About Us

Downsize DC Co-founders

Jim Babka
Harry Browne
(1933–2006)

Steve Dasbach
Perry Willis

DownsizeDC.org Founders Committee

Patrons & Sponsors

Winona Christeson
Steve Fox
Leo Hamel
Vince Hanke
Ken A. Heinemann
David J. Kubacki
David W. Landram
Bill W. Long
David R. Mason
Joseph Plummer
Sheldon Rose
Ted A. Semon
Jeffrey S. Skinner
Steve Stewart
J. Billy Verplanck

Associates

Stephanie Adams
Henry Ahler
Paul J. Arends
Kathleen Austin
Dwight E. Baker
Charlie Beaird
Howard W. Beatty
Robert G. Beebe
Michael Benoit
Ian Bernard
Frank Bowman
David Bywaters
Gregory F. Camia
Robert Candioglos
Laura Carno
W.E. Chilton
Craig B. Coogan
David Corbin
Sean R. Coughlin
Earl Cowherd
Susan M. Cox
Martin Dale
Elaine M. DiMasi
Daniel J. Dunn
Travis Ebert
Paul D. Eccles
Robert E. Fritts
Clarence Gardner
George F. Gardner
David K. Garretson
A. Faye Gilmore
Michael Guin
Adam Haman
Derald Hawkes
Ed & Wendy Heaphy
Mark L. Hepfinger
Dick Holic
Steven R. Hooley
Sherry L. Hunter
John Inks
Sandra Kallander
Greg J. Kerkow
Thomas O. Kershaw
Andrew Le Cureaux
Myron Ledworowski
Dan Leviton
Alice J. Lillie
Joy Linsley
Billy D. Lowe
Bryan J. Luff
David Macko
Robert Moore
Wanda Myers
Dane Owen
Rudolf D. & Jere E. Pabst
David Page
Leif Pedersen
Tor Perkins
Benjamin J. Quatrano
Allen Salveson
Robert D. Schaffer
James Schwartz
James Sherman
Scott Shock
Robban A. Sica
Alan Starner
Craig Stephens
Harold Stevens
John C. Tate
Eric R. Theiner
Brian Thomson
Randy Ullom
Fred Van Dyk
John Watson
Patricia L. Wedel
George R. Whitfield
Richard A. Wiggins
Edwin & Edith Wisian

Our Mission

The best way to judge where we stand is to check out the issues on our Campaigns Page and subscribe to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle. We also recommend you read our blog. However, the great thing about DownsizeDC.org is that it isn't tied to a partisan cause and you can work with us where you agree and opt-out of participation when you disagree.

But if you're still looking for a quick summary of what DownsizeDC.org is about:

We believe the federal government has grown too centralized, too intrusive, and too expensive. We believe in constitutional limits, smaller government, civil liberties, federalism, and low taxes. We want to end laws and programs that don't work, cause harm, and violate the Constitution. We want to restore the full force of the 9th and 10th amendments, which reserve most social functions to the people and the states.

Our Team

Board of Directors: Gary Nolan (Chair - Missouri), Jim Babka (Ohio), Mark Cenci (Maine), David Page (Maryland), and Jerry Hughes (Florida)

Corporate Officers: Jim Babka, President; Robert Olson, Secretary; Linda Slack, Treasurer

Full-time Management Team: Jim Babka, President; Perry Willis, Vice President

Full-time Staff: James Wilson, Assistant Communications Director

Key Part-time Staff: Chris Wagner, Chief Programmer; Kandy Cowling, Office Manager

Support Staff: Thomas Anderson, Mail Server Manager; Hal Dunn, Webmaster; John Markley, Public Affairs Associate; Sue Babka, Office Assistant

Exactly how do we plan to Downsize DC?

Downsize DC Vision: A 16-page, special report (in PDF format) that explains the Downsize DC Vision in detail, what we intend to accomplish, and our unique, cutting-edge strategy for achieving our goals.

Your Questions

These important documents may answer your questions . . .

Additional Questions:

Technical and Site Usage FAQ

If you're having difficulty, we're ready to help. Send a message to clearly explaining your issue.

1) How do I unsubscribe from your Consent Chronicle email list?

At the bottom of each Dispatch, in the section we call the footer, you'll find the address at which we delivered the Dispatch. You'll also find a link that you can click to be automatically unsubscribed. First, confirm that the message was intended to you. Sometimes, friends forward the message and you wouldn't want to unsubscribe your friend. Simply let them know you don't find this information of value. Next, if you were the actual subscriber, click the link and follow the instructions.

If it's not working like you expected, we want to help — even if that means you'll be leaving us. Send a message with a request to unsubscribe to .

Downsize DC Philosophy and Strategy FAQ

Below are some answers to common questions on the Downsize DC approach. If you're having a technical issue, please consult our Technical and Site Usage FAQ above.

1) This is great. You should get on the (fill-in-the-blank) show.

Thanks for your support and interest. We get lots of messages like this and our still small staff just doesn't have the ability to pursue all of these leads. We wish we could.

But we supply someone to do the interviews we're called upon to do, and we pursue a media figure that's taken the time to call or write, even if we must play an extended game of phone tag.

It really is best if the hosts and producers, reporters, and editors hear from listeners and readers.

Talk radio hosts are more likely to be receptive and respectful if they know listeners care about the idea. They are far easier to persuade because they have time to fill (in the business they call it, “a monster to feed”) and they can be successfully “inundated” with even fewer messages than a Member of Congress can. And our Read the Bills Act and One Subject at a Time Act, in particular, are both great talk radio “fodder.”

2) When you say you believe in Constitutional limits, what do you mean?

The Constitution is a decentralizing and downsizing document. It devolves and restricts federal government power, and spells out a short list of Legislative Powers.

Legislative Power - The ability of Congress to impose a levy, a statute, or a general rule that influences or controls how American citizens behave, or how they handle or dispose of their property.

By our reading there are only 22 Legislative Powers granted exclusively to Congress under the Constitution. The bulk of the list can be found in Article I, Section 8:

1) Borrow money.   2) Regulate commerce among states.
3) Regulate naturalization.   4) Regulate bankruptcies.
5) Coin money.   6) Fix weights and measures.
7) Punish counterfeiters.   8) Establish post offices.
9) Establish post roads.   10) Record patents.
11) Protect copyrights.   12) Create federal courts.
13) Punish pirates.   14) Declare war.
15) Raise an army.   16) Provide a navy.
17) Call up the militia.   18) Organize the militia.
19) Make laws for Washington, DC.   20) Make rules for the Army and Navy.

There are two other Legislative Powers Congress possesses.

First, the Senate can impose virtually any regulation in the context of a Treaty, which makes treaty ratification a moment that requires considerable vigilance.

Second, with the dubious ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can impose a direct tax upon the American people. This was a dangerous, unwarranted power granted in 1913 which we, at DownsizeDC.org, staunchly oppose. The results have been nothing short of disastrous. 1913 also saw the creation of the Federal Reserve, which should be abolished, as well as the ratification of the 17th Amendment, which provided for the direct election of Senators and greater democracy, with all its attendant mob rule qualities.

In other words, these three radical changes removed not only virtually all impediments on the federal government's power and ability to spend with reckless abandon, but it also created an incentive for wanton, deficit spending.

We at DownsizeDC.org believe the 16th and 17th Amendments should be repealed, and the Federal Reserve should be abolished in favor of a Constitutional, "Honest Money" system.

If Congress attempts to use its Legislative Power to do something that is not on the list we've provided here, they shouldn't be legislating on it. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments reserve all other powers to the various states and to individual citizens.

This approach to governing is called the Doctrine of Enumerated Powers.

3) Sending postal mail letters is more effective than sending throw-away emails at DownsizeDC.org. After all, Congress treats email like spam.

First, most of the time, our proprietary “Educate the Powerful System”SM (EPS) is not sending an email on your behalf. Usually, our system fills out the web forms located at the Congressperson's website. Our system gives your letter a more personalized feel — even increases the odds that it will be read.

Second, an “old-fashioned” letter to Congress truly is “snailmail.” Ever since the anthrax scares it takes three weeks, minimum, to get a letter delivered. Napoleon was able to get away with waiting that long to read his correspondence, but we doubt you want to wait that long to communicate with your Congressman, particularly if the vote is first thing next week.

The best approach? Write the message using our EPS. Then, take an insurance step and mail it — but only if the issue isn't coming up for a vote in the next week or so. Even better: Send a message using the EPS, and then call. The office phone number and address are listed on the Send a Message page of each campaign, once you're logged-in.

Finally, let's compare output. For every snailmail letter we might be able to generate, we can probably generate 30 or 40 messages using EPS. Now, which do you think is more convincing, regardless of eloquence, one old-fashioned letter or 40 electronic messages delivered, individually, through the Congressman's web form?

Viva DownsizeDC.org!

4) Why do you require registration? It's hurting you. My friends didn't want to register.

Well, there are three convenience issues — reasons you and your friends should love registration!

  1. The Educate the Powerful SystemSM (EPS) cannot determine who your Senators and Representatives are without registering.
  2. With the address and phone number on the personalized message, Congressional offices take the message more seriously. They KNOW they're hearing from a constituent, and are more likely to:
        a) count the message, and
        b) respond to it.
  3. Registration makes it possible for the individual to have an “account” — meaning the next time they visit the site they won't have to register yet again, saving them time.

But there's some very important, long-term, strategic reasoning behind this requirement as well.

Politicians are not leaders; they are merely opportunists, looking for a parade they can march in front of . . .

5) At Downsize DC we're building a parade for smaller, decentralized government.

We have a primary goal in front of us — MORE DC Downsizers.

Everything we do. Everything we're striving to achieve has, in our humble observation, suffered from a lack of three things:

  • Money
  • Aptitude
  • Manpower

We don't have enough money. We don't have enough manpower, and the manpower we do have is frequently not proficient nor do they have the time to give full-time dedication to the cause. Quite simply, we're outgunned by the major political parties and the special interests.

More DC Downsizers would give us more manpower. More DC Downsizers would give us more talent. More DC Downsizers would give us greater funding.

More DC Downsizers is the key! In fact, we can think of nothing more imperative.

Everything we do . . . should be about attracting more DC Downsizers. When we fight a bad law, the most important objective should be to emerge from the fight bigger than we were before we entered it. To do less would be a "random act of liberty". Here today – maybe even fun – but gone tomorrow.

First and foremost, the goal should be in front of us — more DC Downsizers will lead to greater success, faster. And once that dream comes true, we can implement phase two.

In fact, we've already begun phase two. We call it Operation Everywhere.

The concept of Operation Everywhere is remarkably simple and easy to define: everyone, everywhere, every day is confronted by DC Downsizer ideas.

Imagine a world where Operation Everywhere was a reality.

  • When people turn on the TV, they get exposed to a serious, respectful discussion of DC Downsizer ideas
  • When they flip on the radio, they hear about DC Downsizer concepts
  • When they open the newspaper, they read the DC Downsizer perspective
  • On billboards, bumper stickers, all over the Internet, and in conversation with others, they keep coming across our ideas

Does this sound crazy? Impossible?

It shouldn't. The Democrats do it. So also do the Republicans. There are even specific causes that are nearly ubiquitous — like environmentalism and opposition to racism. Why can't Downsizing DC be the same way? We believe it can.

So we ask, why are you, or your friends, concerned about signing up? If anyone is concerned about privacy, they should check our Privacy Policy. Then, sign up and join our growing parade!

6) You're really Republicans (Democrats, Libertarians, etc.), right?

We're legally a non-partisan organization. But temperamentally, we're anti-partisan. We can say that with complete candor and bluntness. We've got no dog in the electoral fight — particularly a yellow dog.

We're steadfastly avoiding Partisanship and Personalities. Instead, we're sticking with Principles. The reason?

Once you get committed to a person or a party, you lose potential supporters who don't support that person. Eventually you become beholden to that person or their party because all of your supporters support them. Before long, you lose your objectivity — even your principles. Then one day, you find yourself on Hardball shilling for something you oppose in your heart and would be railing against if the other “team” was doing it. You've become a big player in town, but you've lost your soul and your effectiveness.

We don't want to sell DownsizeDC.org's soul. We want to be effective at Downsizing DC.

7) How is DownsizeDC.org funded?

Contributions to DownsizeDC.org are NOT tax-deductible, even though DownsizeDC.org is a 501(c)(4) non-profit, public education, organization.

Downsize DC accepts no government funding. We are funded entirely through the generosity of private donors. Larger and smaller one-time donors, plus hundreds of monthly pledges, account for nearly all of our income.

DownsizeDC.org shares office facilities and staff with the Downsize DC Foundation (Jack Mullen, Chair).

Our budget is modest. To maintain our operations, our annual budget is smaller than many organizations' monthly budget (about $16,500 per month as of August, 2009).

As you can see, we're lean and aggressive. Most funds raised above and beyond our budget need are used for publicity and recruitment, including direct marketing, media outreach, and advertising.

As a general policy, we do not answer specific questions about our finances beyond what we've described here. For more information about our budget, we seriously recommend you become a subscriber to the Consent Chronicle and read our blog. We're quite open about our budget need and progress, and we constantly demonstrate what we're accomplishing.

© 2008-10 DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

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