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July 22, 2013

Did Sen. Obama Co-Sponsor An Illinois Stand Your Ground Law?

Did Barack Obama really co-sponsor legislation that strengthened Illinois' Stand Your Ground defense (you know, that racist law that encourages people to kill each other for no apparent reason?)

Why yes -- yes, he did!

This past week President Obama publicly urged the reexamination of state self-defense laws (see remarks below). However, nine years ago then-State Sen. Barack Obama actually co-sponsored a bill that strengthened Illinois' 1961 "stand your ground" law.

The Obama-sponsored bill (SB 2386) enlarged the state's 1961 law by shielding the person who was attacked from being sued in civil court by perpetrators or their estates when a "stand your ground" defense is used in protecting his or her person, dwelling or other property.

The bill unanimously passed the Democrat-controlled Illinois Senate on March 25, 2004 with only one comment, and passed the Democrat-controlled Illinois House in May 2004 with only two votes in opposition. Then-Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) signed it into law.


Now may be the time for a little trip in the Wayback Machine:

When asked about his legislative record, Obama rattles off several bills he sponsored as an Illinois lawmaker.

He expanded children's health insurance; made the state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable for low-income families; required public bodies to tape closed-door meetings to make government more transparent; and required police to videotape interrogations of homicide suspects.

And the list goes on.

It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama's seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative ­achievements.

Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn't have done it without Jones.

We hear he's evolved, since then.

Posted by Cassandra at July 22, 2013 07:18 AM

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[i]Sometimes it's
Not so easy
To be the teacher's pet[/i]

Posted by: Texan99 at July 22, 2013 10:07 AM

Another thought I had about SYG this weekend.

1) SYG & DtR, both, only apply *after* the start of unlawful violence. (not at the "get out of truck" time)

2) SYG and DtR, only apply to the *victim* of unlawful violence.

To argue that SYG allowed Zimmerman to kill Martin, one is required to accept that Martin was the one using unlawful violence.

So much for innocent choir boy.

And if you really want to argue that DtR means that Zimmerman should have fled *prior* to violence occuring that you are essentially *requiring* non-blacks to avoid contact with blacks they think might be "acting suspiciously" under penalty of law.

And blacks are insulted when people cross the street at the sight of them *now*!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 22, 2013 01:07 PM

What about the all-important to stand there and take your licks, you racist cracka?

Posted by: Texan99 at July 22, 2013 02:46 PM

This is an innocent misunderstanding. The State Senator meant to vote 'present,' and accidentally endorsed the bill as co-sponsor. He was a busy man. These things happen.

Posted by: Grim at July 22, 2013 02:55 PM

The IL SYG law, by the way, has a really interesting structure. Unlike the Florida law and Georgia law, it makes a point of distinguishing between 'normal' and 'lethal' force, and then endorsing SYG violence using only 'normal' force in a much wider array of cases. It's not just about protecting life and limb, but justifies beatings (so long as they don't go into the life-threatening range) under a wide variety of cases.

Posted by: Grim at July 22, 2013 02:57 PM

This is an innocent misunderstanding. The State Senator meant to vote 'present,' and accidentally endorsed the bill as co-sponsor. He was a busy man. These things happen.

It's not easy keeping things straight when your Kingmaker is putting your name on every piece of legislation in sight... :p

Posted by: Cass at July 22, 2013 04:16 PM

What about the all-important to stand there and take your licks, you racist cracka?

That's creepy a$$ cracka to you, Missy.

Posted by: George Zimmerman at July 22, 2013 04:17 PM

And if you really want to argue that DtR means that Zimmerman should have fled *prior* to violence occuring that you are essentially *requiring* non-blacks to avoid contact with blacks they think might be "acting suspiciously" under penalty of law.

There has been a lot of confused thinking (one uses the term loosely) on this case. Friday, whilst driving home from work, I listened to a radio show where the hosts were OUTRAGED at the racist way the trial was conducted.

After all, they said, how would you feel if a white person were on trial and the judge was black, the jury was black, etc?

I sat there in my car for a moment and thought, "Well, according to you folks, you can only get a fair trial if you're tried by a judge and jury of the same race. And according to you, Zimmerman is white."

So he got the only kind of trial you are claiming can ever be "fair". Trayvon Martin wasn't on trial here.


Posted by: Cass at July 22, 2013 04:22 PM

And if you had made that point to the talking heads on the show, what do you bet they'd have come back with, "But it was LIKE being on trial, because he died." The idea is, he was killed by a guy who is judged by society not to have done anything wrong, because Martin was screwing up so severely at the time (pounding another man's head into the pavement) that Zimmerman was deputized by society, so to speak, to shoot Martin if that was what it took to get him to quit before it was too late.

The funny thing is, of course, that it only seems kind of like a trial because it's so obvious that Martin was killed as a result of his own alleged crime. And yet they'd die rather than admit that.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 22, 2013 05:52 PM

I wonder if the outcome of the Zimmerman trial would have been different if Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law was actually used as a defense and considered by the jury?

Posted by: spd rdr at July 22, 2013 06:46 PM

It really is bizarre that Obama was elected w/o any meaningful vetting.

I'm no birther, I'm pretty sure BHO was indeed born in Hawaii to a nominally married (he was a bigamist under our laws) black Kenyan father & a white American woman. He was also almost surely adopted by his Indonesian stepfather Soetoro, and that's most likely why his original birth certificate was purged (common practice at that time was to purge original and replace w/ amended showing adoptive parent as father).
. . . and much worse, I suspect he used his 'foreign' patrimony to obtain admission and schollies to Occidental and Columbia.
Obama is the one and only modern POTUS candidate that refused to release his college transcripts & medical records . . . WTF?

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 22, 2013 07:46 PM

Spd Rdr nailed it. Stand You Ground was never used as a defense. It wasn't even considered. For one thing, it didn't apply to this specific case.
The Stand Your Ground law was just another Whipping Boy for Bam Bam and his anti-gun elitists.
Had Zimmerman been found guilty I have no doubt that their ire would have been focused on eliminating SYG in Florida as a sort of test ballon.
I'm also convinced that Trayvon was nothing more than a tool for the anti-gun media, and all the hype about "justice denied" is more to do with that particular agenda than with compassion for Trayvan.
It's the same tactic as Sandy Hook, just slightly more subtle.
I always carry when I go to the Miami/Ft.Lauderdale area. Anyone who doesn't is tempting Fate.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at July 25, 2013 04:12 PM