Hearing it from the folks back home

Here's a sampling of constituent messages received by Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson's office, which has received more than 12,000 e-mails, phone calls and faxes on the bailout.

"Please get everyone in Washington on the same page and get something passed in the next couple of days so that average Americans can get $ OUT OF THEIR ATM machines and people that need to get loans can. The deed has been done. Lets get something passed as a bandage and set a time line for complete correction of the financial system. Do not let this get hung up. This is our country we are talking about. And let's quit calling it a bailout. This is a matter of national stability and therefore national security."

-- Canton


"If you feel there is no other option than to bailout (and I'm extremely skeptical based on all the previous lies you people have told and what most CONSERVATIVE economists are saying), then YOU MUST NOT WRITE A BLANK CHECK to Paulson. There must be oversight; it should only be a loan which must be paid back and if it's not taxpayers are entitled to all assets before executives and shareholders. And if those jackasses want us to pay - they'll have to take a hit like the rest of us - NO BONUS.

"It should look similar to the Swedish action of 1992 - unless you want this to be a socialist country.

-- Atlanta


"I am writing to request that, absent safety protocols and oversight provisions put in place, including the possibility of judicial review, that you vote NO on the current financial markets bailout package proposed by Secretary Paulson and the Bush Administration.

"The current request by the Bush Administration and Secretary Paulson for $700 Billion of unfettered and unaccounted for taxpayer dollars that we do not currently have is beyond the pale. I agree that some action must be taken, but certainly not in backroom deals with no Congressional oversight or potential of Judicial review (see Section 8). The current proposal to take on yet more powers into the Executive Branch would not only be an abdication of responsibility by Congress, but would further undermine the Constitutional system of checks and balances that makes our government work, such that it does.

"Our economy is not built on government ownership of such a large and unprecedented amount of assets. I agree with both Senators McCain and Obama in calling for an oversight board or commission on how these funds are spent, a stake of ownership that will be paid BACK into the government (taxpayer) coffers should these instruments make a profit in the long-run, and a hard cap, including any bonus and separation packages, of the CEOs, Board members, and Officers of banks and other corporations that seek assistance from this fund.

"I understand that measures need to be taken quickly, but the right measures must be considered and evaluated, not rushed to completion. Work smart, work hard, and work with your Democratic counterparts. We have seen the utter failure of trickle-down economics when times are good, but continual failure and lack of oversight of these institutions may solve Wall Street's ills, but they will not make their way down to those of us with jobs and mortgages to pay. As a constituent and a very concerned citizen, I ask of you, please, sir, use your voice and your vote so this does not happen. Public faith and trust have been placed in you by the citizens of the State of Georgia. Please let all of us know that it was deserved. I will be sending the same letter to Senator Chambliss and Representative Lewis.

— Villa Rica