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    Who should write to whom?

    I realize how annoying it is for some self-important newbie (5 1/2 years ago, I didn't know a mile marker from a highway exit sign) to subject intelligent and experienced long-timers to his bloviating. Yet every time I discover something I didn't know, I assume that I have broken through the frontiers of human knowledge, and I want to share it. That may be a form of narcissism, but it also might be that I actually have found something that should be shared.

    My most recent eye-opening discovery is this: members of Congress don't want to be bothered by people who can't vote for them. I have long suspected so, but my suspicion was in-my-face confirmed yesterday when I tried to e-mail Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-OH 6th). His website flat-out says, "if you don't live in my district, don't bother me or my staff." To e-mail him you must enter your 9-digit zip code; he apparently has a filter that automatically trashes all out-of-district messages. Paper mail apparently is trash-canned without being opened if its return address shows a wrong zip code.

    I don't know whether Wilson is more arrogant or simply more honest than his colleagues -- but I doubt that he is hugely different. Whichever the case, it confirms the central thought of my prior thread: if you want to be heard away from home, you have to channel your thoughts through local influentials -- and let THEM write to their congressman and senators.

    #2
    Don Clare from the thriving little town of Rabbit Hash e-mailed me a copy of the response to his letter to Congressman Geoff Davis (Republican, Kentucky). Representative Davis' reply was truly very encouraging. He stated that the bill HR 2830 was reported favorably out of committee to the full House. It has not been acted upon there, and when it is, Davis anticipates that an amendment to grant the DELTA QUEEN another exemption will be attached to the bill.

    In Davis' words MAL's announcement was, "premature".

    So let's all hope that the amendment makes it onto the bill, and the peoples' voice be heard!

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      #3
      Partisan warfare spillover

      I was really happy to hear that Geoff Davis (N KY) is so firmly pro-DQ, as I was when I heard that Brad Ellsworth (SW IN) and Ed Whitfield (W KY) were similarly inclined. And as far as I know, Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt (SW OH) are still in our camp. But do you see a worrisome pattern here? Davis, Whitfield, Chabot, and Schmidt are all Republicans, and Ellsworth is a Blue Dog (relatively conservative) Democrat. On the other hand, Baron Hill (SE IN), a mainstream Democrat as is Oberstar, opposes us. If the DQ turns into a let's-bash-the-other-party issue, the HR 2830 floor amendment will go down like a rock.

      That makes other Blue Dogs like Charlie Wilson (SE OH) absolutely pivotal. I think that all of the Republicans and Blue Dogs together constitute a small majority in the House. If we can peel off a few preservation-minded liberals to compensate for a few defections from the core, we might squeak by.

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        #4
        Yes, Dave, it is good to hear some positive news from our congressmen. However, bad news greeted me today at my mail box. Not one, but two brochures from MAL touting a "fond" farewell to the DQ. As I read the mailings, I felt as though I'd been punched in the gut, as I'm sure we all will upon recieving them. To add insult to injury, the larger, multi-page brochure even featured a doctored photo of the DQ circa early '80's. The photo shows her with a blue splash board!

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          #5
          Insults and injuries

          Greg --

          That's a downer, for sure. But keep the faith -- there's a good chance that regardless of the immediate outcome of the current political struggle, the "farewell tour" won't happen, or at least won't be completed. A sale or a bankruptcy may well intervene.

          If that happens, look for "David Giersdorf" on the nametag of the manager-on-duty the next time you check into a West Coast hotel. You can hand him a copy of the brochure and tell him where to place it.

          Ooh, I am so very sorry, gang -- THAT was confrontational.

          Dave V.

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            #6
            If MAL should declare bunkruptcy and the DQ go up for auction I would love to see a bidder from Cincinnati get her, as that was her home port for several decades. There is so much history connected with her there. It's also the home of Tall Stacks.

            Once the Delta Queen is in safe hands we should push for that amendment to the Safety at Sea Law that Alan Bates brought up to forever eliminate the need of granting periodic exemptions.


            Originally posted by Greg Weber View Post
            However, bad news greeted me today at my mail box. Not one, but two brochures from MAL touting a "fond" farewell to the DQ.

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              #7
              David, you are a master of descriptions, the second one I've heard today. The other one was Mark Fuhrman on a Fox News interview regarding O. J. Simpson's latest escapade. He made a comment and was told, "why Mark, you ought to be a politician", to which he replied, "I'm not qualified. My parents were married to each other."

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                #8
                I do not see this as a blue vs. red issue, and let's please not make it such. I had written my Democratic Representative about 3 weeks ago requesting support for the DQ, and today received a positive reply that he is recommending to Oberstar that the exemption be allowed to come up for a vote. My Rep.is very pro-DQ. This has nothing to do with party lines. We have enough division in this country already without bring the DQ inot the fray.

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                  #9
                  Bob, who is your rep? Would it help to mention his support to our own reps when writing to our own reps.? Also, perhaps we sould establish a tally of all reps who reply in favor of the DQ.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Arkansas representative Marion Berry (no, not the former Mayor of Washington, DC!). He is a Democrat from Jonesboro.

                    Since I had just moved before this came up, I also wrote to my former Rep. from Tennessee, Steve Cohen. I received a very generic reply from him; I'm not even sure he alluded to the issue I had written about. This may be because I am no longer a constituent, but I doubt it.

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                      #11
                      Yes, someone needs to keep a running count. Who'd like to volunteer? So far we have 2 from Ohio, I've heard, Chabot and I'm not sure of the other name. Indiana has one for sure, Ellsworth. Kentucky has two for sure Davis and Whitfield and maybe Yarmuth. And now Berry from Arkansas. That's 7 out of 465. WE NEED HELP HERE!!

                      Could all those folks that signed the on line petition that are not in the Representative's Districts listed above please call your Representative and ask their stance on the exemption? I'm finding out that most aren't aware of it. Right now I'm fighting hard to change the mind of Baron Hill of Indiana. He opposes it.

                      We also need someone knowledgable about how Congress works to see what Bill an amendment might be added to and when it will be coming up and who is going to sponsor it. It would help to know this when calling these Representative's offices so they know what they need to vote for. Any help is appreciated.

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                        #12
                        I wrote to Senators Kay Bailey Hutcheson and John Cornyn, and Representative Chet Edwards of Texas on 13 August, all of whom serve on the relevant committees. Have not yet received any reply.

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                          #13
                          I found in my effort to get a statement out of a Reps office that unless they were REALLY for the exemption they just didn't respond on my first call. I've had to make numerous calls to get a yes or no answer.

                          It seems its all a numbers game. So the more of us that make our feelings known to our individual representatives then the more likely we have a chance of getting this through. This is not something that we can think that someone else will take care of for us. WE have to be the ones to take the bull by the horns and make our opinion known to our Representative. And we need to encourage all our family, friends and neighbors to do the same.

                          Thanks to those who have been aggressive in their effort. It appears this is what it will take!
                          Last edited by Jo Ann Schoen; 10-02-2007, 02:28 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It's great news to learn that saving the queen is no longer a partisan issue, but now has bipartisan support. This will give us much move leverage needed to overturn Oberstar's decision to close the issue.

                            Good work Bob!


                            Originally posted by Bob Reynolds View Post
                            I do not see this as a blue vs. red issue, and let's please not make it such. I had written my Democratic Representative about 3 weeks ago requesting support for the DQ, and today received a positive reply that he is recommending to Oberstar that the exemption be allowed to come up for a vote. My Rep.is very pro-DQ. This has nothing to do with party lines. We have enough division in this country already without bring the DQ inot the fray.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The trick is to find a sponsor who will attach it to a bill that is so popular that no one wants to oppose it from either side. It will take a saavy congressman and senator to perhaps attach the DQ exemption into such a bill as a last minute addition.

                              Our representative is a freshman (freshlady? freshwoman?) and from her website, is on only a few committees but claims to be well liked by Nancy Pelosi (a red flag in my book). I'm sending her a letter today but have no idea how or if she will respond.

                              Comment

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