Call to Action - Beat RedState at their game & pass the budget

Last week I encouraged you to call or email Rep. Bob Etheridge to encourage him to support President Obama's budget in committee. It is more important than ever that you follow through on that request.

Erick Erickson at RedState is calling for his readers to contact Congressman Etheridge, incorrectly referring to him as a Blue Dog.

Dear :

We need to get the Blue Dog Democrats to slow down budget approval in the House of Representatives. The vote in committee is tonight.



CALL 202-224-3121.

Ask for one of these five Congressmen:

1. Alan Boyd of Florida
2. Bob Etheridge of North Carolina
3. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana
4. Chet Edwards of Texas
5. John Yarmuth of Kentucky

Tell them to vote no on the budget tonight. We can stop the budget if you will pick up your phone right now. The vote is tonight.

Sincerely yours,

Erick Erickson

Please call Rep. Bob Etheridge and encourage him to pass the budget through committee tonight.

Washington Office
1533 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4531
Fax: (202) 225-5662

He filters emails for constituents only. Go here to email Rep. Etheridge.


Get on the phone and call now


Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


No Congressional representative with a lick of sense will pay any attention to the RedStaters' astroturf calls coming from outside his/her district. If you live in Etheridge's district, by all means call his office. Otherwise (or in addition), call Kay Hagan's office at 202-224-6342. I expect that she needs the calls as well, and her staff will be paying attention to calls volume from anywhere in the state of NC. At present, she seems preoccupied with protecting her political flank from the tobacco lobby's possible attacks. Let's demonstrate continued enthusiasm for Obama's push to address health care and climate change now rather than in some indefinite future.

Dan Besse

Appropriate, sure,

but will it actually affect his voting decisions? I've never spoken with a legislator who (when speaking candidly) pretended to care about lobbying calls/letters/emails from outside his/her district, unless they were from someone with a separate connection to the rep, or contained an unusually compelling personal story that somehow made it through the staff screening process (very rare).

That reasoning doesn't apply to relevant new information delivered directly to the rep in question, or to an aide with responsibility in the subject area, but you can't normally achieve that through an advocacy phone call to their office. On a big topic like this, you're just reaching a staffer counting numbers, and if you don't live in his district, they're probably not even including you in their count.

If you have contrary feedback from Etheridge's office, please correct me on my assumptions. I recognize that there can be exceptions to these standard patterns.

Dan Besse

Effectiveness needed

I don't recall discouraging anyone from calling in support of Obama's budget. I called myself--Hagan's office. I just encouraged people to call a target that I believe will be more influenced by their calls.

This is a recurring debate within every activist community with which I've ever been involved. What's worth our time and energy in terms of effectiveness? If all we're seeking is the personal satisfaction of expressing an opinion, we can lobby whomever we wish. If we're trying to influence voting/legislating behavior--which is my priority on these things--then it bears weighing who's likely to listen, versus when we're more likely to be wasting our time.

Most legislators, lobbyists, and public interest advocates I've ever spoken with have suggested that calling campaigns from people outside a legislator's district are more likely to be discounted, or even influence them negatively, than to win their support. When I've personally been targeted for lobbying on city votes by people who live outside the city I represent, that's how I feel: Thanks, but you guys aren't the ones I represent. (Again, exceptions can go to those who have specific good information for me, but that exception doesn't apply to contacts that never reach me personally, which is the case with mass Congressional office calling campaigns.)

So I was surprised to see your general call for contacts to Etheridge, and think it's within the spirit of working to effect change to suggest a callee more likely to listen to most of us. Nothing personal, and if I didn't want the pro-Obama-budget advocacy to succeed, I wouldn't even have commented.

Dan Besse

Support is important

Thanks for doing this Betsy. By the time I got home & called the mailbox was full.

We definitely need to call. I was in a seminar & subject of issue reform in Congress came up. It was noted that even when there is overwhelming public support for something there is a "cottage industry" of letter writers and callers to flood Congressional offices with messages 100:1 in the opposite direction.

Thank you, Greg

Common sense tells us that call volume is important. Also, when a lot of calls come in I doubt they are checking caller ID prior to answering and I've never been asked for my zip code when I call.

Plus, making the call takes maybe a minute or two. We're providing the talking points and the contact info. All you got to do is dial....and be nice when they answer.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Budget plan moves on

According to AP, the budget plan moved out of the House committee on a party line vote. Some changes were made, but it's mostly intact & moves to the Senate. Time to call Kay Hagan.