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August 31, 2006

Congress Returning – Action Item

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch…
We have an URGENT ACTION ITEM today that includes “egg on a Senator’s face.” But first, two quick housekeeping matters . . .

Downsizer-Dispatch welcome…

For some of you, this is the first Downsizer-Dispatch message you’ve received. We recently discovered a software glitch that kept hundreds of people from being properly confirmed to receive these messages. If you believe you’ve been subscribed in error, it’s easy to unsubscribe — see the bottom of this message. For the rest of you, welcome.

We fixed this problem as part of a comprehensive redesign of our email system. DownsizeDC.org is undergoing a makeover. All of it is designed to bring us up-to-date with the procedures Congress is placing in our way. This new system will also help us integrate our data in one place. This will be a huge convenience for you and it will reduce our management headaches. There’s much to do. Much is happening behind the scenes. We’re excited by our progress, and we’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile . . .

Good news!

This is the final message for August and for the week. We’ll be back after the Labor Day holiday. We’ve spent a good chunk of this month talking strategy. I’m excited about our future. We grew this month. It was our best registration month since April. We also made budget for the first time since April. And during the last 80 days, we’ve more than doubled our monthly pledge base.

We’re laying the foundation for a big 2007. And that starts with a good September and October. We’re going to put the pedal to the metal. So let’s get warmed up by doing this …

Urgent Action Item

Congress comes back on Tuesday. Trouble is brewing already. We’ve told you about the Specter-Cheney compromise to further water down domestic wire-tapping laws. Our “No Warrant? No Search” campaign has generated more than 7,500 messages to Congress. But the battle isn’t over.

I have some good news for you. On August 2, we told you the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman was going to hold a vote to get the Specter-Cheney bill out of committee. That message, with all the details, is available here.

We said the vote was likely to pass along party lines, unless we could stop it from occurring. We said each day we delayed the vote was another victory because the closer we get to Election Day the better our chance of stopping it. We asked you to phone call.

You did. We stopped it. Senator Specter couldn’t get a quorum of the Judiciary Committee. This was no accident. The Senators didn’t want to carry the burden of this controversial issue into Election Day. Specter had his staff round up the Senators for a quick meeting in another location. He planned to do a quorum call and spring a vote on them. They didn’t fall for it; they didn’t come. It was major “egg on his face.” YOU MADE IT HAPPEN.

Next week, we’ll be joining a coalition of prominent groups barraging Congress with phone calls. Both Specter’s committee and a House committee, will likely vote on this bill next week — unless we can stop them.

We can help our cause today, before Congress comes back, by sending a message using our system at DownsizeDC.org. Let them know you’re paying attention. Send your message here.

The pressure’s on. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff used the London Terror Plot to play politics. They lied about the legal mechanisms used to uncover the plot, and they may even have been wrong about whether there was a plot. Chertoff used this “event” to claim the Federal government needs to abandon all those pesky due process rules. He was shilling for Specter’s bill. Can Constitutional principle overcome his fear-based approach? It’s up to you. Send your message here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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