Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scannin' the Senate

Using my interest in H.R. 2060 and S.1353, I've been showing how I use to research the legislation that interest me, and make sure my elected officials get (or stay) with the program. Yesterday I outlined how digging into my representative's history helped me figure out how to most effectively present my case for his supporting H.R. 2060.

Today I'll do the same for my congresspersons. And remember -- I'm just using this legislation and my interest in it as an example of what you can do for the bills that you're concerned about.

My two congressmen are John Warner (R-Va) and Jim Webb (D-Va).

Warner's had a long and distinguished career in the Senate. His most recent legislation (ignoring the resolutions of only local interest -- hey, he knows how to keep his constituents happy) is primarily concerned with the military. I doubt Internet radio royalty rates are of much interest to him, but I've conversed with Senator Warner before and I'm pretty sure he'll give my e-mail some consideration.

Jim Webb is a freshman senator, so I don't know as much about him. He also seems mostly concerned about military matters (his sponsorship of S.729 is interesting). What's more interesting is that Webb cosponsored S.Con.Res.82 supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act. That resolution basically said that record labels shouldn't charge performance royalties to radio broadcasters.

Well, it's a short step from that concept to S.1353, which reigns in the royalties attached to Internet radio. And that's how I'll approach Senator Webb's email.

I don't like sending copied emails to my representatives. They see plenty of them and know that the senders didn't put a lot of effort into them. If nothing else, I'd like my letters to be read and thought about -- even if my representative disagrees.

Thanks to Open Congress I've been able to write three e-mails that (I believe) should be effective. When I get some responses I'll post them so you can see if I was right about that.

- Ralph

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