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  1. #1
    Senior Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire Trip’

    ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire Trip’

    By Phyllis

    I have compiled and edited all of my daily submissions to a group of friends concerned about illegal immigration into one report for others to read, if interested.

    My team for immigration lobbying consisted of:

    Jan, a court reporter from Walnut Creek, who came with Melanie Morgan of KSFO. She lives in Dem. Ellen Tauscher's district; has 2 grown daughters; and reminded all of the Congressional aides that there were 18 talk show hosts broadcasting from "Radio Row" in the Holiday Inn and that we had all paid our own way to come on this trip.

    Rob, a businessman; married to a 2nd grade teacher, and father of a high school senior who hates school; lives in La Crescenta/Glendale area with Dem. Adam Schiff as his representative.

    Chris, a thoracic surgeon at UCLA, and a naturalized (Swiss) citizen as of Feb., although he has lived here for many years LEGALLY!

    Erica, wife of Chris; former respiratory therapist, now a Home Depot employee, so she was savvy about the day laborer problem! They live in Republican Bud McKeon's district, and were given a "private audience" of 30 minutes with him. Their photo will be on the Congressman's website. He has an excellent "report card" at

    Pat, a stay-at-home Mom, who brought her 15 year-old son, Rich, with her. He attends a public high school in Seal Beach, and plays on a soccer team, consisting of several players whose parents speak only Spanish and who they strongly suspect are illegal aliens. I believe they live in Republican Ed Royce's district.

    And... me, who lives in David Dreier's district, and wants positive action on the "anchor babies" bill to prevent automatic birthright citizenship!

    ~ DAY 1 ~
    In the Long Beach airport I spotted other Roger Hedgecock Hold Their Feet to the Fire participants with their name tags around their necks. At the time I signed up I knew no one who was going with Roger, although I knew a couple who would be going with the shorter John & Ken trip, but their departure was not on the same day. In any case, a conversation was quickly struck up with two couples from San Diego who had not been on any of Roger's previous 10 lobbying trips (D.C. and Sacto.) either. They (and others) looked over some of my materials, and asked to photocopy them when we arrived in D.C., as several had not known that faxing and then phoning ahead of the trip would be the procedure in order to be sure that they would be able to obtain appointments in the Congressional offices. I had pressed for the names of my teammates in advance, since I had been unable to attend the pre-departure party, and then had contacted them to enlist their help in making the advance appointments. I was grateful that I had had the CWA lobbying experience so that I could give them some suggestions as to what to do. To my surprise, quite a few participants were not signed up as faxers with

    The Jet Blue flight was super. The other airlines could take lessons from Jet Blue! It is like flying used to be 15 years ago, with sufficient leg room in rows 14-26, a generous assortment of snacks, and beverages--even Snapple for this "addict!" Since I do not have cable tv at home, I was content to watch Fox News for quite a while, and then to read and snooze. After a bus ride into D.C. from Dulles, we went to one of two hotels. I was fortunate to be at the George Hotel, a boutique hotel with which I had been unfamiliar, but it was very nice. I could even hear the television news in the bathroom via an intercom-type device. Most everyone went out to dinner, but I was content to take a hot bath and go to bed, since I had only had 3 hours sleep the night before departure!

    ~ Day 2 ~
    Hello from Washington, D.C.! I just sent you a test message using my camera phone. If you do not receive a photo of the Lincoln Memorial, I have to practice more on using this mode!

    Most of the group went to Orientation while I went to church, so hopefully they now have been given some suggestions as to what to do tomorrow on the Hill! One of my teammates, Jan, picked up my Feet to the Fire T-shirt, photo button, tote bag, etc. for me. Since I lobby for Concerned Women for America, I figured I could miss this session.

    The Hedgecock group went on a city tour this afternoon, but I spent it calling friends whom I had neglected this past week what with our federal battle over AgJOBS, "gay marriage" bill in CA, etc. and getting ready for this trip. I also met with another teammate, Rob, who came early on his own to visit a friend yesterday. The two teammates I have met would like me to be the team spokesman as they seem to think that I know more about this issue than they do! One man told me that until he sent an e-mail last Monday to BB and DiFi re. the REAL ID Act, the most involved he has been is to vote every 4 years!! He is a former liberal whose chief area of concern is the impact of illegal immigration on education.

    I may go over to the hotel where Robin is staying later, as Terry Anderson will be broadcasting from Radio Row there. It is only about a 2 city block walk, but he does not start until 12 midnight here! Tomorrow we have the Rally organized by D.A. King at 9 a.m. near the White House, so be sure to watch the 12 noon news to see what coverage we get. We had 3 busfuls of people for the Illuminated Monument Tour tonight, so just the Hedgecock group has quite a few people. We should be about a thousand strong by tomorrow as all the other talk show hosts and their people will have arrived. We saw the Lincoln, Korean War, and FDR Memorials tonight. My teammate, Janet, and I both had the same impressions--too much real estate devoted to FDR and Eleanor!! The were several waterfalls, but I do not know what that has to do with his Presidency--do they represent Pearl Harbor??? In any case, we thought that Lincoln deserved more space than FDR.

    My hotel is a "boutique" hotel, and I am quite satisfied with it. This was the first time that I ever saw blinds on the windows that go up and down from the middle of the window! I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

    Well, more "newsy" stuff tomorrow, if I can gain access to one of the two computers available for the guests to use. We have appointments with 2 Congress members (Davis of Fla, Bono of CA) and Sen. Lugar of Indiana tomorrow! Everyone I have met so far has been very nice. Even some familiar faces--Arne Chandler and his wife (CASA out of San Diego)--and I spoke with Roger himself this morning. Not at all arrogant like David Dreier! Thumbs up for Roger!

    ~ DAY 3 ~
    Wow! I hope you all received the photo from the Rally in Lafayette Park that I sent to Rae. It was D.A. King, who had organized this event, on the podium....about 600 in the audience. Bay Buchanan spoke, as did Peter Gadiel of the 9-11 Families, Terry Anderson, and others, but before Lupe Moreno could speak, my team had to leave to get to the first appt. in Cannon Bldg. I saw Penny from last autumn's Fire Dreier effort at the rally, as well as Linda Purdue, who used to work for NumbersUSA. Pres. Bush was on his ranch in Texas with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, but we are sure that staff members would be telling the President that we had been in his "backyard."

    We had 3 official appts. -- Lincoln Davis of TN, Mary Bono of CA, and Sen. Lugar of Indiana--all with legis. assts. We had a positive reception, and Mary Bono may go on the Roger Hedgecock Show (her aide said that she does not like the J & K screaming any more than I do) tomorrow. We also stopped into a few offices on our list, but made time to see Rep. Deal's asst., who was HAPPY to see us since we are very supportive of his HR 698, the anchor babies bill. She agreed to contact Roger's producer to have her boss appear on Hedgecock as well.

    We had TERRIBLE reception by Patrick Kennedy of RI. Now we did not expect wonderful treatment, but this office makes it exceptionally hard to even reach them. Of course, with the Kennedy name, his being the only Rep. fro R. I., and it being a "blue state," we knew it would be tough sledding. Finally, after much faxing and phoning, even after we arrived, the assistant agreed that we could "stop by" tomorrow to drop off a packet of info. Chris had left a message that at the very least this asst. could call to say he was "too busy." He did call back about 40 minutes later--to say he would be busy with conference calls the next day. Boo hiss.

    We had a nice spur-of-the-moment meeting in Rep. Duncan Hunter's office with former Rep. Brian Billbray, who is now with FAIR's D.C. office! He was very nice to us, as was most everyone we encountered, and lots of goodies were provided, as DH had graciously invited the CA delegation to come to his office any time during our stay in D.C. (I understand Darrell Issa did this as well.)

    We had lunch in the cafeteria where only staff are supposed to eat. Now, I am off to dinner with a legislative assistant to Barbara Boxer. We are going to a restaurant specializing in southern food - yum! I know him through my CWA contacts.

    More as soon as I get another opportunity. Remember to watch the CBS Evening News as there will be a segment on illegal immigration, featuring D.A. King and the rally.

    Hope some of you got to hear/see the Terry Anderson Show last night via radio or computer ( Robin and I were in the 12 midnight (Eastern time)!

    ~ DAY 4 ~
    I am back from another FULL day of lobbying--but only temporarily as we will have a night time tour of the Capitol starting at 9 p.m. Remember: live video on from 3-6 p.m. PDT. Roger was on Fox TV this morning - so perhaps some of you saw him.

    I joined Robin's team for the 1:30 p.m. mtg.with Rep. David Dreier, who had T. J. Bonner in tow. He is still trying to sell us on the idea that he has "long opposed" illegal immigration instead of being pushed into "doing something" about the issue to placate the voters in his district. He obviously expected more people to show up than the dozen we had, but Robin and I are constituents. John and Barbara March were there, and I sent Rae a photo while we were in that exasperating meeting. DD is not co-sponsoring the Anchor Babies (H.R. 69 bill because he does not believe in "tampering" with the 14th Amendment! Balderdash! It was almost a repeat of the January meeting in his Glendora office. I am sure Robin will report on her reception in Joe Baca's office when she sends you all a report.

    Everywhere my team has gone with an appt. we have been well received, except with a N.C. legislator's aide who was more interested in looking at his Blackberry than paying attention to us. His boss represents eastern rural NC, and thinks that immigration is just "not a problem" there, as they are concerned with agriculture, infrastructure, and water!! This Congressman was just elected in a special election last July, so it will probably be a matter of education that national security is an ALL states problem. Surprisingly enough, several of the aides had not seen the "report cards" before! We even had good reception in Sen. Byrd's office without an appt. and he NEVER sees anyone who is not from West VA.--answered prayer! His aide was educated as to what the term "anchor babies" means! Even Barbara March was unfamiliar with this phrase! She said she wants to work towards ending this nonsense as well.

    The congressional aides have had a positive reaction to our being with Roger Hedgecock, as those who know of J & K are not favorably impressed with their interviewing techniques. We can convince some of them to go on the radio shows, as long as it is Roger or someone who is not rude.

    Well, I know this is abbreviated, but I absolutely need to clean up before dinner at Dubliner, an Irish restaurant and the next event. I will "flesh this out" as soon as I have a chance. Tomorrow will be Concerned Women for America lobbying for me on the Parental Notification Act and the need for an end to the judicial filibustering, but most of my team will be going home. Tomorrow night is the Celebration Dinner with Tom Tancredo and Michelle Malkin.

    ~ Day 5 ~
    I am about to go over to hear Roger Hedgecock's live broadcast--the last one for this trip. Most teams went back to the Hill on illegal immigration while I went to the Real Women's Voices Day, representing 6 women's policy organizations. My CWA team was lobbying for an up-or-down-vote for the judicial nominations, the Child Custody Protection Act, and to ban human cloning. My thighs are ! We had 45 minutes in Boxer's office with TWO of her assistants, which is VERY unusual. We also went to the offices of Sens. Snowe, Kohl, and Feinstein. We spoke with John Kerry in the hallway while waiting for an elevator! This was a phenomenal encounter, as we were on our way to his office, and would have missed him! Two of the ladies encountered Ted Kennedy when they went down the hall to the restroom.

    Editor's Note: What was Teddy doing by the women's restroom? J.B.

    Tonight is the Celebration dinner with Rep. Tom Tancredo and syndicated columnist, Michele Malkin. I am not sure if I will get a chance to write tomorrow morning, as I have no idea what I will be doing at this point. We leave for the airport at 2:30 p.m.. We had 3 busloads coming, but only two returning, as some people are staying on to sightsee here or are going to other east coast cities.

    If I can, I will send Rae a photo from the dinner tonight. Robin has taken many more photos than I, as I have been using my camera phone, whereas she brought an actual digital camera. I am sure she will have different adventures to report on than my team had. I met some really neat people--more on that at another time. ~ DAY 6 - Morning Report ~
    This will be my final report "on the road." I had to pass on Breakfast with Dianne Feinstein (offered to constituents via a toll-free number), as I just could not do this EARLY after two late nights. I think I forgot to mention the wonderful tour of the Capitol at night with former San Diego Congressman Brian Billbray and Rep. Duncan Hunter on Tuesday night. Although I had done something similar to this before in connection with a Prison Fellowship conference, when we had a dinner in the House private dining room, Tuesday night's tour gave us some interesting historical info and tidbits. I had not remembered that one may NOT sit down in a Senator's seat--even though this was after hours with no one else present aside from guards--although one may do this in the House, as this is the "people's" whereas the Senate is equivalent to the House of Lords!!

    The dinner with Tom Tancredo: The food was delicious (should be for $110!), Tom was inspiring, and Chris Simcox and Glenn Spencer were at my table. Glenn had not been here all week, and left at 6 a.m. today, but it was good to see him again. He said I must come and see his new set-up ON THE BORDER, as he is now 18 miles closer than when I helped him for a week last year. His dog, Star, is due to deliver puppies in a couple of weeks and he plans to keep the "Alpha male" in the litter for protection, since Star is really his "pet."

    Tom said that we HAVE made a difference this week. He and Duncan had to leave the dinner briefly to go and cast a vital vote, but they returned to say that while we used to be on the defensive, we are now on the offensive! Muriel Watson was introduced. She is the one who iinstituted the "Light up the Borders" effort in 1984 with car headlights shining south, as she "had to do something" as the wife of a murdered USBP agent. We all gave her a standing ovation! Roger said that this, his 11th Feet to the Fire trip, was his most successful. Our group had over 300 people from San Diego and environs (stretching as far as the NY man whom I had a chat with in the elevator this morning!), plus the folks from the Melanie Morgan KSFO group (one of my teammates), J & K, Lars Larson (Portland/Seattle), Phil Valentine (Tenn.), Michael Smerconish (Philadelphia), etc.

    I am going to sign off now, as I am taking the Metro to have lunch with Craig Nelsen of He has good news to share, so I am eager to hear all about it. He said he had been up much of the night working on amendments to bills, as Congressmen had been in touch with him for help, so "stay tuned" for further developments. I am also going to pick up business cards from Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA (Hill office is shared with Craig) and booklets from Craig to pass out at the airport, as I was amazed all week how many people were not signed up for the faxing program and Craig's e-zines. Jon Eifert of NumbersUSA is in Wisconsin or I would have gone to Numbers' office in Arlington, too.

    Thank you to Rae for forwarding the photos I took with my camera phone. That turned out to be a handy dandy device!

    ~ DAY 6 - Evening report ~
    I literally walked in the door from the airport about 15 minutes ago! This will be short as--believe it or not--I have to drive to Indian Wells (240 miles round trip) tomorrow! I need some sleep at this point! However, I wanted to report to you briefly about my lunch with Craig Nelsen. When I arrived at the NumbersUSA/ProjectUSA townhouse, Rosemary (Jenks), the Dir. of Govt. Relations for NumbersUSA, opened the door for me! She was eager to tell me that yesterday (Wed.) was a RECORD-SETTING DAY for faxing through Prior to this, the record had been 18,000 faxes in one day, but on Wednesday, 28,000 faxes were sent to Congress!!

    Thank you to all of you who were the home team support detail sending those faxes to reinforce the efforts of those of us who were walking the halls of Congress!

    Craig's next e-zine will attack the Wall Street Journal and its pro-illegal viewpoint. He has Viacom where he wants them - backing down - but he is playing dumb to milk this McCain billboard problem for all it is worth. He would like us to really push the anchor babies issue, and pull back from the in-state tuition issue, as the former is a winner, whereas the latter tends to make us look like racists, esp. when a "poster child" is trotted out who is a 4.0 student brought to the USA by his/her illegal alien parent(s). He knows that it is not right, but we lose some "steam" because any student who comes from a state where illegal aliens can get in-state tuition can apply, and be reimbursed, by their home state! I did NOT know that this reimbursement was included in the law. He said that most people do not know this. I asked him what was the point in having in-state vs. out-of-state tuition, and he said that there is none at this juncture!! In any case, Rep. Deal's bill, H.R. 698, is the "anchor babies" bill. David Dreier does not want to "tamper with the 14th Amendment," but this is just an off-putting statement. Former Rep. Billbray rolled his eyes when I reported this to him!

    Craig will be launching his newly designed Billboard Democracy momentarily. He is going to lower the price of "voting," so that more people can participate. David Dreier is still in 5th place. You will be able to vote as to which of several billboards you like for EACH "candidate." For Dreier one of them states that he supports Social Security for illegal aliens!! If we can get enough votes to "win" the next billboard, and this one appears along the Foothill Freeway - in ENGLISH - I bet his phones will be ringing off the hook!

    One last comment for now: En route home from the Long Beach airport I saw a billboard that I could not even understand that was advertising Internet Services! This was not the only Spanish billboard either! This is ridiculous.

    P.S. Of course, when I arrived home, I found MANY e-messages decrying the Spanish TV billboard with the Los Angeles, Mexico "statement" for Channel 62.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Tom said that we HAVE made a difference this week. He and Duncan had to leave the dinner briefly to go and cast a vital vote, but they returned to say that while we used to be on the defensive, we are now on the offensive!
    YES! YES!! YES!!!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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