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Congressman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., co-chairman of the bipartisan
Congressional Internet Caucus and chairman of the House Republican High
Technology Working Group, is leading the congressional campaign against
Internet gambling.

Many people are unaware of the fact that Internet gambling is today a
billion-dollar business and continues to rapidly grow every year. The
Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (H.R. 3125) will utilize interstate
gambling laws to stop Internet gambling before it gets any further out
of control.

Rep. Goodlatte’s bill, which has bipartisan support, does not preempt
state laws, does not prohibit online news reporting about gambling and
does not apply to transactions that are legal in both the state in which
they originate and the state in which they are received. Rather, the
Internet Gambling Prohibition Act simply modernizes the current
prohibition against interstate gambling to comply with the development
of the Internet.

Of greatest concern to Mr. Goodlatte and the bill’s supporters is the
impact on children who are frequently exposed to gambling on the
Internet while sitting in their living rooms, bedrooms or even at
school, without all the safeguards the legalized gambling industry must
take to ensure that children are sheltered.

According to Mr. Goodlatte, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act
cracks down on the growing problem of online gambling, which harms
children and families and threatens the ability of states to enact and
enforce their own laws.

This legislation, he says, gives law enforcement the tools that it
needs to stop illegal Internet gambling operations and provides that
anyone convicted of running an Internet gambling business is liable for
a substantial fine and up to four years in prison.

“It is of utmost importance that this legislation is passed and
signed into law this year. As the National Gambling Impact Study
Commission has documented, Internet gambling is a billion-dollar-a-year
business that is growing at an alarming rate,” said Mr. Goodlatte. “The
Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is vital to protect our children and
communities from the problems of addiction, crime, bankruptcy, and
family difficulties that come from gambling.”

Earlier, the legislation fell just shy of the two-thirds support
needed for passage (245-159). However, more than 200 members of
Congress have signed letters asking House Speaker Dennis Hastert to
bring H.R. 3125 up for another vote under a rule (which would require
only a simple majority for passage — not the two-thirds vote that was
necessary for the first vote).

Mr. Goodlatte is optimistic that there will be another vote in
September but he has asked me to encourage conservatives nationwide to
contact their representatives, urging them to support a new vote on H.R.
3125. A similar version of The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which
was sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl (S. 692), passed the Senate last fall by a
unanimous vote. Once the House of Representatives passes H.R. 3125, the
two bills can be reconciled and sent to the president to be signed into
law.

Mr. Goodlatte, who was selected by Mr. Hastert to serve on the House
Republican Cyber-Security Team, has been named a cyber champion by the
Business Software Alliance, ranked as one of the top high-tech lawmakers
in the House of Representatives and received a perfect score of 100 on
the Information Technology Industry Council’s Congressional High-Tech
scorecard. Most recently, Yahoo named Goodlatte the most
Internet-friendly member of the House of Representatives.

In other words, he is the perfect man to pilot this effort to curb
Internet gambling.

I am urging everyone reading this column to contact their congressman
/ congresswoman (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and request that
they support the effort to bring the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act
(H.R. 3125) back to the House floor for a vote. Also, please call and
thank Mr. Goodlatte for spearheading this effort to protect our nation’s
children by calling the same number and requesting his office.

Additional information may be obtained on Rep. Goodlatte’s


website.

Anti-Semitism and the blame game

Following the naming of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as Al Gore’s vice presidential choice, Democratic operatives suggested that the only people in America who might be critical of a Jewish vice president would be Southern members of the “radical right.”

However, that theory was quickly invalidated after a NAACP leader registered a blistering anti-Semitic challenge of Mr. Gore’s selection. Other liberal black leaders have offered less abrasive, but equally alarming, disapproval of the nomination. Lee Alcorn, president of the Dallas NAACP, resigned after expressing concern about “Jews at that kind of level because we know that their interest primarily has to do with money.”

Imagine if a conservative religious leader had issued such a blatantly offensive charge. The liberal community (with the help of the mainstream media) would be painting every conservative Christian in our nation as dangerous anti-Semitic alarmists.

Michael Graham, a writer and radio host in South Carolina, said in a commentary last week, “My personal experience as a Southerner raised in a strongly evangelical home is that I never encountered anti-Semitism — in word or deed — while growing up here. That changed when I moved on to Chicago and New York.”

That commentary prompted J.M. Smith, editor of my National Liberty Journal, to conduct an informal survey of Jerry Falwell Ministries staffers. He found that — to a person — nobody on staff had ever heard an anti-Semitic phrase uttered in their years of Christian education or Christian service. Nobody!

While liberals will no doubt continue to charge conservative Christians with harboring ill will toward the Jewish people, the truth is that charge is empty and offensive.

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