Family Heritage Alliance feels they have some ‘splainin to do after Dale Bartscher departure

The Family Heritage Alliance came out with an e-mail today where they seem to be doing some…. well, damage control, for lack of a better term with regards to the departure of Dale Bartscher from their organization.

Does it come as they are possibly realizing that the public face that Dale provided to the group might have been part of what moved their agenda forward in Pierre?

Tough to say, but there are many interesting things to read between the lines in this e-mail:


17 Replies to “Family Heritage Alliance feels they have some ‘splainin to do after Dale Bartscher departure”

  1. Anonymous

    Dale is a good man and it is a good organization.

    All seems so sudden…I wish Dale and FHA well…but a little more clarity vs cryptic messages of explanation would be nice. Did he have another opportunity? and/or what really happened?

  2. Anonymous

    Dale has an ego and didn’t want what he considered to be a demotion. What will be interesting to see is how FHA rapidly loses its influence now that it’s head is gone. Let’s be honest its success was in part because of the Dale’s cult of personality and not because of any kind of strong policies. In fact, most of their policies are not conservative and want to grow government and want government to stick their fingers in places that government simply does not belong.

    1. Anonymous

      You were completely wrong when you wrote that the policies promoted by the leaders of the FHA are not conservative. You are clearly confusing conservative and libertarian views. Limited government is only one aspect of conservatism. I challenge you to give one example of when the FHA advocated a growth in government, and you cannot claim that a law promoting, limited, or regulating certain behaviors is a growth in government because those laws do not necessarily grow the size of government. Please read some of the great conservative authors to understand the difference. Start with some Edmund Burke or Russell Kirk.

    2. Anonymous

      Absolutely vicious for you to accuse Dale Bartscher of a cult of personality. He’s a good man who did his best in a difficult environment.

  3. Troy Jones

    1). Any reader of the email can see they proposed a demotion. Not taking a demotion isn’t an expression of egoism.

    2). Most people I know worth a whit do not take demotions but move on. If they are truly surprised, they are naive. If they are just saying they are surprised, they are not being honest which is not a good first move, especially for a faith based group.

    3). The whole “inefficiency and inequity” discussion is bizarre. And when read in context of #1 and #2 above, it really can take one to making an unflattering conclusion of what has occurred.

    Whether one agreed or not with FHA, FHA pricked everyone’s conscience by forcing us to ask one three-part questions: am I doing the right thing, for the right reason and in the right way so it glorifies my Lord.

    Reading this doesn’t give me much confidence FHA will cause me to ask or think too much about anything.

    1. Anonymous

      Well said Troy – they could have offered him CEO and hired a COO and this controversy wouldn’t have happened. Instead they wanted him out.

  4. Anonymous

    If FHA thinks they are going to achieve more in Pierre with Randazzo than with Bartscher they are in for a rude awakening. More attention maybe but not more accomplishments.

  5. Lee Schoenbeck

    A sad development. Dale has the ability to talk with kindness to people, whether they disagreed with him or agreed with him. He may be one of the kindest communicators I know.
    His successor will have many challenges in filling those shoes.

  6. anon

    I don’t believe the FHA board has a clue how much respect Dale commanded with SD legislators. The changes to their organization might help it to run more effectively, but in terms of passing a legislative agenda and creating social change, with Dale’s departure they can kiss that goodbye. They go from a highly respected lobbying organization to a second rate, lower rung organization. Planned Parenthood, the Gay and lesbian lobby, and the other anti-family organizations just had a big win.

  7. Anon2

    Anon, my thoughts exactly. An efficient organization with zero mission effectiveness is a dieing organization. With Ed at the helm FHA becomes voiceless, due to no one trusting or respecting him.

  8. Springer

    This sounds just like what state govt is – get rid of the persons actually doing the work and doing a good job, increase bureaucracy, increase meetings vs direct action, hire more people than necessary to do the job, etc. Typical. It doesn’t work but does please bureaucrats.

  9. Anonymous

    I thought Dale was effective, why demote him? what direction does the board want to go?

    It also seems poor they don’t have someone lined up if you are going to fire the head guy

  10. Anonymous

    So as I read the email, the justification for Dale’s departure is: “Focus on the Family counseled us to make a change,” and that change was evidently to eliminate the CEO position? What absurdity. I would just love to hear someone from FOTF/Family Policy Alliance confirm that. Anybody who can’t read the Baloney Sandwich between the lines from the FHA board in this email is blind.

    The question is, Who is behind this? Who championed an organizational structure (no CEO, just three directors) that nobody’s ever heard of? Who would ask a clearly successful CEO to take a demotion (including, presumably, a pay cut), as opposed to rallying around that successful CEO? That was NOT Focus on the Family. Look closely at whoever rises up… and I grieve on Dale’s, and our, behalf.

  11. Ed Randazzo

    Call it damage control, if you wish, Pat. Director of Communications John Dennis and I penned the e-mail of earlier today to provide more detail regarding the reorganization of Family Heritage Alliance/FHA Action.
    We celebrate the faithful loyal service of Dale Bartscher. We are grateful for the time, energy, effort and skills of the man the Boards of Directors chose to lead in the infancy of this ministry. The sheer enormity of time given, time away from family, the hours, the miles, the e-mails, the phone calls, the study, the planning, the execution, the relationships cultivated and more forged the foundation for this remarkable ministry.
    It is incredible but also unsustainable.
    Do you think the Boards of Directors so naive and out of touch that they don’t realize that public face that Dale provided was a great part of what moved our agenda forward in Pierre? Do you think that might have been a factor in making several attempts to retain him?
    The decision to leave was Dale’s. We can all speculate about his motives. But we are not engaging in damage control, we are simply offering the truth.
    We now move forward not with fear or doubt but with excitement and trust. Soon we will have a Director of Community Relations and the team will move forward to advance our King’s agenda.

    1. Anonymous

      Pretty shocking, Ed, that you and John wrote this email to provide more detail, and not the board. Neither of you are on the board. So two people NOT involved in negotiating with Dale, nor actually aware of what happened or how it happened other than knowing one side of the story, are “explaining” the situation for us.

      You purposefully minimize Dale’s role. Dale founded the FHA. Certainly with the help of many others–whom he rallied to the vision and the cause.

      “We can all speculate about his motives.” Well, that sure invites speculation. Everybody knows Dale loves and lives the FHA. So actually, most of us are speculating about others’ motives, and mostly the board leadership’s competence that forced him to make the choice to leave.

      I find the fact that Dale has not made a public statement says so much about his character. He won’t defend himself but neither will some of us stand by while you make inuendo about his leaving.

      It’s sad that such self-inflicted drama (or: spiritual warfare?) will predictably lessen FHA’s Kingdom influence.

      1. Anonymous

        He was driven off. I wonder if they made him sign a non-compete like they made others with the organization sign.

  12. C. Ermle

    They are no longer able to carry on as they once did. Their credibility is now in question. A new organization is needed. The board needs to be changed also.