Note: I am not turning this into a political blog. I want to provide this information for the many who are feeling the need to become more active in influencing legislation at the state or federal levels.
I talked to a long-term legislative staffer last week, and I asked him if it was true that the best way to influence a legislator’s vote is to pay his/her local office a visit (or several) and get to know the staff, which is something I read online.
He said no. If the staff gets a whiff that you didn’t vote for the legislator or support his/her party, they write you off as not important for the legislator’s career (or their own). They’ll usually be polite and cordial, but secretly, they can’t wait for you to leave.
Instead, he told me that every legislator at both the state and federal levels uses a CMS. (I think this stands for Content Management System, and it’s a way to store, analyze, and summarize information.)
In the legislative arena, the CMS tracks upcoming bills and how their constituents want them to vote. My source said that most legislators check their constituents’ preferences before voting. Because after all, if they vote against their constituents’ interests often enough, those voters will remember when Election Day rolls around again and vote them out of office. Continue reading