In February, Ron Kirk will step down from his post as U.S. Trade Representative. Kirk was charged with negotiating conditions for imports and exports and resolving related disputes. The job also came with the title Ambassador. In a statement issued by the White House Tuesday, President Obama said, "I want to thank Ambassador Kirk for his hard work on behalf of the American people over the past four years. There's no question Ron delivered results for the American people and for our economy. From bringing home new trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and negotiating to open up new markets for American businesses, to cracking down on unfair trade practices around the world, he has been a tremendous advocate for the American worker. As a former [Dallas] mayor, Ron was relentless in making the case to the American public that a balanced, thoughtful trade policy can contribute to a stronger economic future for America."
People are getting worried about the large number of white men who have been tapped by the Obama administration to serve in cabinet-level and advisory positions. Just in case Obama needs some names, a coalition of 30 civil rights organizations have submitted a list.
Law enforcement officials in a suburban Atlanta area are investigating flyers distributed by the Klu Klux Klan inviting people to join the organization, The Grio reports. "Newton County sheriff's Deputy Courtney Morrison says the fliers are being reviewed to make sure they don't contain any inappropriate information or threats. The Newton Citizen reports that the fliers included a drawing of a robed klansman standing in front of a tree with writing that said, "Join the KKK -- Loyal White Knights," according to The Grio.
The Democratic National Committee named Henry Muñoz, a San Antonio architect, chair of the party's finance committee Tuesday, Politics365 reports. Munoz, who along with actress and Texas-native Eva Longoria, formed the Futuro Fund and raised more than $30 million for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign. Muñoz is the first Latino to head the party's finance committee and part of an emerging group of Latino political operatives -- Republican and Democrat -- based in San Antonio.
Politics365 also brings us news that on Monday, the Supreme Court denied the Republican National Committee's request to lift a thirty year old consent decree that bars the party from targeting minorities in its efforts to prevent voter fraud."Back in 1970s and 1980s, the Republican National Committee (RNC) created a "national ballot security task force" that sent targeted mailings to African American and Hispanic neighborhoods in New Jersey. If the mailings were returned as undelivered, party activists would place those individuals on a list so their ballot would be challenged if they showed up to the polls. In addition it was also alleged that the RNC hired off-duty police officers to patrol minority neighborhoods on the day of election. Soon after, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sued the Republican National Committee (RNC) in federal court alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act and the RNC's intention to suppress minority voters," Poltics365 reported.
Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. Several organizations have released data or called attention to polls conducted last year showing that Latino voters do not oppose abortion at the levels often assumed.
Finally, while Lip-Synchgate drew lots of likely unwanted attention to Beyonce yesterday, the Associated Press quietly reported that Al Green passed on an opportunity to sing "Let's Stay Together" live at an innaugural celebration. Scheduling conflicts prevented him from attending Monday's festivities, The Grio reports.