Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A foray into grass roots politics

I heard about an issue on Sunday afternoon in connection with my hobby that concerned me a bit in connection with a Dept. of Defense policy change announced last week that would have increased the cost of my hobby by a great deal.

The purpose of the post is not to address the policy issues behind the DoD change but to relate what happened. (Jonah Goldberg posted about it briefly on The Corner Monday.)

I immediately emailed my congressman and two senators. From the representative, I got an immediate robo-reply saying he'd look into it. From one of my senators I got a robo-reply on Monday that was vaguely related to the issue to which I'd alerted her. I never did hear back from the second senator.

From an email I received today from the source who originally alerted me to the issue:

Emails, faxes, and calls went to the offices of every Senator and Representative on The Hill. Senators Tester and Baucus of Montana (both Democrats) contacted the Department of Defense on Tuesday, and within an hour, they had a reply that this new, ill-considered, policy had been rescinded.

I don't know how much effect we actually had but the timing seems to so indicate. [Update: I should add that there are many policy reasons, including very green reasons, why this would have been a bad idea. And, that it apppears the policy change was initially proposed under the Bush administration under some crazy Homeland Security logic.]

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