2015 Legislative Scorecard Available Now

Well, we have been busy going over the work of the folks who represent you in Pierre.  The 2015 legislative session was a busy one, and FHA Action was in Pierre with two full-time lobbyists and a handful of additional ones who lobbied on specific issues.  We were there putting our efforts into protecting and promoting the values you cherish at the State Capitol.  As we gear up for the 2016 legislative session, we thought you might be interested in how your legislators did on some of the more important bills and measures that we were working.  We have prepared a concise scorecard that shows exactly that.  Click the image below to get your copy today.

scorecard_clickhere2

A Message to Congress

Written by Dale Bartscher

The Family Heritage Alliance Action’s message to those representing
“We The People” in the US Congress is clear and it’s essence is found in the words
of an unknown author:
“Don’t pray for a lighter burden. Pray for a stronger back.”

dale_legislatorsIt was a flying trip putting 750 miles on my car in less than 12 hours but it was more than worth the effort! FHA Policy Analysis Ed Randazzo and I received a gracious invitation to attend a reception in Sioux Falls on Thursday, August 6. Our South Dakota US Representative Kristi Noem hosted this event. Her traveling guest, on this day, was US Representative and former Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

A hundred plus patriots filled the room that evening. This face-to-face encounter with two Christian conservative leaders in the US House gave me, as your FHA Executive Director, an opportunity to address with each of them several family valued issues they will soon be dealing with in Congress.

When Congress does return on September 8, they will have little time to deal with some very important legislation such as bills –

  • to defund Planned Parenthood;
  • to prohibit abortions over 20 weeks (Pain Capable Bill);
  • and to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).

It seems to us that Conservatives in both the House and Senate, like Noem and Ryan, need to find ‘must-pass legislation’ to attach these three important bills to. As standalone legislation, each of them face a Presidential veto and currently there are not enough votes to override his veto.

Pierre Bynum, Chaplain and National Prayer Director for the Family Research Council (FRC) recently shared this urgent plea: “FADA cannot wait. So much hangs on religious liberty. Without it, conscientious objectors to the HHS mandate (e.g., the Little Sisters of the Poor, Christian Universities, etc.) and same-sex marriage (e.g., wedding vendors, chaplains, county clerks, etc.) will all be in jeopardy.”

Today as Christians let us STAND to encourage those who represent us in DC to move these three important pieces of legislation along in the best form possible for their ultimate passage. Psalm 11:7 (MSG) echoes this sentiment, “God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.”

Slow Motion Coup

While at CPAC last week I and our friend (and Advisory Council member) Bob Fischer had the privilege to visit one-on-one with Gary Bauer. Gary is sort of the Jack Bauer (no relation) in the fight for the family. He was fighting for the family long before most folks even knew there was a fight. He served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to President Reagan from 1987-88 and served as President of Family Research Council from 1988 to 1999. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Bauer can also list the fact that he was the first Stand Banquet Keynote for Family Heritage Alliance.

We had already heard most of the potential contenders for the Republican nomination, and Bob and I were attending a reception on justice reform when we bumped into Mr. Bauer. I was anxious to hear his observations. As we discussed the political landscape, Gary said something that caught me off guard. He said that for the last six years, we have been enduring a “sort of slow-motion coup”. He went on to state that (referring to the 2016 Presidential election) “we have to get this one right”. So many of the speakers who took to the main CPAC stage had, in one way or another, with some urgency, made similar statements. On Saturday morning, Mark Levin took to the stage and stated bluntly “we are losing our Republic.” He went on to invoke the Declaration of Independence in which the Continental Congress laid out their grievances against the King of England, quoting: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…” Levin continued by laying out a list of grievances against the current administration that he wanted presented “to a candid world”. Here is an abridged list:
Mr. Obama, you …

Have violated the separation of powers
Have seized unto yourself legislative power granted to congress alone
Have unilaterally appropriated monies to fund your radical agenda in violation of Congress’s power of the purse
Have contravened congress’s authority over immigration and naturalization
Defy the Senate’s confirmation power over your appointments requiring intervention by the Supreme Court to stop you
Have poisoned the independence of the Judiciary by appointing scores of radical activists to lifetime judicial appointments…to insure your unconstitutional actions are everlasting
Have repeatedly evaded the Senate’s role in the adoption of treaties…calling them “executive agreements”
Have shown nothing but contempt for the Bill of Rights including 1st 2nd 4th 9th and 10th amendments
Have shown nothing but contempt for private property and free market capitalism evidenced by among other things your nationalizing the internet, the banks, the student loan industry without any constitutional authority
Have nationalized and destroyed the greatest private health care system on the face of the earth…
Have recklessly destroyed the fiscal wellbeing of this nation with wild spending schemes driving up the federal operating debt to 18.5 trillion dollars…
You have undermined our friend Israel while you appeased our enemy in Iran
Friend, the hour is late. The republic is being replaced by the very form of government that our Founders fled Europe to escape. To our shame as a nation, we have humbly and quietly endured this “slow motion coup”. Someone once proposed that you can boil a frog to death by just gradually turning up the water temperature. I don’t know if that’s true. Nor do I have a clue why you would want to do that. However, I do know that the environment change that should have all Americans alarmed is the ever so gradual but steady turning up the temperature under the American Republic. I know at this point in the article, most organizations immediately insert an ask for money. I am not going to do that. What I am going to do is inform you that your kids and their kids are going to suffer enormous and long term consequences if we don’t put aside our petty little differences and unite to restore the precious Republic! Get involved! Donate your time, your money, your expertise, and your attention. At this point that last one just might be the most important. For God’s sake; for your kids and grandkids sake; for the Republic’s sake, pay attention!

Written By: John Dennis

 

Slow Motion Coup

cpac2015While at CPAC last week I and our friend (and Advisory Council member) Bob Fischer had the privilege to visit one-on-one with Gary Bauer. Gary is sort of the Jack Bauer (no relation) in the fight for the family. He was fighting for the family long before most folks even knew there was a fight. He served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to President Reagan from 1987-88 and served as President of Family Research Council from 1988 to 1999. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Bauer can also list the fact that he was the first Stand Banquet Keynote for Family Heritage Alliance.

We had already heard most of the potential contenders for the Republican nomination, and Bob and I were attending a reception on justice reform when we bumped into Mr. Bauer. I was anxious to hear his observations. As we discussed the political landscape, Gary said something that caught me off guard. He said that for the last six years, we have been enduring a “sort of slow-motion coup”. He went on to state that (referring to the 2016 Presidential election) “we have to get this one right”. So many of the speakers who took to the main CPAC stage had, in one way or another, with some urgency, made similar statements. On Saturday morning, Mark Levin took to the stage and stated bluntly “we are losing our Republic.” He went on to invoke the Declaration of Independence in which the Continental Congress laid out their grievances against the King of England, quoting: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…” Levin continued by laying out a list of grievances against the current administration that he wanted presented “to a candid world”. Here is an abridged list: Mr. Obama, you …

Have violated the separation of powers
Have seized unto yourself legislative power granted to congress alone
Have unilaterally appropriated monies to fund your radical agenda in violation of Congress’s power of the purse
Have contravened congress’s authority over immigration and naturalization
Defy the Senate’s confirmation power over your appointments requiring intervention by the Supreme Court to stop you
Have poisoned the independence of the Judiciary by appointing scores of radical activists to lifetime judicial appointments…to insure your unconstitutional actions are everlasting
Have repeatedly evaded the Senate’s role in the adoption of treaties…calling them “executive agreements”
Have shown nothing but contempt for the Bill of Rights including 1st 2nd 4th 9th and 10th amendments
Have shown nothing but contempt for private property and free market capitalism evidenced by among other things your nationalizing the internet, the banks, the student loan industry without any constitutional authority
Have nationalized and destroyed the greatest private health care system on the face of the earth…
Have recklessly destroyed the fiscal wellbeing of this nation with wild spending schemes driving up the federal operating debt to 18.5 trillion dollars…
You have undermined our friend Israel while you appeased our enemy in Iran
Friend, the hour is late. The republic is being replaced by the very form of government that our Founders fled Europe to escape. To our shame as a nation, we have humbly and quietly endured this “slow motion coup”. Someone once proposed that you can boil a frog to death by just gradually turning up the water temperature. I don’t know if that’s true. Nor do I have a clue why you would want to do that. However, I do know that the environment change that should have all Americans alarmed is the ever so gradual but steady turning up the temperature under the American Republic. I know at this point in the article, most organizations immediately insert an ask for money. I am not going to do that. What I am going to do is inform you that your kids and their kids are going to suffer enormous and long term consequences if we don’t put aside our petty little differences and unite to restore the precious Republic! Get involved! Donate your time, your money, your expertise, and your attention. At this point that last one just might be the most important. For God’s sake; for your kids and grandkids sake; for the Republic’s sake, pay attention!

Written By: John Dennis

We Won’t Go Quietly on “Q”

gamblingIn the upcoming election, as you get your ballot in hand, you will find that the gaming industry would very much like for you to literally amend the South Dakota constitution to allow them to once again expand the reach of gambling. FHA Action isn’t going to be quiet on this one because it makes us a bit queasy. Below, find our prepared statement on the issue!

A “NO” vote on Amendment Q will slow the almost constant expansion of gambling in the state of South Dakota.

Currently, in the state of South Dakota, roulette, keno, and craps are not permitted, but limited card games and slot machines are permitted in Deadwood. Also, a sixty percent super majority vote by Deadwood city voters is required to approve a piece of legislation allowing a gambling facility. This proposed amendment to the constitution will change this, permitting the state legislature to authorize roulette, keno, and craps. Whereas in most cases, free market should be the primary regulator of business, in the case of an industry that generates so much addiction, societal ills, and even suicide, this should not be the case regarding the gambling industry. For instance, The National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG) estimates that among South Dakotans, there are 18,000 adult gambling addictions which inflicts on the citizens of the state a whopping annual cost of almost $16 million. The NCPG also estimates that one in five problem gamblers will attempt suicide, putting this statistic at about twice the suicide rate of other addictions.

In addition to the proposed authorization to add roulette, keno, and craps, Amendment Q also proposes a potentially detrimental provision. The amendment would remove the mandatory super majority described above, which serves to provide the people of Deadwood with the power to impede the constant advance of gambling in their city.

Do your part to help slow the expansion of gambling in South Dakota. Vote “NO” on amendment Q.

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

One year ago today, a bipartisan majority in the House passed historic pro-life legislation that would ban the abortion of unborn children developmentally capable of experiencing pain. The United States is one of just seven countries worldwide that permits elective abortion after 5 months, more than halfway through pregnancy (20 weeks post-fertilization).

Yet despite repeated calls from Senators to allow a vote in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to allow this legislation to come to the floor. One of the reasons is there has not been a single Democrat cosponsor!

Recent polls show a majority of Americans favor the ban with some of the strongest support coming from women! Two-thirds, in fact, when asked by Quinnipiac pollsters if they backed the ban said they would support prohibiting abortion on children capable of feeling pain.

Advances in medical technology have made this reality clear. Lead sponsor of the bill, Sen. Graham points out, “We now know that an unborn child at the twentieth week of pregnancy can feel pain. In fact, anesthesia is administered directly to unborn children in second trimester fetal surgery.”

It’s been years since the Senate has been poised to respond to the pro-life majority like this and make a meaningful impact for the cause of the unborn, saving upwards of 15,000 babies a year.
Sincerely,

David Christensen
Vice President for Government Affairs