Thursday, February 28, 2013

Question of the Day

Write your congressperson.

When was the last time you contacted an elected official?  What for?

And if you did, did you hear back?

10 barks and woofs on “Question of the Day

  1. That’s a tough question. Maybe Bob Dole on DADT and I actually called his office. He wasn’t my representative; but he was the head of the Senate. I sign on line petitions to my representatives all the time.

  2. When you say “contact” – and by the way, contact is not a verb 🙂 – do you mean phone contact? Or can the several exchanges I’ve had with the Adorable Sherrod Brown, Ohio Senator, count? We have gone to the fund raisers for him in his two runs for election where we’re tapped for money. He’s so good at schmoozing we always get face-time with him. Same with Rep. Marcy Kaptor although she’s not as cute.

  3. Back when Mark Dayton was a US senator, I had a question about MinnesotaCare (low income state health ins). My letter was answered within a week.

  4. I have contacted my elected officials for years over issues that concerned me. I have always received an answer to my inquiries, even from the ones I don’t really like.

  5. As someone who has made quite consistent donations, I get personal calls (and the odd visit) from candidates during elections. I am clearly now on a list, because even the random primary candidates call.

    I originally was bothered by this, and brushed them off. But eventually I decided that if they are going to call and feign interest in me, then I’ll take them up on the offer. I talk issues, discuss beltway and state capital politics, and make them work for their check. The average conversation is 10-15 minutes.

    It has been most illustrative, and it has even convinced me to support one over the other. In our most recent congressional race, we had 5 viable primary candidates, three of whom I had donated to in the past. A personal visit to our door from one of them convinced me to support her.

    It has become so expected and conversational, that when Jay Inslee (former congressperson, now our governor) called to ask for help in becoming governor, he began with a cheery “hey, Chris”, and we chatted like old friends. We have probably had 8-10 of these calls over the years. I think he genuinely has come to like our chats as he is now the one initiating the banter about “inside baseball”.

    And just to be clear, the numbers I’m talking about are never more than about $1000. Well within the federal limits, and hardly Sheldon Adelson level. But it seems consistency and genuine interest has earned me a “voice”, however small.

  6. I’ve written more letters than I can count, e-mail style, to the White House. I’ve clicked “reply requested” every time, but never gotten a single reply.

    I get tons of mail from the White House urging me to support this or that; I now mark it all spam since they don’t answer MY actual mail.

    I’ve written to DAve Reichert and got back one very patronizingly patriarchal letter informing me that he knew how to protect my female rights better than I did.

    I’ve written to Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and got back semi-neutral general form letter replies. Imagine, they waste their franking privileges to say jack and shit?

  7. I sent a letter to my newly-elected state representative on November 7, congratulating her on her recent victory. I also drew a picture of Godzilla on the letter.

    She replied a couple of weeks later and told me that it was the best drawing of Godzilla that she has yet received.

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