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Write Letters To The Editor

  How to write a letter to the editor: Your letter to the editor of a newspaper can reach thousands or millions of readers to influence public opinion, expose or praise Congressional voting records, alert the public on term limits and other key issues, correct media bias, and more.  Most newspapers and news websites accept letters by email and fax.

Length: When writing letters to the editor or calling talk shows, keep your message brief (letters should usually be 200 words or shorter), easily understandable to someone who is not familiar with the issue (avoid or explain any jargon and specialized terminology because most readers won't understand such terms), and stay focused on one subject.

Topics: Letters that respond to a story or commentary in that paper often have the best chance of publication, and if you email it the morning you see the story, the paper may print it the very next day.  You can alert readers about important issues, correct liberal media distortions, and even praise or expose a Congressman's or Senator's vote on an issue in their home state paper!

  Take Action: You should take the opportunity to ask readers to take action such as contacting their representatives.

Important note: Newspapers, talk shows, and other media only want "exclusives," so be sure to send your letter to only one newspaper or show.  While it is easy to send with one click your proposed letter to 40 different papers, 'BCC' or multiple addresses on your email will ensure they won't consider your letter regardless of the importance of the message.  Send just one email to just one newspaper.  Wait a few days and send it to another.  If one paper publishes your letter and you want to send it to another, then rewrite it so it is quite different.  If you do send it to several and one wants to publish it, be sure to tell other papers it got published if they call, and offer to do a re-write for them that is unique--otherwise, you may get "blacklisted" for not giving them exclusives.

  Verification: Include your home address and daytime/cell phone number because if the paper is interested in printing your letter, they will need to call you to verify you are the writer; that you only sent it to them (remember they want an exclusive in exchange for giving you space on their page); and to discuss any possible edits they plan to make (usually just to shorten it, correct grammar, or make it more concise).

  Read the Rules: Check the paper's website, or call/email to get their rules regarding letters to the editor, such as the maximum length, how often they will print a letter from the same person, and any editorial suggestions they may have.

Distribution: Once published, use it to further boost your lobbying efforts: send copies to elected officials, talk shows, and anyone else who may be of assistance on the term limits issue.  Post the text or the link to the newspaper's webpage with your letter on blogs and websites.  Save a copy of the web version to your computer as the paper's web page may vanish later.  A letter in print enhances your credibility.



Here is a sample letter to the editor:


Dear Editor,

  Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Ralph Norman have performed a great public service by introducing a constitutional amendment to impose Term Limits on Congress.  Polling consistently shows overwhelming support from the American people.

 The authors of the Constitution never expected membership in Congress to become a lifetime career, and for many years that assumption was correct.  The Congressional Research Service concluded that “most lawmakers in the 18th and early 19th centuries can be characterized as ‘citizen legislators,’ holding full-time non-political employment and serving in Congress on a part-time basis for a short number of years.”

 Today most Senators and Representatives stay as long as they can be reelected, or until they have become so powerful that a lobbying firm makes them a generous offer.

 The longer Congressmen stay, the more they adopt the Washington point of view – that Big Government is good, that government should provide special advantages for special interests, and that the greatest sins are to reduce government spending and to provide equal treatment for all.

 Term limits would put an end to the professional congressman who serves for decades. It would break up the networks of long-serving Congressmen and lobbyists. Without term limits, it is unlikely we will ever return to the citizen legislature that was a foundation of the government established by the Founders.


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