Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Murkowski Wins Alaska Senate Race as Write-In Candidate


Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has become the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, the Associated Press reports.

Murkowski emerged victorious after a painstaking, two-week count of write-in ballots showed she has overtaken tea party rival Joe Miller.

Sen Durbin Comments on "Stan the Man" Musial's Receiving the Medal of Freedom

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today offered his heartfelt congratulations to Baseball Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial for being chosen by President Obama to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Musial, widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players in history, dedicated 22 years to the game of baseball, served in the Navy during World War II and has dedicated the rest of his life to public service and the St. Louis community.

“As a young kid in East St. Louis my most prized possession was my first baseball glove: a Stan Musial Rawlings Special. I rubbed that leather glove with Gloveoleum until I was the only one who could still see his name burned in the leather. I know if I would dig deep in my closet I could still find that Musial glove,” said Durbin. “It is rare in history to find such a public person without a detractor. On the field and off, Stan Musial was always a gentleman, always a champion.”

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award bestowed by the President of the United States to recognize individuals who have made an exception contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Only 257 Americans have received this honor.

After playing 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941 to 1963, Musial was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Over that time, he compiled a lifetime batting average of .331, with 3,630 hits, 475 home runs and 1,951 RBIs appearing in 23 World Series games and 24 All-Star Games. He is one of only three players to have run over 6,000 bases in his career, the other two being Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

“A sign of his great sportsmanship, Stan was never once ejected during his career spanning more than 3,000 games. Both in and out of a Cardinal uniform, Stan exemplifies the values of sportsmanship, discipline, hard work, grace, consistency, excellence and humility. He is truly deserving of a Medal of Freedom.”

Musial served in the United States Navy during World War II, but his service to our nation did not end there. From 1964 to 1967, he served as a Consultant to President Lyndon Johnson on his Council on Physical Fitness. In that position he was able to encourage better fitness among Americans through sports and exercise.

Proud of his Polish-American heritage, Musial has shared his love of baseball with Poland both before and after the fall of Communism. He has received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit. Back in the United States, Musial has dedicated himself to his community and public service. He has served as a board member for the United Service Organizations (USO), the Boy Scouts, the Senior Olympics, the Crippled Children’s Society of St. Louis and the Shelter for Children. Recently, he chaired an effort to raise more than $6 million for the renovation of the Soldier’s Memorial in St. Louis.




[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) was today re-elected to the Senate's second highest ranking leadership post -- Assistant Majority Leader, also known as Majority Whip. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) was elected as Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was elected as Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference and Patty Murray (D-WA) was elected Democratic Conference Secretary in today’s balloting.

“I am honored that my Senate colleagues have again entrusted me with this responsibility,” Durbin said. “Our party is a diverse one, as is my home state of Illinois. Those lessons I have learned representing my state will help me to serve as Assistant Leader of this extraordinary Caucus.”

Durbin, 65, will be the lead person in the day-to-day action on the Senate floor. The modern day version of the whip, besides being the second ranking party leader in the Senate, is responsible for counting votes and monitoring legislation on the Senate floor.

Only four other Illinoisans have served as leaders for their parties in the Senate. Shelby Moore Cullom served as Republican Conference Chairman from 1911-1913; J. Hamilton Lewis became the first Democratic Whip of the Senate in 1913, and was again elected Whip in 1931; Scott Wike Lucas served as Democratic Whip from 1947 to 1949 and Majority Leader from 1949 to 1951; and Everett McKinley Dirksen was elected Republican Whip in 1957 and Minority Leader in 1959, a position he held for ten years.

Neither the position of whip nor majority leader is mentioned in the United States Constitution. The term "whip" comes from "whipper-in," a fox-hunting term for the person charged with keeping dogs from straying during a chase. According to the Senate historian’s office, it was not until the latter part of the 19th century that senators of each political party “organized and assembled separately for the purpose of electing certain members from among their own to act as agents in helping to run the legislative machine.” And it was not until the 20th century that the posts of majority and minority leaders and whips became official political positions.

Durbin said he believes that his role will continue to benefit his home state. “Illinois will always be at the table for any discussion of legislation involving the leadership,” Durbin noted.

Durbin said he believes that with House of Representative under Republican control and the Senate in the hands of the Democratic Party, Congress will continue to be the most important forum in America to debate the great issues and to address the challenges facing our country.

“I look forward to working with members of both parties and the President to improve the quality of life for the middle class and for all Americans,” he said. “We need to remember why the American people have elected us. They want a strong and prosperous America, but they want economic fairness as well and they want us to empower families and individuals to reach their maximum potential. That's our challenge; that's our responsibility.”


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sara Lee Sells Bakery Unit to Mexican Firm

WSJ Reports Sara Lee Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 32% on a prior-year divestiture gain as the company announced plans to sell its North American fresh bakery business to Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo for $959 million

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brady Statement on Election Results

As I said last night, I have a penchant for close elections.

Having been through this process before, I know the importance of making sure every voice is heard, and every vote is counted. I believe we will win. Our campaign continues to wait for the results from local election officials.

The people of Illinois cast 3.6 million votes in this election. As of right now, there is a difference of less than one vote per precinct. We must allow election authorities to do their job as we wait for official results, which are then certified by the State Board of Elections.

In addition to the ballots cast in the precincts, absentee and military ballots remain to be counted, and I believe we will win.”

Peoria Journal Star: Brady Won't Concede, Expects to Win

BLOOMINGTON — Republican Bill Brady isn't conceding in the extraordinarily tight race for Illinois governor against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Brady told reporters Wednesday in Bloomington that he believes he will win. He says he's going to wait for the official results after all of the absentee ballots are counted.

Quinn has predicted victory in a year that saw many other Democratic governors tossed out of office.

Brady is trailing Quinn by the thinnest of margins. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Quinn's lead was just more than 8,300 vote of the 3.6 million cast. Quinn has nearly 47 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent for Brady.