Apr 12, 2013 Comments Off Jake Hammer
Excerpted from POLITICO
When a lobbyist for families of Newtown shooting victims called the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to set up a meeting, the first response was a standard D.C. offer. They could get a meeting with her staff, and a quick and simple “hello” from Collins herself, they were told.
The families’ answer: not good enough. According to their lobbyists, the families have a rule against staff-only meetings: They won’t do them. They insist on sitting down with the senators themselves.That rule is just one of the ways that the Newtown families, political novices just a few months ago, are proving to be savvy, effective advocates as they promote the gun legislation that has finally begun to move through the Senate.
The families are well-educated, and many are well-off. They have been polished and sharp on TV. They’re mostly non-political, but quite accomplished in their own fields. With access to money and media, they’re using persistence, visibility — and, most all, their unique moral authority — to help prod Senate action. They also have their own lobbyists — several of them, in fact.