Well, what an excellent week. Barney Frank introduced HR 2046: To amend title 31, United States Code, to provide for the licensing of Internet gambling facilities by the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and for other purposes . And, it picked up 11 cosponsors right off the bat!
It seems there's a lot we can be doing right now. And, we really need to do it RIGHT NOW, before these politicians make up their minds. So, let's do the following:
1. Contact your congressman and senators by phone and by mail. Ask them to support and cosponsor HR 2046. Maybe comment on that fact that this bill protects from underage gambling and money laundering while protecting the rights of adults. Also, mention that you just want to play poker (if that's the case). Even though this wouldn't make a difference in a perfect world, non-gamblers can understand poker over online roulette. Also, this way it's easy to end the call with something like "come on...all I want to do is play a little poker".
2. Contact the majority and minority offices of the House Financial Services Committee (that's where the bill is now) and the Financial Institutions Subcommittee (one phone call AND one snail mail letter...see the next post for contact info).
3. Contact (write and call) the majority and the minority offices of the House Subcommittee on Trade. Remind them of our WTO obligations relative to our loss to Antigua in the recent online gambling case. This will act as a moral lever, as we have treaty obligations with the WTO. The Frank bill doesn't meet the requirements of the WTO, but the final resolution of the WTO case may coincide with the Frank bill being in some state of approval, making it easier to loosen up either in the Senate or in conference. Without a win, there's a risk of the U.S. complying by eliminating all online betting [even the precious f'ing horses :-) ].
4. Let's thank the 11 (to date) cosponsors of HR 2046. This can be via a short phone call, a handwritten letter, or a donation if you feel compelled (I'll give a little something this week). They are:
Rep. Gary Ackerman [D-NY]
Rep. Shelley Berkley [D-NV]
Rep. Michael Capuano [D-MA]
Rep. Julia Carson [D-IN]
Rep. William Clay [D-MO]
Rep. Luis Guti�rrez [D-IL]
Rep. Steve Israel [D-NY]
Rep. Peter King [R-NY]
Rep. Ronald Paul [R-TX]
Rep. Melvin Watt [D-NC]
Rep. Robert Wexler [D-FL]
We've focused on almost half of the 12 (counting Frank), so it looks like we've been doing the right things so far, given our size.
5. Write to your local newspaper, media outlets, television shows, websites, and any other media you can think of to promote our cause.