On Friday, 8-3-07, Congressman Adam B. Schiff [CA-29] joined a growing list of co-sponsors to Rep. Barney Frank’s Bill H.R. 2046, meant to repeal the UIGEA by legalizing and regulating Internet gambling, bringing the total number of co-sponsors of the IGREA Bill to 35.
Congressmen have been hearing from constituents in large numbers over recent weeks who feel that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed last year is an infringement of their rights to choose and participate in certain recreational activity.
The UIGEA made it illegal to transfer money to and from offshore gambling establishments without actually defining what an illegal gambling offshore establishment is. Opponents of the UIGEA see many things wrong with the law, that being one of them.
Another problem opponents have of the UIGEA is that it violates the first amendment right of the U.S. constitution. Opponents believe Americans’ right to free speech and commercial association has been negated by this law. They also believe the law violates the Tenth Amendment’s protection of states’ rights to regulate online gambling.
IMEGA (Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association) has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in New Jersey for a temporary restraining order to halt the enforcement of the UIGEA and has named Alberto Gonzales, the DOJ, FTC and the Federal Reserve as the defendants. A hearing on the TRO is set for September.
Focus on the Family Action is a closely associated pac of Focus on the Family. FoF is a right wing christian religious group that is heavily supported by republicans in Washington. FoFA is its lobbying group and has come out publicly for the U.S. government to not only enforce the UIGEA, but to make it stronger. Opponents say that FoFA has warped the thinking of many of its supporters by twisting the facts and reporting their opinions on the issue as if they were facts.
After several communications to FoFA’s Chad Hills, who is billed as the group’s gambling analyst, asking him to back up and clarify his allegations, the only response received has been that ‘we should agree to disagree.’ “Hardly a position one should take if talking the truth,” said Gordon Price of Casino Gambling Web.
After further research it appears that the US government, specifically the Department of Justice, has delegated its responsibility to investigate complaints of citizens to another right wing religious group, Morality in Media.
If one has a complaint and wishes to direct it to the DoJ, from their website one is taken to a different site operated by obsenitycrimes.org, which is owned and operated by MiM. There, one can state the nature of the complaint and subsequently have one or two members of that group decide if it has enough merit to pass on to the DoJ.
Since 2004, this is an American’s only option to file a complaint at the DoJ online, according to the Washington Post.
Some disturbing facts about MiM… In 2005 they stated of the first amendment that ‘It’s merely part of a framework of ordered liberty.’ On their website obscenitycrimes.org, one can find statements such as ‘The first source of law is god himself.’ This statement is just one of many religious statements that can be found on the site.
MiM is one basis of proof that the religious right is controlling the DoJ and, at the very least reveals its influence on American government.
The only way American citizens can be truly be heard is to contact congressional and senatorial members by snail mail, email and telephone, encouraging them to act on the behalf of freedom.