By LVBear | July 13, 2007
Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16
Based on our group discussions, let’s do the following:1. Contact Steven D. Laughton (the UIGEA Treasury Dept. focal point) via email or snail mail with our concerns over the impact of UIGEA. Info on Mr. Laughton is available at www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoViewRule?ruleID=275050 . Continue to contact Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, of course. The regs were supposed to be out by now…the fact they they are not is probably good for us. I think a big push here on our part could really pay off.Let’s ask them not to exceed the specific mandates of UIGEA when drafting legislation. Let’s ask them to exclude all ACH transactions (too burdensome for banks to filter). Also, remind them that online poker is not illegal under any federal law. We should ask them to require unambiguous state laws, so banks aren’t in the position of trying to interpret state laws that may or may not apply to Internet gaming. Finally, there should be no “site blacklists”.Contact info:Steven D. Laughton
Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance)
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Honorable Alberto Gonzales
AskDOJ@usdoj.govThe Honorable Henry Paulson
The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Washington, D. C. 20551
http://www.federalreserve.gov/feedback.cfmOthers:Pres. Bush: email@example.com
Your senators: www.senate.gov
Your representative: www.house.gov
Republican National Committee: Chairman@gop.com
Democratic National Committee: www.democrats.org/contact.html
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: http://reid.senate.gov/contact/email_form.cfm2. Post the link to the “Repeal UIGEA” online petition at www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/306149419 wherever you can (blogs, libertarian sites, Wikipedia, etc.). The site is reputable, and the signatures will be hand-delivered to Capitol Hill by representatives of Casino Gambling Web in July (see http://www.prnewsnow.com/P…….20D.C.). Be sure to check the box to hide your name if you don’t want it displayed on the website. Also be sure to deselect the boxes that offer to send regular updates if you don’t want them. Focus on the Family is STILL warning their members about this march, so it must be a good thing. See www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/gambling/cog/A000004244.cfm.3. Continue to contact your senators and representative. Let’s call and send snail mail at least once every four to six weeks. Let’s email at least once per week or biweekly. Some of these may be carbon copies of letters to others (like the USTR, Frank, etc).We have many issues, so we can focus on one item for each letter while rotating. It does not matter to our movement which items you choose; any communication against attempts to ban online gambling at the federal level work in our favor. After all, if IGREA fails due to lack of public support, it’s not like the media will report that people disagreed with giving power to the FinCEN or to issues relating to shutting out foreign operators. They’ll report, “Frank’s Attempt to End Online Gambling Ban (as if there is such a thing, but the media don’t care) Fails to Draw Public Support”. Our opponents will say, “see, Americans are happy we’re ‘protecting the public’”. If Wexler’s bill fails, the media won’t report that some felt it legitimized UIGEA. They’ll report that Americans didn’t even wish to legalize poker. This year, we’re all about generating support for our general position, which is that online gaming should not be prohibited. Let’s focus there. So, here are some issues we can rotate:-
- Wexler’s bill: H.R. 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act
- Praise for the 6/8 hearing. www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/ht060807.shtml; webcast archived at http://financialserv.edgeboss.net/wmedia/financialserv/hearing060807.wvx
- Shelley Berkley’s study bill4. Now that we have bills progressing, we should try to work on advocating for the legislation. Let’s write to newspapers, magazines, post to blogs, etc. Since we proved our position in the 6/8 House hearing, let’s post the link to the hearing webcast wherever we can.Letters to the editor, Washington Post: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the editor, New York Times: email@example.comThanks everyone!
—————————————————————————Scope of this effortPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:32 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer)I just wanted to reassure everyone here that this effort is generating some output, so please try to participate if you can. I started this effort on this site (mainly because I was upset at being deprived of my liberty) and mirrored it to 2+2 at http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=11182186&page=0&vc=1#Post11182186. The response there has been strong, with many folks participating. Also, other pro-gaming rights sites have been reposting these action items, magnifying the effect.I don’t have a lot of data on this effort. What I do have is in the online petition numbers. They day I found out CGW was taking this petition to D.C. (July 2), they had only 4696 signatures, and were running around 20 signatures per day. The day I posted an action, they gained 489 signatures. The day after, they received another 498 signatures. They now have 6,359 signatures. I don’t know if this is all us, nor do I know if we can get 1650 people to write letters each time….after all, signing an online petition is easier than writing a letter. Still, it shows some reach.So please don’t read the Action threads and think it’s just me and one or two others….if you fight back with this you will be joining a group of people committed to freedom and liberty.
Letter to Steven LaughtonPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:33 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer) Steven D. Laughton
Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance)
Room 2027B, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20220 Dear Mr. Laughton: I understand that some who wish to prohibit law-abiding Americans from choosing to play online poker in the privacy of their own homes have been lobbying the Treasury Department for UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) regulations that would, in essence, create an Internet gaming prohibition. This concerns me greatly as a freedom-loving American, as Congress did not ban any gaming with UIGEA. It seems anti-poker interest groups would have the Treasury Department disregard this fact and would use the Federal Reserve System’s banking regulations as a back door means of creating the prohibition they were unable to win legislatively, while burdening our financial institutions with enforcement duties. As you know, UIGEA does not make Internet gaming illegal. Rather, it merely provides a means for enforcement of federal and state Internet gaming laws that were already in effect when UIGEA passed. However, very few types of online gambling are illegal under federal law. Specifically, federal law covers only some sport betting. As for state laws, very few states have outlawed Internet gaming. Regarding other states, prohibitionists are trying to use ambiguous, arcane gambling laws to claim that some types of Internet gaming MIGHT be illegal in their states. To keep from placing an unfair burden on our banks, I ask that the upcoming UIGEA regulations address areas only where laws are unambiguous in their application to the Internet and to specific forms of gambling. After all, if states actually wished to ban Internet gaming, they would have done so in an unambiguous fashion, especially if they wished to have the federal government take the unprecedented step of enforcing it. Additionally, I ask that the regulations exclude the highly automated ACH system, as the addition of manual verification steps to ACH would be overly burdensome. Thanks for your consideration.
ProgressPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:40 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer) We’re making progress. IGREA just picked up two more cosponsors, Rep. Anthony Weiner [NY-D] and Rep. Bennie Thompson [MS-D], bringing us up to 28 cosponsors plus Rep. Frank. The UIGEA regs didn’t get published on schedule, despite their push to get them out by the 10th. This is either great news (banks complaining) or neutral (administration trying to get them toughened…good for us in that they’re weak now and that stakeholders like it that way, bad for obvious reasons), but we’ll still likely wish to respond the same way….writing to Bernanke, Paulson, Gonzales, and Steven D. Laughton (the regs’ focal point). SGPA (the Wexler bill) gained two cosponsors as well, Rep. Shelley Berkley, [D-NV] and Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL], for a total of three. Wexler gave a good interview where he reaffirmed his desire that all Internet gaming be regulated and legal, and that he’s doing the skill game exemption as a means of getting the possible. He is cosponsoring IGREA, and he’s highly supportive of
My letter to Focus on the FamilyPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:43 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer) I’m writing to let you know many Americans find your organization’s outspoken (and often inaccurate to the point of being deceitful) advocacy of banning Internet poker offensive, particularly FoF’s assertion that the American people need the federal government to act as their nanny. Americans are capable of making their own decisions. We don’t need a bigger federal government to do that for us. Actually, we need a smaller one. After all, the power you give government today is the power they’ll use against us tomorrow. For example, do you feel safe in saying the IRS could never revoke a church’s tax exempt status for refusing to hire a gay pastor? Do you feel safe in saying the IRS could never revoke a church’s tax exempt status for preaching that homosexuality is a sin? If you answered “yes, that cannot happen”, are you certain that couldn’t come to pass within ten years? And, why shouldn’t it? YOU decided government should involve itself in issues of morality, and many Americans do think discrimination against gays is immoral. That’s the power you’re advocating giving government today!!! After all, YOU said the American people are incapable of making their own decisions. YOU said government should have a role. And, YOU condemned yourself to this outcome by chasing limited-government conservatives like me from the Republican Party, assuring the party of minority status. I urge you to let this one go. Support limited government. Support regulation over prohibition. Fiscal conservatism plus government out of your life = true conservatism. Government control of one’s life = statism.
FoF ReplyPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:52 a.m. in response to: My letter to Focus on the Family (TheEngineer)Here’s their reply. I’ll give them some credit for at least replying. I’m posting it because it’s helpful for us to understand our opposition. Some interesting things to note. They mention the increse in crime as if housewives suddenly became bank robbers. I think they really believe that. Also, use of “per capita” statistics seems misleading in an area where the numbers of visitors increased dramatically. Also, the stat on areas losing $3 for every $1 gained in gaming income means
——————————————————– Thank you, ******, for contacting Focus on the Family. We appreciate the time you took to offer your personal insights on the controversial issue of gambling. In response, what some people don’t realize is that the pragmatic downside to gambling, including poker, is serious. The hard facts indicate that legalized gambling is responsible for a host of social ills (a suggestion that can be validated by looking at virtually any area where gambling has been introduced on a widespread basis). Take
Focus on the Family
Letter to John McCainPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 9:53 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer) July 8, 2007 Senator John McCain
United States Senate
House statusPosted By: TheEngineer <TheEngineer_2007@yahoo.com> on 13 July 07, 10:13 a.m. in response to: Fight for Online Gaming!! — Plan for week of 7/16 (TheEngineer) Barney Frank has been stating that he’s building Congressional support for IGREA before moving forward full speed. Let’s help. Who inthe House is most likely to join us? It seems this list starts with representatives who voted against HR 4411, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act (which became IGREA after being weakened), but have not yet sponsored/cosponsored IGREA. Next, is those who are cosponsoring the
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