Friday, April 2, 2010

Activity Requests: Monday

[Note: As always any sample messages, letters, etc. that we provide are just that, “samples.” The samples are just what we’re sending out from this end and you are strongly encouraged to use your own judgment, voice and perspectives. Our prose, tone and approach can always be improved upon and quite frankly a good mix of perspectives is better than following our samples verbatim. We don’t do messaging for the group (nor do we aspire to) or ever speak for the group, but instead merely facilitate our members’ ability to speak at once for more power and volume. If you’re a “professional communicator” or would like to help with recruiting, research, administration, etc. shoot us a note and we’ll be happy to get you involved. There is no lack of work to be done.]

Outreach to Watchdog, Privacy Advocates and Workplace Fairness Groups:

The watchdog, privacy advocates and workplace fairness groups represented in the contact links below are ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to our cause. Just one of them on board can put us over the top but getting just one requires a multitude of letters from you to every contact point provided. Don’t assume that other members will do their job and you don’t have to participate. The groups represented have to understand that millions of Americans are being impacted by the issue of personal credit reports and employment. Otherwise they too will buy the credit bureau propaganda that it’s just a few financial institutions forcing this invasion of privacy and indignity upon the people. Please do your part . . . your letters count!

1) Create your own version of a short and a long watchdog pitch to use for online and e-mail outlets. [See sample pitch below] Some online forms limit the number of words or characters and we on this end find out those limitations, if any, the same time you do.

2) Remember to save whatever you write somewhere on your computer so you don’t have to recreate the wheel over and over. (We'll probably use this pitch for weeks to come.)

3) Simply make watchdog pitching a mindless simple for you repetitive exercise that you can do almost with your eyes closed. While what you say is important, at the end of the day it’s a numbers game. Just make this effort a paste in your message, fill in the blanks (or e-mail address) and send exercise that you do over and over and over.

[Sample Letter]

Millions of Your Fellow Americans are Depending on You . . .

Political pundits and both political parties along with the American media talk 24/7 about “corporate money and lobbyists” running Washington, yet for either party it seems to only be about the ulterior motive of control of power and never about “the people.” Then I read about watchdog groups and by and large they seem to have a political party agenda as well and never seem to be focused on “the people.” I’m hoping and praying that you have a conscience and really care about “the people” and are not part of the daily political gamesmanship played out in Washington. If you do have a conscience, then you simply cannot turn away from “the people” losing their homes, who have starving children and who I’m confident are losing their lives to suicide. The issue is the political corruption killing passage of HR3149: The Equal Employment for All Act that would make it illegal for employers to hire and fire based personal credit reports.

First the money trail:

Sources for the 2010 and 2008 Money Cycles:

House Committee on Financial Services (only)


Trans Union:


2008 Cycle:

Trans Union



Even though I’m just a lowly average American citizen, I’m not so naïve as to not know that after reviewing the above links you’re presently splitting your sides laughing that I think the above represents real MONEY. Compared to what you’re used to seeing the amounts of money are a joke. Here is the part that is NOT so obvious, virtually no company or corporation wants HR3149 passed (because they think they own “the people” and their privacy). Now do you start to see the big picture? You know far better than I just how many millions of dollars that figure represents. Also please consider that the big three credit bureaus are not some huge defense contractor vying for some billion dollar contract against some other huge defense contractor. The only fear or competition the credit bureaus have for the ear of Congress is a lowly rag-tag group of common American citizens with no money and bad credit. A good Cuban cigar and some cocktails would by out our interests in Washington . . . the money is just a value add for selling us out.

The legislation was introduced way back last July and is still sitting stalled in the House Committee on Financial Services. In just the 2010 cycle alone (excluding 2008), members of Congress have accepted $258,000+ in PAC money from the big three credit bureaus in exchange for trying to kill HR3149. Just in the House Committee on Financial Services alone, during the 2010 cycle, almost half of its members (38+ %) stuffed their wallets with a total of $104,000+ in credit bureau PAC money. At the top of the money list, during the past two cycles, is Committee Chair Barney Frank who took $25,000 during in the 2008 cycle. This quid pro quo money for killing the legislation deal is NOT DEMOCRACY! With that said, the death of democracy pales in comparison to the suffering of the American people caught in a catch 22 of bad credit = no job and no job = bad credit.

In survey after survey, including a recent MSNBC survey, more than 90 percent of the American people say that workplace discrimination based upon someone’s personal credit report is wrong and should be illegal. The practice was always wrong and from the start has always been a gross invasion of Americans’ personal privacy. The information is used by employers to low ball wages and intimidate employees based upon the level of desperation depicted in their credit report – while employers use the smoke screen of saying the information is used to protect them from fraud and theft. It’s “the people” that need protection from corrupt politicians and dirty corporate money . . . not the other way around!

Does a private employer expose their financials or credit report to a new hire? Do they advise employees when they are getting ready to ship their jobs overseas or close their doors? Did someone applying at Enron know the books were being cooked before they quit a good job and then subsequently lost every dime in retirement money they had with Enron? It’s currently a one-way street all tilted to the corporate side of the table. Credit reports for employment are already illegal in three states, but that’s not solving the problem for the millions of other Americans being locked out of the workforce in a catch 22 of no job = bad credit and bad credit = no job.

NOT ONE SINGLE study or shred of evidence exists to demonstrate that Americans with damaged credit reports steal or commit fraud at a higher percentage than other Americans. If there were any correlation between a credit report and theft, then American CEOs such as Bernie Madoff, Ken Lewis, Kenneth Lay, Dennis Kozlowski, Bernard Ebbers and Richard Fuld wouldn’t be either already convicted or under investigation for “stealing” millions and millions from their companies. The American elite, Wall Street and Congress operate by different rules when it comes to credit reports, corruption and stealing. The more corrupt they become, the better their credit reports get while “the peoples” credit reports suffer to a point of never being allowed to work again.

Quite frankly, we’re almost out of time. A preliminary hearing was held a couple of weeks ago in the House Committee on Financial Services on credit issues in general – which means the HR3149 hearing could be announced at any time. The preliminary hearing was “kangaroo court” with seven corporate witnesses and one privacy advocate speaking on behalf of “the people.” If we can’t expose the money being funneled into the committee, it will be the same for HR3149 when the hearing occurs . . . a sham hearing with votes bought and arms twisted to thwart the will of “the people.”

We’ve tried writing the American media but they all work for corporations and are being threatened with their jobs if they report the corruption and pay offs. So a watchdog group like yours is looking like our only hope at this point. Please, please, please take up our cause. The research and money trail is available at your fingertips via the Internet. When your fellow Americans, devastated by Wall Street’s greed that wrecked the economy, are losing everything that have with no way out . . . is asking for your help not warranted?

I realize that Washington, D.C. hasn’t been hit as hard by this economy as the rest of our nation, but please realize that people are truly suffering and there is no way out for the millions of people permanently locked out of the workplace forever unless HR3149 passes. You hold the key to passage of HR3149. Please help to disclose the political corruption behind the stalling and attempted killing of HR3149. Millions of Americans are depending on you . . .

[End Sample Letter]

Contact Points for Watchdog Groups:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Tip Line:

Democracy 21

National Legal and Policy Center


Center for Constitutional Rights


Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights

Common Cause


Center for Public Integrity

Consumer Federation of America

Corporate Accountability International

Privacy Rights Clearing House

Liberty Coalition

Workplace Fairness

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Red Tape Chronicles

Congressional Oversight Panel

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