I swear I’m not a shill for the Sunlight Foundation. I just keep bumping into their stuff online. And, so far, I like what I see.
The House Franking Committee (Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards) wants to take away your representative’s right to use the Internet to communicate with you.
See the extensive “Red Book” mailing manual (72 pages…great for insomniacs).
While I agree with the principle of not allowing spend-o-crats access to taxpayer funds to spam us with unsolicited screeds about what they will do/have done if/after elected, what I object to is a rule that would essentially put a gag order on a politician using his/her cell phone to use Twitter. Half the people talking about implementing this rule don’t have a clue about the Web as it stands…how can we trust them to regulate it?
Jon Henke at The Next Right has some thoughts on that as well. Yes, Jon, for members of Congress, every year is like it’s 1999 (or earlier).
My favorite quote from the video should be carved into the steps of the House.
“Listen, Mike (Capuano), you have about as much chance of regulating the Internet as King Canute did at stopping the tide.”
Capuano was quoted in the Washington Post earlier this year as saying:
“I make no bones about it. I don’t know anything about this stuff,” Capuano said with a shrug. “To me, the Web is a necessary evil,” he admitted, “like cellphones.”
This gives me a whole new perspective on why my emails to my representatives go unanswered, or when they are, amount to a brush-off form letter containing no real information.
Go ahead. Tell ‘em how you really feel.