On Not Answering Questions

Have you ever noticed that our elected representatives aren’t very good at responding to questions? At least not answering questions they themselves haven’t proposed. Here’s the response I go to my recent letter to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison:

Dear Dr. Heyduck
Thank you for contacting me regarding Hurricane Katrina. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.
In the midst of this tragedy, my heart has been warmed by the many Texans who opened their arms and their homes to our fellow Americans. Approximately 80% of the city of New Orleans has been covered in water, and thousands of people suddenly found themselves homeless with nowhere to turn. Flood waters in Alabama left 325,000 homes and businesses without power. In Mississippi, hundreds of waterfront homes, businesses and community landmarks were obliterated by a storm surge that reached 30 feet. In the wake of this, I am proud of how our state has responded.
Thanks you for taking time to write your suggestions regarding the current relief efforts. While we cannot undo the losses to the victims of this devastation, working as a nation we can help them to regain some sense of normalcy in their lives.
I appreciate hearing from you and hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

I’d written Senator Hutchinson asking about what adjustments in the Federal Budget she’d be proposing to cover the expenses of Hurricane recovery. I guess she didn’t want to answer that question.

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5 Responses to On Not Answering Questions

  1. Not asnwering questions drives me crazy!

    Though I must admit the ability to avoid answering questions is something that comes easy to me. I learned this in my student government days at seminary.

    Remember the M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye and B.J went looking for an incubator? At a press conference, Hawkeye finally gets to ask a General why MASH units didn’t get incubators. The General gave a standard non-answer, followed by B.J.’s follow up question:

    “Why didn’t you answer his question?”

  2. Guy says:

    Yep, I got similarly evasive letter from the Senator a while back after a letter I’d sent in. Pretty frustrating. Not exactly responsive to the electorate.

  3. Don Emery says:

    Form letters are standard from the Senators office. Get used to it.
    Your letter is tagged “Katrina” and the response will be the same regardless of the question you ask.
    It is unlikely anything of substance will come back.

    Try writing to Congressman Hall. He simply doesn’t answer.

  4. True Texan says:

    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has all sorts of problems regarding her responsiveness (actually, lack thereof). Lately, she’s been preoccupied with saving the one-of-a-kind American Airlines/DFW Airport monopoly in Dallas/Fort Worth via a crazy law known as the Wright Amendment.

    Next week, her Senate Aviation Subcommittee is holding hearings on the law… which her own constituents overwhelmingly oppose.

    She’s fighting to keep the monopoly in place. Why? She benefits two ways:
    1) Her own husband, Ray Hutchison, is one of DFW Airport/American Airlines’ primary attorneys, raking in legal fees estimated in the millions.
    2) Ray Hutchison’s law firm, Vinson & Elkins, is the largest collective source of her re-election campaign contributions.

    If DFW Airport is hurt, it looks like it will her own pocketbook and that of her re-election campaign.

  5. Carol says:

    I received no response whatsoever from her. I contacted her at the very beginning of the Pork Busters campaign.


    Que lastima, Kay!

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