Questions for Each
Senator and Representative!
Personal Actions -
2. Create a list of like-minded friends to assist you.
3. Be prepared to share your findings with others including the media.
4. Be prepared to write letters to the Editor as needed to increase local awareness.
5. Develop an email list of those persons who may be responsive to messages updating progress, or lack of, candidate responsive-ness, etc.
6. These are not partisan issues and should be of interest to
Knowledge Is Power!
Remember - When dealing with powerful political players, they got there with skill and influence. Research as much as you can about each and every subject that you intend to bring up. Try to know ahead of time what the likely response might be and be prepared to engage with FACTS. Always be polite and sincere but firm.
If we are to have any hope of changing the Congressional culture of arrogant entitlement and privilege we need to confront each Congressman or candidate in person at open meetings so that their answers will be heard by many just as any side-stepping will be obvious. Our questions need to be well rehearsed and polite so as to win over others in the audience. If at all possible attend public events with several like minded friends who will support your questions.
First of all record all available contact
information and write it down! List any staffers name, also.
Next, call the nearest Congressional or campaign office and check for any public speaking schedule. If they are reluctant then try some of your local news media or your local precinct committeeman, etc.
Write down your questions. Also make supporting notes with specific facts that might be forgotten in the heat of actually confronting a skilled politician. Avoid hot button issues because such questions can undermine your "street creds" with those holding different views. It is all too easy to go brain dead when meeting a well prepared opponent!
Plan to attend appropriately dressed with your questions ready and pen & paper or notebook to record the responses. An electronic recorder is very handy! If your are attending with friends plan to split up the questions so as to not appear to be dominating the conversation away from others.
When posing questions try to avoid questions that can easily be answered with a "yes" or "no". Keep the dialogue flowing! Try to avoid questions like, "What do you "plan" to do about .....? Questions like that only allow politicians to talk about what THEY want and to 'blow smoke'. Be specific!
If we are to make any headway with the serious problems facing our nation we must clear away the interfering elements of Congressional attitudes of entitlement, excessive campaign contributions, excessive lobbying influences and overbearing party influences. IE; we must "enable" our Congressmen to represent US and not the rich and powerful. And that will be one hell-of-a task!
Try basic questions like these:
Will you support efforts to curb "Congressional Insider Trading" with your votes on the floor and in committee? And will you make that position part of your campaign and post it on your web site?
Will you support reasonable campaign spending limits so that you can more fairly reflect your constituency and be freed from beholding to big money contributors? Which areas of campaign contributions provide the greatest opportunity for abuse?
Will you support efforts to end the excessive influence of lobbyists and "Political Intelligence" gathering by K Street lobbyists and hedge funds? Will you make this commitment on your web site?
Will you support efforts to ban ex-congressmen and staffers from joining lobbyist organizations for a number of years following their time in Congress?
If you are prepared with solid information you should be able to brush aside evasive answers with solid facts to support your question. Remember, these questions, if asked often enough, will raise awareness among the public and media. The reason for openly confronting the politician is to both raise public awareness and to get a commitment form the candidate. It is also a good idea to open communications with media folks who hold similar views. Ask reporters for their perspectives.
>>> Keep track of date, time and location of each meting. Get others to join you in these efforts.
One more thing - get to know the staffers! A staffer can make or break efforts gain access to the candidate. However, just because someone is on the staff doesn't mean that they always agree with the candidate. Do NOT debate with staffers. Suck Up, politely! Treat staffers honestly and fairly and expect the same from them ... unless proven otherwise.
Also: See E-How for an example of letter writing. These principles can also apply to writing emails. Keep your communications to the point and original. National 'form letter' emails have minimum impact and usually end up in the trash bin. It is perfectly useful to create your own email customized to your specific candidate. Friends in your local district can forward them to the respective candidates.
You may want to filter political positions in light of
Participate however you can. Ignore at Your Own Risk!
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