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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Contacting Your Senator

So, what is the best way to contact your senators and representatives?  I see all these cute little Facebook posters and other postings that says "Contact your state senator today!" and goes on to list an email address or what-not.

Great idea!!!  How much email do you think he or she gets during an average day?  How many form letters do you think he gets?  If he receives 750 emails that all are titled "Gun control is rong!" and "Dont take my clips!" how many of those do you think he will actually read?  I'd wager less than TWO.

So your next option is telephone.  Most officials will first off, not be in the office often and secondly, screen calls when they are.  You need to accept either of those as reality.  You will need to leave your name and number and let him call you when it is convenient to him.  Sometimes the staff will actually call and schedule a time for him to return your call.  However in the case that your phone rings and Senator Rand Paul is on the line you absolutely must have a list of the things you wanted to speak to him about.  Reason being that when he calls and says "Hi, this is Rand Paul... you rang?" your brain is going to respond with "Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....."  You need at that time to be able to put hands on your list and have a well thought out question or two to ask and in an organized fashion.  You also need to accept that reality that he is a busy guy and will not have all day to talk about the fishing in Lake Wetwater.  Realistically expect no more than about fifteen minutes.

Your next option is Snail Mail.  This is only a 50/50 proposition at best, but getting a written response of some kind is about the same odds as getting him to call you back.  The biggest difference is that your response may or may not come from the senator and will more than likely be a form letter that reads something like "Thank you for contacting the office of Rand Paul!  He values your thoughts and will endeavor to meet your expectations in the near future!  Have a wonderful day!  ~Rand Paul"  If you send him or her a snail mail sandwich be prepared to be happy with this response.

Your last option is to meet in person in the office.  For this you will need to call ahead and schedule your meeting.  You will also need to prepare for the eventuality that he still may back out at the last minute because he needs to talk about the Constitution for 13 hours and how it violates one's rights to have a drone attack aircraft flown over your house in Oklahoma and a missile shot through your bathroom window while you are dropping the kids off at the pool.  The plus side to this is a face-to-face is a personal encounter and it will make an impression on him.  This is really the only way to know for sure that he has heard what you have to say.  Even a telephone conversation is no assurance that he is listening.  Ever read a news article while talking to someone on the phone?  Exactly.

What ever route you choose, I highly encourage you to contact your congressional enclave.  THEY WORK FOR YOU!


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