Blogs Kill Bad Legislation

Many of you read the diary about the Indiana “Unauthorized Reproduction” bill.

Patricia Miller, the state senator who was working on the bill has withdrawn it:

State Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, issued a one-sentence statement Wednesday saying: “The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission.”

You can read the full story here

This story was covered by numerous blogs and because of it, Miller received a tremendous amount of unwelcome publicity, phone calls, and emails which obviously led to her backing down.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Earlier this year, a Virginia legislator called John Cosgrove introduced a bill that would have

required any woman who experiences “fetal death” without a doctor’s assistance to report this to the local law-enforcement agency within twelve hours of the miscarriage.  Failure to do so is punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

This bill was heavily covered by feminist blogs and again the legislator received an immense amount of attention, almost all of it negative. Within days, Cosgrove withdrew the legislation.

These are two great examples about the power of the internet and the progressive community. And they tell me that we should all try to be much aware of bills being worked on in our state legislatures. A concerted effort to publicize a “bad” bill can clearly deter its sponsor from following through because, I think, state legislators know that, given the small number voters involved, any organized effort can dramatically effect their re-election.

17 comments for “Blogs Kill Bad Legislation

  1. Limelite
    October 6, 2005 at 5:31 pm
  2. froggybottom
    October 6, 2005 at 3:45 pm

    Andi, I have a question that maybe you can answer: how do I post an HTML tag so it will show up in the text? If I wanted to post a tag for someone, how do I do it? I tried putting the whole tag in brackets[] and Parenthesis() … and the tag just disappears. I thought I saw a tag posted by you a while ago. Can you help me? Can anyone? Thanks

  3. bayprairie
    October 6, 2005 at 2:22 pm

    well a pat on the back to all of you then! and here at booman a special thanks to ductapefatwa.

    i said last night (at OW) it’s like someone turning on a light in a kitchen somewhere, and the roaches scurry.

  4. Nag
    October 6, 2005 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for this, Andi. Sometimes we need to be reminded that reaching out via email and phone calls CAN make a difference.

  5. BostonJoe
    October 6, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    I issue a ductape fatwa against all blatantly fucked up legislation.

  6. Oui
    October 6, 2005 at 12:33 pm

    Bill of Rights and the Constitution

    and check and balances for an Executive and Congress gone astray.

    ▼ ▼ ▼

  7. Alice
    October 6, 2005 at 12:16 pm

    This is wonderful, Andi.  So we must be ever vigilant in protecting our freedom to communicate using the internet.  Unfortunately, through their dealings with China;  Microsoft, Google and all those others that we depend on are learning just how to suppress that freedom we are enjoying now.  

    Let’s not lose another communications medium.  Support the Electronic Frontier

  8. SallyCat
    October 6, 2005 at 12:06 pm

    Excellent results!  The community can be mobilized quickly…and with good results. Thanks for the update.

Leave a Reply