Help Stop SJR2

Family Heritage Alliance Action opposes Senate Joint Resolution 2.

While the prospect of a new untapped revenue stream for our state is attractive, it requires a Constitutional amendment to do so. Constitutional amendments should be proposed with extreme scrutiny beforehand.

We have already authorized both destination gambling and video lottery gambling and as a result South Dakota is regrettably already dependent on the revenue from those gambling sources. Now we are considering the further expansion of gambling should this proposed amendment be approved.

With each expansion of gambling comes a human price, as more will be attracted to the lure of winning but too many of them will fall victim to their addiction. And with each expansion of gambling, the State of South Dakota will become further addicted to the revenue realized.

While SJR 2 will only place the amendment on the ballot in 2020 and the expansion will be limited to Deadwood and Native American casinos, in short order gambling on literally thousands of events will be authorized.

There is also the danger that we are at the beginning of changing the entire paradigm of sports as well.

In the early days of Major League Baseball gambling became a problem. New York Giant’s stars Hal Chase and Heinie Zimmerman were both blacklisted for bribing teammates to throw games. And most famously, the White Sox “fixed” the 1919 World Series. In both cases, sports betting was the cause.

Back then, it took a couple of hundred dollars to bribe a ballplayer. These days we would struggle to imagine what it would take to convince a ballplayer making millions of dollars a year to throw a game. However, amateur athletes or college athletes could be bought more cheaply.

Finally, the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, did not speak to the legality of sports betting. It specifically ruled that one particular federal gambling statute, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, violated the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it illegally empowered the federal government to order certain states to take specific actions to disallow sports gambling. In fact, as noted in its ruling, if Congress were to pass a statute to directly ban sports gambling; such a bill would likely survive legal scrutiny.

If this SJR 2 is approved by the voters, is the state betting that the Federal Government will not ban it?

Not everyone wins when vices go mainstream.

Please help us to defeat SJR 2, email your Senator today!

Sports Betting – SJR2

Constitutional Sports Betting on the Ballot in 2020?

Yes, if a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR2) passes in both the South Dakota Senate and House in this Legislative Session.

You may remember that in 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court specifically ruled in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, that one particular federal gambling statute, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, violated the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution  because it illegally empowered the federal government to order certain states to disallow sports gambling.  It did not speak to the legality of sports betting, per se. In fact as noted in its ruling that if Congress was to pass a statute to directly ban sports gambling; such a bill would likely survive legal scrutiny. No such federal law exists.

In South Dakota, sports betting is currently prohibited by the Constitution so a Constitutional Amendment would be necessary to legalize it. The easiest way to get it on the ballot in 2020 is via joint resolution passed by both the Senate and House. With their votes in 2020 South Dakotans will decide if they wish to authorize an expansion of gambling in South Dakota.

SJR2 seeks to authorize sports betting only in Deadwood, but if authorized it would also be allowed in reservation casinos as well.

To be sure, illegal sports betting currently exists, but its access is somewhat limited. Because of its legality problem, it produces zero revenue for the state. The fact that a new revenue stream may be created by legalization will peak the interest of some. Initially those folks will minimize the likelihood of an increase in gambling addiction with its attendant costs to society because there is no reliable evidence to quantify it.  If SJR2 is approved by the voters, additional legislation will be required to regulate it and earmark expected revenue increases including how much revenue may be allocated for addiction counseling, etc.

South Dakota already has a gambling addiction in that in 2018 the South Dakota Lottery provided $124.7 million to the general fund.

But there is more than just the monetary factor to consider here. Sports betting has the very real potential to change the integrity of performance of athletes in the competitive sports world. Will the performance of players be affected by the point spread? (In 1919, the World Series was tainted by eight players that were corrupted by sports betting.) What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

Email your Senator today!

New Faces – Great Places

The Christmas trees are gone from the Capitol Building. There are new names over the office doors and on some legislator’s desk tops. Your Family Heritage Alliance Action lobbying team is on the ground in Pierre. It must be January.

As we return to the Capitol, it is impossible to enter without a profound awe for the magnificent structure and the quality of the people that we have elected to serve here and their willingness to accept this responsibility.

We now have heard the Governor’s State of the State message, the Chief Justice’s State of the Judiciary message and the State of the Tribes message. It must be the end of the first week of the 94th Legislative Session.

It was a week for making new relationships with the new legislators and renewing ones with returning legislators, meeting and conferring with like-minded allies, and watching as bills are “dropped,” read and assigned to committees for consideration, for debate and determination if they will advance to a chamber floor for debate and decision.

Norman and I have already begun poring over the bills already filed and visited with legislators busy in the process of drafting a bill and securing the support of their colleagues.

We, in fact, have already determined that we will support HB1040, a bill that was passed by both houses of the legislature last year only to be vetoed by Governor Daugaard. It would level the playing field for homeschool students to qualify for South Dakota Opportunity Scholarships.

There were 591 bills and resolutions filed last session. There are only 88 bills and resolutions filed at this writing. So there is much more we will share with you in the weeks to come. Please the Legislative Radar to stay informed and engaged in the public square where the laws we must live by are made.

Norman and I will stay here in Pierre to advance and defend the values we hold dear for you.

Anticipation

December.
I call it Anticipation Month.

The children and grandchildren anticipate Santa’s visit.

At Family Heritage Alliance we anticipate the joy of commemorating the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ and the gathering of family and friends.

Just beyond Christmas we anticipate the arrival of the new year and the inauguration of a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Constitutional Officers, Legislators and the beginning of the 2019 Legislative Session on January 8th.

We anticipate forging a positive relationship with our new Governor and her administration and the newly elected Legislators as well as renewing relationships with returning Legislators.

Last week, Executive Director Norman Woods shared with you a partial list of the legislation we anticipate will be considered in the upcoming session. They include Assisted Suicide, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Homeschool Education, Free Speech, Alienation of Affection, Sports Betting and more.

We anticipate a very busy schedule that will demand our full time active presence in Pierre and we need your financial help to make it happen.

Our annual Stand Banquets provided a much-needed financial boost, but we fell short of what we need, especially with regard to FHA Action, non-tax-deductible funds. In order to have a successful Legislative Session in 2019, we need $20,000 in FHA Action funds before January 31st. We urgently need your help to meet that goal!

We have also set a goal of raising $20,000 in 501(c)(3), tax-deductible funds before January 31st. These dollars will continue to equip our staff in networking, alliance building, CIT engagement, public education, and many other areas.

We anticipate that God, working through you, our loyal contributors, will help us meet these goals.

-Ed Randazzo

I Can Help!

Click Here to donate to FHA Action!

I Can Help!

Click Here to donate to Family Heritage Alliance!

FHA Action Endorses Dusty Johnson

South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance Action Endorses Dusty Johnson for U.S House of Representatives

Having served the people of South Dakota in in high visibility roles in government, we have come to know Dusty Johnson as an energetic defender of Faith, Family and Freedom issues. His faith has been a critically important part of who he is and his Christian beliefs have been obvious in his roles as citizen, leader, husband and father.

Dusty believes that traditional families are the bedrock of successful civilizations and that strong families lead to strong children and strong communities. The ever-growing federal government has too often sought to take the place of families and those efforts have further weakened families and our society.

His belief is that religious freedom is a core American value and that government shouldn’t be compelling bakeries or photographers or others to act in ways that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

As a strong defender of life from conception to natural death, he has earned the endorsement of South Dakota Right to Life. We will need his skills, expertise and strong work ethic in the coming battles in the pro-family pro-life arena.

FHA Action believes that Dusty Johnson deserves our support to represent all South Dakotans as our sole member in the United States House of Representatives.

Family Heritage Alliance Action endorses Dusty Johnson For U.S. House of Representatives.

FHA Action Endorses Jason Ravnsborg for AG

South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance Action Endorses Jason Ravnsborg for Attorney General of South Dakota

Having faithfully served the people of the entire nation in U.S. Army Reserves for over 22 years, including service in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Jason Ravnsborg has now committed himself to come home to South Dakota. He has been a prosecutor, a defense attorney and a civil litigator having handled a wide variety of cases in multiple jurisdictions and throughout our state.

As chief law enforcement officer for the state, he has committed to aggressively prevent and deter the use of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine’s, while supporting rehabilitation efforts for the addicted that will give them the opportunity to become self-supporting productive members of society.

As a strong defender of life from conception to natural death, he has earned the endorsement of South Dakota Right to Life. We will need his skills and expertise in the coming battles in the pro-family pro-life arena.

The choice for us is clear, FHA Action believes that Jason Ravnsborg deserves our support to be South Dakota’s Attorney General.

Family Heritage Alliance Action endorses Jason Ravnsborg  for Attorney General of South Dakota

Legislators Who Scored 100%

The Best of the Best

In case you haven’t noticed, Election Day 2018 is less than 3 weeks away!!!

Several folks have contacted us recently requesting information and recommendations on specific races and ballot questions. Elsewhere in this E-News you will find some help on the ballot questions, so I’ll focus here on the Best of the Best of South Dakota Legislators that earned the A+, absolutely fantastic, 100 percent, there’s-none-better performers for Faith, Family & Freedom issues in our 2018 Legislative Session.

Click Here for the entire scorecard!

While there are many more 80 percent plus performers that we embrace and thank for their support, we want to very publically lift up the Best and ask for your continued support for these Family Heritage Alliance Champions:

SD SENATE:

Lynne DiSanto                       District 35

Brock Greenfield                    District 2

Phil Jensen                            District 33

Joshua Klumb                        District 20

Jack Kolbeck                         District 13

Jeff Monroe                           District 24

Stace Nelson                         District 19

Jenna Netherton                   District 10 (not running for reelection)

Al Novstrup                           District 3

Ernie Otten                            District 6

Lance Russell                        District 30

Jim Stalzer                            District 11

 

SD HOUSE:

Arch Beal                               District 12

Tom Brunner                         District 29

Blaine “Chip” Campbell          District 35 (not running for reelection)

Michael Clark                         District 9

Drew Dennert                       District 3

Lynne DiSanto                       District 35 (running for SD Senate)

Julie Frye-Mueller                  District 30

Steve Haugaard                     District 10

Leslie Heinemann                  District 8

Taffy Howard                         District 33

Dan Kaiser                             District 3 (not running for reelection)

Isaac Latterall                        District 6

Steve Livermont                    District 27

Sam Marty                             District 28B

Elizabeth May                        District 27

Mark Mickelson               District 13 (not running for reelection)

John Mills                               District 4

Kent Peterson                       District 19

Sue Peterson                        District 13

Tom Pischke                          District 25

Lee Qualm                             District 21

Nancy Rasmussen                 District 17

Larry Rhoden                        District 29 (running for Lieut Governor)

Tim Rounds                           District 24

James Schaefer                     District 26B (not running for reelection)

Wayne Steinhauer                 District 9

Larry Zikmund                       District 14

 

We hope you will continue to support and reelect the Best of the Best!!!

 

 

Laying the Groundwork for a SOGI

Recently, we have noticed a billboard in Rapid City that seems innocuous enough at first. But when you visit the website noted it is clear that its purpose is to promote LGBT individuals as a legal protected class in South Dakota.

It showcases a LGBT couple, Crystal and Amanda, who claim to have been the victims of discrimination because Crystal is male but has “transitioned” to female. The website seeks to influence states to enact laws making LGBT individuals a protected class. It is quite possible that effort may be forthcoming in South Dakota, promoted by organizations and interests outside South Dakota, to enact “sexual orientation or gender identity” (SOGI) laws which would then include LGBT individuals as a protected class.

These laws create new rights based on sexual behavior and identity, placing those rights at the same level as other freedoms, such as speech, religion and association. This inevitably leads to conflict with those who hold a Biblical view of sexuality that will increasingly find their voices marginalized and eventually banned from the public square.

President Trump Nominates Judge Kavanaugh

President Trump promised to appoint justices committed to faithfully interpreting the Constitution of the United States as the Founders intended. His nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record reflects that commitment. We commend President Trump for this excellent pick.

We are hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the First Amendment and the original public meaning of the Constitution. His extensive judicial record demonstrates that he understands that power under our Constitution ultimately rests with the American people, and that it is the structure of our Constitution that protects our liberties.

At a 2006 administrative law conference, Judge Kavanaugh described how he rejects judicial activism: “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy.” A defender of religious liberty, just last year he dissented from his court’s ruling that the Washington, D.C. transit authority could ban religiously themed advertisements, including a Christmas ad; he called the policy “pure discrimination” and “odious.” Judge Kavanaugh has also defended the traditional role of religion and prayer in the public square, vigorously arguing in Newdow v. Roberts (2010) for the Constitutionality of prayers at government ceremonies and the phrase “so help me God” in the Presidential Oath of Office

Like President Trump’s recent appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh is a person of impeccable character, extraordinary qualifications, independence, and fairness. He received bipartisan support in the Senate in his last confirmation and deserves no less now. Judge Kavanaugh will be another great justice.

We appreciate President Trump’s continued transparency and principled process for choosing the next Supreme Court nominee, and are pleased with his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

 

Are You Ready for the Schumer Storm?

On Monday July 9th, President Trump will reveal his choice to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States. As he is doing so, U.S. Senate Democrats will viciously attack whomever he chooses.

First, they will demand that the Senate’s Advice and Consent should not even be taken up until after the November general elections. When they come to the realization that their delay tactic will not prevail, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will launch the opening salvos of the Schumer Storm.

Schumer’s hue and cry will be that the Senate must interrogate the nominee as to their legal “doctrine.” He will orchestrate the ideological testing of the President’s nominee.

A little history here is worth mentioning. There is no constitutional precedent for subjecting judicial choices to a senatorial third degree. No Supreme Court appointee was even interrogated by the Senate until 1925, and committee questioning was irregular until it became standard confirmation practice in 1955.

But then there is the “Ginsburg Standard.”

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she still serves today. Six years earlier, conservative Robert Bork was denied confirmation when hostile questioners drew him into a debate on judicial philosophy. But Judge Ginsburg was up to the challenge at her Judiciary Committee interrogation.

Judge Ginsburg said in her remarks:

“You are well aware that I come to this proceeding to be judged as a judge, not as an advocate. Because I am and hope to continue to be a judge, it would be wrong for me to say or to preview in this legislative chamber how I would cast my vote on questions the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide. Were I to rehearse here what I would say and how I would reason on such questions, I would act injudiciously.

Judges in our system are bound to decide concrete cases, not abstract issues. Each case comes to court based on particular facts and its decision should turn on those facts and the governing law, stated and explained in light of the particular arguments the parties or their representatives present. A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”

The Judiciary Committee and the Senate should examine the appointee on the basis of their qualifications, especially on their written record of their judicial rulings, briefs and articles, not on their judicial philosophy or anticipated leanings on specific issues.

President Trump’s appointee would be well advised to adopt the “Ginsburg Standard” in the face of the Schumer Storm.