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07/27/2005 Archived Entry: ""

Gordon P. updates us about Downsize DC's campaign re: the Patriot Act and CAFTA , Sen. Bayh's office (D, IN) has blocked all e-mail and FAXes originating from the ISP used by the "Downsize DC" campaign --- who understandably are unhappy about this. The managers of "Downsize DC" have in retaliation asked all supporters from Indiana to bombard Sen Bayh's office with telephone complaints requesting that Bayh unblock "Downsize DC"'s ISP; the managers of Sen. Bayh's office are becoming quite unhappy about _that_. The "official" position issued by members of Sen. Bayh's office (as well as the contents of Sen. Bayh's website) appears to be changing literally by the hour, and consists mostly of lies, slander, libel, and disinformation about "Downsize DC." Apparently, the "Hon. Sen. from Indiana" greatly dislikes it when his constituents have the temerity to complain to him en masse about his policies... >:-I For the full update from Downsize DC, click on 'more'....

FOR DOWNSIZE DC: The campaign to get Senator Bayh to accept constituent messages that come from DownsizeDC.org is working. We need to keep on the pressure. I'll tell you more below. But there are also two other things we need to do today too. I know, we don't usually ask you to do more than one thing in a day, but today is different. We really need you to do three things. Here we go . . .

The Senate may vote on the Patriot Act this week. Please send a message telling them to vote no. You can do so here.

Also, Congress is about to go out on recess. This sometimes means that they try to ram things through at the last minute. This may happen with the CAFTA bill that would endanger your nutritional supplements and create unaccountable international bureaucracies. And word is that strong-arm tactics are being applied behind-the-scenes to get the votes to pass this bill. Tell Congress to vote NO on the CAFTA bill here.

Please send messages on both of these campaigns, even if you have done so before. And then call Senator Bayh's office at 202-224-5623 or fax at 202-228-1377. Please do this even if you did it yesterday - because chances are, you weren't told the truth, and you may want to correct them.

Senator Bayh's office is starting to get grouchy. This is a sign that the campaign is working. They're also telling callers blatantly untrue things. Here's a rundown of the disinformation they're giving out, and our response:

Bayh's claim: "However, as I'm sure you're aware, e- mail accounts and online web forms are open to abuse from third party organizations who have "borrowed" our web form code." You may even be told, we "stole" their code. Our response: We borrow nothing. We take the form variables, and submit them through their system just as any other person would. The only difference is that we don't require our users to have JavaScript turned on in order to use our system, while Senator Bayh does.

Bayh's claim: " . . . to sort through the thousands of items we receive a day to distinguish legitimate constituent e-mail from those of third party mass e-mailers. My new web form helps prevent "spoofing" and... " Our response: It does nothing of the sort. If they are able to automatically generate a "no response" message from the email address we supply, then they are doing nothing. In fact, assuming that they don't generate an auto-reply to every form submission, they're doubling their work load and bandwidth for their server by sending out "no response" messages to legitimate email addresses. As a matter of fact, Senator Bayh's Web form is noticeably *less* useful than ours, since we verify email addresses of registered users with our confirmation process, whereas his Web form will simply accept any email address that looks proper--"bo@gus.com" for example.

Bayh's claim: " (our system) thwarts any attempt to "borrow" code from our site. This has helped dramatically reduce the amount of illegitimate (originating from non-constituents) e-mail we receive freeing up valuable resources that can then be dedicated to serving you better." Our response: We send no messages from non-constituents. We collect verified email addresses and enforce the ZIP+4 for Representatives.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Our system sends no messages from non-constituents. Senator Bayh's office should stop blocking messages received via DownsizeDC.org. Please call and tell him so at 202-224-5623 or fax them at 202-228-1377. And the fact that they're getting grouchy is an indication that this is working - evidence that we need to keep pressuring them.

Thank you,

Jim Babka
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. Thank you to the dozens of people who wrote yesterday telling us how their calls to Senator Bayh's office went. These emails are helpful. However, due to the volume, I cannot respond personally to most of them. I read EVERY message. And today's message was designed to respond to most of the messages we received.

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