Don’t Block My Voice

I received this letter from Consumer’s Union. It seems like a worthy cause. I get lost of e-mails from Consumers Union on a variety of different causes. I don’t always agree with their causes but if the following is true, it is very scary.

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Tell Congress–don’t block my email!

You elected them! They represent you!  Yet some lawmakers don’t want to hear from you anymore and have set up technology to block your messages! They say your messages are spam.

Last month, Congressional offices began to adopt new software that blocks the delivery of email their constituents send from a wide range of nonprofit organization websites. The Internet has opened up democratic communication between millions of Americans and their elected representatives. This new, higher level of participation should be welcomed, not disabled.

This new technology–launched just a short while ago and already in use by more than 30 Representatives–requires you to answer a "logic puzzle" question before you can submit a comment. This is designed to limit communications to only those constituents who go directly to the lawmaker’s own website to send a message. Unorganized individuals will be able to talk to their representatives, but people who wish to communicate as part of a movement through nonprofit organizations will be blocked.

A wide array of organizations–left and right–came together to oppose this with one voice.

Lawmakers routinely accept postcards and other forms of mass communication generated when organizations activate their membership to support or oppose legislation. But they want to block the same kind of message when delivered over the Internet. Take a moment now to oppose efforts to roll back the clock on civic participation! (If your legislator is not accepting your email, the message will be delivered by fax!)

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Here is the website if you want to communicate with your politicians.Here is the if you want to communicate with your politicians.

  • Jonathan
    June 23, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    I am ashamed of you.
    Look at what you are doing! Sending people to a link with a PRESET MESSAGE to SPAM congress.
    Why do you support allowing 100,000 myspace users to bully congress?
    I applaud them.
    Why? Because the system has been abused and prevents people who are truly concerned and studied the issue from getting heard.
    I’ve given up completely on using the internet and now can only effectively talk to my congressmen by phone or visiting their offices.
    This came about because 100,000 myspace users (mostly non-voting teens) were sent to one of these and just SPAMMED 100,000 of the SAME MESSAGE to congress.
    Rich… you should know better. I’ve always liked your columns, they are usually so well-informed.

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