February 8, 2006
Your RTBA Letters-to-the-Editor
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . The drumbeat for the "Read the Bills Act" is growing...
  • We're busy booking me onto radio talk shows (details soon)
  • The software needed to organize our MeetUp groups for the "No Legislation Without Representation Conference" is nearly ready to launch
  • We're about to unveil materials for an RTBA Coalition of talk show hosts, blogs, and organizations. Plus...
  • We're going to start using other new weapons to harass Congress to pass RTBA.
Starting now... TODAY'S ACTION ITEM
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper promoting RTBA
  • When you send your letter-to-the-editor post it as a comment on the DownsizeDC blog under the item "Your RTBA Letters-to-the-Editor"
  • Final step, send a message to your Representative and your Senators asking them to sponsor RTBA, and paste in the text of the letter you sent to the newspaper! (You can do this by visiting That will make them nervous! Plus, more people will hear about RTBA. Here's an example of an excellent letter-to-the-editor written by DC Downsizer Mel Pinney of San Diego. You can use it as a model for your letter...
    Recent editorials have identified some of the many problems with Congress. While these editorials are long on rhetoric about special interests, earmarking, K Street lobbyists, etc., they all lack any workable solutions. An innovative approach proposed by is the "Read the Bills Act." Under RTBA, every senator and representative would be required to attend sessions where bills would be read to them in their entirety. If RTBA were to come to a vote, it would be political suicide to vote against it because any member of Congress doing so would be taking the position that they don't want to know what they are voting on. Imagine how concise bills would then become. Huge omnibus bills would likely become a thing of the past (who would want to listen while 1,000-plus pages are read to them?). And if bills containing earmarks and special-interest concessions were exposed to the light of day, it's less likely that they would be passed as well. Perhaps then we would truly no longer have "legislation without representation." MEL PINNEY San Diego
    Thanks for being a DC Downsizer. Now go forth and conquer. Jim Babka President
Filed under Downsizer Dispatch, RTBA
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