Daily Dose: Local history, presidential contributions, Obama goes to Chicago, Military budget cuts ahead

Daily Dose: Local history, presidential contributions, Obama goes to Chicago, Military budget cuts ahead

Local history:

In 1911, property owners along Curtis Street in Champaign have asked the city council to change the name of the street back to Bradley Avenue. This was the original name of the thoroughfare, but it was changed to Curtis Street about six years ago.

In 1961, a 5-year-old girl may have the best clue to the identity of man believed to be mentally unbalanced who has set seven fires in the last few days, several of them at churches. The girl saw the man as he escaped after setting a baby crib ablaze at the University Place Christian Church near the University of Illinois campus.

Presidential contributions

From Sunday's column ...

Here’s a big change from 2008: Barack Obama is not the fundraising champion among presidential candidates in Champaign County and surrounding communities.
So far in the 2012 presidential election cycle, Republican Mitt Romney has raised $47,510 within the area where ZIP codes begin with 618.
Obama hasn’t even raised half of that sum — just $23,826 — according to reports from the Federal Election Commission.
The only other presidential contenders to report campaign contributions from the 618 ZIP codes area, which includes most of Champaign and Vermilion counties and Piatt County, are Republicans Ron Paul ($2,957) and Michelle Bachman ($750).
So far, the Obama fundraising numbers are a big switch from the 2008 campaign, when he brought in $733,104 from the 618 ZIP codes, to just $104,647 for GOP presidential nominee John McCain, $59,173 for Romney and $12,434 for Paul.
Although Obama reports 63 separate donations from the area, most of them are less than $500. The only large local sums to the Obama campaign are $2,500 from Dorothy Baker of Champaign; $2,000 from Peter Beak of Urbana; $1,050 from Burton Swanson of Urbana; and $1,000 each from Cynthia Fisher of Champaign, Kuruvilla George of Champaign, Thomas Kim of Champaign, Frederick Lawrence of Urbana, Evelyn Wantland of Urbana and John Wetzel of Champaign.
On the other hand, the majority of Romney’s local donors — 17 of 26 — gave the maximum $2,500 contribution. Many of those big contributors supported the former Massachusetts governor four years ago.
Maximum donors to Romney from the area this year include: both Dan Proctor and Rhonda Proctor of Mahomet, Scott Reichard of Urbana, and Kim Fox, Peter Fox, Habeeb Habeeb, Ann Khan, Shadid Khan, James Liautaud, Leslie Liautaud, Carlos Nieto, Tifani Nieto, James North, John Reed, George Shapland, Jeff Wampler and Sharon Wampler, all of Champaign.
The Champaign-Urbana area is an unusually supportive region for Romney among Illinois communities. By comparison, the Bloomington-Normal area has given him $2,750, and he has received $1,000 from Decatur, $10,500 from Springfield, $6,000 from Rockford and nothing from the Peoria area.
In the DuPage County area — traditionally supportive of Republican candidates — Romney has raised about $45,000. And in the wealthy North Shore area, which includes suburbs such as Lake Forest, Northbrook, Winnetka and Highland Park, Romney has raised about $130,000.
Champaign-Urbana also is Obama’s best downstate area, according to the FEC. He has collected less than $10,000 in the Peoria, Decatur, Rockford, Carbondale and Springfield areas, $17,335 in the Bloomington-Normal area and $10,100 in the Belleville area.

Much bigger Obama bucks

From The Chicago Tribune ...

The sound of helicopters over the Chicago lakefront today signaled the practice drills that accompany a presidential visit. And with Congress poised to act on a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling, President Barack Obama's plans to return to his hometown and engage in some fundraising are back on.

Obama is scheduled to attend a 50th birthday gala on Wednesday at the Aragon Ballroom, an event featuring Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock. There’s also a dinner fundraiser planned for some special donors to go with the show at a cost of $35,800 a person.

As has been the case, fundraising dollars are being split between Obama’s 2012 re-election fund and the Democratic National Committee.

Big military cuts ahead?

From The New York Times ...

The Pentagon began grappling on Monday with the possibility that it will have to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the military budget over the next decade, but there were so few details in the debt ceiling deal reached by the White House and Congress that confusion over the actual size of the reductions was rampant.

There was at least some clarity for the immediate future: cuts in next year’s military budget are likely to be minimal or at least modest, depending on the way the counting is done. Beyond that, military budget analysts said, there was a real possibility that cuts in military spending would amount to about $550 billion over the next 10 years — or $150 billion more than what President Obama has already requested.

Still, the military cuts were sufficiently back-loaded to entice Republicans to sign on to the deal, as happened on Monday afternoon when Representative Howard P. McKeon of California, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, announced his support. Mr. McKeon, who is strongly opposed to  deep military cuts, said in a statement that he backed the deal “with deep reservations” but called it “the least bad proposal before us.”

But there were potentially far more ominous signs down the road for Republicans opposed to military cuts. In an apparent strategy by Democrats to try to force Republicans’ hands, the deal says that after an immediate $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, a bipartisan Congressional committee must come up with an additional $1.5 trillion cuts by November — or trigger automatic across-the-board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion starting in 2013. Half of those cuts would come from military spending.




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