Some Representation ???

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I hate doing this little micro rant on a nice Sunday morning, but the frustration has just been festering and I want to move on. Yesterday I was listening to NPR in the morning and decided to participate in the system and write to my representatives in Washington to tell them how I feel about what is happening currently with the government shutdown and the debt limit problem.

I have rarely done this. Maybe two times in my life. The first time was when smoking on airplanes was allowed and I wrote all the Senators and Representatives in Kansas, plus Jesse Helms, a Senator from North Carolina that was heading some committee that was involved with the legislation. I got a form-ish type response from Jesse telling me that he represented the State of North Carolina and that he had no intention of supporting the legislation to ban smoking on planes. I wrote him back, thru the US mail, telling him my view, that he was one of 100 people in the Senate that represented the whole United States and that he needed to be looking out for the health of our nation, not only citizens of North Carolina.

And that is my issue here. I attempted to email both Senators from Kansas, which I did, along with all four members of the House. The reason I am so worked up is that only one House of Representative member would accept an email from me. The other 3, after entering my zip code, informed me that they only accept email from people from their districts.

What a crock of shit. Do these elected people thing they only represent people that live in their districts? I hope not. Because I think that the majority of people of any given state, believe that the people they elect represent all citizens of that state. I personally believe, all these people that all the states elect to work in Washington D.C. represent all the people of the United States, not only people from their state.

These people work in Washington D.C., not in Kansas. They were elected by people from the State of Kansas, to represent the State of Kansas, not just a specific district or area of the state.

I’m wondering if they only accepted financial donations for their elections from people and companies of their districts? I really, honestly don’t know how this all works, but I’d bet about anything that they all accepted money from about anyone that could legally give it to them. And probably from others too. So if they can and did accept money to be elected from other entities not in their districts, then I believe, they have an obligation to, at the minimum, allow any person from the State of Kansas contact them and give them their opinion on any given subject that is pertinent to the State. Actually, I think they should have to receive contact from any citizen of the United States.

There are only 100 Senators and 435 House of Represetatives members. I don’t have a beef with “my” Kansas Senators. But I do with 3 of the Representatives. The major power of the House is to pass federal legislation that affects the entire country, not just their specific districts. This legislation has to be passed by the Senate and then signed by the President. This legislation affects the ENTIRE COUNTRY. I wonder if they missed that in their election cliff notes.

The government shutdown and debt limit crisis issues are critical to our country’s stability. They need to address the issue, quit posturing and do what is in the best interest of our country. Everyone knows that we have to extend the debt limit and eventually fund the government. If not, our country can not function and the world would go into a financial crisis that would make the housing crisis look like a skinned knee. So I can’t understand why we let this get to this point, the 11th hour. But, that isn’t the point of this rant.

I’d bet that many House and Senate members from many other states have the same filtering systems on their websites. These people are elected by us to do things for us that look out for our best interests. And they have an obligation to listen to us when we feel the need to express our views. And by listening, I mean something as simple as accepting our emails. It is an insult to all Americans when our elected officials deny us the chance to participate in the system. And it is just plain wrong.



Sham on you Tim Huelskamp.  And shame on you Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo.

Sham on you Tim Huelskamp. And shame on you Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo.

14 thoughts on “Some Representation ???

  1. scott

    while I agree in principle, the fact is that
    your congressional guy represents his district. having said that, you bring up a good point – given that they represent their district and it’s constitutes they shouldn’t accept money from people they don’t represent. this, of course, will never happen. face it, these people are for sale.
    and in any event you should be able to email them. they’re big on 1st amendment rights when talking about unfettered fundraising but seem to ignore actually contact. how typically hypocritical.

  2. Jim

    “What a crock of shit. Do these elected people thing they only represent people that live in their districts? I hope not. Because I think that the majority of people of any given state, believe that the people they elect represent all citizens of that state. I personally believe, all these people that all the states elect to work in Washington D.C. represent all the people of the United States, not only people from their state. ”

    I imagine that the majority of people don’t understand how the federal government is supposed to work – including House and Senate members. Maybe that has something to do with why we’re in the mess we’re in today. There is a document that’s been around for a while that explains the process.

  3. chuck martel

    De Toqueville predicted most of this after his tour of the country back in 1831. There was never any guarantee that this so-called “democracy” or its now depraved manifestation in republican form was ever going to actually function over a period of time.

    Technological advances are ignored by government if they do not serve their purposes. For instance, the country was founded in an era when literally all communication was made on a personal level. If you wished to transfer information it had to be done personally or by proxy to the intended recipient. Two or more individuals had to be in the same location simultaneously in order for this to occur. Elected representatives had to meet together in one location at the same time to hash over issues. Two hundred and twenty-four years later this is no longer the case. Our 537 national representatives have no need to meet in the pestilential environs of the District of Columbia. Even as they do, they and their staffs communicate by telephone, fax, email, etc. There’s no reason for a US representative from Topeka to be in Washington, isolated from his constituents but exposed, with others, to the influence, financial and otherwise, of citizens that he does not represent. The US capitol should be made into a museum or perhaps some kind of a political amusement park.

  4. Linda

    I’ve found that telephoning the office can work better than an email. First, few people take the time to actually call people these days, so it has more of an impact than an email. Second, they don’t screen calls to limit them to residents of the district. Good luck on your crusade! Giving our reps & senators feedback is critical to let them know what we care about.

  5. Daniel Russell

    Send the other three representatives a letter or better yet, call them.

    Surprised you are not in Boulder or at Cross Out Cancer today.

  6. Bryan

    Do what I did. As soon as the deadline passed on 30 Sep, I sent all the elected officials in both houses of Congress messages. I got around the “district only” part of their message system by looking up the zip code of a town in their district and provided that. It worked like a charm.

    I’m also not deluding myself into thinking that any of them actually read the messages. Some low level staffer or intern gets that scut job and my guess is the 99% of what arrives in the office is filtered and discarded long before the actual elected person sees it.

  7. Dennis C

    The reason why the Federal Government is shut down is because people in backwards states like Kansas send these Tea Bag Nut Cases to Congress. We are the laughing stock of the world because of the GOP.
    The big problem with many of these people is that they do not like having an African-American President.

  8. H Luce

    Dennis C – I think a lot of these Tea Party people didn’t have any problem with Condi Rice as National Security Advisor or Secretary of State, so while their analysis may be shallow I don’t think it so shallow as to be founded directly on race. Having said that, it’s normal for Representatives to only accept communications from non-major-givers from their own district. Same case for Senators from other states. Your input, if you’re in the right state or district, if you’re not a major giver, will most likely be ignored, but there are people up there who won’t act like this. Most will. Actually, in this regard, I think Lynn Jenkins does a pretty good job, she has regular conference calls with groups of constituents, and has never failed to answer an email with some sort of letter. In contrast, the only time I ever heard from Nancy Boyda was at election time. And I think she does a good job of representing the majority of the people in her district.

  9. H Luce

    Besides, do the math: 435 Representatives/ 315 million constituents – that’s 724,138 constituents per representative. Let’s say that the rep employs 10 staffers, 40 hours/week, 50 weeks/year, so that’s 2000 hours per staffer, 20,000 hours for the entire staff, 1,200,000 minutes/year/total staff/ 724,138 constituents – or 1.6 minutes/constituent… If 1 in 10 constituents has any communication with the office over the course of a year, they get an average of 16 minutes each… The answer – the US needs to be divided into a confederation of smaller republics…

  10. Dennis C

    Lynn Jenkins is infamous for her “great white hope” statement made in the Summer of 2009. She is a backwards think person, representing a backwards thinking district, a perfect match.

  11. Bikeguy

    I was going to tell you what I did but Bryan beat me too it. I had this occur a few years ago when a Representative from Wisconsin (think Trek) was defending LA for something. I ran into the same block you did so I looked up a zip code that was in his area and used it. I doubt that he ever read the email (would you?) but at least it was something.
    Linda and Daniel have the right idea, call them.

  12. Chris

    Don’t forget to contact the President too. He is the other half of the equation with regard to budgets and bills.

    Dennis, your “opinion” quashes any attempt to have a conversation. Stop trying to bully people. Thank you.


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