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July 19, 2006

Single Subject Act?

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

He who makes the rules, rules. Congress has taught us this lesson. Through gerrymandering and campaign finance laws they’ve turned the House and Senate into private clubs for incumbents. These rules have effectively closed the ballot box as a viable means for controlling government. Rules matter.

This is why has now crafted two bills that would change the rules by which Congress operates — the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA) and the “Write the Laws Act” (WTLA). Change the rules, and you can change everything.

By proposing rules changes that most people can support, we can recruit an army large enough to compell Congress to adopt our proposals. The right rules can give you tremendous leverage. Congress taught us this when they passed the “Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act” (McCain-Feingold). We learned. And we intend to use what we’ve learned.

RTBA and WTLA will not be the last rules we propose. They are but two parts of what will become a comprehensive Downsize DC legislative agenda. We aim to become America’s shadow legislature. If Congress refuses to do its job, they shouldn’t be surprised if others decide to do it for them. We intend to do just that.

Next on our agenda is a single subject rule.

We’re not sure of the name yet. It could be the “Single Subject Act” or the “One Bill At A Time Act.” We’d like to hear your opinion. But we’re sure of one thing. Congress should no longer be allowed to pass bad, unpopular proposals, by combining them with popular measures that no one wants to vote against.

Congress should only be permitted to consider one bill at a time. They should only be able to vote on single bills containing a single subject. And we now think we know how to craft such a rule.

But we’re also sure of one other thing. There’s no point in adding another bill to our legislative agenda if we lack the resources to promote our proposals to the American people.

We’ll begin to have those resources when we have $168,000 a year in secure income. Every dollar raised above that amount can go mainly to advertising and other forms of outreach that will promote our legislative agenda, and recruit the army that will compell Congress to adopt our rules changes. Here’s where we stand, and here’s what we intend to do . . .

We’ve now accounted for $40,980 of the $168,000 we need to begin Operation Everywhere — our plan to make the Downsize DC vision visible to everyone, everywhere, everyday. We’ll launch the “Single Subject/One Bill At A Time Act” as soon as we’ve reached that $168,000 goal. Operation Everywhere will begin at the same time. In the meantime . . .

Everyone who starts a MONTHLY credit card pledge, or makes a one-time contribution of $76 or more, will be added to the Legislative Sponsors roster for the upcoming Single Subject Act on our website, unless you check the “don’t list me” box on the countribution form. Current monthly pledgers will also be listed. This is just like we did with RTBA.

You can join the Legislative Sponsors roster for Single Subject/One-Bill-At-A-Time by making a MONTHLY micro-pledge or a macro-pledge on your credit card. Macro-pledges are $10-a-month or more. Micro-pledges are $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8, or $9 a month. If instead you want to become a Legislative Sponsor by making a one-time contribution of $76 or higher, you should know that people will be listed on the roster by the size of their contribution. Monthly credit card pledgers will be ranked by the annual value of their pledge. The highest donor will win the John Hancock position at the top of the list. You can make your monthly credit card pledge or one-time donation by clicking here.

Many (most?) organizations have to spend our basic annual budget EVERY MONTH just to keep their doors open. And no one we know of is as committed as we are to beginning to do massive advertising and outreach. We were designed for this purpose. Our cost structure reflects this purpose. Because of our low-cost structure Operation Everywhere and the “Single Subject/One Bill At A Time Act” are right around the corner, funding permitting. Start your monthly credit card pledge or make your one-time donation here.

If you prefer not to use our secure online contribution form, you can print it out and snail-mail it to Downsize, 1931 15th Street, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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