For the most part Senators and Representatives only care what you think if you live in their district. Calling from outside just pisses off their staff and prevents constituents from getting through (that is the point).
Please phone, but try to phone your own elected officials. If you have Republican representation, call them! Their staff would love to know that there is a direction constituents want them to go other than further rightward into crazytown. God only knows what teabaggers demand from Michelle Bachmann.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Guide for first-timers here.
Last time I called, the staffer was polite, but there is no way in hell my rep. is voting for the bill. He is already full on into crazytown and isn’t coming back. The f**ker voted against SCHIP. So while I understand your theory there, I find it lacking in empirical evidence.
Beware the Ideas of Mitch!
Call local and Washington office, or only one? If only one, which one- where the Congressman is more likely to be (local weekend, DC weekdays)?
How often to call? Once a day? Once a week? Probably irrelevant at this point.
How much info to give? They usually ask for zip code, but the two times I’ve called they didn’t ask for name, so could I have called again, or do they record caller ID?
What to say besides how you want them to vote? Do you threaten to give money to an opponent? To not vote for them? To send them rock salt? To give them money if they vote how you want (I suspect it’s illegal to use those exact words.)
@SP: For big issues like this one they usually take your name, zip and position. Go on about how strongly you feel if you want, but that only makes a difference on low-traffic days and in districts with a slower pace (e.g., good luck chatting up a Pelosi staffer).
As for where, call both! Every day! Visit their local office if you live close enough. As long as you’re reasonably articulate and pleasant, stopping by in person has the most impact. I don’t know whether rules forbid bringing cookies but it can’t hurt.
Har! I wish I had said that.
For that reason, I will use it and claim that I made it up.
My fence-sitting rep, first-time NO-er, WA (D) Brian Baird’s phone has been busy all morning…..hmmmm! Either he’s too scared to take any calls, or he’s SLAMMED!!!! oh please, please, please, please be the later.
They probably just enjoy staring into her eyes.
Her soulless, dead eyes.
those crazy dead eyes
michelle bachmann i love you
save me from dread truth
Is there no value at all in calling Reps from nearby districts? Lincoln Davis is my Rep, and he’s a lost cause, but I’ve had nice polite conversations with the staffers for Jim Cooper, Bart Gordon, and John Tanner.
I tell them that I drove three hours to North Carolina to work precincts for Barack Obama, so an hour or two to their district is nothing to me. Sadly, Bart Gordon (closest to me) is retiring, so this has limited effect on him.
I live in DC. I pay taxes and have no voting representation. Louis Gohmert or some other Republican a-hole once said DC doesn’t need representation because we’ve got 435 reps looking out for us.
Funny thing, though: They don’t seem too happy when I try calling them.
called Mike Thompson and thanked him for his support of the bill and noted that I donate to people who support health care. I also urged him to use his influence with wafflers.
While I encourage everyone to call their representative and senators first, calling out-of-district is also constructive and, indeed, vital.
Every Congressmember knows that non-constituents can campaign for (or against) them, and can contribute money to them — or to their opponents. Any Congressmember who doesn’t care about that doesn’t care about staying in office.
Further, the teabaggers are calling nationwide. Hesitating to respond in kind is ceding the field to them. Why would we do that?
I called 18 representatives today — the 17 identified as “on the hot seat” here, and Dennis Kucinich.
All the staffers were courteous, and many seemed happy to hear my request to PTDB, even those whose bosses currently oppose the bill. Some did not ask where I called from.
Please call. Let’s win this thing.
Well Cleveland TV news (WKYC Channel 3) reporting that after Kucinich road with Obama on Air Force One he is not answering questions on how he will vote and Ryan (from the Y-town area, Traficants old seat) now a yes.
Go to Congress person’s web site.
Copy address and phone of one of their regional offices
Go to Congress person’s contract page. Paste address into body text box.
Enter any name you like, use a variation of the regional office address so you have correct zip, area code and phone prefix.
Delete address from body text box and enter your message.
(Profanity optional if dealing with Stupak, Bunning, or another moron.)
Just Some Fuckhead
Can’t ya just lie and say yer from their district? And yer so fucking enraged yer calling long-distance from yer first vacation in 12 years in sunny Waycross, GA?
@Just Some Fuckhead: Not unless you know a local zip code. Of course, if they ask for an address you’re still screwed.
I have called Obama, my two senators and my congressman repeatedly about health care over the past several months. You might not think that multiple calls from the same constituent add anything, but 1) they don’t always take your name and address and 2) multiple calls show intensity, which indicates how likely you are to be a “single-issue voter.” And that has to matter to them.
I would never bother calling someone who represents another state or district, although I have been tempted, as for example with Grijalva.
Why should a politician in Texas or Maine care what a Californian thinks? I think these GOP call-bombers may end up doing more harm than good to their cause.
P.S. One reason they could do more harm than good is that they may de-legitimize the anti-HCR calls that ARE coming from the senator’s state/congressman’s district. That is, in-state anti calls may be discounted as having also been inspired by the astroturf campaign.