DownsizeDC.org
September 10, 2010
DC Downsizers Are Heroic, Part 2
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "Rome wasn't built in a day." -- Anonymous

In this message, the latest news about . . .

* Rand Paul
* BJ Lawson
* The Williamsport Tea Party,
* And how all three are moving our Downsize DC Agenda to the next level.

When we first introduced the Read the Bills Act no one in power had any interest. Your efforts changed that. As I explained in Part 1 of of "DC Downsizers Are Heroic," back in February . . .

* You funded me to speak to a packed room of conservative leaders in Washington, DC
* One person in attendance used his vast resources to turn a diluted version of "Read the Bills" into a centerpiece of the healthcare debate
* And another attendee caused the House Republican Study Committee to use "Read the Bills" to fight the stimulus bill, plus . . .
* A diluted version of "Read the Bills" (H.Res.554) now has 218 total sponsors (a majority), but is being kept from a vote by Nancy Pelosi, so . . . 
* One of the co-sponsors started a discharge petition. It now has 182 signers!. When it has a majority, it must come to a vote, no matter what Ms. Pelosi prefers.

Our ideas have also spread into the wider public. For instance, Tea Party gatherings almost always feature "Read the Bills" signs. And progress has continued on Capitol Hill since I wrote the first version of this report in February. For example . . .  

Republican leader John Boehner has pledged to make passage of the diluted "Read the Bills" his "highest priority," if his party becomes the majority, and he becomes Speaker.

Yes, this "Read the Bills" rule is not as strong as our proposal, BUT, we have always said that this will be the first step on the path to victory, for every proposal we make. Opportunistic politicians will always try to steal the idea and pass a diluted version first. This is a sign that we're well on our way, and yet . . .

A blogger wrote last week that Read the Bills was, "a somewhat dated proposal that had much promise." This is like saying the Constitution is dated and past it's promise simply because Congress has ignored it for the last 100 years.

This blogger also suggested that we "retire" and "shutter" the DownsizeDC.org website, because we haven't gained "a whole lot of traction," but in fact, we're getting exactly the traction we expected to get. The stages of progress are as follows . . .

1) Incumbent politicians try to get by with diluted versions of our ideas. This is happening!
2) Challengers pledge to sponsor the pure DownsizeDC.org bill. This is happening! Twelve have done this so far, and we've been contacted by eight other campaigns.  
3) Other grassroots groups take up the cause and begin to add to the pressure. This is happening! See below.
4) Viable candidates pledge to sponsor and even promote the pure DownsizeDC.org bill. This is happening too! See below.

GRASSROOTS GROUP TAKES UP THE CAUSE

The Williamsport Tea Party (a.k.a., the Susquehanna Valley Regional Tea Party) isn't your average Tea Party group. They weren't formed as a GOP front. They're a real grassroots organization. And even though they're hours away from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, they still attracted more than 4,000 people to the rally I spoke at in 2009. They also packed three buses for the 9/12 rally last year.

This group has issued a candidate's questionnaire. It has only four questions, and look what those questions cover . . .

1) The Enumerated Powers Act
2) The One Subject at a Time Act
3) The Write the Laws Act
4) The Read the Bills Act

I wrote about this group and published their candidate survey for the DownsizeDC.org blog yesterday

RAND PAUL

This U.S. Senate candidate from Kentucky has pledged TO YOU, both on YouTube, and on the radio with me last month, that he will introduce all of our bills, as well as co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act, the Free Competition in Currency Act, and the Fiscal Responsibility Act (which cuts Congressional pay if Congress runs a deficit).

Two recent polls show Paul leading in his race by 15 points!

B.J. LAWSON

This House candidate for the North Carolina's 4th District has made the same commitment as Paul. But his story is even more amazing. His campaign shouldn't be viable, but it is! The experts believe he should be losing by 20 points, because the district is heavily Democratic. But he's just picked up a bunch of endorsements, and . . .

A new poll suggests that he is TIED in a race against a 22-year incumbent (46.5 Lawson, 46.1 Price).

Lawson is a physician, an engineer, and a successful business owner who has distributed more than 50,000 copies of the Constitution. He's a long-time DC Downsizer. He has been the most articulate candidate on behalf of our Agenda, and keeps in direct contact with me.

Both of these campaigns still have battles ahead of them, because they expect to be outspent, but things are looking good. So what do you think? Are we losing traction? I don't think so. I think we're gaining traction. Yes, there are areas where we need to do better, like membership growth and money, but we're working on those problems, and expect to succeed.  

Meanwhile, let's do more in the areas where we have the most traction. For instance . . .

Let's get a majority on the discharge petition for the "Read the Bills" rule, H.Res.554. Here's what we need you to do . . .

Please send your Representative a letter instructing him or her to sign the Discharge petition if you do NOT find his or her name on this list: http://clerk.house.gov/111/lrc/pd/Petitions/Dis6.htm

You can send your letter using this campaign: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/118/background  

- OR -

Please send a letter demanding a hearing for the 72-hour rule (the name for the diluted "Read the Bills" proposal) IF your Representative serves on the Rules Committee (Louise Slaughter, Chair). You can find the roster for the Rules Committee here: http://rules.house.gov/rules_members.htm  

Again, you can send your letter using this campaign: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/118/background        

Please note that your letters will be copied to your Senators so they too can see how much support there is for "reading the bills."

My representative is not on the Rules Committee, so I can't ask her to work for a hearing. But she has not signed the discharge petition, and so, I appealed to her self-interest, using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System . . .  

I see you have not joined 182 of your colleagues in signing the Discharge Petition for this rule. The failure to legislate responsibly is a major reason why your party stands to lose huge numbers of seats in November. Please show me that you are prepared to govern differently in the future. Sign this discharge petition. 

END OF LETTER

But please don't stop there.

1. Pass this Dispatch to others (we advise you trim off the footer so no one uses the links there to unsubscribe you by accident) and ask them to do the action items.
2. Post the core of this Dispatch on your blog, if you have one. 
3. If you don't have a blog, show this to a prominent blogger or radio host.
4. Share this PROGRESS via Twitter and Facebook with this link:
http://tinyurl.com/32clcp3

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

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