A warning went out earlier this month from the Sergeant at Arms to Chiefs of Staff, Staff Directors, Administrative Managers and Chief Clerks in the United States Senate. It was short and to the point.
Suspicious Characteristics Mailing (Tea Bags)
The Senate Post Office has recently seen an influx of envelopes containing tea bags addressed to Senate offices. The envelopes have been irradiated, X-rayed, opened and tested by the Senate Post Office and have been cleared and deemed safe for delivery. However, it is possible some of the envelopes may have loose tea inside.
If you have any questions or concerns about this mailing
you may contact the United States Capitol Police Threats Assessment Section at 4-1495.
Yes, thanks to your efforts the Senate has been put on a tea bag alert!
In my column “After the Tea Party” I reminded readers that the follow through is more important that the actual event and I offered suggestions to put your elected representatives on notice that big-spenders no longer will be tolerated.
I urged folks to invest in a large box of tea bags and send one to your congressman and senators each day.
I received a number of e-mails from well-meaning readers who advised me that, due to the extra precautions put in place after 9-11, those tea bags would not be delivered. Wrong!
I placed a call to several folks who run House and Senate offices and the memo above was forwarded to me as proof positive that Congress is getting your message. House offices report the tea bags are getting through, but some have reported that the tea has been removed.
The important thing is to keep it up! Voters have short attention spans. In fact, your elected representatives count on it. That is why they keep spreading our money around like fairy dust.
Americans are worried about swine flu. The swine in Congress at the feeding trough that holds our tax dollars are equally dangerous. They come to Washington with such high ideals but it isn’t long before they are infected with the virus called spendingitis. The infected easily can be identified by the rash of pork barrel projects (called earmarks) they slip into bills in the dead of night.
This condition is accompanied by rapid speech and a raised, often high-pitched, voice as the infected try to convince us that these pork barrel projects are urgently needed and couldn’t be obtained in a more legitimate way.
The “earmark” is the boil that rises to the surface. It is but a symptom of this dreaded disease that quickly gets in the bloodstream and is all but incurable.
Look beyond the party label. Find out if your congressman and senators are infected by checking to see which ones have signed the “No Earmark Pledge” (http://earmarkpledge.com/signers.php). Then, check out the report card issued by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. It’s the only one that is based on every roll call vote that affects taxes, spending and regulation.
Put your representatives on notice by sending those tea bags. Each bag is a reminder that we are mad and we aren’t going to take it anymore.
You can send other “gifts” that will underscore your message. Piggy banks, toy cash registers and dust pans work quite well.
Remember, you have a right to send anything permitted by law that you wish to your representatives in Congress. Furthermore, if your letter or package has the proper postage and your name and return address is clearly visible on the label, your package will be delivered. It could be delayed a few days, if the House or Senate post office feels it warrants further scrutiny, but, eventually, it will be delivered!
The chief of staff to one senator asked me to remind you to send some to the local offices as well. He tells a story about the first time he payed a visit to a local office. He was driven around by a staffer who was a former Maytag repairman. Yes, this man actually managed to find a job with less to do!
According to Maytag, their products are built to last and their repairmen are the loneliest guys on the planet. Point being that most people are conditioned to contact Washington. If a local office gets 10 calls on an issue, someone calls Washington in a panic and says, “We are being bombarded here!”
Actually, local staffers stay busy dealing with individual constituents but just imagine how those local offices would react to several hundred tea bags.
There are few “keepers” in Congress and the good ones are praying that you will follow through.