Villagers With Pitchforks

The flaming torches were delayed in transit, sorry.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

To the Honorable Trent Franks

Trent Franks is, alas, my Congressman. He's a conservative Republican. I'm a fiscal-conservative Democrat. Socially quite liberal. My views should come as a surprise to nobody. Look at the Bush calendar.

Back in February, I used Mr Franks' very own internet form to write a polite letter opposing REAL ID. He voted for it anyway. I have since lost the letter in a change of computers.

Today, 21 July, I received a reply. This based on a letter sent via a form that says:
I appreciate you taking the time to write me about your concerns. When you write, please be issue specific, so that I can efficiently respond to you in a most timely manner. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I look forward to reading your message.
Anyway, here is the Congressman's reply. I have removed my home address. A trained professional can look me up in about five minutes. I just don't need any more junk mail.
From: PUBLIC_FOLDER_PUBLIC_EMAILADDRESS_HERE@REPLACE.COM
Subject: Response From Congressman Trent Franks
Date: July 21, 2005 1:43:26 PM MST
To: my email obscured - don't need any more spam, either

July 21, 2005

Patrick Connors
Glendale, Arizona

Dear Patrick:

Thank you for contacting me regarding our nation's immigration policy. I sincerely appreciate the benefit of your views.

America was founded, shaped, and built by immigrants seeking freedom and opportunity. Since 1820, sixty-six million immigrants have entered the United States by legal means. By enriching our culture, adding to our productive capacity and enhancing our influence in the world, immigrants have greatly contributed to the development of our nation.

While legal immigrants have contributed greatly to this country, America is facing an illegal immigration problem that is spinning out of control. As Ronald Reagan said, "A nation that cannot control its border is no longer a nation at all." Arizonans understand this better than most, because we, along with residents of California, New Mexico, and Texas, are paying a disproportionate share of the cost burden associated with illegal immigration.

Understanding these problems, I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 3137, the CLEAR Act, which would provide for enhanced Federal, State, and local enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States. Essentially, this legislation would give local and state law enforcement agencies the authority to detain criminal and illegal aliens within the course of their regular duties. The CLEAR Act also calls for civil penalties for illegal entry and reimbursement to local law enforcement agencies for their involvement.

Moreover, I was a co-sponsor of, and voted for H.R. 418, the REAL ID Act of 2005, which passed the House of Representatives on February 10, 2005. This important legislation would set minimum standards to help prevent counterfeiting of state driver's licenses. It will also prevent citizens of other countries from abusing our asylum laws, and ensure the expeditious completion of barriers and roads at the U.S. border.

I am gravely concerned about the presence of illegal aliens in the United States, who are putting our nation's security at risk. In a post 9/11 world, terrorists are looking for our weakest link as an entry point and will exploit such weaknesses at any cost. We must protect our borders and enforce our legal immigration laws to the fullest extent of their authority.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I hope you will continue to inform me of the issues that concern you. In the meantime, please feel free to visit my website at http://www.house.gov/franks.

Most Sincerely,

Trent Franks
Member of Congress
That's completely inadequate, and I have used his own web form to call bullshit on him. I hope I'm being polite enough:
To the Honorable Trent Franks: [1]

Back in February, I wrote you in opposition of REAL ID, which you supported. It is now July 21, and I am only now receiving a form letter from you. This is not my idea of an efficient response in a timely manner, as your web page seems to promise.

I am equally opposed to the CLEAR Act, since I regard it as just one more step down the road towards the United States becoming a police state.

Security is part of what I do for a living. The one thing that has been done to prevent another 9/11 attack in this country is strengthening of on-aircraft security, including training changes and stronger aircraft cockpit doors.

Causing me to nearly miss a plane the last time I flew because of an honest mistake did nothing for airline security.

If you want to stop illegal immigration, defend the borders. Period. Seal the desert between San Diego and Brownsville.

Please do not forget that the Saudi nationals who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks all entered the country legally. Also do not forget that the London subway bombers were all British subjects.

Your response to my concerns demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the voters. I shall keep this in mind in the coming electoral cycle.

- Patrick Connors
Footnote 1: I had no choice in that wording; it's hardcoded into the form.

Footnote 2: I was highly tempted to footnote the Congressman's letter, but why bother? It's nearly self-parodying.

I continue to wonder how tight the market might be for Oracle database programmers in Vancouver or Victoria. Just saying.

2 Comments:

Blogger Nhari said...

Wow... found you through Dave the Inverted's LJ; I'm Perrrfect_Angel.

He got faster in his response (or his team did). Try sending him the same complaint a third time, and see if this time they actually note the content!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Patrick Connors said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that what really happened was that it took them eight months to set up the computer system to do automatic replies, and so far they've only managed to put one form letter into the silly thing.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all to discover that I was the first person in this district to successfully send an e-mail to Trent Franks.

9:01 PM  

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