National Report: Stripping features from e-tabs will hurt nonprofits across Minnesota

By Bill Barbknecht

Congratulations to Commander Paul Hassing and your entire team. We must all work harder at signing up new members and stop the slide in membership.

How is your post doing with that? The new commander’s post in Bloomington has a good idea. It is working with a company to create a website where the members can join or renew online, in addition to seeing photos and information showing how they help their community.

Bill Barbknecht mugshot
Bill Barbknecht

Good luck to SAL Commander John Weiss and Auxiliary President Sharon Cross. We are looking forward to a great year in membership for SAL and Auxiliary also.

Another great year was had at Minnesota Boys State. Well over 200 young men attended. Also, I’m hearing Minnesota Girls State as well. A fine opportunity for those completing their junior year in high school.

Congratulations to Sgt. Scott Kostonryz, as Law Officer of the Year from Moorhead.

People were very disappointed in our state legislators and governor, stripping away features from e-pulltabs, then giving a very tiny tax decrease.

They don’t seem to care that the money goes to help our youth programs, food shelves, fire departments, city and county governments, veterans homes and cemeteries, schools, Legionville, MACV, 23rd Veteran, Legion Baseball, Scouts, local sports, parks and many other nonprofit efforts in our communities.

We let them know the mistake they were making. Lawmakers even told us they had never heard so much feedback on a single issue. Good job telling them, everyone.

We need to take back what they allowed one group to take away. Could this be called discrimination against charities? Elections will be so important in 2024, as you have seen what happens when one party is in control of the House and Senate. No matter either party.

As we get ready for the 104th National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., we always look forward to all the speakers, especially the youth. That certainly makes The American Legion stand out as to what we do for children and families.

It is not too early to start planning your Veterans Day plans. Nov. 11 is on a Saturday, so contact your school about a program and maybe your post can do something for all veterans as well.

I want to thank all of you for your trust in me and electing me as your NECman. I try very hard to work for all veterans and do what is best for The American Legion.

Donna and I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months. Help another veteran if you can. They need us as we need them.

If I can be of any help, please call 218-770-6264.

Bill Barbknecht of Underwood Post 489 is the Department of Minnesota’s National Executive Committeeman.