How long should it take for a Congressman to answer a letter?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Julian Reville, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I wrote a letter to one of my Congressfolks a few weeks back, asking for an answer to a question and a minor favor, and so far I haven't heard anything back, not even an acknowledgement that it was received.

    I know these folks are really busy trying to get re-elected doing important guvment stuff, but I want my money's worth! [​IMG]

    Has anyone else ever done this, and how long did it take for you to get an answer?
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    In the one case in which I had contact a representative, I did so by telephone. I was lucky: the local office put me directly through to a secretary in DC, and my issue was addressed with a few business days. I received correspondence and acknowledgement within a week.
     
  3. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Here's one that really sucks big-time:

    Everyone in my sixth-grade class picked a congressman or senator to write a letter to. I picked Thad Cochran and wrote him a nice letter, asked him a couple of questions, typical 11-year-old kind of thoughts. Everyone else got back letters from their congressmen and senators - except for me. Cochran didn't even have the common courtesy or decency to write a short note back to me at all. And 26-27 years later I still haven't gotten any letter of acknowledgement from Cochran.

    Now does that suck or what??? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Depending on the letter, usually before or after the next election. I have heard of a certain Massachusetts senator that was particularly thorough in answering correspondence. There was a story a few years back of how a woman wrote to him about his thoughts on an issue and she received not one, but two replies. Of course the first reply expressed a view completely the opposite of the second.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Oh, those are great. [​IMG] Kinda the response I'm expecting as well. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.
     
  6. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    Which Congressman/woman are you writing to?
     
  7. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Bill,

    Maybe your Congressman has a HUGE backlog of unanswered letters and he hasn't gotten to yours yet, like Ringo Starr in that one Simpsons episode. [​IMG]
     
  8. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Senator Saxby Chambliss. If I don't get a response soon I may start writing them all. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Some senators are very good about it. I wrote Senator Robertson here in my state a while back, and his office called me at work, then asked to call me at home that night; I got a call from his office manager and he spoke to me for a few minutes about my concern. Not bad.

    I got a letter in the mail about a week and a half later with what I wanted, and a nice handwritten note.

    I feel pretty lucky, here in Kansas. I managed to speak with most of our senators on a pretty frequent basis, and some of them really made a hard effort to right back and correspond. Senator Dole was so thorough about it that he would write virtual books that weren't form letters, but on topic, about what you asked of him.

    There are really only two reps in Kansas who do a "bad" job of handling their mail/voice messages, and even they aren't "terrible" about it.. just slow.

    Right now is not the best of time, though, because session is for the most part out; so you might have to wait for a response until after session resumes in September.
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Its election muckraking time. If a nobody (non-govt. types like us) sends some elected official a letter is most likely to be either a deaththreat or a mysterious white powder.

    It probably goes from the inbox to the circular file well before it ever gets looked at by anyone important.
     
  11. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Actually, if a member of Congress doesn't respond to a letter, it's their staff's fault, since they look through and screen all the mail.
     
  12. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I've never had a letter go in the circular file.. funny story where a letter should have went into the circular file.. here in Kansas, it's pretty dominated by (R)'s, however, one (D) serves as the rep for the Kansas City (Kansas) side of the metro.. a few years back, he got a letter in the mail criticizing him on some vote for something (this was in 99, I believe) and he took the time to right back and tell the guy he was a "jerk" and should "stop writing" [​IMG]
     
  13. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I promise that it was neither, unless some crumbs from my Krispy Kreme fell on it. No wait, that excuse won't work, I'm on a diet (see other thread).

    I expect it is just in a stack somewhere, waiting for a form letter reply to be signed. "Thank you for your letter of (insert date) concerning (insert subject). The Senator will consult with (insert Guvment agency) and reply at the earliest possible time. Meanwhile, we suggest you insert thumb."
     
  14. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Well, this may be PART of the reason I haven't gotten a reply: (don't I feel like an idiot now?)

    Across Georgia

    Web posted Saturday, August 7, 2004
    | From Wire Reports
    Chambliss is expected to be OK after surgery

    WASHINGTON - Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss had surgery this week for prostate cancer and expects to make a full recovery, he said Friday.

    Mr. Chambliss, 60, announced last month that he had the cancer.

    The Republican senator's office said Mr. Chambliss underwent a successful radiation seed implant procedure this week at Wheeling Hospital and Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W. Va.

    Mr. Chambliss is recuperating in the Washington area.
     
  15. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Cynic checking in here ...

    I believe that ALL mail for congress now goes to a special facility to be screened for anthrax and other nasties. This may add to the delay.

    I'm sure the senator has a full staff quite capable of sending you a form letter response during his convalescence.

    Want a personal answer, send $ [​IMG]
     
  16. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I'm appalled. I thought we had the best government that money could buy. :wink:
     
  17. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    Everything I've read says that if they have an e-mail address, that is preferred. It's quicker and avoids the security issues discussed in this thread.
     
  18. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    LOL!

    My PolySci teacher has TONS of great stories. Cliff note version:

    Letter One: Writes a letter asking a question about a issue. Gets no responce, nothing.

    Letter Two: Writes a letter asking a question (same one as in letter one) - except this time, he is all of a sudden in charge of a community organization with a few thousand members. Within 72 hours (as soon as the letter is received), he gets a call asking if he would like to come down and personally discuss the issue with the senator.

    I am sure there are some more details, but the story was real, and very believable.

    One person is nothing, a few thousand voters is another issue all together [​IMG]
     
  19. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    I've NEVER gotten a response to any letter I've written and I've written quite a few. [​IMG]
     
  20. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Well, it's going on a month now and still no answer. [​IMG]

    You'd think those form letters would be quicker these days, what with computers. Todd, if I don't ever get an answer, I'll just assume it's a Georgia thing.
     

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