May 22, 2015 Radio Commentary

Governor’s Post-Session Acts

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 22, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

For 40 days after the General Assembly adjourns for the year, the governor may exercise his power to veto bills of his choice. However, he cannot veto a proposed constitutional amendment or a bill to provide a new constitution, but he DOES have line-item veto over the budget.

Before signing next year’s $21.8 billion state budget May 11th, Governor Deal used his line-item veto to delete $809,900 that had been designated to build a seawall on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, because it did not meet constitutional requirements for state funding. Then, on May 12th he vetoed eleven bills.

Six of the vetoes concerned local governments, but S.B. 76 affected the entire state. It would have eliminated the current 15-inch height restriction on motorcycle handlebars. It was vetoed because that simple change would have allowed higher handlebars, although raising handle bars beyond 15 inches has proven to make cycles more difficult to control and steer. Last year’s statistics reveal that motorcycle and bicycle crashes accounted for 13 percent of fatalities on Georgia roads. The governor also vetoed two tax bills and one that would have created a separate agency for the Division of Aging Services. Continue reading

May 2015 Newsletter

Indiana RFRA Pits the Sexual Revolution against Christianity

In an April 21, 2015 speech in the Hillsdale¹ College Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., David French outlined and expanded upon four critical truths that were obvious in the attack on the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They are:

1. The battle is not between gay rights and religious liberty – although religious liberty is certainly at stake – but between the sexual revolution and Christianity itself.
2. Not a single orthodox denomination is making or even contemplating such changes, meaning tens of millions of Americans will remain – indefinitely – opposed to the continued expansion of the sexual revolution.
3. Cultural conservatism is showing increasing strength at the grassroots.
4. Conservative grassroots and conservative public intellectuals are united. There is no wavering among America’s most influential conservative writers and thinkers.

Conservative Muscle: Observations by Mr. French

  • Cultural conservatives answered the Left’s attempted Chick-fil-A boycott with a “buycott” that swamped stores nationwide, even causing some to run out of food for customers eager to show support for a beloved restaurant, owned by people who share their moral principles.
  • Leftist pressure against Hobby Lobby failed. Customers were either supportive of the owners or indifferent to politics, and boycotts had no effect on Hobby Lobby’s bottom line or its willingness to fight. Not only did Hobby Lobby win its Supreme Court case, its owners are set to open a massive new Museum of the Bible near the National Mall.
  • Efforts to drive Phil Robertson – of Duck Dynasty fame – off the air after controversial comments on sexual morality failed, giving cultural conservatives a victory in a medium (cable television) seen as almost uniformly hostile to orthodox Christianity. While Robertson has remained a polarizing figure (and often says things that make many of his supporters uncomfortable), there has been no serious repeat efforts to remove him from the air.
  • In Houston, leftist government officials were forced to backtrack within days after issuing subpoenas requiring area pastors to turn over the contents of their sermons and other communications. The public outcry was so swift and so great that the city capitulated even before a judge could rule on motions to quash.
  • Even in Indiana, as Republican politicians quickly caved to corporate and media pressure, the grassroots response in support of Memories Pizza soon swamped the Left. A GoFundMe (sic) account set up to support the owners raised more than $800,000 in small donations in a matter of days (including over $200,000 in one day), putting the pizza restaurant in a far superior financial position than it had enjoyed before the controversy. The message was clear: Cultural conservatives are not, in fact, culturally isolated but rather have the support of millions of Americans who oppose leftist bullying.

¹ “The Battle of Indiana and the Promise of Battles to Come,” by David French, Imprimis April 2015, Hillsdale College Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.

  • To read the rest of this newsletter in PDF format, please click here.

May 15, 2015 Radio Commentary

Marriage in Georgia & Elsewhere

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 15, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Because natural marriage was under attack nineteen years ago, Georgia Congressman Bob Barr (R) authored the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and introduced it in the U.S. House of Representatives; Oklahoma Senator Don Nickles (R) introduced it in the Senate; Congress passed it with veto-proof margins and Democrat President Bill Clinton signed it. Therefore, since September 21, 1996 federal law has defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman and spouse as a “person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” But on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA.

Before 1996, Georgia law simply defined marriage as “an actual contract,” without explaining who could enter the contract. So, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill in 1996 to clarify who could marry whom. As Governor Zell Miller signed it into law, he said, “H.B. 1580 defines marriage in Georgia as the union between a man and a woman. Further, the bill forbids the issuance of a marriage license to persons of the same sex or for the state of Georgia to recognize marriage licenses from other states which do not meet Georgia’s definition of marriage.”

Eight years later in 2004, the Georgia General Assembly passed S.R. 595 to amend the State Constitution with the language of the law and 72.6 percent of voters passed it on the 2004 General Election ballot. But, here we are eleven years later, facing nation-wide campaigns to redefine marriage, although the majority of voters always support natural marriage. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Radio Commentary

Two Good Bills that Did NOT Pass

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 8, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

On the first day of the first legislative session after their election to the General Assembly, senators and representatives swear an oath to uphold the laws and constitutions of Georgia and the United States. That’s why some of their actions are so startling. You’d think some bills would be important enough to sail through the system and become law immediately. But in many cases that does not happen.

Consider the treatment of S.B. 6, which is a classic example of a much-needed bill to protect the law. Senator Josh McKoon introduced S.B. 6 on January 28th, and it went to the Senate Public Safety Committee, chaired by Senator Tyler Harper, who decided it would not be heard in his committee. The fact is: Senate Rules allow committee chairmen to decide which bills to handle and which to set aside. So, Senator Harper has a right to keep S.B. 6 in committee, but by doing so, he may be violating his oath of office, since S.B. 6 would prohibit the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Also, there’s another angle to consider.

Because he refuses to honor S.B. 6, the senator has bowed to the 2012 unlawful presidential order that deferred deportation for anyone under age 31, if they entered this country illegally before their 16th birthday. Adding federal action to the Georgia situation, simply, builds upon unlawful acts surrounding driver’s licenses and illegal aliens. So, count the illegalities. 1. They entered the country illegally; 2. They received amnesty without congressional authority, 3. They got Georgia driver’s licenses, despite their illegal status; and 4. S.B. 6 was kept in committee because the chairman does not want illegals to go to jail for driving without a license. Continue reading