Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
I am in DC this week with following goals:
1. Deliver HR 911 petition to Senate HELP committee, Senator Tom Harkin and deliver personal letters from New Bethany survivors Teresa Frye and Cat Given’s to their Senators Richard Burr and Sherrod Brown respectively.
2. FOIA for IFPC pick up
3. Meaningless sightseeing.
4. Pick up a lighter in the shape of the United States Capitol and/or White House.
Jack Patterson: his search for a friendly state to open his abusive style of “Christian” boarding school has now taken him to Ohio. There have been applications for 4 hunting rifle permits filed in the state under his name. He is reportedly attempting to buy land with the help of Charity Baptist Church. Need to do more research on this but at first blush the land appears to be near Dayton.
FOIA: for those of you interested in the ongoing Iowa Family Policy Center $3 million in federal funds saga, I picked up about 400 pages of information to sift through last night and spent about an hour having an interesting conversation with a FOIA office employee about the inner-workings of governmental transparency.
Senator’s Offices: If any of you are making plans to visit your senator’s office with letter in hand keep this in mind: for the first time I was told by a security officer at the Russell Building that we [the people] are not allowed to bring letters directly to our Senators. This after he spied a pile of papers and folders I was clutching. The honest Iowan in me told him yep – letters and petitions for senators. He said nope, can’t bring them, have to take them around the corner to something or other mail drop for whatever he said. I told him I wouldn’t drop off any letters but needed to visit my Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand to pick up Senate and House tickets. (A lie on the fly) so he let me in.
And, since I said it, I had to do it. So, I trudged up to Sen. Gillabrand’s office and got Senate tickets. I asked them (the fresh-faced Gillibrand staffers) about this whole letter thing and the Security officer saying we [the people] can’t deliver them. They exchanged confused looks and assured me they take letters from us [the people].
Net: take letters to your Senators and Representatives. It is the one direct means of contact we have with our elected officials and one of the reason’s I love visiting D.C. so I can plaster the legislative offices with letters, letters, letters. And, since I am handing them off, I know they are received.
P.S. IOWANS - Senator Tom Harkin has a popcorn machine in his office – I have relayed this before. This trip I have been able to confirm that the popcorn he uses for the machine is from Sioux City….