FEATURE ARTICLE

Open Letter to Ed Pastor

Open Letter to Ed Pastor
 
Mike Shipley 
Website: Outright Libertarians
Date: 03-19-2009
Subject: Legislative Mischief

Dear Ed:

Your practice of shielding yourself from accountability by hiding behind low-level staffers is unacceptable. I have had numerous experiences reaching staff members who were unfamiliar with the legislation being passed, unable to define specific terms within the bills, and unable to explain the political theories behind them. This would be OK, if I were able to resolve any impasse in communication by simply asking to speak with you, my Representative. However, I have been frustrated in my attempts to do so.

When I request to speak with you, I am met with obstructionism and hostility. It appears that staff member have been trained to simplify all concerns by constituents into "supporters" and "nonsupporters", with no further attempt at nuance. I'm sure you understand, legislation that is many thousands of pages in length, cannot be boiled down to a simple "yes" or "no" answer, since they contain more than one issue within them.

In desperation for access to representation, in some cases I have acquiesced to explain my issue to these staff members, only to find that my time has been wasted when I received a form letter from your office in response that does not address any of the concerns that I voiced. As an intelligent, informed, and active community member, this is insulting at the least, and at worst it is a direct violation of the letter and the spirit of our Constitution.

When I phoned your home office, thinking I could catch you when you were in town, it was even worse. I was told I would have to make a "request", and then would only be able to see a staffer. In response to this I have to say, first of all, it's not a "request" because you have no authority to refuse, and second of all, a meeting with a staffer does nothing to resolve the underlying issue that these people are unqualified and unelected. They AREN'T my representative, they don't know what they're talking about, and I don't have to accept them as a substitute.

At this time it appears that I am being taxated without representation, and further denied my right to petition for redress of grievances. Therefore I ask, by what authority (Quo Warranto) do you refuse to speak with constituents, and deliberately avoid all direct communications?

Sincerely,
Mike Shipley