidences of child exploitation on the Internet

   * Fighting the War on Drugs: Wrote law that increases penalties for traffickers of club drugs such as Ecstasy and creates an information campaign on Ecstasy

   * Looking Out for the 13th District: Secured largest budget increase in five years for Argonne National Laboratory in fiscal year 2001; and settled six-year-old dispute between DuPage County and the Department of Energy leading to the payment of one million dollars owed to DuPage County schools

* Rooting out Waste, Fraud and Abuse: Initiated General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation of Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) that revealed thousands of lost case files from the Chicago office; led effort to reform Department of Education’s student loan program that has lost more than $75 million in loans

Illinois House of Representatives

   * Represented Illinois’ 81st district from 1993 to 1998

* Named Assistant Republican House Leader in 1995, after serving just one term

Professional Experience

   * Attorney specializing in real estate, estate planning, and probate, 1975-Present

* Clerk to The Hon. Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1963-1964


   * Northwestern University School of Law, JD, 1963 (Member, Board of Editors, Law Review)

   * Stanford University, BA (International Relations), 1959

* New Trier High School, 1955

Civic Experience

   * Chairman, Village of Hinsdale Plan Commission, 1989-1993

   * Steering Committee, Citizens for Property Tax Accountability, 1990-1993

   * Chairman, Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago, 1989-1991

   * President, Board of Education, Hinsdale Township High School District 86, 1983-1985

   * Chairman, Hinsdale Assembly of the Hinsdale Hospital, 1987-1988

   * President, Junior League of Chicago, 1976-1978

   * Treasurer, Women’s Board of Brookfield Zoo, 1970-1971

   * President, Chicago Junior Board of Travelers Aid Society, 1969

   * Board of Directors, Salt Creek Ballet, 1990-1999

   * Chairman, Hinsdale Antiques Show, 1980

   * Board of Governors, Illinois Lincoln Series, 1994-Present

   * President, Oak School PTA, 1974-1976

   * Sunday School Teacher, Grace Episcopal Church, 1974-1984

* Assistant Soccer Coach, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), 1983


• “NORD Health Leadership Award” – National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), 2007
• “Distinguished Public Service Award” – Dystonia Advocacy Coalition, 2007
• “Champion of the Merit Shop” – Associated Builders and Contractors, 2007
• “Distinguished Service Award” – National Energy Resources Organization (NERO), 2007
• “Benjamin Franklin Public Policy Award” – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), 2007
• “AIMBE 2007 Congressional Award” – American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2007
• “Certificate of Excellence” – National Breast Cancer Coalition, 2007
• Special Recognition Award from International Titanium Powder on Judy’s dedicated efforts to bring about a domestic titanium manufacturing industry to the benefit the U.S. Department of Defense and American way of life, 2007
• Distinguished Community Health Superhero – National Association of Community Health Centers, 2007
• Champion of Public Education” – FED ED, 2006
• Guardian of Small Business Award – National Federation of Independent Business, 109th Congress
• Decade for Change Award – National Domestic Violence Hotline, 2006
• Exemplary Legislator Award – National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2006
• Congressional Award for fighting drunk driving – The Century Council, 2006
• “Friend of the Shareholder Award” – American Shareholders Association, 2006
• “Guardian of Worker Freedom” – Alliance for Worker Freedom, 2006
• “2005 Hero of the Taxpayer Award” – Americans For Tax Reform, 2006
• “Small Business Champion” – Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, 2006
• Certificate of Appreciation – National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2006
• President’s Award – The Arc of Illinois, 2006
• Alumni Merit Award – Northwestern University, 2006
• “Thomas Jefferson Award” – International Foodservice Distributors Association, 2006
• Spirit of Enterprise Award – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 2006
• Humane Appreciation Award – The Humane Society of the United States, 2005
• Legislator of the Month Award – The Population Institute, 2005
• 2005 WISER Hero Award—The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement
• “Eagle Award”, Associated Builders and Contractors, 2005
• “Legislative Leadership Award” National Association of Realtors, 2005
• “Federal Legislator Award” Jumpstart Coalition: Financial Smarts for Students, 2005
• “Perfect Voting Record Award” National Association of Wheat Growers, 2004
• “Friends of the National Parks” National Parks Conservation Association, 108th Congress
• “Friend of Farm Bureau” American Farm Bureau, 2004
• “Humanitarian of the Year” Giant Steps Illinois – Autism Center for Excellence, 2004
• “Thank you for your support of Old Glory and the Flag Protection Amendment in the 108th Congress” The Citizen Flag Alliance and the American Legion, 2004
• “Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence” National Association of Manufacturers, 2004, 2003
• “Guardian of Small Business Award” National Federation of Independent Business, 2004
•“2004 Friend of the Shareholder Award”, American Shareholders Association
•108th Congress “Small Business Advocate”, Small Business Survival Committee
•“2004 Hero of the Taxpayer Award”, Americans for Tax Reform,
•“Champion of Science”, The Science Coalition, 2004
•“Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women”. Crain’s Chicago Business, 2004
•“2004 Lifetime Civic Volunteer Award”, Committee of 100, 2004
•“Chicago’s 100 Most Powerful Women”, Chicago Sun-Times, 2004
•“Woman of Distinction for outstanding commitment to the community”, Suburban Life Newspapers, 2004
•“Legislator of the Year”, P.E.4LIFE Institute, 2004
•“A Special Thanks”, Fairmont School, 2004
•National Breast Cancer Coalition Legislative Award 2003 and 2004
•“Leadership Award for Women’s Health”, Jacobson Institute, 2004
•“George E. Brown Science-Engineering-Technology Leadership Award”, Science-Engineering-Technology (SET) Work Group, 2004
•“Our Children’s Advocate of the Year”, Our Children’s Homestead, 2004, 1999
•“Thomas Jefferson Award”,  Food Marking Institute and International Foodsevice Distributors Association, 2004
•“Legislator of the Year”, Suburban Area Agency on Aging, 2003
•”American Chemical Society Award for Public Service”, American Chemical Society, 2003
•”One Nation Under God”, Exchange Club of Naperville, 2003
•“Outstanding and Inspiring Leadership Award”, Consul General of India, 2003
•“Excellence”, Naperville Community Unit School District 203, 2003
•”Excellence in Education”, National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2002
•”Friend of Education”, Illinois Education Association and National Education Association, 2002
•“You made a Difference Certificate of Appreciation”, International Rett Syndrom Association, 2002
•”Activator Friend of Agriculture”, Illinois Agriculture Association, 2002
•”Manufacturing Legislative Excellence”, National Association of Manufacturers Award, 2001  
•”Citizens for a Sound Economy Jefferson Award”, Citizens for a Sound Economy, 2002
•”Champion of Small Business”, Small Business Survival Committee, 2002
•”Chairman’s Award”, DuPage Workforce Board, 2002
•”Outstanding Leadership to Homeless and Victims of Domestic Violence”, Chicago Public Schools, 2002
•”Distinguished Achievement” for Protecting and Expanding Education Opportunities for Children and Youth Who are Homeless, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 2002
•”Certificate of Appreciation for Homeless Education”, Illinois State Board of Education, 2002
•”Passes the Moral Test of Government”, Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness, 2002
•”Award of Appreciation”, for Service to Business Community, National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), 2002
•”Friend of Technology”, Smart Signal, Inc, 2002
•”Certificate of Appreciation”, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 2002
•”Voting for the Flag Amendment”, American Legion (11th District), 2002
•”Mayslake Village Honoree”, Mayslake Village, 2002
•”Friend of the Shareholder”, American Shareholders Association, 2002, 2000
•”Hero of the Taxpayer”, Americans for Tax Reform, 2002, 2000
•”Friend of Agriculture”, American Farm Bureau and Illinois Farm Bureau, 2002, 2000, 1996
•”Guardian of Seniors’ Rights”, The 60 Plus Association, 2002, 1998
•”Special Recognition Award”, National School Board Association (NSBA), 2002
•”National Republican Legislator of the Year”, Illinois State Crime Commission, 2002
•”Congressional Leadership on behalf of Homeless Children and Youth”, National Association for Education of Homeless Children and Youth, 2001
•”100 percent” Voting Record, National Association of Manufacturers, 2001
•”In Great Appreciation” for Interest and Support, American Legion Post #43 and VFW Post 3873, 2001
•”Dedicated Public Service”, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 2001
•”Guardian of Small Business”, National Federation of Independent Business, 2000
•”Advocate of Small Business”, Small Business Survival Committee, 2000
•”Spirit of Enterprise”, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2001, 1999
•“Service Award”, Architects in Action, 2000
•“Special Thanks for Participation on Arbor Day”, Darien Park District, 2000
•“Thank you for support of the Flag Protection Amendment”, Citizens Flag Alliance, 1999-2000
•“In Appreciation”, Giant Steps, 2000, 1999
•”100% High Tech Voting Record”, Information Technology Industry Association, 1999
•”A+” Rating, National Foreign Trade Council 1999 Congressional Report Card
•”Super Friend of Seniors”, 60 Plus Association, 1999
•”Bharat Misra” (Friend of India), Indo-US Political League, 1999
•”Governmental Leader of the Year”, DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, 1998
•”Legislator of the Year”, Illinois Association of Community Mental Health Agencies, 1998
•Inducted into Hinsdale Central High School Hall of Fame, 1997
•”Legislator of the Year”, Women’s Cable Association, 1997
•“Certificate of Appreciation”, Illinois Library Association, 1997
•One of “100 Women Making a Difference”, Today’s Chicago Woman, 1997
•Named “First Friend” of Wellness House, 1997
•“Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding cooperation and assistance in furthering the purpose and principles of the Coast Guard Auxiliary”, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, 1997
• “Champion Legislator”, Hinsdale Hospital, 1996
•“In Appreciation”, Inside Insights, 1996
•”Voice of Employers”, Management Association of Illinois, 1996
•“Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions on behalf of the people of Illinois”, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, 1996
•”Woman of the Year” in Government, Politics and Civic Affairs, DuPage YWCA, 1995
•“In Appreciation”, Community Hospitals Against the Medicaid Provider Tax (CHAMP), 1995
•Illinois Division Merit Citation, American Cancer Society, 1995
• “A World of Thanks”, O.P.A.C.C.
•“In Appreciation”, Hinsdale Surgical Center
• “Honorary Smile Ambassador”, Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation
• Who’s Who of American Women

Religious Affiliation
# Member, Grace Episcopal Church, Hinsdale, Illinois

# Birthplace: Chicago; Husband: Rody P. Biggert; Children: Courtney Caverly, Alison Cabot, Rody P. Biggert, Jr., and Adrienne Morrell; and Grandchildren: Martin Bray, Gillian and Grant Patterson Caverly; John Henry and Matthew Cabot; and Greer Morrell.

Women in the Senate Sunday, Dec 7 2008 

A great deal of interest has been generated over the possible female appointees to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, but we forget that we could also make gains with Obama’s upcoming vacant Senate seat (likely to be vacant regardless of the Natural Born Citizen outcome).

So who are the female Illinois Congresspeople?  Yes, all of them endorsed Obama, but he is from their home state after all.

We have Janice Schakowsky, a far left Democrat, with more experience in Congress, whose focus has been Energy and the Environment, and has been called a friend to Israel.

Second, we have Judy Biggert, a moderate  Republican, whose focus has been on Education, and who is pro-choice and voted NO on the FMA and was endorsed by the HRC against her Democratic opponent (which NEVER happens).

We have moderate Democrat, Melissa Bean, who has served on various financial committees, who has the greatest chance of helping in this economic mess, although she only has 3 years of experience in Congress.

Do a little research and tell me which of these three you would pick to support for Obama’s Senate seat.