Ever wonder if attending rallies, town hall meetings, and tea parties impacts elected officials? Ever wonder if your telephone calls or emails make a difference with politicians?
They do. Let me tell you a story from here in South Carolina.
A couple of weeks ago, Senator Lindsey Graham joined Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in an op ed calling for cap-and-trade policies.
It was outrageous and deeply disappointing to see a Senator like Lindsey Graham, from a conservative state like South Carolina, cave in to Al Gore, Speaker Pelosi and the Obama Administration on such a crucial issue.
At Americans for Prosperity we felt we had to act quickly. We organized four of our "Hot Air" Tour events across the state hitting Spartanburg, Columbia, Mt. Pleasant/Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. We launched radio advertising supporting the events in those markets, while our friends at the American Energy Alliance launched a statewide radio ad telling South Carolina citizens what Senator Graham was up to. CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE AEA AD.
Tea Party groups, 9/12 groups and a host of other in-state grassroots groups joined the effort and launched their own intiatives to make sure Senator Graham heard the message.
The first rally occurred in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Monday night as over 200 folks turned out to make their voices heard. Most of the local media ignored us. It did not matter though. We asked the activists to whip out their cell phones and pour in calls to Senator Graham's office. Subsequent events were not easy. It rained like crazy in Columbia and Mt Pleasant/Charleston but activists turned out anyway to send a message. In Myrtle Beach many folks ended up in the wrong location due to a glitch on our end, but they did not give up - driving from one location to another to join us.
We made tens-of-thousands of telephone calls urging South Carolina citizens to contact Senator Graham. We sent tens-of-thousands of emails asking the same thing while also advertising on websites like the Drudge Report.
By Tuesday afternoon, Senator Graham's office was telling constituents that he was not in support of cap-and-trade. The Senator's office also said we were distorting his position on cap-and-trade but that's simply not accurate.
The effort is not over by any means. We must continue to urge Senator Graham to do the right thing for South Carolina by opposing this job killing, energy tax. That means continuing to ask South Carolina citizens from all walks of life to stay on the case.
But here's the point. Without individual citizens taking action -- making that phone call, sending that email, taking time away from work and family to attend that rally or tea party, telling their family and friends to take action, and donating their hard-earned money towards efforts to help spread the word - we wouldn't be making the difference with Senator Graham.
Simply put...you make the difference when you stand up and fight.
Let's keep it up -- in your state and your community. You are the path to victory for our values.
PS: Make sure you join in the "Congressional House Call" day on November 5. For more information on this crucial and exciting day Click here.