To: All BLET Members
From: Don Hahs, National President
Date: January 26, 2004

Brothers and Sisters:

A few months ago, Brother Raymond Holmes, our National Legislative Representative, wrote you urging support for the BLET PAC Fund. I just want to follow-up on that memorandum.

Did you know that Union Pacific Chairman Richard K. Davidson is a "Ranger" for the Bush Administration? According to USA Today, a Ranger is an elite, aggressive fund raiser who collects donations for the Bush Administration's money machine. Rangers are individuals who have raised at least $200,000 for the Bush re-election campaign by collecting checks of no more than $2,000 each from their friends, family, and business associates.

You see, the law bars national political parties from collecting huge corporate donations, setting the maximum contribution to a presidential campaign at $2,000. The practice of rounding up contributions from friends is known as "bundling." Individual people who can round up or "bundle" lots of smaller checks from their friends and business associates have become the most sought-after volunteers in politics. Bundlers like Dick Davidson who "bundle" at least $200,000 for the Bush Administration are known as Rangers. Those who bundle a mere $100,000 are known as Pioneers.

As you might guess, a big motivating factor for becoming a Ranger is the possibility of having increased influence on government policy. Many of these policies can have a direct impact on your job. If you don't like the idea of railroad management having increased influence over government policy, then you need to do your part by supporting the BLET PAC.

As you might guess, Dick Davidson is not alone. According to USA Today, Davidson is just one of 100 Rangers on the Bush team ($200,000 x 100=big bucks!). That doesn't include the 185 Pioneers who have raised at least $100,000 each ($100,000 x 185=more big bucks!).

I believe it's important for me to write about this situation so you know what we're up against. If you want Rail Labor to have influence over the next President of the United States, then support the BLET PAC. If not, then leave it to rail management and Rangers like Dick Davidson.

It's a battle for control of government and the policies that impact your job, and the side that has the most money usually wins. We know we have a tough fight ahead, but keep in mind who is on the other side.

Do your part to support the BLET PAC fund. Help us to help you.



Don M. Hahs
National President



© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen