Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One out of three

I heard back from one of my elected officials today. You may recall that I wrote my representative and both my senators recently to ask for their support for the current Internet radio bills that would dial back the 1200% increase in royalties netcasters are required to pay to the SoundExchange to a more rational and reality-based level.

Here's Senator Jim Webb's response:

Thank you for your recent electronic mail message to my office in Washington. I am pleased that because of the Internet, more than 100,000 Virginians will send their ideas directly to me this year.
[Well, yeah. That's why I'm concerned about keeping the Internet as regulation-free and open for everyone to use as possible.]
Please be assured that your views are very helpful to me and my staff.
[And those views would be....? Relax, I know this is an automated response.]

As the Senate addresses crucial economic, domestic and foreign policy issues facing our nation, we will be sure to keep your comments and ideas in mind.
[Not sure how the Save Internet Radio bills fit in with foreign policy, but it's certainly a crucial economic issue to netcasters.]

I encourage you to visit my website at for regular updates about my activities and positions on matters that are important to Virginia and our nation.
[Yep, I have -- I'm also tracking your Senate activities, voting records, large contributors, et al. at ]

If the subject of your communication is time sensitive, involves a personal issue relating to the federal government (such as help with a passport, claim for veterans' benefits, or immigration) or requires more detailed attention, please visit my Assistance/Casework page or contact my office directly toll free at 1-866-507-1570.

Again, thank you for contacting my office, and I hope you will communicate with me often in the future.

Jim Webb
United States Senate
OK, it's a canned response, but at least it is a response. I'm sure my letter was mixed in with a bunch of CIA-microwave-mind control rants and black helicopter emails. I'm hoping in time a real person will read this and I'll get a more genuine reply.

In the meantime, I'll continue to follow this issue, and take note of how Senator Webb supports or blocks the passage of the bill.

- Ralph

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