Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Poor Bart

**Editor's Note: A hat tip to both Julie and Bryan Fischer for picking up on this first.

Flooded with emails from concerned constituents? What ever will you do?

Evidently you contact the office of Legislative Services and have them discontinue the option of emailing entire House and Senate committees with a simple click of the mouse.

February's vote in the Senate State Affairs Committee deciding whether the state should require parental permission for minor girls having abortions led to Senator Bart Davis complaining of too many emails.

"Most of the committee got bombarded by literally thousands of e-mails by somebody who just clicked the 'send all' button," said Davis in the Idaho Statesman. "We don't have enough staff to sort through them. Every person can still communicate with all 105 legislators. They just have to make an effort to send them to all of us."

Uh huh. And every voting Idahoan has a staff to go ahead and send 105 emails for each issue important to them?

This reminds me of Senator Davis' stupidity last February when he responded to an email I sent to the entire Senate State Affairs Committee regarding placing a student on the State Board of Education. Davis said then that we shouldn't jump to conclusions in that situation. Maybe I should ask him now about jumping to conclusions--if you receive 1,800 emails you shouldn't jump to conclusions by eliminating the option of sending those mass emails, right?

It is just plain inexcusable for a representative of the people to eliminate any option a constituent has in attempting to communicate with the representative that they elected.

1 comment:

Jared said...

As a former Senate employee, I feel I have something to add, and given that I consider Sen. Davis a very cerebral attorney, consummate politician, and generally a respectable human being, you won’t be surprised that I disagree with you Tara. Firstly, the legislature is horribly understaffed. Solution: increase the amount of pages/interns. You can pay them minimum wage and they get a hands-on civics lesson (and from personal experience, far better than in the classroom). That would assure that someone is able to manage correspondence and do other mundane and menial tasks for legislators. Secondly, I see no reason why there should be a way to send mass emails to all 105 legislators. Any one citizen only elects 1 senator and 2 representatives in Idaho! The rest have no true obligation to anyone not from their district. Why should Sen. Davis, or any other senator for that matter, have to manage 1000s of emails from people he doesn’t even represent? I understand that as Senate Majority Leader people other than his constituents will find need to contact him, likewise for chairmen/chairwomen and other legislative leaders. Still, this is in no way cutting the legislature off from their constituency because the people they represent still have full access to them. If someone wants to push the legislature for a certain issue they shouldn’t spam all 105 legislators – they should register with the Secretary of State as a lobbyist.