WE CANNOT WAIT ANOTHER DAY!
Please call your state representative and your state senator today, and ask them NOT to vote for a lottery. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of ALCAP, has issued an alert that we think needs to passed along to you immediately, as time is of the essence.
According to a Montgomery Advertiser article (click here to read the article), the Governor is planning to call a Special Session of the Alabama Legislature in order to find funding for Medicaid. The article implies (and we have heard from reliable sources) that a state-sponsored lottery will be the primary “solution” offered to the Medicaid funding problem, and for the lottery Constitutional Amendment to be on the November ballot, the Special Session will need to be held in early to mid-August.
If pastors and church members do not contact their House Members and State Senators NOW and urge them to oppose all pro-gambling bills during the anticipated Special Session, we will be facing a lottery referendum this November! Given our limited resources, it will be difficult for churches to stop such a vote on the November ballot.
The Alabama Supreme Court wrote several years ago that a “lottery” is defined as “any game of chance.” That means that if the people of Alabama vote for a lottery, the Legislature could come back and establish casinos throughout the state.
No state or government has ever gambled its way out of a financial crisis. Instead, gambling actually sucks money out of the economy and states that have legalized lotteries and casino gambling have continually had to raise their taxes to cover the lost revenue from other sources. California and Illinois are good examples of this.
It is also important to note that if the people of Alabama vote for a lottery, that will not be the end of it. Pro-gambling forces will continue to push for new forms of lottery ticket sales (Keno and scratch tickets, video terminals, etc.) and new types of gambling. Once a government becomes addicted to gambling dollars, that government will have to continue to “prop up” the gambling operations and expand gambling in order to keep revenue from gambling coming into the state.
A new documentary has been produced that shows the fallacy of state-sponsored gambling, especially lotteries. The movie is entitled, “Out of Luck.” The downloadable version from the internet contains language not suited for viewing in churches, but an “educational version” has been released that drops the sound when those words are used.
Joe Godfrey has a copy of the educational version DVD and is willing to travel to different areas of the state in order to show the 1 hour and 44 minute documentary to groups of pastors and area associations of churches. They will also try to have DVDs of the educational version available for churches to use. The cost of the DVDs will be $25 (their cost).
If you, or a group of area associations and churches would like to schedule a viewing in the next couple of weeks, please contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ALCAP office at 205.985.9062. Or, if you wish to order the educational DVD directly, you may contact Joe directly at email@example.com
Alabama School Connection
By Tricia Powell Crain on July 8, 2015
Following is a letter from Major Terry A. Smith USMC (Ret) that was sent to Governor Robert Bentley.
I am dismayed to see an active duty Commissioned Federal Officer interfering in State politics. The last time this happened there was a civil war. State’s rights is still an important issue to most Republicans. The recent letter from a Colonel at Redstone Arsenal should be ignored as more Obama administration propaganda to destroy our country from within.
I have been involved in state and local Republican politics since the mid 80’s after I retired from the Marine Corps, when being a Republican wasn’t cool. I was the 5th District Chairman, and on the State Republican Steering Committee. I was a candidate for the U.S. Congress, I exposed the now defunct Center for Quality and Productivity as a candidate for the state senate which resulted in the federal felony conviction of three state senators and Gov. Folsom’s legal adviser. I did this as a retired Commissioned Officer, and would have been court-martialed if I had taken any of these action while on active duty.
Please review my letter on common core which was published in the Stars and Stripes.
Major Terry A. Smith USMC (Ret)
“God Bless You and Yours”
Major Terry Smith USMC (RET)
|May 13, 2015
To: Governor Robert Bentley
Members, Alabama Senate and House
From: Eunie Smith, Eagle Forum of Alabama
You are in our prayers as you make the hard, limited-government choices that result in the most cost-effective government and the most liberty for our citizens. We wish to share the following four points with you as you wrestle with budget decisions. Explanations follow.
1. It is NOT a foregone conclusion that the Poarch Creek Indians will have any gambling going forward.
The push for a compact is premised on the notion that Indian gambling is here to stay, and therefore we might as well tax it. This is a false premise! It is being used to convince conservative legislators who would otherwise oppose gambling to give up and support a compact!
The Alabama Attorney General has a strong case pending in the federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (in Atlanta) that could be decided in a matter of weeks. If the appeal is successful and the Attorney General eventually wins the case, it will undermine the right of the Poarch Creek to conduct any gambling operations in Alabama!
For over five years, the issue of “electronic bingo” has been fought out in case after case in Alabama state courts. It is this form of gambling that has been conducted up until now on both Indian and non-Indian land in Alabama. Just a few months ago, in a case called Houston County Economic Development Ass’n. v. State (November 21, 2014), our Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that finally settles the matter once and for all: so-called “electronic bingo” is illegal under Alabama law. Only paper bingo is allowed. Now that this ruling is in place, there is good reason to believe that the federal courts will take notice and rule that, since this gambling is illegal under Alabama law on non-Indian land, federal law will not permit it on Indian land either.
In addition, the case brought by the Attorney General also includes a sound argument that the land on which all of the Indian gambling is being conducted in Alabama was not even properly taken “into trust” for the benefit of the Poarch Creek tribe. In a 2009 case called Carcieri v. Salazar, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that only Indian tribes recognized as such by the federal government in 1934 could benefit from land taken into trust for them by the Secretary of Interior. Alabama’s Poarch Creeks were not recognized as a tribe until the 1980’s!
2. We’re not just talking about gambling on Indian Reservations.
If we enter into a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, non-Indian gambling bosses will never let us hear the end of it. They will keep pushing until they have the same rights. Once we “cross the Rubicon” and become a gambling state, the political pressure from non-Indians to be treated “equally” will be relentless. (The tools available will include massive political contributions to those who favor increased gambling and equally massive contributions to recruit and support opponents for those who oppose increased gambling.)
The result of gambling expansion is NOT more reliable net revenue to the state. However, the costs are reliable: more addictions, more family breakdown, more divorces, increased crime, increased law enforcement and public assistance programs, business and restaurant closings … See http://stoppredatorygambling.org/
3. Gambling Interests will Take Control of Politics in Alabama.
In Mississippi today, whenever a new law is proposed in the legislature, the first question legislators ask is “Where are the casinos on this?” Do we in Alabama really want to turn control of our state politics over to the gambling bosses?
Right now the two biggest donors in Alabama state politics are the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Business Council of Alabama. Of course there are other “players,” but these are the two dominant forces. But if we legalize casinos, the amount of cash generated will easily swamp the combined political resources available to current donor groups. The gross profits from three or more Las Vegas style casino operations could easily exceed $2 million dollars a day. Whether Indian or non-Indian, the gambling money is huge, it is politically minded and it will likely not be chasing after conservative candidates. Gambling money will control Alabama politics. (While there is talk of restricting political participation by casinos, this is only being proposed as to Indian casinos; and, besides, substantial First Amendment questions exist as to whether any such restrictions will be enforceable.)
Make no mistake: Signing a compact with the Indians will usher in a new era in which gambling bosses will control Alabama politics. They will have much more influence than most people realize over who we elect to our courts, as our Governor, and as our representatives in Montgomery and even in Washington.
4. There is Another Way – Un-earmarking and combining the budgets
“The solution to Alabama’s budget ‘crisis’ is so simple it will blow your mind,” according to Yellowhammernews, which explains that there will be a surplus in education trust fund tax revenues this year of $287 million! This is almost exactly the same amount as the projected shortfall of $290 million in this year’s general fund budget! So without one dollar from gambling interests, the State already has enough money to fund essentially the entire deficit! What is required is that we un-earmark all or even just part of the excess money that is now restricted. And much of this money can be un-earmarked simply by an act of the legislature.
Additionally, the legislature can continue to cut out inappropriate expenditures; and it is time to combine our education and general fund budgets. If 47 other state legislatures can manage dollars used for education without a separate budget, so can Alabama. Please consider these options as you move forward.
If we are to stop the distress, the dumbing down, and the indoctrination of all our children through common core; if we are to restore state control over education policy in Alabama; if we are to replace common core with the best of the best standards in the nation that reflect Alabama values, YOU will have to act NOW!!! And ask all your like-minded friends to do the same. We need an avalanche of emails to the legislature.
Sen. Rusty Glover (R) has introduced SB101. It will re-establish local and state control of education; terminate implementation of the Common Core standards; direct the State Board to replace these standards with the Math and English courses in use immediately prior to Common Core; convene Course of Study committees to update these standards and improve upon them using the pre-common core standards from states whose national scores ranked no less than the top 10%; implement these proven, improved standards and aligned assessments; prohibit imposition on Alabama of other such national standards or assessments that cede control away from Alabamians.
1. Call or email these Senators and thank them for co-sponsoring SB101 and let them know if you are their constituent. Glover, Reed, Melson, Allen, Brewbaker, Hightower, Albritton, Bussman, Stutts, Smith, Shelnutt, Sanford. Tell them briefly why your family wants common core replaced.
2. Please email and call your state senator and Sen. Del Marsh and Gov. Bentley and tell them briefly why your family wants common core replaced. Ask them to put SB101 on a fast track!
3. Call or email your House member and Speaker Hubbard. Tell them briefly why you oppose common core. Ask them to replace common core this legislative session.
Alabama’s children will be increasingly stifled, frustrated, and controlled if common core continues. We are on the wrong road and we need to turn around before we become hopelessly lost. We must stand for what works to give our children the tools they need to reach their fullest God-given, self-chosen potential. It is up to you. You can find more contact information for legislators by following this link: http://capwiz.com/state-al/home/; and for the Governor at http://governor.alabama.gov/contact/.
Eunie Smith, President Eagle Forum of Alabama