A First Amendment Landmark Case
At that jury trial the “victim”, the very state senator that was killing the local control legislation by refusing to hear the bill in his committee, testified that the Tea Party leader was responsible for funneling over 800 emails per day and a phone call every 15 seconds into his office in support of hearing and passing the legislation.
The public outcry and support didn’t sway the corrupt senator but the battled weakened him enough through bad publicity that he lost his bid that year to run for the state Corporation Commission. His name was dragged through the mud and allegations were brought up, more than enough to sway enough voters that his opponent won by a few percent. A costly victory but also a learning experience for the other politicians: if you fight you might lose.
These days there is a thriving community of online activists and bloggers that usually cooperate to spread information that the politicians would rather stay in the darkness. Many of us cooperate to drive the corruption from the ranks of politicians and if not remove the baddest of the bad the friction and controversy scares enough politicians straight long enough to make a difference.
But without the voters of the political districts contacting their state rep or state senator nothing would happen. Literally a half dozen phone calls or emails from actual constituents of a politician are enough to stampede them into doing the right thing. Activists are effective only when their voices strike a nerve with the voters and only when the issues are bad enough to motivate the voters who are usually inundated with work, family, and their own problems and issues.