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April 23, 2014
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Gov Patrick Quinn addresses the 2014 Honoring the Roosevelts Dinner
2013 Labor Day Parade
2013 Baldini Scholarship winner Laura Tallon
ISU Homecoming Parade 2013
State Senator Mike Frerichs at the Roosevelt Dinner, January 2013.
Senator Richard Durbin visits with County Board member Julie Brandt.
Upcoming Events
Illinois Wesleyan College Democrats Meeting
May 01, 2014
Illinois Wesleyan University
Illinois State College Democrats Meeting
May 06, 2014
Illinois State University
Monthly Meeting
May 08, 2014
Memorial Day Parade
May 26, 2014
Come march with the Democratic contingent, Downtown Bloomington to Miller Park.
Illinois State College Democrats Meeting
Jun 03, 2014
Illinois State University
Health care: Rube Goldberg survives
Holy seven million, Batman! The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, has made a stunning comeback from its shambolic start. As the March 31 deadline for 2014 coverage approached, there was a surge in applications at the “exchanges” — the special insurance marketplaces the law set up.
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Plutocracy without end
I’ve been writing about what we politely call “inequality” since the mid-1990s, but one day about ten years ago, when I was traveling the country lecturing about the toxic curlicues of right-wing culture, it dawned on me that maybe I had been getting the entire story wrong.
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Media links - 2014 Roosevelt Dinner

Here's local media coverage of the Feb 9, 2014 Honoring the Roosevelts dinner

WGLT-FM http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2014/02/08594_QuinnISU1WRAPWEB_193144.shtml

Pantagraph http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/quinn-touts-progressive-legacy-in-b-n/article_3d095d4b-79b4-5937-a5a4-785e95f1d4ef.html

WJBC - http://www.wjbc.com/common/page.php?pt=Gov.+Pat+Quinn+talks+education+and+election+at+ISU&id=114254&is_corp=0

WEEK-TV http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/Quinn-visits-democrats-in-twin-cities-244653801.html

Why the old Republican "Divide & Conquer" strategy isn't working anymore
For almost forty years Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies. The big news is it's starting to backfire.
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Why Republicans have no idea about mass unemployment
 Last Saturday, the extension of unemployment benefits originally passed at the outset of the economic crisis expired. The position of Democrats in Washington, backed by a growing mountain of economic research, is that macroeconomic and humanitarian considerations alike both argue for an extension of unemployment benefits.
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Chicago Tribune: Brady faces second lawsuit over business defaults
As State Sen. Bill Brady campaigns for the Republican governor primary in March, he is being sued over a $2.38 million loan default. He borrowed much of the money during his previous run for governor in 2010, when he lost to Gov. Pat Quinn. (John J.
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Bill Moyers: The Great American Class War: Plutocracy vs. Democracy
I met Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in 1987 when I was creating a series for public television called In Search of the Constitution, celebrating the bicentennial of our founding document.
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Sorry folks, rich people don't really create the jobs
As America struggles with high unemployment and record inequality, everyone is offering competing solutions to the problem. In this war of words (and classes), one thing has been repeated so often that many people now regard it as fact. "Rich people create the jobs.
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Obamacill riseare poll numbers w
The latest polls on Obamacare are bleak. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that almost half of those questioned last week had an unfavorable opinion of the law. Just a third had a favorable opinion, even less than the 40 percent support for the law in the Nov. 14 Gallup poll. But those poll numbers will change as more people like Bob Freukes of St.
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Affordable Care Act is working
ou mean, if you commit to making something work, instead of deliberately conspiring to make something not work -- like if you put gas in your car and not hydrochloric acid -- that thing is more likely to, you know, work? Genius.
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President's Kennedy Nov 22 1963 speech never given
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was en route to the Dallas Citizen's Council when he was assassinated.  Read his planned remarks for that date at http://libtreasures.utdallas.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10735.1/2729/The%20Unspoken%20Speech%20of%20John%20F.%20Kennedy.pdf.
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13th & 18th CD candidates visit local Democrats

On Thursday evening, November 14, all four Democratic candidates for the 13th Congressional District and the two candidates for the 18th district appeared at a McLean County Democratic Party forum. Participating were Bill Byrne of Normal, Judge Ann Callis of Madison County, George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign-Urbana.
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Republicans are terrified Obamacare will succeed
Even acknowledging that our national politics have become increasingly contentious, here's a development that is really odd: Two billionaire brothers are spending millions of dollars to try to persuade young Americans not to buy health insurance. What's up with that.
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There's no stopping Obamacare
Ours can be an unforgiving country. Paul Sullivan was in his fifties, college-educated, and ran a successful small business in the Houston area. He owned a house and three cars. Then the local economy fell apart. Business dried up. He had savings, but, like more than a million people today in Harris County, Texas, he didn't have health insurance.
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Happy Anniversary Lehman Brothers - We never learn
While attention is focused on Syria, the gambling addiction of Wall Street's biggest banks is more dangerous than ever. Five years ago this September, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, and the Street hurtled toward the worst financial crisis in eighty years. Yet the biggest Wall Street banks are far larger now than they were then.
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Obama: Race & Class
Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama, the two most important black leaders in American history, operated in vastly different eras and political arenas — under a strikingly similar set of ground rules.
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Happy Labor Day, lousy wage jobs are back
The good news this Labor Day: Jobs are returning. The bad news this Labor Day: Most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits. The trend toward lousy wages began before the Great Recession.
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Why the Anger?
Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than its been in eighty years? Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthys anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal? If anything, youd think this would be an era of relative calm.
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Let's stop subsidizing skyrocketing CEO pay
Almost everyone knows CEO pay is out of control. It surged 16 percent at big companies last year, and the typical CEO raked in $15.1 million, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, the median wage continued to drop, adjusted for inflation. What's less well-known is that you and I and other taxpayers are subsidizing this sky-high executive compensation.
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The "mean team" piles on the unemployed
Come on, team, let's get mean!" This is not the chant of rabid football fans, egging on their favorite team to crush the opponents. Rather, it's the raucous war cry of far-out right-wing ideologues all across the country who're pumping up Team GOP to pound the bejeezus out of America's millions of unemployed workers.
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Are there Republicans who care about Democracy?
Before January 2009, the filibuster was used only for measures and nominations on which the minority party in the Senate had their strongest objections. Since then, Senate Republicans have filibustered almost everything, betting that voters will blame Democrats for the dysfunction in Congress as much as they blame the GOP.
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Supreme Court a tool for big business
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) used her remarks at the 2013 American Constitution Society for Law and Policy National Convention to warn that the Supreme Court is being captured by interests representing America's biggest corporations: Take a look at the win rate of the Chamber of Commerce.
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Why the GOP can't learn
It's as if they didn't learn a thing from the 2012 elections.
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Farm bill: America feeds the rich
The Farm Bill that is expected to pass the U.S. House this week explains income inequality in America. The Republican-sponsored proposal slashes food stamps for poor children and pads farm subsidies for wealthy agri-businessmen.
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Elizabeth Warren: It's time for paycheck fairness
Last weekend, I was looking for a picture I wanted to show my daughter, and pulled out a box of old photographs from a shelf in the basement. The pictures of my mother and my aunts were wonderful-old hairstyles, dresses with big petticoats and hats-and-gloves for going out. As we sifted through the pictures, I thought about how life had changed for women over the last fifty years.
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Sympathy for the Luddites
In 1786, the cloth workers of Leeds, a wool-industry center in northern England, issued a protest against the growing use of “scribbling” machines, which were taking over a task formerly performed by skilled labor. “How are those men, thus thrown out of employ to provide for their families?” asked the petitioners.
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No amount of rebranding will save GOP with young voters
In reading the report on the GOP and young voters from the College Republicans National Committee, one should keep in mind that they were clearly hamstrung in making recommendations for broadening the party's appeal beyond the "old white guy" bloc by the party's core certainty that there is nothing wrong with the policies they've put forward.
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The triumph of progressiveism
Many of you soon-to-be college graduates are determined to make the world a better place. Some of you are choosing careers in public service or joining nonprofits or volunteering in your communities. But many of you are cynical about politics. You see the system as inherently corrupt. You doubt real progress is possible.
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The Downton-ing of America
With the recent popularity of the British TV show "Downton Abbey," Steelworkers President Leo Gerard reflects on the "Downtoning" of our nation & economy... President Obama went to Austin, Texas, last week in pursuit of an industrial and employment revival. He wants to launch manufacturing institutes to foster American innovation and job creation.
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Krugman - The Chutzpah Caucus
At this point the economic case for austerity — for slashing government spending even in the face of a weak economy — has collapsed. Claims that spending cuts would actually boost employment by promoting confidence have fallen apart.
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Robert Reich: The Dis-Uniting of America
We come together as Americans when confronting common disasters and common threats, such as occurred in Boston on Monday, but we continue to split apart economically. Anyone who wants to understand the dis-uniting of America needs to see how dramatically we’re segregating geographically by income and wealth.
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The Stealth Sequester
So far, the much-dreaded "sequester" - some $85 billion in federal spending cuts between March and September 30 - hasn't been evident to most Americans.
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Obama: Fox News makes up dysfunctional
Barack Obama's pre-presidential manifesto, The Audacity of Hope, has only one extended riff on gun control - not a homily on behalf of the cause or even a meditation on the deep divisions opened by the debate, but a story of crummy luck.
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Reagan's welfare queen found
Good news everyone, after more than thirty years of searching by the news media, Ronald Reagan’s infamous “Welfare Queen” has finally been found. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas. “She has eighty names, thirty addresses,” Reagan warned during his 1976 run for President about a nameless, Cadillac-driving woman who’s conning the social safety net.
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Tax the Rich cartoon
Here's a cartoon about our current economic and taxing dilemma, narrated by Ed Asner, script by Fred Glass of the California Federation of Teacher & illustrated by Madison's Mike Konopacki. Produced by the California Federation of Teachers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwg4DB-EeEA&feature=plcp
The President & the grand bargain
When he meets with Congressional leaders this Friday to begin discussions about avoiding the upcoming "fiscal cliff," the President should make crystal clear that America faces two big economic challenges ahead: getting the economy back on track, and getting the budget deficit under control. But the two require opposite strategies.
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President Obama: Real Progress, but we're not done
For the past few days, we've all been properly focused on one of the worst storms of our lifetimes. We mourn those who were lost. And we pledge to stand with those whose lives have been turned upside down for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild—better than before. Because when hardship hits, America is at its best.
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What Democrats learned in 2012
It's not too early to draw some lessons. Regardless of what happens Tuesday, Democrats should have three big takeaways from the 2012 election. Lesson One: Democrats Can Own the Future. Latinos, African-Americans, young people, and women have become the major Democratic voting blocs.
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Obama signs
We have received our last order of Obama signs; we are asking a donation if you'd like one, come by Democratic HQ, 426 N. Main St., Downtown Bloomington.
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Bruce Springsteen: Why I support President Obama
Dear Friends: The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I've been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes. This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on.
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Obama is Back!
He's back. Tonight our president was articulate and forceful - in sharp contrast to his performance in the first presidential debate. He stated his beliefs. He defended his record. He told America where he wanted to take the nation in his second term. And he explained where Romney wanted to take us. For example: "Romney says he's got a five-point plan.
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Why I, a former Republican Senator, am supporting Obama
As a combat veteran of two tours in Vietnam with twenty-two years of service as a Republican member of the U.S. House and Senate, I endorse President Barack Obama for a second term as our Commander-in-Chief. Candidates publicly praise our service members, veterans and their families, but President Obama supports them in word and deed, anywhere and every time.
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A Republican Confession: How I joined the Reality-based community
I used to be a serious Republican, moderate and business-oriented, who planned for a public-service career in Republican politics. But I am a Republican no longer. There’s an old joke we Republicans used to tell that goes something like this: “If you’re young and not a Democrat, you’re heartless.
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Greed & Debt: The true story of Mitt Romney & Bain Capital
From the latest edition of Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi: Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill http://www.rollingstone.
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The fanatical GOP
We're witnessing the capture by fanatics of what was once a great and important American political party. The Republican Party platform committee now includes a provision calling for a constitutional amendment banning all abortions, without an exception for rape or incest. This is basically Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin's position.
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Robert Reich: The Ryan Choice
Paul Ryan is the reverse of Sarah Palin. She was all right-wing flash without much substance. He's all right-wing substance without much flash. Ryan is not a firebrand. He's not smarmy. He doesn't ooze contempt for opponents or ridicule those who disagree with him. In style and tone, he doesn't even sound like an ideologue - until you listen to what he has to say.
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Bain Capital's impact in Illinois
by Paul Harris, Guardian UK 12 August 12 The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China - and forced workers to train their overseas replacements. he shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard.
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Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the GOP
One day in March, 2009, two months after the Inauguration of President Obama, Representative Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, sat behind a small table in a cramped meeting space in his Capitol Hill office. Hunched forward in his chair, he rattled off well-rehearsed critiques of the new President’s policies and America’s lurch toward a “European” style of government.
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A Nation is not a business
President Obama gets this exactly right: "When some people question why I would challenge [Mitt Romney's] Bain record," he told CBS News on July 13, "the point I've made there in the past is, if you're a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. It's not to create jobs.
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GOP the "VIP Party"
“Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.” That remark, by a donor waiting to get in to one of Mitt Romney’s recent fund-raisers in the Hamptons, pretty much sums up the attitude of America’s wealthy elite. Mr. Romney’s base — never mind the top 1 percent, we’re talking about the top 0.
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Mitt's gray area
Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president. He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers.
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President Obama on highway bill & student loans
Watch President Obama's weekly address on the highway bill signing and the maintenance of lower student loan rates.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Nek_J14uMGI#.
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Mitt Romney & the new Gilded Age
The election of 2012 raises two perplexing questions. The first is how the GOP could put up someone for president who so brazenly epitomizes the excesses of casino capitalism that have nearly destroyed the economy and overwhelmed our democracy. The second is why the Democrats have failed to point this out.
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President Obama's remarks on upholding of Affordable Care Act
THE PRESIDENT (12:15 p.m. EDT, East Room - the White House): Good afternoon. Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act -- the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago.
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Koch Brothers: $400M to unseat Obama
harles and David Koch, the secretive oil barons who are attempting to sway the 2012 presidential contest by injecting vast sums of private cash into the electoral process, have moved one step closer to achieving their goal by staging a gathering of right-wing donors in San Diego.
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What would America be like without unions?
Are American unions history? In the wake of labor’s defeated effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) last week, both pro- and anti-union pundits have opined that unions are in an all-but-irreversible decline. Privately, a number of my friends and acquaintances in the labor movement have voiced similar sentiments.
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Let's just say it: Republicans are the problem
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it's not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous.
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The GOP's death wish
What are the three demographic groups whose electoral impact is growing fastest? Hispanics, women, and young people. Who are Republicans pissing off the most? Latinos, women, and young people. It’s almost as if the GOP can’t help itself. Start with Hispanic voters, whose electoral heft keeps growing as they comprise an ever-larger portion of the electorate.
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Poor "facts" is dead
A quick review of the long and illustrious career of Facts reveals some of the world's most cherished absolutes: Gravity makes things fall down; 2 + 2 = 4; the sky is blue.
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Romney: so much money, so little taxes
ow Did Mitt Make So Much Money And Pay So Little in Taxes? Now that Mitt Romney is the presumed Republican candidate, it's fair to ask how he made so much money ($21 million in 2010 alone) and paid such a low rate of taxes (only 13.9 percent). Not only fair to ask, but instructive to know.
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The banned Doonesbury cartoons
Since the Pantagraph and many other newspapers would not run these Doonsebury cartoons and Texas' new law on women's reproductive rights, you can view all six here.
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Who in God's name is Mitt Romney?
Back in the thick of the 2008 Republican presidential race, I asked a captain of American finance what he had made of Mitt Romney when they were young colleagues at Bain & Company. “Mitt was a nice guy, a smart businessman, and an excellent team player,” he ­responded without missing a beat.
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Severe Conservative Syndrome
Mitt Romney has a gift for words — self-destructive words. On Friday he did it again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was a “severely conservative governor.” As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.” Indeed.
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How serious is Stephen Colbert?
Ball writes: "It is not every day on the campaign trail that one gets to see a onetime Republican presidential frontrunner recite the lyrics to a children's cartoon theme, then burst into song, then submit himself and his party to vicious mockery by a liberal satirist." Stephen Colbert rallies with Herman Cain in South Carolina, 01/19/12.
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The Romney tax loophole
After refusing for weeks to release his taxes, Mitt Romney now says he'll do so - by tax day, April 15. But the real news is what Romney has now admitted about his taxes. It's not how much Romney earns. Everyone knows he's comfortably in the top one-tenth of one percent. It's how much he pays of it in taxes. Romney says he pays a tax rate of "about 15 percent.
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5
The Annual "Honoring the Roosevelts" dinner is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, January 29, 2012.
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