Fight for Online Gaming!! -- Plan for week of 7/30
- Call Sen. Barack Obama on Monday, 7/30, and on Thursday, 8/2 to ask for his support. Post notice of this call effort wherever possible.
1. Write to Treasury and DOJ officials AT LEAST ONCE PER WEEK to request the minimum possible UIGEA regulations.
2. Regularly contact Congress.
3. Contact your governor and to your state representatives.
4. Write to newspapers and post to blogs.
Let's all call Sen. Barack Obama on Monday, 7/30, and on Thursday, 8/2 to ask for his support. By calling on the same days, we'll make a stronger impression.
We need a senator to support some pro-Internet poker legislation. We also need a top-tier presidential candidate with us. Perhaps we can get a two-for-one in Barack Obama.
As 61% of House Congressional Black Caucus members are with us ("A" or "B", meaning they've at least consponsored the study bill), and as 49% of House Democrats are "A" or "B" rated in my rating post, it makes sense to look at the top-tier presidential candidates who are Democratic senators and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Obviously there's only one....Sen. Barack Obama. So, I phoned his office on Thursday to ask him to support us. I was very surprised to hear that they were familiar with the legislation and that they "may" release some statement in a couple of days.
Also, Sen. Obama is reputed to be a good poker player: www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=0130165f-82d7-4c5a-85bc-64d52aaf8318&k=36044&p=1
This is something everyone should wish to do. Even if you don't support Sen. Obaba's candidacy, you should call, as all we're doing is asking him to support our position.
Washington D.C. Office
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 228-4260 fax
(202) 228-1404 TDD
Email our office: http://obama.senate.gov/contact
John C. Kluczynski Federal Office Building
230 South Dearborn St.
Suite 3900 (39th floor)
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 886-3514 fax
Toll free: (866) 445-2520
(for IL residents only)
607 East Adams Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 492-5099 fax
701 North Court Street
Marion, Illinois 62959
(618) 997-2850 fax
1911 52nd Avenue
Moline, Illinois 61265
1. Write to Treasury and DOJ officials AT LEAST ONCE PER WEEK to request the minimum possible UIGEA regulations. We should contact Steven D. Laughton (the UIGEA Treasury Dept. focal point), Roberta McInerney (Assistant General Counsel for Banking and Finance), Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The regs were supposed to be out by now...the fact they they are not is probably good for us. I think a big push here on our part could really pay off.
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 gaming. Finally, there should be no "site blacklists".
Steven D. Laughton
Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance)
Room 2027B,1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Phone: (202) 622-8413
Ms. Roberta K. McInerney
Assistant General Counsel for Banking and Finance
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20220
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
Pres. Bush: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your senators: www.senate.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
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: http://reid.senate.gov/contact/email_form.cfm
2. 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, FoF, 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
- Hypocrisy of existing legal online gaming (games of skill, horseracing, etc)
- Wexler�s bill: H.R. 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act
- Praise for the 6/8 hearing. http://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
3. Contact your governor and state representative. Congress won't pass anything that forces states to legalize gambling, so we ought to get the ball rolling at that level.
4. Now that we have bills progressing, 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: email@example.com
Letters to the editor, New York Times: firstname.lastname@example.org