Congressman William E. Dannemeyer

1979-1992

1105 E. Commonwealth, Box 13

Fullerton, CA 92831

Tel: 714-871-4318   Fax: 714-871-4221

 

December 7, 2005

FROM: Bill Dannemeyer, Co-Chairman, Americans For Voluntary School Prayer

TO: Twenty-seven Leaders of the Evangelical Community of America who signed letter of January 15, 2004 , asking Congress to adopt the provisions now contained in S520 and HR1070.

SUBJECT: Strategy for getting the current Congress, starting in the Senate, to adopt S520, The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005.

RECOMMEDATIONS:

Senate Bill S520 and the identical House Bill HR1070, were introduced in March, 2005. S520 has ten Republican co-sponsors, led by Senator Shelby. HR1070 has forty co-sponsors, led by Congressman Aderholt. These identical bills briefly provide as follows:

  • Allow expressions of faith in public
  • Allow the Ten Commandments to be posted in public places.
  • Retain God in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Retain “In God We Trust” as the national motto.
  • Use Article III, 2.2 of the U.S. Constitution to except these subject matters from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since 1962, the House has voted three times on this issue, 1971, 1998 and 1999. On each of these votes a big majority of the Republicans in the House voted to pass a bill that contained the sense of what is in S520 and HR1070.

In 1998, H.J. Res. 78, a Constitutional Amendment to allow voluntary prayer in public school was brought to a vote in the House. 87% of the House Republicans and 13% of the Democrats voted for it. It passed 224-203, not the needed 2/3rds.

Since 1962, the U.S. Senate has voted only once, in 1984. During the first six years of the Reagan presidency, the Republicans controlled the Senate, never the House, and came within one vote of passing legislation to allow voluntary prayer in public schools. Republican Senate leaders should think seriously about the fact that since the political revolution at the ballot box in 1994, when the people of America turned over control of both Houses of Congress to the Republicans for the first time since 1954 that since 1994, the Senate has not voted on this issue.

In 2004 and 2005, the writer of this memorandum has personally met with 22 of the Republican members of the Senate. Ten are now co-sponsors and the other twelve will vote for S520. I have also met with a senior staff member in all but two of the other 78 members of the Senate.

Based on the interviews I have made with senators and senior staff people, and the House vote in 1998, it is fair to assume that the vote in the Senate to pass S520 will be as follows:

Republicans
44
Democrats
8
 
52

The number of Democrats in the Senate voting for S520 should be much higher because polling data indicates that at least 75% of the American public, Republican, Democrat or Independent, want what is contained in S520 to become the law. Leaders of the Democratic party serving in Congress have abandoned their own constituents who have registered in the Democratic party and have shifted their allegiance to the A CLU , People for the American Way (The Hollywood left) and the NEA, who want to continue America down the road of a secular humanist society the basic premise of which is that God does not exist which Justice Peter Stewart described in the 1963 Supreme Court case, Abington v. Schempp.

It is appropriate to recognize the extraordinary and unique opportunity which is in the grasp of the 109 th Congress which began its labors in January 2005 and will conclude in January 2007. This is the first time since 1954 that both Houses of Congress and the White House are in control of a political party a majority of whose members will vote for S520.

Since decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court began the theft of our religious heritage in 1962, our Republican leadership should not underestimate how precious this majority control really is.

If the Democrats take over control of either House of Congress in the November 2006 election, their leadership will never set a hearing on S520 or HR1070, let alone a vote. This statement is based on my experience as a member of the minority Republican party in the House from 1979-92 trying to get legislation similar to S520 and HR1070 passed.

Hopefully, Senate leaders will recognize the consequences of the big increase in the Evangelical vote in the November 2004 election compared to November 2000. This huge increase substantially contributed to the re-election of President Bush and to the increase in the Republican majority in the Senate from 51 to 55.

Bush Total Vote Bush Evangelical Vote
2000 50.5 million 10.7 million (21%) of total Bush vote
2004 60.7 million 21.2 million (35%) of total Bush vote

Resolutions have been mailed to 26 State Legislatures requesting each of them to adopt a Resolution requesting Congress to pass S520 and HR1070. These 26 states are represented by Republicans or Democrats in the Senate who would hopefully be influenced to vote for S520 and HR1070 when the political leadership in their home state has requested them to do so when in the absence of such local action they might be inclined to vote no. A copy of the Resolution is attached to this memorandum.

It is encouraging to know that my good friend Judge White in Louisiana advised me that on November 21, 2005 , the Louisiana state legislature adopted the enclosed Resolution.

On November 2 and 3, 2005, I visited with the local political leadership in McCreary and Pulaski County in Somerset , Kentucky . These two counties in Kentucky in June, 2005, were told by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 majority that they could not post the Ten Commandments on their Court House wall, while at the same time the court in a 5-4 majority told Texas it was permissible to display the Ten Commandments in Texas . I also met with senior staff persons in the office of Kentucky governor, Fletcher, and with Senate majority leader, David L. Williams. Each of these Kentucky political leaders were asked to adopt a Resolution similar to the one contained herein with the thought in mind that this will convince Senator Mitch McConnell to be a co-sponsor of S520 and influence Senator Frist to do the same.

The Senate will probably be focused on the Alito nomination process until the end of 2005. Thereafter an all-out effort should commence beginning the first week of January, 2006, in order to generate local support in America and flood Congressional offices with phone calls, faxes, and mail to convince Congress to pass S520 and HR1070.

Organizations that communicate with their membership by mail should ask their members to phone, fax or write their Congressional delegation, Senate and House, to become co-sponsors of S520 and HR1070.

Organizations that have a radio ministry should invite Senator Shelby and/or Congressman Aderholt to be on their radio program and ask their listeners to phone, fax or write their members of Congress to become co-sponsors of S520 and HR1070.

Organizations that have a TV ministry should invite Senator Shelby and/or Congressman Aderholt to be on their TV program and ask their viewers to phone, fax or write their members of Congress to become co-sponsors of S520 and HR070.

If neither Senator Shelby nor Congressman Aderholt is available, I would be happy to be interviewed and explain S520 and HR1070 and what is at stake in America at this time.

Any suggestions that any of you have as to how best proceed in this process would be most welcome. Please let me hear from you at once if you and your organization will proceed with the suggested action contained in this memorandum.

Very truly yours,

William E. Dannemeyer


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