By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
When it came to holding lawmakers accountable, National Write Your Congressman Division manager Larry Wycoff had one suggestion.
“Don’t believe anything they say, but everything they do,” Wycoff said at the monthly We the People meeting Thursday at Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant.
Wycoff works for the political group that assists in informing its members on the activities of the U.S. Congress by tracking voting records and positions of lawmakers on critical issues.
“I think this is the most exciting time there’s ever been,” he said. “With the Tea Parties and Town Hall Meetings, the people are starting to pay attention. In the last year alone, our membership has grown by 40 percent.”
Wycoff pointed out that one issue that his group is tracking is the immigration policy. When illegal immigrants have a child in the U.S., the child is given citizenship status. These “anchor babies” are estimated to be about 10 to 12 million citizens in the U.S., according to Wycoff.
“The liberals are seeking to pick up votes from this group,” Wycoff said. “That’s why they want instant amnesty which will give them instant access to our social security, our health care and social services.”
But when citizens write their congressman, they can sway their elected officials.
“It’s not just enough to vote any more,” he said. “They have to hear from you, and when they get a letter from you on our letterhead, they listen.”
Constituent pressure has stalled the union card bill as well as Cap and Trade.
“Four months ago, they had the votes to pass Cap and Trade,” Wycoff said. “Two weeks ago Harry Reid pulled it because of constituent pressure.”
The group is also tracking the health care issue, and according to Wycoff there are several efforts to curb its intrusion into several states.
“So far, 22 states have filed lawsuits,” he said. “Colorado has just jumped a hurdle in the lawsuit. Fourteen other states have passed legislation opting out of the federal health care program. There is a petition in the House started by Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn to force Nancy Pelosi to reopen debate. It takes 218 signatures. They have 175 now.”
The Write Your Congressman organization published the names of those who have signed the petition, which has caused some of the non-signers to receive phone calls form home.
“Dan Warren’s office called me and said, ‘I thought we were friends,’” Wycoff said. “They wanted to know why we published the list. We understand that business owners and the folks need good information to make decisions.”
The organization is a nonpartisan group. It does not endorse candidates and simply provides voting records and positions on the issues from the lawmakers so that citizens have the information they need before they cast a vote.
“We don’t tell people who to vote for,” Wycoff said. “You know who you like. People don’t like to be told how to think.”
We the People also discussed participating in the National Read the Constitution Day. The group plans on meeting at the Coronado Museum Sept. 18 to read the Constitution.
To learn about about the National Write Your Congressman organization, go to www.nwyc.com.