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J. ROSS MACBETH ATTORNEY AT LAW LAKEVIEW PROFESSIONAL Bldg. 2543 U.S. Highway 27 South . Sebring, Florida 33870-2125 Bus: (863) 385-7600 . Fax: (863) 385-7911 ross@macbethlaw.com

Memorial Day – May 25, 2015

May 22nd, 2015

 May We Never Forget!

Memorial Day Poem

The National Moment of Remembrance – 3PM on Memorial Day

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

2015 Lincoln Day Dinner – Simply outstanding in every detail!

May 20th, 2015

The Republican Party of Highlands County’s 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner was termed outstanding in every detail by a number of the over 120 guests in attendance Saturday night.  This year’s dinner was held in the ballroom at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center at the Sebring Airport.  Guests were greeted and escorted into the ballroom by members of the College Republicans from South Florida State College.  Chairman Kathy Rapp served as the emcee, Ms. Mary Sapp (our guest speaker Eric Eisnaugle’s aunt) led the invocation, and Ms. Penny Ogg led the Pledge of Allegiance.

An early highlight of the evening was the performance of the Star Spangled Banner and then America the Beautiful by the Sebring High School Show Choir under the direction of their Choral Director, Ms. Louann Hawk.  Following those two traditional songs, the Show Choir entertained the audience with a very spirited song and dance number, Trickle Trickle, by the Manhattan Transfer which brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. Our guest speaker had been a part of the Sebring Show Choir while a student at Sebring High School and the choir’s performance before the start of the meeting was in honor of his participation.  After opening the event with their rousing performance, the choir departed for the evening and the program moved on to the dinner and special guest speaker.

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After a very warm introduction by Ms. Carolyn Campbell, our guest speaker’s former high school mathematics teacher, State Representative Eric Eisnaugle who represents the 44th district (which includes parts of the Orlando/Winter Park area) moved away from his planned speech and spoke from the heart.  He shared stories of his family and life in Sebring and Highland’s County that shaped his character and values during his formative years.  Representative Eisnaugle concluded with an excellent discussion of two legislative issues of interest. The primary issue discussed was the Medicaid expansion issue (Medicaid was 17% of the state budget a few years ago and it is currently over 30% of the entire state budget and is swallowing the budget) and his second issue was the viability of the state’s Citizen’s Insurance fund which has become the largest insurer in the state.

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The HCREC would like to express its sincere thanks to all who attended the 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner and contributed to the success of the evening.  A very special word of thanks to the Sebring High School Show Choir and Ms. Louann Hawk for the outstanding musical performances and to our special guest speaker Representative Eric Eisnaugle for his candid and refreshing remarks and his insightful discussion of several issues of broad concern. Our sincere appreciation to the College Republicans from South Florida State College for their very helpful assistance and participation – may their number increase many times in the months to come!

Thanks also to our excellent group of program advertisers and our many donors of funds and gift baskets and to our table sponsors for their very important contribution to the overall success of the 2015 LDD.  This year’s LDD committee was led by Chairman Rob Horne who once again provided very dedicated and wise leadership and the committee members including Kathy Rapp, Penny Kocarek, Mary Ann Romer, Sally and Earl Claire, Ida Jackson, Elsa Kahn, Diane Hawkins, Nadine Tedstone, and Jan Grove who contributed many hours of time in planning, implementing, and hosting this year’s event.  More photos and details will follow in coming days!

 

 

Lenny Curry takes City Hall, defeats Mayor Alvin Brown

May 20th, 2015

From The Florida Times-Union

 

Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry with his family at his side thanked supporters for his victory at his election watch party at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Tuesday May 19, 2015.  Bob.Self@jacksonville.com
Bob.Self@jacksonville.com
Mayoral candidate Lenny Curry with his family at his side thanked supporters for his victory at his election watch party at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Tuesday May 19, 2015.

Election 2015

The Latest

ELECTION RESULTS More Coverage

PolitiJax blog | Election Guide

Lenny Curry, the energetic and relentlessly competitive Jacksonville businessman-turned chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, defeated Mayor Alvin Brown Tuesday, only the second time in recent history a sitting mayor has lost re-election.

With all 199 precincts reporting, Curry had 51 percent, or 103,256 votes, to Brown’s 48 percent, or 97,971 votes.

“Just soak it in with me,” Curry told raucous supporters at his election-night party at the downtown Hyatt. “The work starts now.”

Outsiders will suggest the race — the most expensive in city history, largely run by outside operatives — has shades of the 2016 presidential election because both candidates have ties to national political figures.

ELECTION NIGHT 2015: Jacksonville elects new mayor, sheriff

But at home, the stakes were clear: Jacksonville is a cash-strapped city with a $1.62 billion debt to the Police and Fire Pension Fund. Violent crime dominates the headlines. Long-persistent divides of wealth, race and schooling define the differences among the sea of neighborhoods in the largest city by area in the continental United States. UF Health Jacksonville faces a potential — and imminent — funding crisis.

Curry’s campaign, centered on rescuing the city from violent crime and using his accounting background to fix financial books he said were in disarray, resonated with voters.

“This will be a safe city again,” he said. “For every family, every person, every kid, every neighborhood, will know that we care about them.”

Brown, who never led as returns came in Tuesday, nonetheless struck an upbeat tone with his supporters at The Jacksonville Landing.

“We left a strong foundation to build on,” Brown said. “I’m excited about it.”

Brown made history in 2011 when he was elected as Jacksonville’s first African-American mayor, emerging from the pack of more well-known candidates. His re-election bid didn’t have the same historic dimension, but he was trying to become the first Democrat to win re-election as mayor since Jake Godbold.

ELECTION 2015: Mike Williams defeats Ken Jefferson for sheriff

Browns’s remarks Tuesday also suggested that even though he won’t be mayor past the end of June, he is interested in continuing to be engaged in Jacksonville’s civic life.

From the beginning, the Curry campaign was pining for a partisan, Republican-versus-Democrat election.

And in the waning weeks of the campaign, Brown finally gave them one.

After four years emphasizing a bipartisan and above-the-fray approach to governing, Brown in recent weeks adopted new messaging.

For the first time, Brown said he would advocate for the state to increase its $8.05 an hour minimum wage. He talked about making college affordable and pushing for equal pay for women.

It wasn’t enough.

Curry’s down-the-line GOP messaging often put his campaign at odds with some of his most prominent donors behind the scenes, many of whom are Republicans but hold views on taxes, city spending and social issues that are to the left of the Republican line.

The architects of Curry’s campaign faced skeptics within Curry’s circle of donors, some of whom bristled at Curry’s attack ads and orthodox Republican messaging.

Despite its partisan overtones, the race carried some signature Jacksonville political quirks.

For example, local gay rights activists had to watch an election unfold in which neither candidate would commit to supporting an expansion in the city’s discrimination protections to the LGBT community — despite public polling that shows it has wide support of Democrats and Republicans and the backing of the right-of-center business establishment, among whom Curry had many supporters.

Jacksonville is one of the few large cities in the country without such protections.

The number of Democrats casting ballots was 91,508, which was close to the 92,214 Democrats in the May 2011 contest. But Curry’s campaign turned out 87,752 Republicans, a sizeable increase from the 81,547 Republicans who showed up in 2011.

Turnout also increased among other voters not registered with either party. There were 23,793 of those voters this time, compared to 19,832 in 2011.

LONG SHOT

Curry faced a long and uncertain road to City Hall since filing to run last summer.

He was the former head of the Duval GOP and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida until last year. A familiar face to the state’s elected officials and political reporters, Curry was nonetheless a virtual unknown in Jacksonville one year ago.

Curry built a business career — an accountant and later co-founder of a professional services firm — as well as a political future around a remarkable ability to make connections with the right people. He set those skills to use when he began his mayoral campaign.

He had to beat out more well-known and obvious choices during an invisible primary among the city’s Republican donor class, including Sheriff John Rutherford and City Councilman Bill Gulliford. Those two later became Curry campaign supporters, as did others who were initially skeptics of Curry’s bid.

He brought in veteran Tallahassee operatives: Brian Hughes and Tim Baker, helped by Jessica Laird, a young Florida-based political director.

He amassed more than $5 million, thanks in part to the support of the city’s Republican-leaning business establishment: Jacksonville insurance executive Tom Petway emerged as a major donor, as did former Disney and St. Joe executive Peter Rummell.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stumped for him. Former Gov. Jeb Bush cut a 30-second TV spot for him.

Brown, a former appointee in the Clinton administration, had significant help of his own. Hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed to his campaign from the Florida Democratic Party. His staff was made up of former Obama campaign operatives and other Democrats from around the nation. Bill Clinton held a private fundraiser for him earlier this year; Jaguars owner Shad Khan was a major donor.

But his campaign made missteps from the beginning: In September, he attended a campaign fundraiser at an upscale New York club the same night the City Council worked to pass the city’s $1 billion budget. In the first election and the runoff, he allowed Curry to go up on air with TV spots for weeks without responding.

Gov. Rick Scott — the elected official discussed most often by both candidates — congratulated Curry.

“I look forward to working with Lenny to continue to grow economic opportunities in one of Florida’s greatest cities,” he said.

Curry’s father, Roy, an electronics repairman, offered a personal assessment of the mayor-elect: “He has the character.”

For the rest of the article and other great news articles, see: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-05-19/story/lenny-curry-takes-city-hall-defeats-mayor-alvin-brown

It’s Time for Congress to Put an Obamacare Repeal Bill on the President’s Desk

May 20th, 2015

From The Heritage Foundation – The Daily Signal

Five years ago, Congress used a budget process known as reconciliation to pass the Affordable Care Act with a simple majority. It allowed Democrats to avoid a filibuster in the Senate and deliver the bill to President Obama’s desk.

Now, with Republicans in control of the House and Senate, lawmakers have once again set the stage to use reconciliation—only this time they want to use the maneuver to repeal Obamacare.

Congress already took the first step by approving a budget resolution this month. Their next move should be passing repeal legislation. That would uphold their promise to voters and send a repeal bill to Obama’s desk for the first time.

>>> Watch: How This Congressional Maneuver Could Be Used to Repeal Obamacare

For the rest of this article and other great articles, see: http://dailysignal.com/2015/05/20/its-time-for-congress-to-put-an-obamacare-repeal-bill-on-the-presidents-desk/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morningbell&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojs6TAZKXonjHpfsX56uksUaKylMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4JSMJjI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFQrLBMa1ozrgOWxU%3D

You Don’t Want to Miss This! Special Guest Speaker Representative Eric Eisnaugle – Saturday May 16th 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner

May 8th, 2015
Rep. Eric Eisnaugle's family is lauded by members at his desk on the house floor after Eisnaugle, R-District 44, was elected by special election and took his oath of office April 9, 2014. Carrie Eisnaugle is shown with their two sons Eric III and Ethan.

Rep. Eric Eisnaugle’s family is lauded by members at his desk on the house floor after Eisnaugle, R-District 44, was elected by special election and took his oath of office April 9, 2014. Carrie Eisnaugle is shown with their two sons Eric III and Ethan.

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

You don’t want to miss hearing State Representative Eric Eisnaugle, a 1996 graduate of Sebring High School.  See his website:  http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4449

Seating charts are being finalized for the 2015 Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday May 16.

We must return a final head count and menu selection tomorrow morning May 14th.  There is still room for a few more.  Get your tickets now! 

For information and reservations, call Kathy Rapp: 863 385-5658 or 863 381-1390

or reply to LDD@republicanpartyofhighlandscounty.com

Sponsored by the Republican Party of Highlands County

2015 Lincoln Day Dinner

Saturday May 16th

Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center

150 Midway Drive

Sebring, FL 

Social Occasion and Presentation of Gift Baskets

5:30 to 6:30 PM

Dinner – 6:30 PM

Program 7:30 PM

 

Special Guest Speaker

Representative Eric Eisnaugle

District 44 Republican

Current Committee Assignments

 Rules, Calendar & Ethics Committee  Vice Chair
Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee
Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
Local & Federal Affairs Committee
Rulemaking Oversight & Repeal Subcommittee                             

Biographical Information

City of Residence:  Orlando

Occupation:  Attorney

Spouse:  Carrie Eisnaugle of Iowa

Child(ren):  Eric III, Ethan, Everett

Education:  Florida Southern College, B.S., 1996-2000; Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 2000-2003

Born:  February 6, 1977, Arcadia, FL

Religious Affiliation:  Christian

Rubio Talks Tough on Border Security: ‘No Right to Illegally Immigrate’

May 3rd, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Photo: Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

From The Daily Signal

Sen. Marco Rubio, ceding no ground to other Republican presidential candidates on tough immigration reforms, this morning said he has “a problem” with interest groups that claim illegal immigrants have a right to stay in America and become citizens.

It’s one thing to appeal to the nation’s future or even morality, the Florida Republican said, but not to a right to break the law.

“While we have to be reasonable … we also have to understand that you don’t have a right to illegally immigrate,”  Rubio said. “There is no right to illegally immigrate anywhere in the world.”

And “one of the problems” he has with some pro-amnesty organizations is that they pressure President Obama and members of Congress with that argument, he said.

Rubio made the comment during an appearance at the Ideas Summit hosted by the National Review Institute in Washington, D.C.

In a question-and-answer session with National Review writer Jim Geraghty, Rubio also said he favors being “as strict as possible” with criminal background checks in any eventual amnesty program for illegal immigrants.

Rubio was an original sponsor of Senate-passed legislation that sank in the House when many conservatives and other critics opposed it as “blanket amnesty” for an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants.

Rubio later said that approach was a mistake when the public already doesn’t trust the government to secure the southern border and enforce existing laws.

Today, Rubio said leaders in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have enlightened him about the “traffickers” who smuggled tens of thousands of children from those countries across the Mexican border into the U.S.

The traffickers, he was told, convinced parents to send their children by citing Obama’s deferral of deportation proceedings for millions of young people brought here unlawfully in past years.

The president’s recent unilateral action to allow as many as 5 million illegal immigrants to stay and work here—what critics call “executive amnesty”—has made it extremely difficult to achieve consensus, Rubio said.

So “the time has passed” for a comprehensive bill like the one he previously championed, he said. The immigration system first must stop acting like “a hotel that checks you in and never checks you out.”

And, he said, he wants to modernize the legal immigration system to emphasize  merit and ability to contribute economically.

“If you’re smart in your field, I want you to bring that to America,” Rubio said, arguing that the country needs math and science wizards just as baseball and basketball need “the best pitchers and dunkers.”

On the question of assimilation, Rubio—the 43-year-old son of a couple who came to America from Cuba in the mid-1950s and worked their way into the middle class—said conservatives “shouldn’t underestimate how many immigrants truly want to become Americans.”

“We have a challenge in this country of assimilating people that were born and raised here too,” he said to laughter and applause.

He took a swipe at textbooks and other education tools that downplay American exceptionalism, noting that the nation’s prosperity and values “saved the world from evil” at least twice in the last century:

If people don’t believe [their] country is special, they won’t sacrifice for it. People don’t sacrifice for the ordinary. They don’t sacrifice for the regular. The reason why people are willing to fight for America, sacrifice for America, make tough decisions that preserve and improve America, is because they believe it is unique and set apart and different from other countries. And we can lose that if we don’t instill that in our children.

On the crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls, Rubio said “competition always breeds excellence,” and meanwhile the Democrats are “struggling to come up with one candidate.”

He said he expects the current crop to produce a president, a vice president, Cabinet officials “and a future president.” He didn’t name names for that first category, but at one point quipped that “the Marco Rubio hypothetical” is looking good.

Rubio also addressed the conference’s theme, “Why the Future is Conservative.” Conservatism, he said, is about applying “time-tested truths” of family, faith and character to current circumstances. Efforts to replace them with government programs have been “an abysmal failure.”

The principles of limited government and free enterprise will “work even better” in the global competition of the 21st century, Rubio said, so long as the nation isn’t “left behind” by failing to equip its children with skills and degrees that lead to jobs.

For the rest of the article and other great articles, see: http://dailysignal.com/2015/05/01/rubio-talks-tough-on-border-security-no-right-to-illegally-immigrate/

Fund-raising activities by our College Republicans from South Florida State College

April 29th, 2015

SFSC College Republicans 20150415_121749 20150418_122157  20150418_145015  20150418_123157   imagejpeimagejpeg_0

Photos of the College Republicans at their Bake Sale at South Florida State College and at the Relay for Life that took place Saturday April 18th at Sebring Firemen’s Field.  The SFSC College Republicans had fun playing games, dancing, and ultimately, by raising money to help find the cure for cancer.  For additional information on membership or upcoming events or on how you may support this great group, you may contact their President Breighly Bolton at bbreighly@yahoo.com or their Secretary Bianka Smith at  biankasmith@hotmail.com.

Reminder – Eric Zwayer to be Guest Speaker at Highlands County Republican monthly meeting on Thursday May 14th!

April 28th, 2015

Reminder – Please make plans to attend our Highlands County Republican monthly meeting tomorrow evening, Thursday May 14th.  The meeting will be held at the Elk’s Lodge in Sebring with an optional dinner beginning at 5:00 PM and available until 6:15 PM with the meeting starting at 6:30 PM.

Mr. Eric Zwayer, our outstanding young Tax Collector for Highlands County, will be our special guest speaker.  He plans to discuss the positive changes and improvements that have been made and the vision for the future.

Eric T. Zwayer

Tax Collector

As your Tax Collector, this office will make a daily commitment to excellence in all that we do. Our pledge to every citizen is to provide courteous and professional service, while using innovation to improve our efficiency and reduce our costs. This is your office and you deserve nothing less.

 

Eric T. Zwayer

Eric T. Zwayer is a third generation Highlands County resident, graduating from Sebring High School in 1999. While at Sebring High, Eric was a stand-out student athlete. He maintained over a 4.0 GPA and earned All State honors in basketball his Junior and Senior year. The dedication in the classroom and on the basketball court paid off as Eric earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Richmond. While at Richmond, Eric was able to earn his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Related Studies, and also helped lead his team to nearly 100 wins and 4 post season appearances during his career.

Before taking over as Highlands County Tax Collector, Eric’s government leadership experience included serving as the Director of Administration for former Clerk of Courts, L.E. “Luke” Brooker, and current Clerk of Courts, Robert W. Germaine. In his role as Director of Administration, he directed Court Operations, Human Resources/Personnel, Jury Management, and Financial Reporting to the state. Eric was directly involved with reducing the Clerk’s Budget by more than $400,000, while increasing innovation, technology, office efficiency, and overall customer service.

Community Service

Outside of the office, Eric is an active community leader serving at his church and many other local civic organizations, and is a current or past member of the following:

 Vice President, Florida Tax Collector’s Association
 Member, 4-H Foundation
 Member, Highlands Youth Academy Advisory Board
 Member, Sebring Fireman Inc.
 Member, Heartland Young Professionals
Member, Sebring Sunrise Rotary
 Mentor, Take Stock in Children
 Big Brother, Big Brothers- Big Sisters
 Coach- Highlands County Youth Sports
Former Vice President, Leadership Highlands, Class of 2009
Former Mentor/Coach, Upward Basketball
 Former Board Member and President, Highlands County YMCA

Family:

In July of 2003, Eric married the love of his life (and high school sweetheart), formerly Amy Roberts of Sebring. They have three children Molly Jane, Grant, and the newest addition to their family, Winston, born in August of 2012.  Eric and his family reside in Sebring.

Pictures and Highlights of our April 9, 2015 Highlands County Republican Meeting

April 24th, 2015

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Highlights of our Highlands County Republican meeting on April 9th included an update on the activities and accomplishments of our great group of College Republicans from South Florida State College by their President Breighly Bolton, Vice President Ferdinand Cortez, and Secretary Bianka Smith.  Their Treasurer Mathew Tucker led in the Invocation and Bianka Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Highlands County Republican Executive Committee thanked the SFSC College Republicans for their extensive assistance with the get-out-the-vote efforts last fall and for their support for other activities including the Highlands County Fair.  The HCREC was pleased to present them with a check for $1000 to help support their efforts again this year.

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Another highlight was the recognition of Olivia Scott and the presentation of a commemorative plaque for her prior years of dedicated service as Secretary of the HCREC.  Thank you Olivia for all of your contributions to the growth of the HCREC.

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Our Lincoln Day Dinner Committee led by Chairman Rob Horne has been working diligently with weekly meetings every Monday for the past several months. We are now moving into the final few weeks before our Lincoln Day Dinner on May 16, 2015.  .The committee could use the assistance of several more volunteers to enable this year’s event to be the best ever.  Please contact Rob or any officer or just plan to attend the next LDD Committee Meeting Monday night at 6:30 PM at HCREC Headquarters at the corner of US 27 and Sparta Road.

Please let us know if for some reason you have not yet received an invitation to the LDD in the mail and we will get one right to you.  Also, please let us know if you have friends or family for whom you would like us to send an invitation.

This is our primary event of the year and we encourage you to proceed and purchase your tickets this week if you have not done so already.  If you have a conflict and cannot attend, we also have opportunities for you to assist by contributing for gift baskets and for extra tickets for our College Republicans.  You can also be of great assistance by placing an ad for your business or by encouraging your employer or friends to place an ad in our LDD program.

 

ISIS Brings Waves of Terror to Christians

April 21st, 2015

From Tony Perkins’ Washington Update

The beach is usually a tranquil scene, but on a distant Libyan shore, it was anything but. Men with guns slung over their shoulders led a human chain to the sand, eventually staining the surf with the blood of more than 30 Christians. It was a gruesome sequel to their last video, when Egypt’s Coptic Christians, like these men, lay lifeless on the coast — the victims of savage ISIS beheadings. “To the nation of the cross,” the masked killers warn, “we are now back again.”

Unfortunately for the Middle East, they never left. Their march through the sandy strongholds of Syria, Africa, and Iraq, only intensifies — and other nations’ concern along with it. The danger to “worshippers of the cross” — from Kenyan college students to Assyrian Christians — is bringing the genocide into sharper focus for once-reluctant world leaders, who are running out of ways to condemn the acts.

Even the Obama administration, which essentially dropped the word “Christian” from its vocabulary (except to criticize America’s), has reluctantly acknowledged this faith-based targeting. After months of refusing to acknowledge the roots of these attacks, we finally have a White House statement recognizing what the rest of the world already knew: that ISIS is systematically killing Christians.

Late yesterday, the White House joined Ethiopian officials in denouncing the murders. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the brutal mass murder purportedly of Ethiopian Christians by [ISIS]-affiliated terrorists in Libya… that these terrorists killed these men solely because of their faith lays bare the terrorists’ vicious, senseless hostility.” While we welcome the President’s words, we await his actions. There is no denying the religious-based genocide that ISIS and its affiliates have undertaken.

Even the United Nations is deep in conversation about how to best to step into the fight. That urgency was obvious at last Friday’s U.N. event, “The Persecution of Christians Globally” where Lt. General Jerry Boykin and I spoke (video here). Historically, America has played a leading role in upholding this fundamental human right. In 1998 the U.S. Congress passed and then President Bill Clinton signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (“IRFA”) states that “[i]t shall be the policy of the United States … [t]o condemn violations of religious freedom, and to promote, and to assist other governments in the promotion of, the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

Under this administration, religious liberty hasn’t been pushed to the back seat — it has no seat at the table of U.S. priorities. In the absence of America’s leadership, other countries are trying to step in and fill the void. As I told member nations last week, the international legal framework to protect religious liberty is in place. What remains is for nations to fulfill their moral and legal obligation to enforce these rights, and ensure others do the same. I also pointed out to those who view the world through green eyeshades that not only is religious freedom a fundamental and inherent human right, but good foreign policy. Religious freedom promotes economic growth, and suppressing it stifles economic growth around the world. In turn, the lack of economic growth fosters instability and a lack of security. A growing body in international research shows a positive relationship between religious freedom and economic freedom. One recent study shows the connection between religious freedom and ten of the twelve pillars of global competitiveness measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

Research has shown that when religious freedom flourishes, corruption is lowered, there’s more peace, less harmful regulation, reduced liabilities, and more diversity and growth. We must continue to demand that our government use what international influence it has left to stop this global persecution of men, women and children for no other reason than that they are followers of Jesus Christ.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://www.frc.org/updatearticle/20150420/isis-brings-waves

Officers

Chairman
    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Virgil Beato
Secretary
    Ida Jackson
Treasurer
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Joan Hartt