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March 17, 2006

Behind the scenes in Congress

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

BEHIND THE SCENES IN CONGRESS:

Why was the vote on the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” delayed? Because Congressional opponents of free expression on the Internet are playing procedural games to further their incumbent protection schemes. They would deny that incumbent protection is their real aim. Ending corruption is the purpose they claim. But two facts contradict this . . .

1. All their actions have helped incumbents and hurt challengers.

2. Corruption has worsened under the stronger campaign finance laws — think Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, and earmarks.

But despite the evidence that campaign finance laws ONLY protect incumbents, and do NOTHING to reduce corruption, the drive to strengthen the campaign finance laws continues. The so-called “Let the People Decide Act,” which would end voluntary funding of campaigns, is the latest example.

But the hypocrisy gets worse. When the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” was first brought to the floor for a vote under a “special rule, the Incumbent Protection Gang in Congress opposed it because that “special rule” didn’t allow for debate. Now, the Incumbent Protection Gang wants to substitute their own watered-down “Internet protection” bill for the “Online Freedom of Speech Act,” using the same special rule, allowing no debate.

How do we stop this? We encourage those in Congress who favor free expression to continue fighting for this bill, and we scare those who oppose it.

How do we do that? By keeping up the pressure to pass the “Online Freedom of Speech Act.” If you have not sent a message for this purpose, please do so here.

IF YOU’VE ALREADY SENT A MESSAGE ON THIS ISSUE PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING:

Call your Representative and urge passage of the “Online Freedom of Speech Act.” The toll-free number is 877-762-8762. If you can’t get through, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-225-3121.

IF YOU’VE SENT A MESSAGE AND MADE A PHONE CALL PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING:

Send another message to Congress asking them to sponsor the “Read the Bills Act.” You can do so here.

YOU CAN SPEAK WITH A V.I.P. ON SUNDAY:

Remember to listen to Jim Babka’s interview with Bruce Mirken, Communications Director of the Marijuana Policy Project. Jim needs calls for this show. We’ll tell you how to listen and how to call-in to the program in a message on Sunday morning.

MEET JIM BABKA IN FLORIDA — 7 DAYS TO GO:

Date: March 24th
Event: LP of Florida Convention
Location: Embassy Suites in Boca Raton
Details here: www.lpf2006.org

IN MEMORY OF HARRY BROWNE:

70 people contributed $8,886 in memory of Harry Browne. We’ve shared these names with Pamela Browne who expresses her gratitude to everyone. We join her in thanking . . .

William H Keen, Andrew L Sullivan, Jason Ferenczy-Zumpano, James J Schaefer, David Segesta, Randy Unthank, Jackson Harvey, Jim Cox, Vivian Wadlin, James Marquart, John Sparduto, Steven Garcia, Louis A Perrotta III, George R Whitfield, Joseph D Osborne, Ron Stringfield, Kelly Chaplin, Rob Power, J. Billy Verplanck, Art Lebowski, Jamie Crawford, Dan Steelandt, Arthur DiBianca, Neal Boyd, John D Weisenauer, Lisa Morgan, Diane McFarland, Eric Taylor, Ted A Semon, Sonja Smith, Dale Rinkoski, Gordon Clyde Wilson, Geoffrey Pike, Timothy P Sauer, Jody and Tom Morris, Dale Warren, Steve Dasbach, Erick Unthank, Tim Frye, John A Johnson, William Redpath, David W Landram, Paul Farris, Zachary Ullevig, Jed Martin, R Kelsey Williams, Vincent P Hanke, Patricia Wedel, Deryl Martin, John Hathaway, Chuck Patel, Bradley Moore, Jon Stevens, Jacalyn Young, Curry Taylor, Mallory Montgomery, Edward Clapper, Dan Litwin, James E Phillips, Ted Latner, Alan Eisen, Douglas S Washington, Autumn Browne, Stuart Lander, Terry Bronson

We also want to express a special thank you and condolences to Harry’s daughter, Autumn Browne, who’s name appears above.

Special thanks also to the following people for starting monthly pledges in Harry’s memory:

Gary C Konigsberg, Michael Ciulla, Travis J Burden, J. Billy Verplanck, Dwight E Baker

We still need $3,779 to meet our March fundraising goal. If you’d like to contribute or start a monthly pledge click here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Perry Willis
Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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