Monthly Archives: December 2008
Gov. Rod Blagojevich who is currently facing federal public corruption charges stemming from his plot to auction off Barack Obama’s former Senate seat has selected Former Illinois Attorney Gen. Roland Burris to fill the seat. The news of the appoinment amidst allegations that Blagojevich conspired to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder brought on strong criticism from both the Senate Democrats and President Elect Barack Obama. President Elect Barack Obama has stated that it is disappointing that Blagojevich appointed Burris after he had been advised not to appoint a successor to the Senate Seat. The Senate Democrats have called the Governor’s actions defiant and have stated that they will not admit anyone to the Senate appointed by Gov. Blagojevich.
Was Blagojevich’s appointment of Burris to the Senate Seat legal?
Blagojevich’s selection of Burris to the Senate Seat was indeed legal due to the fact that Blagojevich remains Governor of Illinois and by the law of IL, only the Governor of the state can appoint the successor to the Senate Seat.
Along with the Senate Democrats and President Elect Barack Obama’s displeasure with the Governor’s decision to appoint a successor to the Senate Seat are U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both of who do not agree with Governor Blagojevich making an appointment to the seat.
The opposers to Blagojevich’s decision have stated that their opposition is not towards the appointee, but the towards Blagojevich. President Elect Barack Obama called Roland Burris a fine public servant, however he stands behind the decision of the Senate Democratic Leaders in their decision to block the appointment of Burris.
Blagojevich has stated that he is required by law to fill the Senate seat and that the people of Illinois would be deprived of their voice in the Senate had he not appointed someone to fill the seat. Blagojevich, who was arrested earlier this month on the charges of public corruption and criminal conspiracy has not only stated that he is going about business as usual as the Governor of IL but he has also refused any and all advice to step down.
Should Burris have accepted the appointment from Blagojevich?
Roland Burris has asked they he be judged on his own merit and not that of Gov. Blagojevich. Burris stated that he does not look upon the Governor’s problems as his problems and that he has no issue with accepting the appointment from Gov. Blagojevich to serve the remaining two years of former Senator Barack Obama’s term.
Roland Burris stated that he does not fill that his appointment would be tainted by Blagojevich’s problem, however he is definitely placing himself in the hot seat along with Blagojevich; even though the governor does not seem to mind the hot seat one bit. Personally I feel that accepting the position in the midst of the scandal affiliated with Blagojevich is bad business. Burris must know that accepting a seat that the Governor tried to sell to the highest bidder and was advised after being arrested not to fill was not an offer that Burris should have accepted. There has been talk that much of the disdain for the appointment by politicians stems from race issues, but I think that anyone accepting this seat right now would be questioned, criticized and left to face some of the backlash of Blagojevich’s corruption. Below is the video of the press conference (held after Burris offered himself for the seat (yep didn’t know that didcha and afterBlagojevich selected Burris and even after Blagojevich had been advised not to fill the seat) where Governor Blagojevich and Roland Burris spoke about the appointment and took questions from the media. I won’t say anything about Congressman Bobby Rush except that sometimes your idea of helping a situation only makes it worse.
Press Conference Gov Blagojevich, Roland Burris and Congressman Bobby Rush
It should be hard to believe that a person who has been served with a restraining order could still walk up to their victim and kill them…that should be hard to believe but sadly it is not only believable it is true.
Lavatrice Street is one of those people that a restraining order did not help to protect. Street was run off the road and killed by her ex boyfriend earlier this year. The restraining order was found lying beside her in the passenger seat of her car.
Lavatrice Street is only one of many whom sought protection, yet their lives were ended at the same hands of the person the law sought to protect them from.
In many cases a restraining order is merely a piece of paper with words that aren’t taken seriously. The order which sets forth to stop the abuser from harassing, harming or contacting the victim is often seen by the abuser as more of a threat than an order in which they should comply. The victims are often in more danger after the order than they were before they broke their silence and went for help.
Many victims are even at a greater risk of danger once they have sought protection from law enforcement. The abuser oftentimes feels the need to retaliate because they have lost an even greater sense of the control they feel the need to have over the victim.
This excerpt is taken from the Order of Protection from the State of Tennessee (take note of the sections in red) This is what the court advises the respondent (abuser) may happen if they violate the order of protection…
That if you violate this order, you may be held in contempt of Court and punished by incarceration and/or a fine;
That, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-3-611, you shall be arrested by a law enforcement officer without a warrant if that officer has reasonable cause to believe that you have violated or are violating this order.
Willful violation of this order by the respondent will constitute contempt of court and potential penalties include up to 10 (ten) days in jail and a $50.00 fine for each violation. The court may also impose a civil penalty of up to $50.00 for each violation pursuant to T.C.A. §36-3-610.
My main problem with this “protective” order is the mays and ifs. With this much room for consideration it is clear why restraining orders are not actually serving the purpose in which they were created.Ten days in jail after violating an order of protection is only enough time for an abuser to sit in jail and get infuriated that their victim had them locked up. Ten days is just enough time to sit and think long and hard of revenge. Ten days in jail for violating a court order is simply not enough.
Dawn Creekmore, Arkansas State Legislator feels that something needs to be done about domestic violence in the state of Arkansas. Arkansas ranked 8th in the nation in 2006 for domestic violence homicides against women; Creekmore will be introducing 6 bills in the next legislative session to help combat the severe problem that Arkansas has with domestic violence. Creekmore stated that as the laws stands now in Arkansas victims are more likely t be re-victimized. Currently in the state, repeat violations of a protective order are only a misdemeanor; Creekmore hopes to change that to a Class D Felony punishable by up to 6 years in jail. She also has plans for changes to how the state views stalking and choking a victim, both which are currently misdemeanors.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence seek help or advise them to seek help. Domestic Violence kills. By Calling the National Domestic Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) victims or persons seeking help for victims can receive assistance 365 days a year 24 hours a day. Interpreters are available and referrals for assistance are offered for all 50 states