What started as an ordinary meeting of the Elmhurst, Illinois Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Service Committee on the evening of May 17 to discuss a proposed $30,000 lobbyist contract, had turned into an event of nationwide proportions at the June 14 follow-up, owing to the mannerisms of one citizen present.
This year’s National Conference for State Legislatures (NSCL), held in Louisville, Kentucky, opened on Monday with state legislators from all 50 states, federal congressional members, and representatives of foreign countries, including five members of the Russian delegation who sat in the fourth row of the center aisle in the packed Cascade Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel. The featured guest speakers on Monday morning were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On March 27, 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod addressed the NAACP’s 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. Months later, a small excerpt from Sherrod’s speech was posted by Tea Partier Andrew Breitbart on the Internet. The excerpt went viral, stirring up controversy over Sherrod's racially biased statements. As a result, Sherrod was forced to resign by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Later, however, further footage of the speech showed Sherrod’s comments to be taken out of context, prompting the USDA to offer Sherrod a new position.