Summary of actions:
1. Write to the USTR and Sen. Reid
1a. Sign the petition at www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/306149419 .
2. Write to Atty. Gen Gonzales, Fed Chair Bernanke, and Treas. Sec. Paulson
3. Write to newspapers
4. Write to Congress
Based on our group discussions, let's do the following:
1. In addition to writing to U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, let's also write to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Let them both know you object to U.S. actions relating to Antigua's online gambing access case. Please see posts within this thread for sample letters.
USTR Contact Info:
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20508
WTO-Related Issues: 202-395-3063
Sen. Harry Reid is at http://reid.senate.gov/contact/email_form.cfm
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Justice Department: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
Your representative: www.house.gov
Republican National Committee: Chairman@gop.com
Democratic National Committee: www.democrats.org/contact.html
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov
We get a lot of "bang for the buck" here, as one letter will go to several individuals. Send one (email and hard copy) to Ambassador Schwab and Senator Reid. Then, email the same letter to each senator (separately). Add �cc: Senator xxxx to the top line�. Let�s each send one letter per month to the USTR and the copy recipients until this is resolved.
1a. Please sign the "Repeal UIGEA" online petition at www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/306149419. The site is reputable, and the signatures will be hand-delivered to Capitol Hill by representatives of Casino Gambling Web in July. Be sure to check the box to hide your name if you don't want it displayed on the website. Also be sure to deselect the boxes that offer to send regular updates if you don't want them. Focus on the Family is warning their members about this march, so it must be a good thing. See www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/gambling/cog/A000004244.cfm .
2. Please write to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at least once per month until the UIGEA regs come out. Day 270 will be July 13th or so. In case they're trying to meet this date, let's get out some mail this week (even if they don't read it in time to use it, you can still post the contents during comment period). Let's ask them not to exceed the specific mandates of UIGEA when drafting legislation. Let's ask them to exclude all ACH transactions (too burdensome for banks to filter). Also,remind them that online poker is not illegal under any federal law. We should ask them to require unambiguous state laws, so banks aren't in the position of trying to interpret state laws that may or may not apply to Internet gambing.
Focus on the Family is asking their members to write to Paulson and Bush to request tough regulations. Also, Sen. Kyl asked Gonzales for tough regulations during the AG Senate hearings. We should counterbalance this.
The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Honorable Henry Paulson
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Washington, D. C. 20551
3. Now that we have bills out there, we should try to work on advocating for the legislation. Let's write to newspapers, magazines, post to blogs, etc. Since we proved our position in the 6/8 House hearing, let's post the link to the hearing webcast wherever we can.
Letters to the editor, Washington Post: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the editor, New York Times: email@example.com
4. Continue to contact your senators and representative. Let�s call and send snail mail at least once every four to six weeks. Let�s email at least once per week or biweekly. Some of these may be carbon copies of letters to others (like the USTR, Frank, Bachus, etc).
We have many issues, so we can focus on one item for each letter while rotating. It does not matter to our movement which items you choose; any communication against attempts to ban online gambling at the federal level work in our favor. After all, if IGREA fails due to lack of public support, it�s not like the media will report that people disagreed with giving power to the FinCEN or to issues relating to shutting out foreign operators. They�ll report, �Frank�s Attempt to End Online Gambling Ban (as if there is such a thing, but the media don�t care) Fails to Draw Public Support�. Our opponents will say, "see, Americans are happy we�re 'protecting the public'". If Wexler�s bill fails, the media won�t report that some felt it legitimized UIGEA. They�ll report that Americans didn�t even wish to legalize poker. This year, we�re all about generating support for our general position, which is that online gaming should not be prohibited. Let�s focus there. So, here are some issues we can rotate:
- Antigua�s WTO case
- Wexler�s bill: H.R. 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act
- Praise for the 6/8 hearing. www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/ht060807.shtml; webcast archived at http://financialserv.edgeboss.net/wmedia/financialserv/hearing060807.wvx
- Shelley Berkley's study bill