Backlash to protests hits lawmakers like a brick

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stephanie, May 4, 2006.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie Diamond Member

    Jul 11, 2004
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    Keep mailing them a brick folks.. There being noticed.. :clap1:

    Shelley Berkley
    Congress- woman's spokesman says first brick came as a surprise

    WASHINGTON -- Sending a brick to your congressman might cost more than a plain old letter, but there's no doubt that it carries more weight.
    Four bricks landed in the offices of Nevada's Washington representatives in recent days, sent by constituents who want Congress to build a wall or otherwise secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

    "The first one we got we were all wide-eyed, like, what's a brick doing here?" said David Cherry, spokesman for Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

    Scores of lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been hit by the grass-roots brick campaign, including Reps. Jim Gibbons and Jon Porter, both R-Nev., and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. :thup:

    Gibbons' brick came with a letter stating, "This brick should give you a start in building a wall on the border."

    Reid's brick, painted with the message "Secure our Borders," stood out from the nearly 5,000 contacts he's received from Nevadans on both sides of the debate, an aide said.

    "It's one of the more unusual pieces of mail that we've received, I think that's safe to say," said Sharyn Stein, spokeswoman for Reid, the Senate minority leader.

    The inspiration to launch a brick campaign hit its organizers like, well, a ton of bricks. It was dreamt up by participants in an online forum discussing the national debate on overhauling immigration laws.

    They felt Congress should secure the border first before considering issues such as a guest worker program and citizenship or undocumented workers.

    Within one day, was up and running, offering visitors a concrete way to make their opinions heard.

    "Our issue is, let's secure the borders first," said Kirsten Heffron, Web site spokeswoman.

    More than 1,500 visitors to the site have paid $11.95 to have a brick sent to Congress on their behalf, while thousands of others have sent them on their own, she said.

    It costs $4.05 to send a brick by standard mail.

    Congressional aides report receiving thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters about immigration reform, more than any other issue in recent memory.

    Lawmakers of both parties are generally agreed that the nation's southern border needs to be beefed up.

    But the House and Senate are divided on whether the border should be secured through more law enforcement and better technology or through brick and mortar.

    There's also disagreement over dealing with the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants.

    The Senate measure, supported by Reid, would shore up the border, create a guest worker program and provide a path to citizenship for most undocumented workers.

    They would be required to learn English, pay back taxes and a fine, and get in the back of the line.

    The bipartisan bill has stalled, in part because of opposition from conservatives like Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who equate citizenship with amnesty for lawbreakers.

    The House version calls for a 700-mile-long fence on the border, makes illegal immigrants felons and imposes penalties on employers who hire undocumented workers.

    Hispanic advocates, unions and business groups oppose the House bill.

    Berkley voted against the measure, while Gibbons and Porter voted for it.

    Porter's brick was forwarded to Berkley's office because the sender lives in her district, her spokesman said. Congressional aides would not identify the senders, saying it was against their policy to do so.

    Ensign has not received a brick, though his Las Vegas office has gotten more than 100 contacts on the immigration issue since Monday's immigrant walkout marches.

    Most contacts favor tighter border controls and oppose "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, said Ensign spokesman Jack Finn.

    He added, "The intensity is definitely continuing."

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