I recently emailed Rep. Heinrich about the second engine for the F-35 jet engine. Like so many people who write their members of Congress, I used a third-party organization. In this case, the group was Citizens Against Government Waste. But that is all just back-story, what is really important is the response (or lack thereof) from Heinrich’s office.
The letter I got (mailed back) from Heinrich’s office can be found here. In the letter, Heinrich — more likely an intern or low-level staffer — acknowledges the issue I wrote in about, but that’s about it. He doesn’t mention how the Congressman voted, offer any additional information about the issue, or offer any other insights. He simply complains about his workload and admonishes me to contact him through his web page. I worked on the Hill, I know that these letters are “canned,” but these people still represent us. Shouldn’t they cater to our desires, not the other way around? If nothing else, these letters are a great opportunity for Heinrich to help educate his constituents on the issue of at least present his views on the topic.
This is not the first time Heinrich has sent back a letter admonishing me to use his website rather than a third-party site.
Contrast that with Sen. Udall’s lengthy and informative letter I just received (yes, I write these guys regularly and you should too) on the financial reform bill that just passed Congress. Udall’s office emailed me (hey, I’m already online, it’s okay to email, plus it saves taxpayers money) a 13 paragraph, highly-detailed response which even included information on how he voted on various amendments to the bill.
Based on constituent services, it would seem that Udall is the one running for office this November, not Heinrich.