Porkbusting, V

As I wrote a week ago, I've written to all of my representatives in Congress regarding the need for fiscal responsibility in our nation's capital. Last week I got a response from Senator DeWine. Today I received a reply from my congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9).

Anyone want to guess what form that reply took? Well, it came by snail mail, and it was neatly typed on her Congressional letterhead (which we paid for). If her correspondence had been intended to score style points, she would have won big. Since my interest was in fiscal responsibility, an e-mailed response would have been fine.

Fine, that is, if it had actually responded to the content of my remarks. From her first paragraph:

...The suggestions that I have received from my constituents are very valuable, and I am passing them on to the proper authorities.
As her letterhead so proudly proclaims, she sits on the House Appropriations Committee. If she isn't the proper authority, then who the heck is?

The second paragraph is mainly informative, on the appropriations bills already passed to provide assistance to victims of Katrina, along with a suggestion to check back at her website for more information on how to help those affected.

The third and fourth paragraph, though, are where she truly shines. They take up more than half the letter, and cover two main topics:
  • mishandling of the disaster response by DHS and FEMA
  • "unwarranted" higher energy prices, which she believes merit an investigation by the Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission
Never mind the content of those two items. She's right about the first one, the disaster was managed poorly by FEMA (which is part of DHS). Congress has the oversight responsibility to see that those mistakes are avoided in the future. Replacing the FEMA director was part of that. It came off as a big attempt to blame the administration in response to an e-mail (from me) which wasn't asking for any blame.

On the second item, energy prices, I disagree vehemently with her position but am not a whit surprised at the content of her statement - only the context. I didn't ask about gas prices or FEMA. I asked what she would propose we do to cut unnecessary spending to offset the costs of recovery in the South. From her completely off-topic response, it's clear to me her office didn't even bother to read my e-mail. Perhaps she thought I'd be so happy to get official congressional stationary that I wouldn't notice that her letter was filled with self-righteous finger-pointing instead of an honest interest in her constituent's input.

That's what you get when the same person has been in office for 20+ years and hasn't ever faced a challenger who could come within 30 points of her.

Update 10/31: I support the Fiscal Watch Team Offset Package. link