28 January 2009

Representative Responses

In Idaho, our two senators voted opposite ways on the confirmation of Timothy Geithner as Emperor Secretary of the Treasury.

Sen. Risch voted against it. I called to thank him, and his cheery office person sounded like I'd made her day. I was pleasantly surprised by his vote, to tell the truth, because my faith in his principled conservatism has been shaken a few times by issues at the state level. On balance, he was decent, though; and his voting record on a few controversial national votes so far gives me confidence!

Sen. Crapo, on the other hand, voted for it. This was perhaps the most difficult political call I've made. I called to verify what I'd seen on the roll call vote and then (politely and, I hope, gently) express my disappointment with his vote of what I viewed as an irresponsible and injudicious choice for a position with such power over the future of our economy and country, although I appreciate his representation in general. This is where it got interesting.

His phone person took my message and, doing his best to try to smooth things over, assured me that Sen. Crapo had really taken his time with the vote. In fact, Tim Geithner himself had come to visit with Sen. Crapo, (I BET he did...); and while the aide wasn't privy to that meeting, Sen. Crapo's concerns had been addressed. (Forgive me a slightly cynical snicker here...)

Unable to decide whether that made me feel better or worse, I thanked the aide on the senator's behalf for having done his due diligence and declined a letter in response.

I never get much out of those letters, anyway, regardless of the issue or the source (so far); it's always, "this was a tough call... there were good arguments on both sides..." yadda, yadda, yadda. And it always goes onto two pages. And I hate to use the postage. And it frequently comes to a misspelling of my name (sometimes two or more identical letters - one to each spelling, LOL.)

At any rate, I'm trying to be better about holding our representatives accountable, and their responses were intriguing (to me), so I figured I'd share my experiences.

(Additionally, I called to thank and encourage Rep. Simpson for his intended opposition to what I called the "Stimulus-Bailout MESS before the House right now." It's intended to grow government and nationalize whatever they can without people realizing why that's bad...)


Jennifer Dunn said...

Hey there,
I'm so impressed that you called. I've been online several times looking for Jim Risch's email address, and having only found his phone number and mailing address, have done nothing. What a coward I am!

I have contacted Sen. Crapo via email before, so I think I will send him another one--I am disappointed that he voted for a guy who is either dishonest or incompetent, not sure which is worse!

Also, a few minutes ago, I sent an email to Walt Minnick expressing my hope (albeit a vain one) that he would not vote for the stimulus.

Anyway, you're my hero!

Ann said...

Way to go...it's the only way they really know if we love or hate what they did! (Short of voting them in and out, I suppose...) That's wonderful, and I am really glad you did it. :)

Carissa said...

Good for you! I've never actually called, I always take the easy way and email.

(Is his name really Crap-o?)

kannie said...

Carissa - yep. :-) It's a long "a" sound, though... he jokes about spell check on his website, LOL, which is good...

I prefer phone to email, because I'm only able to agonize over it for so long, LOL. My executive side takes over and I just want it done, protocol be ... er... disregarded ;-).

Jennifer Dunn said...

Incidentally, Walt Minnick voted AGAINST the stimulus package, one of 11 Democrats in the House to do so. I'm happy he proved me wrong, even though it did pass.

kannie said...

Jennifer - YES!!! I was so happy! I wish I were in his district, but I'm still going to call his office and thank him, LOL. His vote is a good sign, because if he could stand up to the sort of pressure that's being exerted right now by two branches of government, he's got a real spine! :-)