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March 13, 2009

Our Recruitment Letter

Quote of the Day: “Ask and you shall receive.” – Jesus of Nazareth

Subject: Our recruitment letter is not yet five years old. On July 14, 2004 we sent our first message to someone else’s 11,800 member email list. Some loved us immediately, but most of them weren’t interested enough to stay with us to the present day. 

Over the years more than 60,000 people have had a subscription to this list at some point, some for only a day or two. Today, we have more than 24,400, and they are active.

Nearly all of that growth has come from one source — DC Downsizers who have forwarded our Dispatches to other people.

This is a very low-cost method of growth. It’s also very slow. Few people who receive forwarded Dispathes join (although there’s a huge educational benefit, so keep forwarding those messages). It’s time to start using new methods that could recruit new people 10, 20, or 30 times faster.

One of those methods is direct mail.

Direct mail is an old, low-tech tool. It’s also highly effective. It is the most effective form of advertising ever devised.

We think the key to rapid growth is as simple as asking the most likely prospects to join our email list. Ask and you shall receive. Given sufficient funding we can use direct mail to ask hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions, of likely members to join

Here’s the letter we want to send. Please read it and think about how people who want smaller government are likely to respond. (Please note, because the Dispatch is sent in both HTML and text versions so much of the formatting that will appear in the printed version of the letter is missing here) We hope you like it . . .

Dear friend,

In this letter I’ll tell you about . . .

* The “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act”

* What these bills would accomplish and how we’ll pass them

* How you can join Downsize for FREE, get a FREE subscription to our email newsletter, a FREE pdf copy of our 16 page booklet, “The Downsize DC Vision,” and FREE access to our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System

Plus, I’ll tell you how you can gain the power to control Congress with just a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks.

The “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act” are designed to protect you from the cancerous growth of government. Please consider . . .

* You must bear the burden of every word of every law Congress passes

* This burden can include increased taxation, increased debt, the need to consult lawyers and to spend money on compliance
* Failure to comply could force you to pay fines or go to jail

* Ignorance of the law is no excuse for YOU — you MUST understand and obey every word of any relevant law Congress passes

* But members of Congress don’t have the same obligation

* Congressional leaders rush many laws to a vote with little or no time for debate or deliberation

* Almost no members of Congress read the laws they impose upon you

* To make matters worse, stealth provisions are often inserted into legislation at the last minute

* As a routine result, citizens and the media are NOT able to give their representatives feedback

It’s a simple fact. Your elected representatives are fundamentally ignorant of the laws and burdens they inflict on you. Even their ignorance is no excuse for you! You STILL must submit.

We believe members of Congress have a sacred duty to faithfully represent those whom they seek to tax and regulate. We?re not asking much: Failure to read every word of every law they impose upon you violates this duty. 

YOU are not being represented. YOU are being misrepresented.

But it gets worse . . .

Congressional leaders routinely bundle unpopular legislation into popular bills — even if they’re completely unrelated. They do this so that unpopular proposals can pass on the strength of the popular bills with which they’re combined.

One example is the REAL ID Act. This law creates a national ID card that all Americans will have to carry in order to board a plane, open a checking account, enter a federal building, or hold a job. This law is hugely unpopular. It was unpopular in the Senate too. Yet it passed because Congressional leaders combined it with an ?emergency? appropriations bill for the troops in Iraq and tsunami relief.

Senators didn’t want to be accused of de-funding troops in a war zone. By a 99-0 vote the REAL ID Act snuck its way into law, even though it lacked majority support!

Here’s our point: There are many reasons government grows like cancer, but here are two of the biggest…

1.Members of Congress can pass thousands of pages of legislation without ever reading any of it

2.Bad laws get passed on the strength of the popular bills with which they’re combined has crafted two bills to stop these practices . . .

The “One Subject at a Time Act” — OSTA for short — would prevent Congressional leaders from combining unrelated legislation. Every proposed law would have to receive its own up or down vote, as an individual bill!

This would prevent many laws from passing, and thereby curtail government?s cancerous growth.

The “Read the Bills Act” — RTBA for short — would force half of Congress to sit through a full reading of every word of every bill before they can vote on it.

RTBA also requires every member of Congress who intends to vote yes on a bill to sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, swearing that they have either read, or heard read, every word of that bill. No longer will they be able to make the excuse, “I didn’t know THAT was in the bill.”

If you’re responsible for every word of every law Congress passes then the members of Congress must at least be responsible for reading every word.

RTBA also requires that the final version of every bill be posted on the Internet for seven days before a vote. This would give the media, watchdog groups, and YOU the chance to read the bill, and offer your comments. This “waiting period” will encourage deliberation, debate, and greater citizen involvement.

There would be no more rush to judgment.

We make no exceptions for emergencies! If we did, then Congress would assert that every bill is an emergency, and RTBA would be useless. Looking at history we can find no Congressional action that would have suffered by a mere seven day wait — there is an Executive branch after all. We think every bill Congress considers would benefit from a seven day “cooling-off” period, especially during a crisis.

RTBA would force Congress to craft shorter, clearer legislation, so they could endure reading it. The time required for the oral reading would also force Congress to focus, and prioritize. RTBA, combined with OSTA, would result in the passage of fewer but better laws.

The cancerous growth of government would slow, and perhaps even reverse.

Finally, RTBA and OSTA both contain enforcement mechanisms that give the bill real teeth and protect those who find themselves in court under a law passed “the old-fashioned, un-read and clustered way.”

Obviously, no politician will want to pass either of these bills, because doing so would decrease their power and increase the personal cost they pay to impose burdens on you. So we’re going to have to force Congress to pass them, and that will depend on how much public support we can generate.

Do you like these ideas? I’ve appeared on over 100 talk shows, with hosts left, right, and center. Every single one of them has loved these ideas. We’ve found that nine out of ten people we talk with love RTBA and OSTA. If we can recruit just a small portion of these people to join, for FREE, then we can build a huge army to exert relentless, overwhelming, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

As our army grows we’ll gain the resources to saturate individual media markets with direct marketing and broadcast advertising to promote RTBA and OSTA. As we colorfully explain in our 16-page report, The Downsize DC Vision? we’ll make each district inhospitable to the local Congressional delegation, unless they introduce or co-sponsor RTBA and OSTA.

We’ll then move our efforts to the next media market, picking off each Congressional delegation one-by-one, until we have the votes in Congress to pass RTBA and OSTA.

We call this strategy “Pick off the Herd.”

You can participate by joining the growing Downsize DC Army. It’s free! Just send us your email address using the enclosed form and envelope. We’ll count you as a member of and begin sending you our FREE email newsletter, the Downsizer-Dispatch.

This newsletter receives rave reviews from our subscribers. One radio talk show host calls it the best, most concise, most useful newsletter he receives.

The Dispatch will keep you informed of our progress, and about legislation pending in Congress. You’ll also learn about other Downsize DC proposals, like the “Write the Laws Act,” which would prohibit Congress from delegating their law-making power to unelected bureaucrats.

Plus . . .

When you receive the first email from us, all you have to do is confirm your membership online, and then you’ll gain access to an online version of our free 16-page booklet, “The Downsize DC Vision,” which one reviewer has described as “?the unified field theory of how to change government.”

Plus . . .

You’ll gain access to our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System. This powerful online software will enable you to exert constant pressure on your Representative and two Senators. All it takes is just a few keyboard strokes and clicks of your mouse.

Plus . . .

You’ll be joined by tens of thousands of other DC Downsizers who will also be exerting pressure on Congress on the same issues at the same time!

The power of everything you do will be magnified many times over!

You can have all of this at no cost, just by sending us your email address using the enclosed form and envelope.

But . . .

If you really like RTBA and OSTA, and our plan for passing them, you can help our army grow faster by including a contribution. We’ll use your donation to send this letter to more people.

You can contribute as little as a dollar, or as much as you want. There is no limit. The more you give, the faster we grow.

But remember . . .

You don’t have to contribute anything. You can donate if you like our plan and want us to grow faster, but all the benefits described in this letter are yours for free, if you want them.

We hope you’ll join our growing Downsize DC Army by returning the enclosed form today.


PS: Do you want Congress to read the laws they pass and end the practice of combining unrelated bills into one package? If so, please join us. It’s free!

PPS: Remember, all you have to do is send us your email address and you’ll get our newsletter, the Downsizer Dispatch, for free, plus a free, online copy of our 16-page booklet “The Downsize DC Vision,” and free access to our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System, with which you can exert constant pressure on Congress using just a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks. Use the enclosed form to get these free benefits, and bend Congress to your will.

THAT’S IT. That’s the letter we want to send!

We want to start by printing 30-thousand copies and send out multiple test mailings. Are you eager to see the results from these tests, so we can see how fast we can grow? Every 64c we receive sends a letter. We have $5,004 accumulated to pay for printing, postage, stuffing, sorting, and list rental. We need $14,077 more to do these tests.

Could you make a contribution today, or start a monthly pledge so that we can turn the crank on these mailings over and over again in the months ahead? If you want to use these letters to multiply yourself by recruiting more Downsizers, please contribute using our secure form.

If you can start a monthly pledge of at least $5 a month, or make a one-time donation of at least $50, your name will go on a roster on the special web-page we’re creating for this recruitment project (unless you choose not to be listed). All existing monthly pledgers will also be listed. Please contribute now.

If you want to contribute $1,000 or more to this project, so we can move faster, but wish to speak to me first, just let me know by replying to this email.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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