Downsize DC partnership?

It's weird that Downsize DC appears to believe it necessary to sign
up multiple partisan coalition partners at one time due to their
group's non-partisan status -- seems like more of a gimmick than a
legal requirement. But I agree the "Read The Bills Act" is a good
cause and I'd be happy for us to support it.

    I suggest however that we approach the SF Green Party as a partner
rather than the GOP. Building working relationships with other
alternative parties seems like a good thing for us to be doing to
advance our common interests relative to the dominant two-party
cartel, and I think we also have an interest in "treading carefully"
ourselves by not creating the perception that we are closely
associated with branches of the cartel, especially the more
establishment branches.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

The answer to your #1 and #2, Michael, is that every bill would have to be
read aloud in the respective chambers by the clerk with a quorum present. I
suppose the majority sitting in the room while the clerk reads could listen
to their iPods instead of the clerk, but that would at least look bad on
C-SPAN. But that's not the real goal. The real goal is covered in my
answer to your #3.

The answer to 3 is that it doesn't educate. It's just an attempt to slow DC
down enough for us individuals to compensate. It's akin to why "gridlock is
good" -- if DC moves slowly, they do less harm.

The text of the proposed bill is pretty short. You can read it at:

<>As is the case
with most politics, the stated goal is not the real goal. :slight_smile: But I still
think it's worthy, even knowing that this is less about accountability and
honesty and more about just slowing down DC enough to minimize their harm to
individual liberty.


  I think the following from Downsize DC's description of the bill (
) addresses your first two questions...

RTBA requires that . . .
• Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety
before a quorum in both the House and Senate.

• Every member of the House and Senate who plans to vote in the
affirmative – to vote for tax increases, for spending bills, for the
retention or creation of programs, in support of laws and
regulations – must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury,
that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard
read, the complete bill to be voted on.

• Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions
must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.

• Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at
least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of
the date when a vote will be held on that bill.

• Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will
render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law
to be challenged in court.

• Congress cannot waive these requirements.

  As to your third question, if we word it more simply by asking, "How
does micromanaging the State advance the cause of liberty?", I think
the answer becomes more obvious -- micromanaging the State is part of
being vigilant against tyranny, and as the old quote goes, "Eternal
vigilance is the price of liberty."

  Thanks for going to CPAC and helping Ron Paul win their straw poll
for the second year in a row! Anything interesting to report from the

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))


  As I understand it, this is simply about supporting the "Read The
Bills Act", not Downsize DC as an organization. I'd be happy to
approach the Green Party about this. I think chances are fair that
they will support it as a good government measure. I would think that
any non-insider group would tend to look at this legislation favorably.

  The worst they can do is say no, in which case we'll have a good
talking point about them if we ever need one. :slight_smile:

  Failing the Greens, I suggest we contact the Constitution Party
rather than the GOP.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))


  Point taken. They do have some very bigoted views. On balance I don't
think they're worse than the Republicans though, even allowing for the
fact that they aren't in power. Like you said, the Republicans (a lot
of them, anyway) believe many of the same things, they're just less
straightforward about it. As an opposition party, I think it's more in
the interests of the LP and the cause of freedom to work with them
than to work with the GOP. I respect your drawing a personal line
without trying to block the effort. Most of us have lines we draw
somewhere. I'd probably draw the line at working with an organization
calling itself Marxist, Nazi, or Communist that refused to distance
itself from some of the horrendous regimes that followed those
philosophies (although I'm not above speaking at a protest organized
by A.N.S.W.E.R.)

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Dear Rob and Starchild,

I've read the proposal and Read the Bills sounds better than I
originally thought.

However, I prefer a DownsizeDC policy project that expresses an aspect
of the freedom philosophy, e.g., the Free Competition in Currency Act,
for educational purposes.

I would not oppose Read the Bills if most members choose it. Perhaps
we would consider suggesting both when approaching other groups.

Warm regards, Michael

I'm coming at it from a webmaster standpoint -- the only "widget" Downsize
DC has for other websites to use is for their Read The Bills proposal.
Honestly, if they had widgets available to simply support them without
being a "member of the coalition" (which requires us as a partisan group to
partner with some group we disagree with on oh so many issues), I'd just
have thrown those others up on the website like I did with Independent
Institute's. :slight_smile:

I certainly didn't mean to stir things up so much. Maybe it's best to just
let everyone think about it until the March meeting, at which point we can
have a vote on which, if any, paths to pursue with Downsize DC. I'll send
them an email to ask if they plan to add any other website tools for any of
their other campaigns anytime in the near future.