U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, with WND founder Joseph Farah, right
The "pink slips" being sent to members of Congress, warning them to abandon Washington's "charge-it-and-spend-it" programs, new energy taxes under "cap-and-trade" and nationalized health care, have surged past 5 million, but supporters of the program say they need to keep coming.
Janet Porter, founder and president of Faith2Action and one of the organizers behind the "pink slips" campaign, was at a news conference today in Washington where U.S. Reps. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Steve King, R-Iowa; and Trent Franks, R-Ariz., hailed the effort as an innovative new vehicle for the American people to express themselves to members of Congress.
She said it's clear the message – delivered through a stack of "pink slips" now standing approximately five feet high in congressional offices – is getting through.
"They are hearing us, even those who don't want to hear. They're still listening," she told WND. "Those who are on the fence, this may give them the courage to stand up to the arm-twisting."
"It's an amazing feat, to get that many slips to Congress," King told WND. "If you look through them, you can index each one back to an individual.
"That's powerful. There is a person behind each one of the slips," he said.
The number of "pink slips" is staggering, because they weren't from people who were answering a telephone poll and participating in a survey, he noted.
Each of the participants, he said, "wrote a check to send a message."
But more are needed.
"It's going to take the American people [to defeat plans for bigger deficits, more spending]," he said.
The "pink slips" remind members of Congress they actually work for the taxpayers and list four governmental plans that are unacceptable:
- government health care
- cap and trade
- "hate crimes"
- any more spending
"If you vote for any of these, your real pink slip will be issued in the next election," it warns.
The "pink slips" campaign has been coordinated by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND. He said he wasn't sure at the launch that 5 million "pink slips" would be possible. "Now I think maybe 10 million might be possible," he said.
Stack of pink slips would be taller than Sears Tower
"One of the questions I get from colleagues is why a news agency would involve itself in a political advocacy campaign like the 'pink slips' effort. The answer is that I am an American first and a newsman second. I don't want to see the foundations that made this country great and that made the notion of a free press possible destroyed. And that's why we got behind this campaign," he said.
The program already has been the talk of Congress, albeit not always on the floor of the House or Senate.
"They're talking about it, but they're only talking about it behind closed doors and in the elevators as they go up and down and in very whispered tones," Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has said. "Because, what you hear are people saying, 'How many of those did you get or how many people came to your office today? And what are you going to do and how are you going to vote on this?'"
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told Porter on a recent radio show that some of the bills now pending in Congress already would have been law had it not been for the "pink slips" appearing in inboxes daily.
The notices, if stacked vertically, would be approximately three times as tall as the Washington Monument and surpass the Sears Tower in Chicago. Put end-to-end they would stretch from the Sears Tower to Washington, D.C.
"Those who are working toward this agenda, deficit spending and the like, they are tripping over slips as they go to cast their votes," Porter said.
In a column a day earlier, she noted, "It’s encouraging to know that message is finally being heard – and not a moment too soon.
Boxed and ready to go
"While the tea parties and town halls seem to have fallen on deaf ears, thankfully, the pink slip message is starting to be heard," she wrote.
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., earlier said private citizens will be the "final judge on the success or failure of the government."
"The pink slip campaign serves as a good reminder of the unavoidable fact that every member of Congress answers to their constituents and that they ignore their voices at their own peril," Akin said.
Minnesota's Bachmann also has offered her support for the program.
"The pink slips program is a great way to get the attention of members who have forgotten they will have to answer to the people next year on out-of-control spending and Washington power grabs," she said earlier. "I support it! And I want my constituents to know I hear them loud and clear."
The program was launched by WND to allow Americans to send individually addressed pink slips to every member of Congress for a price of just $29.95.
The program is to advise members of the U.S. House and Senate that they could be facing a "pink slip" as early as 2010 if they vote for more spending, socialized medicine, cap-and-trade legislation and a hate-crimes measure.
"I believe this campaign, already tremendously successful beyond my wildest expectations, can have a real impact on politicians whose first priority is getting re-elected," says Farah. "I think this might be our last chance to give congressional Democrats something to think about before they destroy the country. It might be our last, best hope of stopping the madness."
The effort clearly reveals, says Farah, "that Americans are mobilized to take action to stop Washington's plans for bigger, more expensive and more intrusive government."
In the first week, suppliers of paper reported the campaign had completely tapped the nation's reserves of 8.5 x 11 inch pink paper. As the last full pallet of pink paper was delivered to the printer, new supplies had to be ordered and manufactured.
Pink slips spotted on Capitol Hill
"It's our version of a stimulus program," said Farah.
The "Send Congress a Pink Slip" campaign ensures that a brief but poignant message will be delivered by Fed Ex to all 535 members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – all for a remarkably low price based on economies of scale.
The cost of each message translates to 6 cents per message – individually addressed for both the recipient and the sender and shipped by Fed Ex.
"We encourage citizens to take individual actions," said Farah. "But when we act as a group, it's more cost-effective and the results more dramatic. Just try Fed Exing members of Congress yourself and see what it costs. We have learned from past experience that Fed Ex actually ensures delivery to members. What they do with them at that point is their choice."
"I believe this is already the most successful grass-roots effort in history," said Porter. "After all the town halls and tea parties and the massive demonstration in Washington, Congress still hasn't gotten the message. Now it's time to show them just how serious we are with a message aimed at what they most care about – getting re-elected."
Note: If you're a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah or Janet Porter, e-mail WND.