Email #54, Subject: “impede communications from constituents”?

I am disturbed how your letters to me, rather than lowering my worries about a given issue, increase them by using contradictory arguments. Your stated reasons for attempting to alter the Ethics Office claimed to strengthen what you would have weakened. Your stated reasons to repeal without immediately replacing the ACA emphasized the suffering of families under the ACA, families who will suffer even more if you follow through on your intentions.  I have yet to hear back how blocking the Budget Office from calculating the massive budget and deficit increase the ACA repeal will cost, and can only imagine what contradictory logic will be required to square that with your support for a balanced budget amendment.

Now you have made even the tiniest of concerns–the email verification system on your website–into a controversial issue. You wrote to me that the Information Systems Security Office requires you to “implement a CAPTCHA or similar device to help prevent false en masse subscriptions from being submitted by a non-human agent.” While I trust this statement is true, it is unrelated to my question. I asked why you added such a high security feature on your email page. The Security Office’s requirement applies to “subscriptions,” presumably to your email-delivered newsletter. Why did you answer my question with a non-sequitur? You imply that you are merely following the instructions of the Security Office. Because that is evidently untrue, it is difficult to then accept your next statement: “The goal of these measures is not to impede communications from constituents.”

Moreover, since you have not held a townhall meeting since 2013, and since your website falsely advertises “Open Door Meetings” as opportunities “to discuss issues,” and since your district scheduler has thus far refused to schedule multiple meeting requests, and since constituents who came to your office were prevented from even entering the building, it would seem that impeding communications from voters is your standard policy.


Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: