RSS Updates

Local Democrats Accepting Spring and Summer 2018 Internship Applications

Contact: Lauren Beth Gash
Phone: (847) 266-VOTE (8683)
Email: volunteers@tenthdems.org

Deerfield—The Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) is now accepting applications for its Spring and Summer 2018 Internship Program. The internship is a substantive program designed for high school, college, and graduate students seeking an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the political process.

Tenth Dems is a grassroots political organization that helps mobilize voters and interest groups in one of the most widely watched and intensely contested congressional districts in the country.

Interns work some more

This is the ideal time to complete a political internship as candidates prepare for the 2018 mid-term election. Assignments include staffing of events and issue forums, door-to-door canvassing with candidates, working in campaign offices, and conducting research. In the past, Tenth Dems interns have staffed events for candidates and elected officials up and down the ballot, including then Senator, now former President Barack Obama and Senator Dick Durbin, among others. Tenth Dems has also held events featuring Let America Vote founder Jason Kander and former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks. Interns may also choose to complete specialized assignments in new media, IT management and political outreach.

Internships are unpaid, educational positions; however, course credit is available from some high schools and colleges.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a grassroots political organization and to develop important skills,” said former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash, a Tenth Dems leader. “Many of our interns have gone on to law school or other graduate programs, as well as paid political positions with local campaigns, and jobs in Springfield, Washington, and with national not-for-profit organizations.”

stevenson interns

Acceptance into the program is selective, competitive, and contingent upon an interview. Applicants do not need to reside in the 10th District; however, applicants must have an interest in electing Democrats, be able to travel to our offices, and devote a minimum of 8 hours per week to the internship during the school year, 16 during the summer. Applicants should submit a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program, along with a resume summarizing their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal.

To apply or request more information, email Lauren Beth Gash at volunteers@tenthdems.org, or call (847) 266-VOTE (8683). You can also “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@tenthdems).

Deputy Voter Registrar Training in Libertyville

When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:00pm

Where:  Lake County Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville

What: A training for Deputy Voter Registrars will be held.  Participants must be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote in Lake County.  The event is open only to Lake County residents who are interested in helping to register new voters.  Deputy Registrars must be trained in the county in which they live, but once trained, can register voters anywhere in Illinois.  Training takes less than an hour.

This training is being held through the County Clerk’s office and is free of charge.  Sign-ups will be taken up to 5 hours before the class starts.  In most cases, late sign-ups will not be added to the class.

For additional information or to RSVP, register online, e-mail volunteers@tenthdems.org, or call 847-266-VOTE (8683).

Watergate Prosecutor and MSNBC Contributor Jill Wine-Banks to Keynote Local Democrats’ Annual Awards Dinner

Deerfield, IL — The Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) will hold its Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, December 17, at 5:30 pm. There will be a buffet dinner for the event that will be held at the Hyatt Regency Deerfield, 1750 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield (I-294 at Lake Cook).

The Keynote Speaker will be Jill Wine-Banks, prominent Watergate prosecutor and frequent MSNBC contributor. Wine-Banks also led an effort to improve the military’s handling of sexual assault cases.

During the Watergate hearings, Wine-Banks played an integral role in questioning the events surrounding Richard Nixon’s secret tape recordings.

On cable news, Wine-Banks provides viewers invaluable insight into how a case can be built against a president and his aides, whether Nixon in the 1970s or Trump today.

In addition to the Keynote Speech, the Annual Awards Dinner will honor contributions to the group over the past year. The Mikva Leadership Award will be presented to Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Tenth Dems is a grassroots organization that works to elect Democrats at all levels within Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, traditionally one of the most closely-watched districts.

For more information about the Annual Awards Dinner, go to www.tenthdems.org/jillwinebanks, email events@tenthdems.org, or call 847-266-VOTE (8683).

Lake County Republicans Raffle Assault Rifle to Finance Campaigns

By Lee Goodman, organizer, Peaceful Communities

Less than two weeks after the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, the Lake County Republican Party raffled off an assault rifle and other guns in order to raise money for their campaigns. More than 100 outraged residents showed up in the Village of Kildeer on very short notice to protest this grotesquely insensitive disregard for public safety. When a reporter asked whether the protest was partisan, my response was “No.” I explained that if the Democratic Party had held a similar event, I and many others would be at that protest, too. But, I added, the Democratic Party in our area does not give guns out to whoever holds a winning ticket, and I feel confident that it never will. The Democratic Party is in touch with the desires of the vast majority of Americans here and all over our country who want fewer guns in circulation and more effective laws to prevent gun violence.

Immediately after the worst mass shooting in recent history, the White House and the NRA were quick to say that we should not talk about solving the problems that guns cause in America. They said that it would be politicizing the tragedy. But their own Republican Party had no hesitation to go ahead with its gun raffle to raise money for political campaigns. Despite a public clamor to cancel the raffle, they persisted. The chairman of the Lake County Republicans told reporters that he believed, as the NRA does, that there is no way to prevent shootings.

In the Trump era, many Republican voters like to pretend that they are more moderate than their party is. But the leadership of the Republican Party in Lake County has, by their intransigence on the issue of guns, shown that it is solidly aligned with the anti-social policies their party promotes at the national level. It would have been easy to cancel the Lake County raffle, but they refused.

Some people question the value of protests. In this instance, the protest attracted the attention of virtually all area news outlets. The result was that the Republican Party had to publicly answer for its actions, on the record. Voters who care about the damage guns are doing to our country now have the facts, and they can be expected to hold accountable all Lake County Republican candidates, because all of these candidates are benefiting from and supporting a party that auctions off guns like carnival prizes.

Trump vs. the Constitution

By Dr. Laurence D. Schiller, Dean, Tenth Dems University

On Sunday afternoon, September 17, Tenth Dems University presented Trump vs. the Constitution, a lecture by Martin H. Redish, Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy, Northwestern University School of Law.  Hosted by Lake Forest College, the event, which aptly fell on Constitution Day, drew a near capacity crowd of more than 150. Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution 230 years ago, on September 17, 1787.

Professor Redish began with a list of what he termed  six “methods of tyranny,” which he reviewed against the actions of President Donald Trump:

  1. INTIMIDATION OF THE PRESS
  2. INTIMIDATION OF THE JUDICIARY
  3. CLOUDING THE TRUTH
  4. PORTRAYING THE LEADER AS SAVIOR
  5. APPROVAL OF AUTHORITARIAN LEADERS AND INTEREST GROUPS
  6. SCAPEGOATING OF VULNERABLE MINORITIES

The professor then turned to the reasons why he is cautiously optimistic that our democracy will survive this presidency as he closely examined the U.S. Constitution’s safeguards against tyranny.

As Professor Redish reminded the audience, our Constitution was constructed specifically to prevent the rise of tyranny. The founders understood that an executive is necessary for the practical implementation and enforcement of the laws that the legislature enacts and for overseeing the military, but they also recognized that the history of previous republics shows that the greatest threat of tyranny comes from that branch of government. So they devised a well thought-out governmental structure that would rein in the executive.  In addition, they created federalism, our system of reserving some powers of government to the states.

With reference to The Federalist Papers, Professor Redish ticked off some of the specific characteristics of what he called the American Constitutional structure as tyranny avoidance:

First, unlike the British from whom America’s founders had just successfully broken, the founders created a written constitution that could not be interpreted or neglected on the whim of King or Parliament.

Second, because they basically did not trust anyone not to seek absolute power, the founders created three co-equal, separate, branches of government.  Each branch would have defined functions that would act as a check on one another:  Congress legislates and controls appropriations; the President executes and enforces the laws passed by Congress, spending the funds Congress appropriates.  The President also manages foreign policy but only Congress can declare war. And the ultimate check on presidential power is the independent federal judiciary.  Insulated from politics by lifetime tenure, federal judges can nullify laws or executive actions that violate the Constitution. As Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the Constitution is a check on the political branches, without which there would be no stopping their accumulation of power. Ever.

Third, Article 5 of the Constitution allows for the amendment of the Constitution but only by means that require super majorities. This prevents tyranny by the simple majority. Neither the President, the Congress, the states, nor the people by themselves can change the Constitution and the protections it gives.

Fourth, protections for individuals are written into the first eight amendments to the Constitution, which, with the next two, we call the Bill of Rights. Unlike the British unwritten constitution, these rights are stipulated in black and white. And our independent judiciary protects these individual rights from the executive and legislative branches’ excesses.

Fifth, while the states are subordinate to the federal government, they are yet autonomous in that they have rights that may not be overridden nor subsumed by the power of the federal government. This provides yet another check on the potential tyranny of the center of power. So, for example, the Trump Election Commission could not constitutionally control the process of elections, because this power resides with the states. Still, the federal government, as it did in 1964 with the Voting Rights Act, may legislate to ensure that no state deprives anyone of the right to vote on the basis of race.

Professor Redish concluded his talk with more specific examples of Trumpian threats to these constitutional protections, including the Muslim ban and disrespect of the judiciary.  For example, in Professor Redish’s view the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio threatens the power of the judiciary, because Arpaio’s crime, that Trump’s pardon excused, was to defy a court order that he cease engaging in specific unconstitutional activities.  Professor Redish’s New York Times op-ed on this topic can be accessed at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/24/opinion/trump-arpaio-pardon-arizona-sheriff.html?mcubz=0&_r=0

The afternoon ended with a lively question and answer session.