Sunday, June 28, 2015

Communicate With Your Representatives ~ it is What Bursts Those Beltway Bubbles Some of Them Live In!

Warning this is a piece written in a stream of consciousness format, sort of, in the form of free association, with the core message being:

Be vigilant regarding truth and communicate relevant truth to your representatives in government – it is how our system works...

In case in gets lost in the lack of the classic structuring of the essay, beginning with:



I think public officials, as public officials, can be addressed publicly. I have, in fact, addressed them publicly but only on very rare occasions as I work hard not to publicly trash Democrats ~

particularly those who stand to be counted and run for office and serve us all but sometimes I am so tempted to just publicly say WTH???, Senator?

(And that, BTW, in today's case would be U.S. Senator.)

At any rate, allow me to share, without naming the two parties who offended my political senses, an e-mail that arrived in my Inbox on June 22nd that produced in me a strong desire to instantly and publicly take on one of my U.S. Senators – to ask that what in the hell are you thinking question.

Fortunately, I have a process and that process is:

One: I get upset by something I read or hear re issues of concern to me;

Two: I want to respond with righteous indignation – quickly and publicly;

Three: I recognize that my first reaction in these cases is almost never right;

Four: I rant and Rave in a safe place and I lower my frustration level and;

Five: I communicate my concern (s) with the public official in question privately.

To set the scene: As we speak, I am and I have been in the midst of very publicly supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in support of President Obama's vision for building strong economies with like-minded nations based on the bringing of American values and principles to the global table. My federal legislators and I are not in sync on this one and I am and have been highly frustrated by an apparent inability to grasp the big picture and/or to do the homework, resulting in uninformed decision-making and the perpetuation of misinformation to constituents. 


The e-mail in question arrived on June 22nd : 

Noting it was from XXXXXX XXXXXX and Senator XXXXXX (My Senator's name!), I opened it and this was what I saw ~

“How Much Was Your Member Paid to Support Fast Track? Take Action
XXXXXX XXXXXX and XXXXXX XXXXXX

Email and then Call Your Senators - Say Vote No on Fast Track”

Including an Email Congress widget, enabling a quick response time.

Mind you, I am immediately heated by the casual bribery charges being lobbed at a list of Senators who have been willing to stand up and be counted and run for office and serve us all – with my Senator's name attached to it – when I get to the body of the e-mail:

Dear Gail,

According to OpenSecrets.org, some $200 Million dollars was spent buying our representatives’ Yes votes on Fast Track*.
So ask your senator two questions:
  1. “How much were you paid to vote against your constituents and the environment?
  2. Is it worth losing your seat over this vote?
In a cynical move, the Boehner-led Pro Fast Track Democrat team made the outrageous decision to tack Fast Track on to a bill giving Police and Firefighters a tax break on early withdrawals from their pension funds(1).
On Friday 28 House Democrats voted YES on Fast Track. They are the reason the bill passed. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be pushing for a Fast Track vote—without Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers(2). These are the Senators who voted yes on Fast Track the first time around. Let them know they’ll pay dearly if they sell us out on Tuesday:
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Call the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 or the number from the AFL-CIO 855-712-8441.
Here’s the message;keep it simple:
  1. Vote NO on fast track
  2. Don’t cave to GOP pressure; Republicans are not our friends—their votes on TAA are a trap
Focus on pet concerns: 
- Claire McCaskill of Missouri cares about seniors.
- Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Bill Nelson, and others have championed environmental and water concerns;
- Many have concerns with currency manipulation, immigration and climate change. And Export-Import bank reform. They don't want to be stuck with the customs bill. They need to keep control for now to get changes. The current Fast Track bill will take that away.
Ask your House member to publicly pressure your senators to stand with us. Republicans see Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers (TAA) as welfare—they will vote no once Fast Track passes.
Democrats are on shaky ground. Let’s convince them that keeping our votes matters more than pleasing corporate lobbyists or protecting a lame duck president’s agenda.
In Solidarity,

XXXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXXX XXXXXX , XXXXXX XXXXXX”

Now, I'm going to be honest with you and tell you three things:

One: I am already unhappy with a particular Senator re the topic of trade. Someone in the office knows that as I have written to share my feelings directly and I have sometimes shared those feelings a bit more publicly via my social media activity and I usually copy my Senator on such things and;

Two: The title following my Senator's name at the end of that e-mail is not Senator, it is another title, one that might be found in an organizational chart of an organization so I am not 100% sure of what is going on here.

Is my Senator involved in what appears to be a scandalous call to action, a possibility based on past performance? Or Is my Senator being used and abused by an organization with an agenda, also a possible based on past performance? I am going to ask and he/she is going to hear what I am thinking at this point in time in the passing of the TPP process, as well.

Three: This key representative of mine has not been very responsive, in the sense that I do get responses but they are not related to my questions so I am not 100% sure of what is going on there either.

Is my Senator getting my messages through the government website? Or not?

One, Two, Three, Four, Five ~ my processing is done and now my letter to my Senator can be written:

Dear Senator XXXXXX,

Let's cut to the chase shall we?

 Frankly, I am very close to NOT supporting you for another term as a Senator in my state and the e-mail I received in my Inbox today, if true, will make my decision for me.

I am definitely leaving the door open to the possibility that you are being by used by an organization with an agenda but I am going to need you to let me know if that is the case or not. As a constituent, it is important to me to know.

First, I have a bit of an introductory paragraph for you, then I have a questions paragraph for you.

I am also alerting you to the fact that the e-mail in question and your responses will be used in my Blog so I will need your answers e-mailed back to me by the end of the day on Friday. Thanking you in advance for that!

I have no interest in going into a long list of specific concerns I have with many of your actions on my behalf in Washington, D.C. to date, suffice it to say that overall I have been highly disappointed in a work style that focuses on flash and not substance, is willing to use media to trash fellow Democrats, including most recently our President and, by extension our Secretary of State … , all the while relying on a few highly visible and alleged progressive organizations for information which is, more often than not, questionable at best, as opposed to rolling up your sleeves and working with fellow Democrats in the manner in which I am accustomed to as a XXXXXX constituent.

In fact, I have written to you about this in the past but, to my knowledge, I've never gotten response from you addressing it. Now would be a good time for that.

Having said all of that, today I received an e-mail with your name attached to it accusing good Democrats in the Senate of being bought and paid for per TPP. I am appalled by it. I am particularly appalled by it because I am fairly certain you are fully aware what it costs to run for a Senate seat and that raising money to run for a Senate seat does not equate to being bought.

Bought and paid for, Senator? A shameful charge that seems to call for evidence being provided, does it not? And that doesn't even touch on the cynicism it perpetuates.

What I need to know from you is: 1.) Are you affiliated with this e-mail and this group in your role as a United States Senator from XXXXXX ? Or not? 2.) Are you in agreement with this character assassination and threatening of your colleagues in the Senate because they have a different point of view than you do? Or not? And 3.) Are you a Democrat? One who subscribes to the Democratic Platform? One who works to implement that Platform with his/her colleagues, debating tactics with all due respect? Or not?

As noted above, I am pro-TPP and I am because I understand the Obama Doctrine – a 21st Century vision that seems to be beyond the comprehension of so many of you. I have followed this very, very closely, Senator, and I am aware that you have been misinformed and you have, as a result, mislead as well. It is not what I expected from you.

I look forward to hearing from you by the end of the day on Friday ...

Gail Mountain

*** The end of the day on Friday, as referred to, would have been June 26. I did get a response but, inexplicably, the response was not related to the e-mail sent. Although the substance of my message to my Senator will not change, I must admit I am beginning to think there is something amiss in that senatorial office.

Point being ^^^ time for a phone call to the office. If I get a response of any substance and/or interest, I will update here.



G., aka Partisan Democrat

 
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