A message from Jack Hoogendyk, who was there in 2007 and knows how these things happen..
I served in the legislature six years. I know how it works. Every day when the legislature is in session, the lobbyists hang out, in the lobby of course. They send notes in to the lawmakers in the chamber, asking them to vote one way or the other on specific bills. At budget time, it gets intense. They are piled up out there like cord wood. They send notes to legislators asking them to come out to the lobby to talk. They use every argument they can to convince the lawmaker not to cut his budget. “We need more funding”, they say. And all too often, they succeed in getting more funding or at least holding off any cuts.
It is time to turn the tables. Citizen lobbyists need to come to Lansing from all corners of the state to tell their lawmakers, “I have cut my budget as much as I can. Now, you cuts yours.”
Two years ago, when taxes went up $1.5 billion, the lobbyists were there 24 hours a day, fighting the good fight for the cause they were hired to represent. But the citizens were at home watching American Idol. Not this time.
You need to be there. You are a taxpayer, you elected these guys. You have a right to be out there in the lobby, too. We need thousands of you to stand in the lobby, sending notes in to legislators asking them to come out and talk to you. Tell them why they must balance the budget without raising your taxes.
You need to visit their offices across the street. Leave notes and cards for them. Tell their staff you came by to ask them not to raise your taxes. Be respectful, be cheerful, but be firm. Come to Lansing tomorrow. Hold a rally outside the Capitol. Then go inside and stand in the lobby, sit in the gallery and watch them. Hold them accountable!
Come to Lansing Wednesday
The legislature will be in session starting at 10 a.m. and will likely be in session until midnight and well beyond. We need to outlast the lobbyists and the lawmakers. The good news is, there are more of us than there are of them. Give them fair warning. Send them a note tonight or tomorrow morning. Tell them, respectfully that you are coming to lobby them in person. Senate: click here. House: click here. I will see you in Lansing.
Unfortunately, not everyone can show up in Lansing tomorrow. that is why we need bloggers to sit in the lobby and watch, so they can get the word out minute-by-minute, of what the legislature is up to. If you are a blogger, please come to Lansing tomorrow. Hopefully, someone will make room for you in the gallery so you can provide first hand reports. We need some in the Senate and some in the House. They have electrical outlets and free wi-fi in the Capitol.
Let them know folks..