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Because of the outcome of the recent election, some Republicans may be weakening on the issue of raising taxes on the wealthy.   For example, Republican Tom Cole recently indicated that Congress should pass the middle class tax cut now.  

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=0506E2FA-12F5-4343-B5CE-3B7DE2796802

So if you are represented by a Republican, it is worth trying to pressure your Representative to vote for the middle class tax cut extension without it being tied to an extension of the tax cuts  for the wealthy.  One way to do this is to pressure your Representative by writing a letter to the editor to your local paper.  

So if you live in one of these districts, I would encourage you to write a letter to the editor.    But if you are not sure how to start, here is some advice/things to consider

1) Which paper should you send your letter to?

I would suggest that you pick a local paper since newspapers are interested in the views of members of the community.   If you have a choice of several papers, pick the smaller more local paper,  While larger papers get more readership, they also get more letters.  While it may be tempting to send a letter to  The New York Times or The Washington Post , they get so many letters that yours is not likely to be published.

Now that you have the newspaper selected, you need to know

2) what requirements does the paper have for letters to the editor?

You can normally find this information in the website or in the paper itself.  If you can't, you may want to call to ask.  You should make sure that you know the following information:  1) what is the paper's deadline for receipt of the letter ; 2) are there any limits on the size of the letters or other formatting information; 3) what information must you include with your letter (i.e. name, phone number etc. . . ); 4) whether there is a period of time you must wait before another letter written by you is published since the paper will not print a letter from you if you already had a letter published by them during this period; 5) whether the paper accepts letters by snail mail, fax or e-mail (and if e-mail the format); and 6) what manner (if any) will the paper use to verify the letter prior to publication

Now that you have this information, you are ready to write your letter.

3) What should I include in the letter?

 I would recommend that you keep your letter fairly short, since they may not print a long letter and if they do, they might shorten it.   There are many good talking points on the fiscal cliff issue on this website that you can use.   I also recommend personalizing the letter to your situation or to those in your community.  Remember many offices do monitor public opinion by looking at the media in the district so if your representative believes  that the community is against him or her, it may cause him or her to reconsider his or her position (after all your representative will probably run for re-election in two years).

Another  goal is to convince the members of the community that Congressman Republican R's actions are adverse to the interests of those is the district.  So even if you don't think that your Republican Representative will ever vote the right way, your letter may cause others in your community to view your Republican Representative more negatively.  If your Republican Representative has made comments that are likely to be viewed negatively by others in the community, make sure that you quote them in your letter (just make sure that you have quoted them accurately).

If you are responding to another letter to the editor in this week's paper, make sure you indicate in your letter that you are responding to the letter written by x published on y date.  

Now that you are done with the letter,

4) What do you need to do to submit the letter?

Make sure that you have included your name and that you have included any other information required by the paper such as a phone number or e-mail.  You should then mail, e-mail or fax the letter (however they will accept it).  If by mail, you should allow enough time for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the letter.  If the paper verifies letter, you should make sure to check your messages and/or e-mail frequently in case the paper tries to verify the letter.  Remember, they will not wait a long time for you to respond  and  will probably just move on to the next letter if they don't hear back from you fairly quickly (remember they have a deadline)

Even if you think that your Republican Congressman is beyond hope, it still couldn't hurt to write the letter.  Other people in your community will read it.  And you want these people in your community to have a negative opinion of your Republican Representative so that they are open to voting to the Democratic nominee next time.

Originally posted to night cat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Bending the Buzz.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need to keep the pressure on Congress (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Lujane, Jeff Y, ExStr8, midgebaker

    Writing letters to the editor should help

  •  Just saw another diary about discharge position (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Free Jazz at High Noon

    Nancy Pelosi is sponsoring.  Letters to the editor could be used to pressure the republicans into supporting this petition.  

  •  SHORT SHORT SHORT !! How Short? (7+ / 0-)

    200 or even 150 words are commonly published limits.

    What you cannot do:Write like a Democrat or anyone with education. You'll never make it out of your setup before hitting the word limit.

    Here's this diary, in your typical paper's space limits:

    Because of the outcome of the recent election, some Republicans may be weakening on the issue of raising taxes on the wealthy.   For example, Republican Tom Cole recently indicated that Congress should pass the middle class tax cut now.  

    http://dyn.politico.com/...

    So if you are represented by a Republican, it is worth trying to pressure your Representative to vote for the middle class tax cut extension without it being tied to an extension of the tax cuts  for the wealthy.  One way to do this is to pressure your Representative by writing a letter to the editor to your local paper.  

    So if you live in one of these districts, I would encourage you to write a letter to the editor.    But if you are not sure how to start, here is some advice/things to consider

    1) Which paper should you send your letter to?

    A. Strive to make one, and only one, point.
    B. Stick to the effing point.
    C. Trust me --you're rambling.
    D. If the sole point you're making needs support, ONLY cite authorities or facts our opposition already accepts. Never try to sell one thing somebody didn't already want, by referencing something else they don't want.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:56:35 PM PST

  •  Queued up at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Bending the Buzz

    Great diary, night cat. :thumbs up:

  •  Letters to Editor's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8

    It would be great if we had a resource that we could link to within DKOS to use sample letters or boilerplate language on issues that with maybe a little local customization could be sent to smalltown papers. Get the common message out all over to these outlets.

    •  Personal is always better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, night cat

      The most effective letters are those that show a concrete connection to the community, i.e. "I attended Local Elementary with Congressman X when he was a boy..."

      The more real the person sounds, the more likely that letter will be selected for publication. And the more attractive it will be to the readers.

      I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

      by sillia on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:24:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillia

        You can get talking points (use one) around here.

        A letter which sounds like you is better from you than a letter which sounds like me.

        Make the point that he usn't being asked to vote for a tax hike; he is being asked to vote for a tax cut.
        OR
        the point that the cut is on all incomes under $250,000. The guys making more than that aren't paying more taxes if this bill is passed; they are paying $X less. (Anybody kinow what X is.)
        OR
        The point that congressman X whines about the deficit, but he keeps insisting that his donors need to pay fewer taxes.

  •  LTEs are best. (0+ / 0-)

    LTEs are best, but many local papers have blogs to which you can write. The blog posts are generally everything which is offered, which means that you will get in. But they are everything which is offered, which means that your letter will be among dozens ffom other folk.

    The paper in your neighborhood about your congressman is best. If, however, you have a Democratic congressman, don't hesitate to write to a regional paper about a neighboring Republican. You can even write: "Cong. Schakowsky is supporting the extension of the tax cut passed by the Senate. I'm glad I live in the ninth CD where she represents me rather than in the sixth district where Peter Roskam represents only the few millionairs among his constituents."

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