Friday, November 16, 2018

SANCTUARY CITIES FLOUT IMMIGRATION LAWS!


Thursday, November 15th, 2018
New Orleans, Louisiana

SANCTUARY CITIES FLOUT IMMIGRATION LAWS!

The President has made illegal immigrants who have moved in to what are called “Sanctuary Cities” a major issue in recent months, even signing an executive order cutting off funds to municipalities that ignore federal law. The Crescent City is in the forefront of ignoring federal law and protecting those there illegally.

Can the City of New Orleans pick and choose which federal laws it will acknowledge and enforce? Most of us understand that if you violate a federal law, then there are consequences. You most likely will be prosecuted and punished. Federal laws on the books are supposed to apply to everyone. That is unless you are an illegal immigrant living in New Orleans.

Didn’t we fight a Civil War over the nullification of federal laws? A century and a half later, New Orleans has joined a host of other American cities in declaring that federal immigration laws are just right down bothersome. It is irrelevant to city leaders in the Crescent City that their actions in supporting widespread illegal immigration is a factor in causing crime rates to rise, and the cost of auto insurance for every Louisiana driver to go up.

No one seems to know how many illegal immigrants have gravitated to Louisiana. Guesstimates have varied from 75,000 to more than 150,000. But when an illegal is arrested for a crime committed in the state, federal law requires that local law enforcement authorities notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs office. New Orleans is not enforcing this requirement. As a New Orleans police department spokesman was quoted as saying: “In general, we’re not cooperating with the ICE.”

So immigrants who are in New Orleans illegally often create a false identity, use a fraudulent Social Security number, falsify federal forms, and, if arrested, are free to go once released by the New Orleans Police Department. We witnessed recently the tragic killing of a young woman in San Francisco, murdered by an illegal immigrant, who was a repeat felon and who had been deported five times.

Crime rates are on the upswing in New Orleans. A just released report by research firm 24/7 Wall Street concludes that New Orleans had the highest per capita firearm homicide rate in the nation—four times the national rate. No one knows how many illegal immigrants are committing crimes, because the city refuses to both monitor and release this information.

And just watch auto insurance rates, already the highest in the nation, go up even more as this policy from the New Orleans Police Department’s immigration manual is implemented. “Officers shall not enforce La. 14.100.13, which states that no alien students or non—resident alien shall operate a motor vehicle in the state without documentation that the person is lawfully present in the United States.” So ignore this state law, right New Orleans? You should just pick and choose what laws you like and the laws you don’t like. Is that what Louisiana has come to?

Traffic accident records show that illegal immigrants are a high risk of not carrying auto insurance. So a driver not at fault has to use their own insurance to pay the damage costs, and insurance rates continue to go up.

What happened that caused the deterioration of the laws on the books concerning illegal immigration?  When you break into my home, you are committing a crime.  But when you break into my country, it has become, to our leaders in Washington and New Orleans, merely an embarrassing inconvenience. Republicans are now throwing in the towel and giving up on seeing that current law is enforced.  Has it become OK to set aside the law and ignore its violation for political purposes?

And what’s all this stuff about “undocumented workers?”  The lead Republican in this effort to legalize those who have illegally entered the United States is Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio.  He conveniently refers to these illegals as “individuals who are living in the United States without proper immigration documents.” That’s like saying that your local drug dealer is in possession of large amounts of cocaine, but just forgot to get a doctor’s prescription.

There should be major risks and consequences when laws are broken.  But besides the President, both political parties are pandering to Hispanic voters who often are sympathetic to lax immigration enforcement. Will Donald Trump goad members of congress to take on Sanctuary cities like New Orleans, and lead a charge for strong enforcement of immigration laws? Let’s hope so.

*******

All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.”
Pat Paulson
Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.






Thursday, November 08, 2018

MORE INTEREST NEEDED IN LOUISIANA ELECTIONS!


Thursday, November 8th, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

MORE INTEREST NEEDED IN LOUISIANA ELECTIONS!

This past Tuesday’s election stirred mediocre interest here in the Bayou State. This was the fifth election in Louisiana in 2018.  And get ready for six election dates in 2019.  There was a 45% turnout last week, even though voters witnessed a great deal of election hype from throughout the nation. Louisianans just were not all that enthused.

Now remember that some 50% of adults over eighteen who could register have not done so. That means the less than 23% of Louisianans over eighteen bothered to show up at the polls to vote. And with a lack luster runoff for Secretary of State and a few other local races, projections are even lower for the runoff less than thirty days away. So how do we create more interest that will encourage a higher registration to vote? 

First, eliminate all election dates but one. We have way too many elections. In the past year alone, Louisiana has held five different elections plus as host of local contests.  All these special and local elections could wait until one election date a year. The savings to taxpayers would be some six million dollars.

And why have gubernatorial statewide elections in the fall to begin with? Many other states hold elections in the spring. Fall elections compete with LSU and Saints football along with fairs and festivals. A spring date would engender more interest.

Second, go back to party primaries. Louisiana is the only state in the nation that has our convoluted open primary system. When all candidates run in the same primary election, political parties become more irrelevant. But when candidates run within the old closed primary system, democrats and republicans alike are out working for their respective candidates in an organized fashion to get out the vote. The closed primary system generates a much greater interest.

Third, strictly enforce the laws that prohibit a candidate from coordinating with a third-party PAC. Millions of dollars poured into Louisiana from outside the state by sham PACs set up by the candidates. I’m against such PACs but the Supreme Court recently made them legal. Candidates are prohibited by law from any involvement or coordination. But both candidates and PACs regularly violate the law.

Without all this outside money, candidates will have to get back to “retail” politicking; showing up at fairs and festivals, riding in local parades, and re-engaging directly with voters. This will certainly create more interest on Election Day.

Forth, make voting easier. The world has changed in some many ways. You can buy, sell, conduct business, pay your bills and taxes, and interrelate in just about any possible way with the exception of how you vote. Why does one have to get in their car, drive to a polling location, wait in line, all just to vote? Isn’t it possible to design a system to allow voting electronically wherever you happen to be?  If we can fly to Mars, we certainly out to be able to develop a secure system to keep out the Russians.
Fifth, let Hard-Working Undocumented Immigrants Vote: Just kidding. I wanted to see if you’re still paying attention.

But seriously, how about this idea. If we eliminate all these special elections, the state will save millions of dollars in elections costs. So let’s give some of those savings back. When a voter finishes cast their ballot, the system gives them a number. That’s right. A lottery number! The state takes $500,000 of that multi-million dollars savings, and the lottery picks twenty different voters to each receive $25,000 for being a winner in casting their vote. Think of the renewed interest and higher turnout that would take place.

Poll after poll indicates that Louisiana citizens have little confidence in how their state is being run. But the present system offers little incentive and too many roadblocks to make voting easier. Maybe a little creative thinking by new legislators in Baton Rouge could help in getting voters out of their current doldrums. There is really not much at stake. Well, except for the future of our kids and our quality of life.
*******
Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.




Thursday, November 01, 2018

WHY DO WE HAVE HATE CRIMES?


Thursday, November 1st, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

WHY DO WE HAVE HATE CRIMES?

The horrific Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 people deadlast week was, for good reason, called “the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.”  It was a ghastly crime of appalling proportions. Robert Bowers is charged with 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of hate crimes.  If he is convicted, as he most assuredly will be, then the death penalty would, and should, be fully justified.

"The crimes of violence are based upon the federal civil rights laws prohibiting hate crimes," said Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney, and Bob Jones, the FBI special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office.  Brady further avowed that Bowers could face the death penalty if he is convicted of a hate crime.

So, what’s a hate crime you ask?  If someone is premeditatedly shot and killed, that’s commonly murder.  When you’re dead, you are dead, and there is a strong penalty for that; generally, life or the death penalty.  But hate crime supporters want more than justice.  They want vengeance.

Under federal law, one can be charged with a hate crime if the crime was motivated by hatred involving race, religion, national origin, color or sexual preference.  Penalties for crimes against these groups already exist, but under the law such crimes are enhanced by what’s in the perpetrator’s mind.  What ever happened to double jeopardy?  Simply put, a prosecutor can bring charges not only for an accused’s conduct, but they also can go after him for his thoughts.  In the Four Lads song, Standing on The Corner, Watching All The Girls Go By, there is the lyric, “Brother, you can't go to jail for what you're thinking.” Well, in the case of hate laws, apparently you can.

Having deeply troubling concerns over a thought police is nothing new.  George Orwell’s novel, 1984 paints a disturbing and chilling scenario where one can be accused of a crime, arrested and prosecuted merely for thoughts in your mind.  “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed… the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime they called it… Sooner or later they were bound to get you.”

Have you ever gotten so mad and pent up that you went into a rage and said things you really didn’t mean?   “That sorry, no count blank, blank, blank, blank!  I’ll get even with him!” Have you ever used a racial slur? Oh, no, you say.  But then, upon reflection, maybe you did once or twice.  Does that make you a racist?

If there is supposed to be equal justice under the law, shouldn’t the punishment be based on the crime, and not on who the victim is?  If a deranged killer opens fire in a shopping mall, is this less of a crime than a maniac opening fire in a club filled with African Americans or gays?  Otherwise, when a life is taken, aren’t we making a determination that that the lives of one particular group have greater value than the lives of another group? Isn’t it a fundamental principle of a democracy that the punishment fits the crime, not the victim?

Ayn Rand wrote about the divisiveness that takes place when preferences are given under the law.  “There is no sure way to infect mankind with hatred – brute, blind, virulent hatred – than by splitting it into ethnic groups or tribes.”

Freedom in America means the freedom to have bad thoughts.  I may not like what you are thinking, but ideas alone should not be a crime.  A criminal should be punished for bad acts, not bad thoughts.  James Madison said it well: “We have extinguished forever the ambitious hope of making the laws for the human mind.”

When it comes to crime, yes there should be a protected class that gets full protection from the criminal justice system. That protected class should be all Americans.  And all Americans should be treated equally.
 
Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.










Wednesday, October 24, 2018

IS ANYONE INTERESTED IN VOTING IN LOUISIANA?

Thursday, October 25thth, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

IS ANYONE INTERESTED IN VOTING IN LOUISIANA?

Remember the 1970 song by Chicago; “Does anybody know what time it is, does anybody really care?” Well it’s close to Election Day in Louisiana, and it would seem by early voting projections and general lack of interest that Louisianans are not holding their breath to cast their ballot. Why the lack of attention to an event that affects the future of the state and the entire nation? There are a number of reasons.

Louisiana has become a strong red state with major advantages for the republican candidate. A number of democratic leaning voters feel going to the polls is just not worth the effort. “Why bother if my vote really won’t make any difference,” is the feeling of many more moderate inclined voters.
It’s much harder for candidates to get to voters today. It used to be that a voter had the choice of three TV stations, a few radio stations and one local newspaper. The Internet has changed all this. From cable to web newspapers, to information streaming, voters have so many new choices. And political media campaigns often get lost in the scuffle. It is simply much harder to get to the average voter without raising and spending more campaign dollars.

“Retail politicking,” particularly in statewide races, has become a thing of the past. Up until just a few years ago, candidates would never miss the chance to shake hands at numerous well-attended festivals and fairs across the state. When I was out looking for votes during my seven statewide elections, I would send over a convertible at the crack of dawn on parade day to get in the front of the line, often jousting with a number of other candidates. Today, few statewide candidates show up for such events.

Now candidates raise campaign dollars and hand it over to consultants, who then decide how the money is to be spent. And the majority of the spending is for 30-second attack ads in the final days of the campaign. Both sides attack each other, and voters are relegated to the choices of bad or worse. As one candidate put it: “I want voters to hold their nose and vote for me.”

The press does not cover political campaigns like they once did. This is a reflection of the financial cutbacks by newspapers, radio and TV stations across the state. Louisiana’s largest newspaper, The Times Picayune, now only prints three times a week. A reader has to go on line to read their news in a city where 40% of the voters do not have an Internet connection.

Radio stations are doing much less local programing. Thousands of voters used to listen to interviews about local and state politicians during morning and afternoon drive time. But much of the programing is now syndicated, with stations using talk show hosts who have little interest in local politics. TV stations in the state, with a few exceptions, no longer have the resources to do any in-depth comparisons of candidates. The result is that voters are less informed, and thus less interested.

And finally, I wonder if many voters in the state know how to vote anymore? I have run for office in ten different elections beginning in the early 70s. I   cannot remember being pigeonholed by voters who made their choice of candidates based on a single issue. Today, more and more voters toe the party line, and look for either the R or D after a candidate’s name. Too often, we don’t consider which candidate has a broad vision for what is in the best interest of Louisiana.

Have we relegated ourselves into “kneejerk” voting based on single issues? Consultants talk about the Catholic vote, the abortion vote, and the Cajun vote, often all based on self-interest, and not founded on a range of issues that are critical to getting Louisiana out of its economic doldrums. If these “self-interest” issues are not on the line, doesn’t this dampen the interest in going to the polls?

Elections officials are predicting a 30% turnout, one of the lowest for statewide elections in the past 100 years. There are number of ways to reinvigorate the electorate and make voting easier and more interesting. That’s fodder for a post-election column. In the meantime, every Louisiana voter will hopefully take the required few minutes to cast an important vote on Tuesday, November 6th. Geaux vote Louisiana.

*******

“If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.”  ~Jay Leno

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.





Thursday, October 18, 2018

LIVING AND DYING IN LOUISIANA!


Thursday, October 18th, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

LIVING AND DYING IN LOUISIANA!

Fourteen years ago this week, Derrick Todd Lee received the death penalty in Louisiana. He was the state’s most notorious and prolific serial killer. I was there in the courtroom when the verdict was handed down.

It was a cool Tuesday evening, and I was leaving a reception for former congressman Billy Tauzin at the Old State capital in downtown Baton Rouge. Billy and I had fought many battles together when we both served in the Louisiana legislature back in the 1970s. He had fought and won a separate confrontation with cancer, and a number of Billy’s friends all turned out to celebrate a full life he had led. 

I headed to my parked car about a block away across the street from the East Baton Rouge Courthouse.  It was 8 o’clock in the evening, and as I approach my car, I could see numerous television lights and a large crowd on the front steps of the courthouse.

“What’s going on?” I ask one of the reporters I knew. “The jury’s still deliberating whether Derrick Todd Lee lives or dies,” he told me. “Will they come up with the verdict tonight?” I asked. “It’s getting late.” He nodded and said: “That’s what we hear. They’re supposed to push on till they make a decision. They’ll want to go home,” he answered.

I walked into the courthouse and took the elevator up to the sixth floor to the courtroom of the presiding judge, Richard Anderson. Sheriff’s deputies were everywhere and security was tight. I went through the metal detector and walked into a packed court room.

Col. Greg Phares was in charge of the numerous deputies surrounding the walls in the court room. Angola prison warden Burl Cain and I talked for a while. “Whatever happens, I’ve got a full night ahead of me. He will go to Angola tonight for the rest of his life, however long that is,” the warden mused.

About then, the bailiff quieted the court room and the jury filed in. The process was short. A signed verdict sent to the clerk, who read out the decision.  Derrick Todd Lee should be put to death. Then tears and sobs from the victims’ families, from Lee’s relatives, even the district attorney’s wife wiped away a few tears now that the ordeal was over.

So should Derrick Todd Lee die? There was an overwhelming community feeling that, yes, he should. The guy is charged with killing seven women. And there may be more. If you were looking for the right poster face for the death penalty, you can’t do better than Lee.

Putting aside the arguments for opposing the taking of anyone’s life, what possible reason would there be not to execute him? One is money. It costs on average 4 to 5 times more to invoke capital punishment than it does to put him away for life. The costs of appeal, including attorney’s fees that are almost always paid for the estate, often run several million dollars. It’s much cheaper to stick him in a cell and spend a few dollars a day to feed him.

And you can make a pretty good argument that if you want to put someone through hell, stick them in a maximum-security prison where he will either be brutalized by the prison population, or confined in solitary where he lives almost like an animal in total boredom. Some would argue this punishment is worse than the death penalty.

But we demand an eye for an eye. Oh, it may take a decade or more. But the odds were, that one day Lee would die. John McKeithen, Edwin Edwards and Buddy Romer each told me the toughest decision they ever faced as governor was whether to let a condemned man die. It was the first decision Roemer had to make the day he was sworn in. But they always let it happen.

Two different people that night at two different events. One a celebration of a full and continuing life. The other, just a block away, a decision to take away a life.

The challenge, of course, is to live a life of dignity. To see your own existence as a heightened example of universal experience – a life that is fulfilling in a way that is somehow larger-than-life. On that night fourteen years ago, it was obvious that one succeeded and one failed.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.




Friday, October 12, 2018

WHAT’S THE NEW SECRETARY OF STATE TO DO?


Thursday, October 11th, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

WHAT’S THE NEW SECRETARY OF STATE TO DO?

Special statewide elections in Louisiana are only a few weeks away. At the top of the ballot on November 6thwill be an office second in line to the governorship. A number of the candidates are harping on the same theme. Each wants to be the business development voice of the state. Will the Governor let that happen? Fat chance. 

The Secretary of State does have, under current law, some business duties. But the office serves primarily in that capacity as the filer and record keeper of corporations and partnerships. How can we gently say this....a glorified clerk of court. It would take a benevolent governor to turn over business development responsibility to another statewide official. 

So just what should these candidates be talking about? Yes, there are some real problems to address. Here’s the list. 

Voting Machines. All over the country, concerns are being raised over new electronic voting machines. Many critics say these machines are riddled with security leaks and are ripe for computer hackers to change numbers without elections officials knowing anything about it. And what about backup? Many machines in use have no paper backup to verify correct totals. Yet so far, those who seek the office to oversee this process have been mute in discussing the implications of election fraud. Checks and balances should certainly be an election debate subject. The bottom line is that there has to be some type of paper ballot backup.  

There is no necessity for new expensive voting machines. The more sophisticated the machines  are, the more likely that they can be hacked. The key, as obsolete as it seems, is to have a paper trail.Yes, it’s the 21stcentury, but the best protection against voter fraud is probably using 1stcentury technology – PAPER.

Voting Fraud-The days of blatant and widespread voter fraud has been greatly curtailed, although not eliminated. President Trump has alleged prevalent voter fraud, and this certainly raises the concerns of many voters. Here’s what the President said after his 2016 victory.  “ It tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have. I won Louisiana, but what’s going on is a disgrace.”In the 1980s, Louisiana created an Elections Integrity Commission. To put voter’s minds at ease, the new Secretary of State might consider reestablishing this commission.

Mandatory Voting?There are proposals being floated around to make voting mandatory, saying if jury service is required, why not voting? Are disinterested voters all that big of a problem? Some might argue that not voting is a protest against the choices being offered. How about offering an additional choice of “none of the above?” Some states actually allow such an option on the ballot. So candidates, tell us how you feel about forcing us to vote, or giving voters the option of voting against every candidate on the ballot?

Protecting Louisiana’s heritage. -The Bayou State has the richest heritage of any state in the nation. The job of the State Archives is to protect and share our history.  The present Archives Building in the country’s finest.  No other state comes close. (Disclaimer-It was built under the administration of some guy named Brown who was Secretary of State back in the 1980s.) What will each candidate do, if elected, to protect the state’s important documents relating to the state’s history?  And what about the ten local museums around the state that are managed by the Secretary of State?  How does each candidate propose to keep these museums open in light of the state’s fiscal problems?

Finally, I hope every candidate will commit to finding the Great Seal of Louisiana. The state constitution specifically directs the Secretary of State to be the keeper of the Great Seal.  I looked all over for it during the eight years I held this office, and never could find it. A major investigation must might be necessary to locate it.  After all, how can a state exist without a Great Seal. 

Some would argue Louisiana does not need to elect its Secretary of State.  Twelve other states have the office appointed by either the governor or the state legislature.  And that seems to be the growing trend.  The newly elected Secretary of State obviously needs to hit the ground running.  After all, this is just a special election. And guess what? The winner will have to do it all over again in less than a year.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.









Thursday, October 04, 2018

MEDDLING WITH LOUISIANA CHARTER SCHOOLS!


October 4th, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

MEDDLING WITH LOUISIANA CHARTER SCHOOLS!

Here we go again with meddling federal judges. The 5thU.S Circuit Court of Appeals came down hard on Louisiana charter schools last week. Charter schools, that by definition are independent with major input from parents, now will have to bargain with teachers’ unions. The 5thCircuit is well known for questionable opinions that are often overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Hopefully, this dubious decision will receive the same treatment.

In spite of a number of innovative proposals for reform put forth by concerned legislators, my home state of Louisiana ranks at or near the bottom in every national survey of educational achievement. Just last week, a state educational department analysis concluded that 57 percent of Louisiana public schools have received an F-rating for school performance.

There has been a growing interest in charter schools all over the nation, and particularly here in Louisiana. Ninety Percent of all kids attending public schools in New Orleans go to a charter school. These education facilities are independent public schools that are not constrained by the statewide one-size-fits-all requirements often placed on local schools. Charter schools are able to be more innovative in developing curricula, hiring teachers, and structuring the school day.

A key benefit of charter schools is that parents have a choice. They pick the school and are not forced into making their kids attend a specific local school. In just about everything else you do, there’s a choice. But not in where your kid goes to school. Choice fosters competition. For many, the lack of competition is a key component in the weakness of the American educational system. To be successful, schools have to compete. That’s the key to charter schools. And the students are the beneficiaries.

I have observed first-hand how successful charter schools can be in New York City were my oldest daughter Campbell has been actively involved in the support of the Success Academy Charter Network. To show how effective charters can be, Success Academy has opened 32 schools for 17,000 students. 

And get this. The student achievement is remarkable. Students at Success Academy rank in the top one percent of all New York schools in math, and the top seven percent in English. The racial makeup always comes up, doesn’t it? Only 3 percent of the kids are white. So much for not being able to close the racial achievement gap. As Campbell told a fundraising gathering for the network of schools, “demography is not destiny.”

She did not mince words to those who, in many states, continue to try to put up roadblocks to stop the growth of charter schools. “It’s a fight,” Campbell told the crowd last week. “We have to fight for these schools. I wish we didn’t. It amazes me that there could be anything controversial about the achievements of these extraordinary kids. It amazes me that anyone would dare try to choke one of the most exciting, innovative things happening in public education.”

And she answered some critics who say that all kids cannot attend charter schools. “No one is saying that every public school student should be moved into a charter. All we say is that the excellence of our charters should be moved into every public school.”

Campbell has also founded The 74a nonprofit news website focusing on educational issues throughout the United States. The 74 publishes hundreds of related articles a year, many that discuss the advantages of charter schoolsSo it took a girl raised in Ferriday, Louisiana to go to the Big Apple and lead the charge for public school reform. Yes, this is a proud papa talking. But you cannot argue with achievement.

Right now, in a number of state legislatures across the country, there is an effort to curtail and limit the growth of charter schools. What a mistake this would be. Campbell put it this way. “You can tell who’s on the losing side of an issue when what they fear most is competition. By saving children and giving them a chance, these schools remind everyone what these kids are being saved from-an education system that has lost its way.”
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.