January 23, 2008

School Prayer Spike

In the weeks leading up to Governor Chiles' veto of the school prayer bill on May 31 1996, his correspondence office received more than 20,000 letters and phone calls from advocates and opponents.

This was more public outcry than ever before during the Chiles years in Tallahassee, remarkable considering how much controversy rocked the legislature in that time.

On Edit: Remember also that e-mail had not gone mainstream yet, and appreciate the time commitment necessary to generate that much old-fashioned communication. True, advocacy groups on both sides of the issue were there to coach would-be callers and writers. But anyone who has spent time organizing a letter-to-the-editor campaign knows that unless your issue is hot, you're better off writing all those letters yourself under an assumed name.

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