Illinois

Jack Roeser, American Entrepreneur and Patriot, 1923-2014

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Jack Roeser

By Peter LaBarbera

Jack Roeser, a phenomenally successful entrepreneur, leading Illinois conservative philanthropist and a faithful AFTAH and pro-family benefactor, passed away June 13 at the age of 90.

I got to know Jack long after he had achieved his business success. I remember a decade ago when he gave me a tour of Otto Engineering–which he started humbly in his basement in 1961 in Park Ridge, Illinois (childhood home of Hillary Rodham Clinton)–and which makes specialty electronic and communications products, including control switches for American fighter jets. Though by this point Jack was retired from day-to-day operations at Otto, he was hardly detached as he proudly explained the history of Otto, including products he invented that were still key to the company’s success.

It was Jack’s ingenuity and determination that built Otto. A friend, relaying a conversation with Jack, told how he was awarded a coveted supplier contract by simply out-hustling much larger, competing corporations and by demonstrating Otto’s ability to rapidly turn around his innovative switch design. Jack was truly a classic American success story–a living testimony of what one person can accomplish in a free society that rewards hard work and creativity. [See this Breitbart tribute to Jack.]

A little-known legacy of Jack’s is how Otto’s continued growth and success dramatically transformed the small town of Carpentersville, Illinois, where it is based. Otto, now run by Jack’s son, Tom, employs around 600 people in its beautifully-restored factory complex on Main Street along the Fox River. In 2008, Tom and Jack launched a remarkable home renovation project, Homes by Otto, that has rejuvenated Carpentersville, one gutted-and-rebuilt house at a time. It is a model for private industry and charity doing efficiently what governments the world over have failed to do despite their profligate spending of taxpayer dollars (think HUD projects). [See this FOX News interview with Tom Roeser.]

So Jack’s legacy of productive and compassionate conservatism lives on through his son. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.

You can watch a short video celebrating Jack’s fascinating life produced before his death below.

Fighting the Left

Jack was an engineering genius with more than 50 patents, but he was no fan of the Left’s social engineering. He possessed the wisdom and common sense of a more grounded and God-fearing generation that instinctively knows the difference between right and wrong. Scoffing at the idea of legal “same-sex marriage,” he didn’t need to be convinced of the immorality of homosexuality–and the folly of promoting it through the government as a “civil right.”

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VIDEO: IFI Interviews LaBarbera on his Detainment and Arrest in Canada

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

We appreciate our good friends at Illinois Family Institute for producing this video interview of AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera on his recent detainment and arrest in Canada. Former Moody Radio reporter Monty Larrick conducts the interview. At the end is an address for the Legal Defense Fund for LaBarbera and Canadian Bill Whatcott [or see this link]. The video was published by IFI April 29, 2014; [view it on IFI's YouTube page HERE]:

Vote Tally for Passage of Illinois House Bill SB 10 Legalizing ‘Gay Marriage’

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Illinois House of Representatives voted 61-54 yesterday (Nov. 5, 2012) to approve SB 10, a bill to legalize homosexual “marriage.”  The bill was previously approved by the State Senate, and now will go to be signed by Gov. Pat Quinn (D), a strong supporter of homosexual “marriage.” The vote tally and some breakdowns for SB 10 are below. The vote went roughly along party lines, with  all but three of the “Yes” votes from Democrats. Ten Democrats voted AGAINST SB 10 (with two voting “Present”), and three Republicans voted FOR it (with one GOP member absent from the vote).

Party affiliation in Illinois House of Representatives: 71 Democrats; 47 Republicans

Republicans (3) voting YES on SB 10 (homosexual “marriage”): Tom Cross (outgoing House Republican Leader; see his statement on SB 10 vote HERE; Cross is running for Illinois State Treasurer in 2014); Ron Sandak; Ed Sullivan, Jr.

Democrats (10) voting NO on SB 10: Beiser; Bradley; Cloonen; Costello; Monique Davis; Flowers; Jackson; Jefferson; Mautino; Scherer.

More voting breakdowns are beneath the graphic:

IL Gay Marriage Roll Call SB 10  11-5-2013

More voting breakdowns on SB 10:

Members of House Black Caucus (14) voting FOR SB 10 (FOR legalizing “gay marriage”): William Davis; Dunkin; Evans; Ford; Golar; Gordon; Jones; Lilly; Christian Mitchell; Riley; Sims; Thapedi; Turner; Chris Welch;

House Black Caucus members (4) voting AGAINST SB 10: Monique Davis; Flowers; Jackson; Jefferson

Black Caucus members (2) voting “Present” on SB 10: Mayfield; Derrick Smith (both Democrats; all Black Caucus members are Democrats)

House Member with “Excused Absence” from vote: Mike Fortner (Republican)

Homosexual legislators: Kelly Cassidy; Greg Harris (SB 10 Chief Sponsor); Sam Yingling (all Democrats);

Chicago’s Roosevelt University Kicks Out Black Doctoral Student Gillian John-Charles over Her Views on Homosexuality

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

*Education professor Gregory Hauser harangued her in class after she says homosexuals are not “born gay”

Gillian John-Charles was dropped from Roosevelt University's Education doctoral program because she disagreed with her professor about homosexuality.This article by my friend John Biver is reprinted in full from his excellent blog, “Dispatches,” with his permission. We urge readers to spread the word about Roosevelt’s liberal bigotry and despicable mistreatment of Ms. Gillian John-Charles (shown at right) — whose trouble began when she simply disagreed with her professor, Gregory Hauser, about homosexuals being “born gay.” Incredibly, John-Charles was booted from the school’s Education doctoral program.

Please contact Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton at 312-341-3800 about the university’s hypocrisy and lack of academic freedom and integrity. Here is the contact page for President Middleton (e-mail: cmiddleton@roosevelt.edu). Roosevelt’s general contact page is HERE. You can write Ms. John-Charles through AFTAH at americansfortruth@gmail.com. – Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

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Tolerance Is a One-Way Street at Roosevelt University

By John Biver, from his Dispatches website

An interesting lawsuit is making its way through the courts about a student who was kicked out of a doctoral program at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Since the story paints a clear picture of how proponents of the LGBTQI (etc.) agenda behave, it’s doubtful you’ll learn about it through the dishonest press which is as determined to hide the truth as Pravda and Izvestia were in the old Soviet Union.

The facts of the case certainly don’t fit the narrative that’s allowed to be reported by most of the big American media outlets. Ms. Gillian John-Charles is the doctoral student; she’s 35, a single mother with two graduate degrees who teaches math in a Chicago public school. Her mistake was disagreeing with the politically left wing Roosevelt University’s party line when it comes to the nature of homosexuality.

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VICTORY, for Now, in Illinois: YOU Helped Stop Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Bill, SB 10, as Session Closes

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
Left-wing Chicago homosexual activist Andy Thayer of Gay Liberation Network (GLN) unfurls homosexualist "rainbow flag" in the gallery of the Illinois House yesterday. Photo: Dave Smith of Illinois Family Institute -- who reports that the Illinois "gay" lobby is still a few votes shy to pass homosexuality-based "marriage" before the session ends Friday, May 31..

Left-wing Chicago homosexual activist Andy Thayer (at left) of Gay Liberation Network (GLN) unfurls pro-homosexual “rainbow flag” in the gallery of the Illinois House May 30. Photo: Dave Smith of Illinois Family Institute — who led the successful grassroots effort to stop passage of a homosexuality-based “marriage” bill before the legislative session ended May 31. Click on photo to enlarge.

UPDATE: June 1, 2013 — in what is a stunning setback to the Homosexual Lobby in Illinois, openly homosexual St. Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) announced on the last day of the legislative session yesterday that he did NOT have the votes to call SB 10, the same-sex “marriage” bill. Harris and his high-powered liberal allies were not able to peel off enough Chicago Democrats or wavering Republicans – in a General Assembly that has veto-proof Democratic super-majorities in both houses — to pass the bill. A strong grassroots coalition of black, white and latino Christians across the state formed the backbone of the opposition.

Congratulations are well deserved to: first and foremost to my good friend and Illinois Family Institute (IFI) leader Dave Smith, who worked his tail off up and down the state to stop SB 10; and Laurie Higgins, Kathy Valente, Dave Norck and the entire IFI team; Paul Caprio of Family-PAC, who led the Coalition to Protect Children & Marriage (of which AFTAH is a member) and did yeoman’s work in thwarting SB 10; Bob Gilligan of the Catholic Conference; former Sen. Rev. James Meeks, who played a huge role; veteran Springfield lobbyists Ralph Rivera and Rev. Bob Vanden Bosch; Penny Pulen; Peter Breen; Scott Phelps (Abstinence & Marriage Partnership); Bishop Lance Davis; AFTAH Board Member John McCartney; John Zahm; John Biver; Jack Roeser; Nick Costello; Rev. Larry Rogers; Hiram Crawford; Tom Brejcha (Thomas More Society); Mary Anne Hackett; Elise Bouc; Rev. Bill Owens (Coalition of African American Pastors); Brian Brown and National Organization for Marriage; Jim Finnegan; Cardinal Francis George (see his letter on homosexual “marriage” HERE); and all the pro-family advocates who helped secure this unlikely victory. (There are so many more I could name.)

We must realize that this is only a temporary win. Now homosexual activists will redouble their efforts to homosexualize marriage in our state — so we must redouble our efforts to stop them.

Also, immediately after the defeat, the powerful homosexual lawyers group Lambda Legal began touting its lawsuit – before openly lesbian judge Sophia Hall — as another avenue towards legalizing homosexuality-based “marriage” in Illinois. Self-styled ”queer” activists, filled with “pride” and considerable arrogance, believe they are entitled to homosexual “marriage” as a supposed constitutional “civil right.” They are wrong. (And, yes, Judge Hall should recuse herself from this case due to her obvious conflict of interest; see biased homosexual Advocate article HERE and “Think Progress” piece slamming AFTAH HERE.)

This hard-won victory, after a string of “marriage” defeats in other states, will encourage and energize pro-family advocates across the nation because it shows – despite the frequent boasts of our adversaries – that homosexuality-based “marriage” is NOT “inevitable,” even in Democratic-dominated Illinois. AFTAH has been defending real marriage here for a long time, so we will savor this triumph of common sense over social leftism. But only for a moment, and then it’s back to work.

This was about “We the People” winning out over homosexual and liberal special interest groups. God bless all of you who got involved in this battle: YOUR calls and contacts with legislators and fellow citizens made the difference!  Let’s keep on fighting for Truth! — Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality

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Previous AFTAH “Alert” May 31:

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AFTAH Interviews Lobbyist Ralph Rivera on Threat of Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Bill in Illinois

Monday, February 11th, 2013

ralph_riveraThis interview [click HERE to listen] with Illinois pro-family lobbyist Ralph Rivera was conducted on February 4, 2013. Rivera is a lobbyist for the Illinois Family Institute – which is sponsoring a Defend Marriage Lobby Day against the homsoexual “marriage” bill in Sprinfield on Wednesday, Feb. 20th. Along with AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera and co-host John Kirkwood (of Grace Gospel Fellowship church), Rivera discusses the pro-homosexual-”marriage” bill looming in the state’s General Assembly. (The Illinois Senate is reportedly slated for a floor vote on the bill on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.)

Rivera explains the bill’s threat to religious liberty — e.g., how in its original draft (likely to be amended) it would force churches and religious institutions that rent their facilities to the public to host homosexual “weddings.” There is also a discussion of how legalized “gay marriage” effectively forces pro-homosexual ”lessons” into public schools. In addition, the three discuss the Boy Scouts of America’s proposed change allowing openly homosexual Scoutmasters and Scouts. Rivera is also a longtime pro-life lobbyist for Illinois Citizens for Life.

HOW TO LISTEN: This is an mp3 file, supported in most operating systems by Windows Media Player, Quick Time and/or I-Tunes.  Real Player is not supported and there may be difficulty when attempting to listen with it.  Left click once on the link below to play.  (Please be patient, depending upon the speed of your internet connection it may take a moment to load.)  OR right click the link then “save target as” to download the whole show.

2-4-13, Ralph Rivera

Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady Pushes for Homosexual ‘Marriage’ as Senate Vote Nears

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

TAKE ACTION — ILLINOIS CITIZENS:  1) Call or write your state representatives immediately and urge them to vote against the homosexual “marriage” bill [the so-called "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act"]. IL Capitol Switchboard: 217-782-2000. According to the Illinois Review, the ”same-sex marriage” bill is amended to an automobile rental bill and could come up for a floor today – in the lame duck session that ends January 9. The situation is fluid but Democrats need Republican votes to get the bill passed. Click these links for Illinois Senate Members and Illinois House Members. See IllinoisReview.com for timely updates on the bill.

Who knew that when Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady called for "Change in Illinois," he was referring to legalizing oxymoronic homosexual "marriage"?

Who knew that when Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady called for “Change for Illinois,” he was referring to legalizing oxymoronic homosexual “marriage”?

ILLINOIS REPUBLICANS: Make your voice heard regarding IL-GOP Chairman Pat Brady’s stunningly ill-advised endorsement of homosexual “marriage” in Illinois. Many conservatives including AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera have called for Brady’s resignation. The IL-GOP can be reached at 217-525-0011 or info@ilgop.org. Contact your local Republican Party officials through this link

What did “gay marriage” do to Massachusetts?  For an excellent report on the effects of legal homosexual “marriage” — including the proliferation of pro-”gay” propaganda in schools, the loss of parental rights, and the harassment of Christian employees – see Brian Camenker’s excellent Mass Resistance report: “What same-sex ‘marriage’ has done to Massachusetts.”

“77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage”: Informative PDF by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute: http://www.johnbiver.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/77reasons.pdf

For key updates on Illinois same-sex “marriage” vote and IL-GOP politics: 

Illinois Family Institute: www.IllinoisFamily.org

Illinois Review: www.IllinoisReview.com

Capitol Fax (run by liberal advocate Rich Miller but a useful source): http://capitolfax.com/

John Biver’s “Dispatches”: http://www.johnbiver.com/

Republican News Watch: http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/

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Background: Is the Illinois GOP Going ‘Gay’?

There is a saying popular among American conservatives: the Democrats are the liberal party and the Republicans are the stupid party. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady provided further evidence for the latter as he reportedly is lobbying Republican lawmakers in Illinois to support a bill legalizing homosexual “marriage” — leading to a new surge in conservative calls for his resignation.

If the IL-GOP pursues this course of abandoning natural marriage and pro-family values, it will sink into permanent minority status in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois is not unlike the rest of the country in one respect: voters deserve a clear choice between party philosophies and policy goals — not a false choice between Democrat and “Democrat-lite.” Already, conservative dissatisfaction with the IL-GOP is so great that many have left the Party or become disillusioned with politics altogether.

Social liberals now dominate the Illinois Republican Party and they are actively undermining its conservative platform. These two influential IL-GOP leaders are working against pro-family values:

Sen. Mark Kirk — this pro-”gay” senator, recovering from a debilitating stroke, boasted in his successful run for U.S. Senate of his support from Planned Parenthood. Kirk is the de facto head of the state GOP and apparently backs Pat Brady;

Dan Rutherford — this former state senator, current Illinois State Treasurer, and effective GOP campaigner (although he ran Mitt Romney’s losing Illinois campaign) cast two key votes to advance the homosexual agenda in Illinois. His lone Republican vote for the Illinois “Civil Unions” bill was critical to its passage and paved the way for a law that led to religious persecution in the state. Incredibly, despite the anti-Christian aftermath of the “Civil Unions” law, liberal proponents of the same-sex “marriage” bill have the audacity to include “religious freedom” in its name. Rutherford is widely rumored to be homosexual himself — and this writer has publicly challenged him to answer questions about whether he has a personal stake in “gay”-related legislation.

Illinois is in such economic and moral decline that people are leaving the state in droves for conservative-friendly states like Texas. Pat Brady’s reckless experiment in “Republican Gay Activism” will only accelerate the decline. If Illinois’ own grassroots citizens do not take action, their “leaders” will bring ruin to the state. AFTAH will closely monitor legislative and court action on same-sex “marriage.” (An openly lesbian judge, Sophia Hall, will rule on the constitutionality of Illinois’ existing law upholding natural man/woman marriage in the state.) Please take action to make your voice heard in Springfield, and in the Illinois GOP. – Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH, Naperville, Illinois

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The conservative Illinois Review reported Jan. 2:

ILGOP Chair Sees Gay Marriage as ‘Equality Issue’ and ‘True Conservative Position’

Not unexpectedly, the gay marriage bill seems likely to move through committee today and to a floor vote tomorrow. As pro-family forces attempt to rally the grassroots to voice their opposition, the growing question seems to be which Republican(s) might break with the GOP’s traditional stance on the issue and vote in favor of the bill.

Sources reported that Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady has been making calls to legislators in support of the gay marriage bill. When asked, Brady told Illinois Review that he believes it is an “equality issue”, and that the “true conservative position is in favor” of allowing gay marriage.

He also made it clear that this is his personal view only, and not in his role as Chairman of the ILGOP.

The bill presents a problem for Illinois Republicans in that voting in favor would not only be unpopular with the Party’s base, but would seem to be in contradiction to its platform, which states:

1. …The ideal environment for children is within a two‐parent family based on the principle of marriage between one man and one woman. The Republican Party endorses a constitutional amendment protecting our Defense of Marriage Act and enshrining in constitutional law marriage as it is defined in “DOMA.”

2. Our laws should strongly support and celebrate the loving commitment a man and a woman make to each other in marriage. …No law should undermine the importance of that union, divide that union nor unduly burden the efforts of parents to rear a family in a safe and nurturing environment.

 

Breaking: IL Republican Delegation in Tampa Accepts Sponsorship Gift from ‘Gay’ Activist Group Trying to Drive ‘Hate-filled, Homophobic’ Chick-fil-A Out of Illinois

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Romney’s IL campaign chief Dan Rutherford says offended pro-family conservatives “can go someplace else and drink”

Above is a copy of a portion of homosexual pressure group Equality Illinois’ online petition against Chick-fil-A. It reads: “This petition will be given to stakeholders in Illinois who lease, rent or allow Chick-fil-A to continue to sell its hate-filled homophobic ‘Chikin,” asking them to cut ties.” Equality Illinois was allowed to sponsor an IL-GOP event at the Republican convention in Tampa. Click on graphic to enlarge on separate screen.

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By Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH Exclusive

Folks, there is a reason that conservatives often jokingly call the Republican Party “the stupid party” (as opposed to the Democrats being the liberal party). We learned today from the Chicago Sun-Times that the Illinois Republican Party delegation to the GOP convention in Tampa — led by former legislator and current Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford — is partnering with a homosexual activist group that is pushing to close down what it calls the ”hate-filled, homophobic” Chick-fil-A restaurants in the state.

Equality Illinois (EQ), the leading “gay” pressure group in the state, is sponsoring the IL-GOP event by covering the bar tab at the IL-GOP “Beachside Cocktail Hour” this evening in Clearwater, FL, where the Illinois delegation is staying. EQ, which lobbies aggressively to legalize homosexual “marriage” in the state, curiously combined its sponsorship with a fierce condemnation of the GOP’s conservative platform — particularly the party’s call for a federal marriage amendment.

Recently, Equality Illinois led a pro-homosexual “Flick-the-hate” campaign to pressure leasing and rental companies to cut ties with the 19 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Illinois. Equality Illinois’ online petition (shown above) “will be given to key stakeholders in Illiniois who lease, rent or allow Chick-fil-A to continue to sell their hate-filled homophobic ‘Chiken,’ asking them to cut ties.” EQ joined other homosexual groups across the country in attacking Chick-fil-A after its COO, Dan Cathy, defended Christian family values including natural marriage as one-man, one-woman.

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