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 assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2017).

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