More Like 30 Seconds

Over at Daily Kos, they estimate it’s a five minute job,

Daily Kos: 5 Minutes, For Democracy’s Sake: Five minutes is all it takes, really.  Less, if you’re not that chatty. In five minutes, you can speak up for the rule of the law. In five minutes, you can put your own footprint in history, as one of the mass of millions who advocated for the censure of a President who broke the law.  Years from now, no matter what the outcome, you can look back and say you stood up when Congress stood down, you pushed your party forward no matter how much it wanted to cower back in the shadows.  Are you ready?

Today, I ask each of you to take a few minutes and contact your Senator and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor to Senator Russ Feingold’s censure resolution.  You can find your Democratic Senator’s full contact info, including fax and local numbers, here.

So I called Bill Nelson’s office in DC, not that there’s much hope for the shrinking violet to stick out his neck the week he will likely lose his patsy opponent and maybe collect a real one. But what the heck, I called his office anyway.

I got about 30 seconds. They didn’t even want my name and address, just my zip code, and whether I’m for or against. (On the very rare occasions I’ve called legislators in the past, they’ve always asked for contact info so they could write me a polite brush-off letter later.)

Either they’re not listening, or they’re getting a lot of calls. Or both.

Bonus Kos link: CNN Reporter claims Feingold has his facts wrong, ends up with egg on face.

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7 Responses to More Like 30 Seconds

  1. Bill K says:

    You call Hagel as well?

  2. Michael says:

    Last I checked, I don’t live in his state.

  3. UM Law Student says:

    I interned in Nelson’s office a couple years back and the Senator sees all of the phone calls. The staff who answer the phones log your issue, your position, and your zip code into a database. The Senator and his staff can access all of this information in lots of formats (charts, graphs, logs, etc.) at any time. At a minimum, the Senator gets a weekly report of all calls and letters (e-mail, postal, and fax). All correspondence with his district offices is handled the same way. When there’s a hot issue, or a vote on an issue he’s getting lots of correspondence about, he gets reports more frequently.

    Also, the Senator will send you “a polite brush-off letter” if you either: 1. ask for a letter when you call or the staff assistants can’t answer your questions; 2. you write him a non-form letter via his website; or 3. you write him a non-form letter via postal mail or fax. With the number of phone calls he gets, it would be hard to take down everyone’s address when most people don’t want the form letter (for proof, call the CA Senators and get their automated phone system).

    Actually calling/writing/etc. DOES make a difference! I would say the best way to do so (probably for all Cogresspeople) is to use their web forms (see These e-mails show up the same way that letters or faxes do (paper is scanned in) and if you enter your personal info it helps to show that you are an actual Floridian (they get lots of people calling from other states – see the request for you to call Hagel). Plus, these e-mails get read and answered must faster and the Senator reads samplings all the time.

    While I’m sure this doesn’t apply to Prof. Froomkin, take the time to write your own letter (however short it may be) rather than send a form letter. It’s virtually impossible to determine which form letters are actually sent by Floridians and which are sent from automated services (i.e. if you enter your info on a website to send a form letter to a Senator or Rep, it looks the same as if the AARP sends a form e-mail from each person in its database).

  4. Bill K says:

    Sorry, read to fast, thought you said Ben Nelson. My b

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    I agree that Soledad O’Brien does not acquit herself very well in the interview, but why does the Kos poster have to call this “a magnificent feat of bimbotude”? Sheesh.

  6. wcw says:

    The left has sexism, too.

    That said, bimbos can be male. Especially blow-dried, newsreading bimbos.


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