Citizens for Liberty board member Dale Bartscher (who also serves with the South Dakota Family Policy Council) spoke on the proposed changes to the Rapid City School District nondiscrimination policy. The school board is considering expanding on the six protected classes of people outlined in federal law (race, color, national origin, disability, age and sex) to 17 protected classes, “including but not limited to race, color, ethnic background, national origin, pregnancy, student marital status, religion, creed, age, sex, citizenship, political affiliation, mental and/or physical challenge, disability, sexual orientation or status as a veteran.”
SDFPC and CFL are encouraging the school board to stay with the original six categories which will help prevent reverse-discrimination and would be closer to the limited government model upon which our state and nation are founded.
CFL Vice President Barb Lindberg also spoke about the issue, stating the board currently has jurisdiction over not only K-12 public schools in Rapid City, but also Western Dakota Technical Institute. This broad age range, including small children to adults, makes developing policies which are sensitive to children very challenging. CFL also recommends the school board consider developing different policies for K-12 education and adult-level education.
The Rapid City School board is meeting tonight to continue the discussion of the nondiscrimination policy.
Among the regular business of the Tea Party group discussed today was leadership changes in Citizens for Liberty.
Gordon Howie, the state senator from District 30 who has served as president of Citizens for Liberty since it was formed in April last year, stated he was stepping down as leader of the group in order to run for governor of South Dakota in 2010.
Howie said he has been very proud to watch the members of Citizens for Liberty, which has grown to more than 1,000, involved in the vital work of protecting and strengthening our nation. He said he was honored that the concerned citizens of our area had given him the opportunity to lead the group.
Howie then introduced the new president of Citizens for Liberty, Barb Lindberg. Lindberg said she was ready to move forward with the work of the group and ready to “put everyone to work,” reminding the crowd of the group’s mission statement:
- We will resist irresponsible tax and spend policies.
- We will defend our state and federal constitutions.
- We will clearly and passionately communicate principles of limited government to the citizens of our state.
- We will hold our elected officials accountable to principles of limited government.
- We will recruit, encourage, support and endorse candidates who will embrace our mission statement.
Lindberg said that on January 14 CFL will hold an evening meeting at 6:30 pm at the Best Western Ramkota Rushmore Room to discuss the health care issue. Dr. Edward Picardi will be the featured speaker for that event.
On Feb. 27, Citizens for Liberty will be hosting the 2010 South Dakota Tea Party Summit for the Tea Party groups of South Dakota, Lindberg said. At that event, Citizens for Liberty will be announcing their endorsement of several 2010 election candidates at various levels.
Lindberg then invited Gordon Howie to the podium to make the formal announcement of his campaign for South Dakota governor.
“Our leaders have taken us into troubled water,” said Howie. ”Businesses that provide jobs are struggling to keep their doors open.”
Howie outlined some of the governmental problems that have plagued the United States and South Dakota in the past year or so. He then said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t need to remake America; we need to retake America,” to the applause of those gathered.
According to Howie, many of our current leaders say the people should trust them because of their experience, but it was their experience that got us into trouble.
“Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Howie said. ”And I will fight to keep it that way.”
“I will get government out of our business,” promised Howie. ”More regulation kills jobs. We will be in the process of stripping away the roadblocks that hinder entrepreneurs.”
Howie made it clear he will protect the lives of all South Dakotans, including the unborn who are the most innocent in our society. He said he would also ensure that the elderly were protected from being victimized.
Making the people’s government live within its means is one of his top priorities, Howie said. He said it was time to review every area of government for savings instead of reaching into the pockets of the people.
State’s rights and Second Amendment rights are foundational, said Howie. ”The cornerstone of our freedoms is the Second Amendment. As an avid hunter, I will protect the right to hunt and to bear arms.”
“I will not expel God from South Dakota,” said Howie to a standing ovation. ”Our state motto is ‘Under God, the people rule,’” Howie reminded the crowd.
Howie said he would ensure that he would ensure the rights of all South Dakotans were protected and that everyone was treated fairly, but that he would not compromise the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Howie also made it clear that he was not running as a “Tea Party” candidate or some other third-party candidate as some have speculated, but as a Republican. He stated he is a Republican and that he believes “the South Dakota Republican Party platform is right on every issue.”
Howie said he may not have the support of the elites, but that he brings an understanding of the concepts that have made our land great.
Howie then declared his candidacy for governor of South Dakota, which was immediately followed by another standing ovation.
Howie will be in Sioux Falls tomorrow at noon at the City Center Holiday Inn to announce his candidacy East River.
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