Monday, October 02, 2006

U.S. SENATOR BARACK OBAMA to Visit Milwaukee

In association with Harry W. Schwartz booksellers, Obama will make an appearance in Milwaukee. The Illinois Senator and rising star in the Democratic party delivers an eloquent and hard-hitting book that proclaims his vision for American politics.

Tuesday, October 31, Pitman Theatre - 12:00 pm
Noon event - boxed lunches will be available for $9.50 (request when ordering tickets)
- $32 ticket includes a copy of The Audacity of Hope

Visit for ticket information.

In late March 2005, Obama announced his first proposed Senate bill, the Higher Education Opportunity through Pell Grant Expansion Act of 2005 (HOPE Act), which aims to raise the maximum amount of Pell Grant awards to help assist American college students with paying for their tuition. Obama announced the bill at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and said, "Everywhere I go, I hear the same story: 'We work hard, we pay our bills, we put away savings, but we just don't know if it's going to be enough when that tuition bill comes.'"

In May 2006, Obama campaigned to maintain a $0.54 per gallon tariff on imported ethanol. Obama justified the tariff by joining Senator Durbin in stating that "ethanol imports are neither necessary nor a practical response to current gasoline prices," arguing instead that domestic ethanol production is sufficient and expanding.

Also in May of 2006, Obama campaigned to reform immigration law to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented workers currently in the United States through a system of fines and back taxes, learning English, satisfying a work requirement, and passing a background check. Obama also called for greater security on the border with Mexico.

In June 2006, Obama campaigned against making recent, temporary estate tax cuts permanent, calling the cuts a "Paris Hilton" tax break for "billionaire heirs and heiresses". He was one of forty-one Democratic and Republican Senators who voted to prevent a bill to eliminate or shrink taxes on inherited estates from advancing in the Senate.

In July of 2006 Obama teamed with Senators Coburn (R-OK), Carper (D-DE), and McCain (R-AZ) to introduce S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, the purpose of which is to provide citizens with a website, managed by the Office of Management and Budget, which would list all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward, providing breakdowns based on the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given and the purpose of the grant or contract.

Presidential ambitions

Obama's keynote speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention brought his speaking skill, unique personal story, and inclusive message before a national audience, fueling expectations that the energetic politician would some day run for U.S. President. Speculation on a 2008 presidential run intensified after his decisive U.S. Senate election win in November 2004, prompting Obama to tell reporters: "I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years". Asked again in a January 2006 television appearance on Meet the Press, Obama repeated his intention to finish his Senate term.

Nonetheless, Illinois senior U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has consistently urged Obama to consider running. A December 2005 article published in the The New Republic, reasoned that, with no incumbent president or vice president in the race, 2008 offers Obama his best chance at winning the presidency.

In September 2006, Obama's Senate primary opponent Daniel Hynes, in an open letter published in the Chicago Sun-Times, urged Democrats to draft Obama for the 2008 Presidential race. Also in September, Obama was the featured speaker at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual steak fry, a political event favored by presidential hopefuls in the lead-up to the Iowa caucus. "What a wonderful reception; I’m going to have to come to Iowa again", the New York Times quoted Obama as saying before he began his speech.

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