Senator Gillibrand on voter concerns

The race for the New York junior Senate seat is considered likely to go to a Republican in November. Part of that is due to the lack of knowledge about the appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand among voters in New York State. But there are other reasons that are even more the cause.

In August of 2009 the nation was filled with concern about the Health Care Reform and what it might mean to their lives. Democrat supporters across the nation had a choice to make, face their constituents in town halls and explain why they supported the Bill or hide from the masses. Senator Gillibrand chose to hide, along with Senator Charles Schumer.

Given that choice, I sent a letter to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer on August 11th. In that letter I asked 21 specific questions about the Health Care Reform Bill that they were supporting in the Senate. The simplest of those questions was

“Have you personally read and understood all 1000+ pages of the proposed Health Care Reform Bill?”

On September 10th I received a response from Senator Gillibrand. Not one of the 21 questions asked of Sen. Gillibrand – from a member of the press and a constituent – was answered by the reply. The full VERBATIM response can be seen at That link will be very important in a moment.

The response, while hardly worth the time it took to cut and paste I suspect, was at least a response. A subsequent letter to Senator Gillibrand, on Sept 16, 2009, requesting a reasoning for her vote in favor of the now defunct ACORN went unanswered.

Since that time the debate over the Health Care Reform Bill continued unabated. The length of the Bill grew almost in proportion to the public sentiment against the Bill. In December of 2009, Senator Gillibrand along with Senator Schumer voted to pass the Senate version of the Bill, even before a final written copy of the Bill existed.

On February 20, 2010 as President Obama prepared to present his compromise Bill on the Health Care Reform to the public, I again wrote to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Schumer. I reiterate that I am both a member of the press and a constituent, being a resident and business owner in New York State. The letter in Febrary contained 4 questions for the Senators. The most simple questions being

“I ask if Senator [Gillibrand/Schumer] you have read the complete Health Care Reform Bill (in the House and/or Senate versions)?

I ask if you have read the final written version of the President’s modification that will be offered for reconciliation?”

On March 8, 2010 I recieved the answer from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The response, arriving at 5:29pm came from This response was an OBVIOUS cut and paste response NOT to the questions asked. This can be verified by the drastically different fonts between the response and the signature portion of the email.

Far worse is the fact that the response on March 8th was a VERBATIM COPY of the exact response sent to me on September 10, 2009. The March 8, 2010 letter can be seen at

Today at 10:30am I contacted the New York City office of Senator Gillibrand. I requested an on the record official answer as to why Senator Gillibrand sent out a cut and paste copy of a response from 6 months prior. I requested an official response to why, as a member of the press and a constituent of Senator Gillibrand, I received a response that failed to address, to even consider, the questions asked of my representative in the Senate. And I requested an offical response as to why throughout 7 months Senator Gillibrand seemingly willfully refused to answer the most simple of questions – if she has read ANY version of the Health Care Reform Bill that she ardently supports against the will of voters in New York State.

I was asked (by the press liason) which office I had sent my letters to [several went via regular mail and email to both the New York and Washington D.C. offices of Senator Gillibrand], as if that was a reason for the copied boilerplate response. I was told that there was no answer available for me for any of those points. I was further told that I would receive a response via telephone. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office was notified that I would publish my post shortly after 5pm today. As of this post I have received no response, via email or telephone.

While I do not advocate for any candidate for the junior Senate seat of New York, I present this for the consideration of the voters in New York State. The question voters should ask themselves is if they want a Senator that is willing to go against their views in Washington D.C., and at the same time unwilling to answer even the most simple question that constituents might have. Do the voters in New York want an elected official that cares seemingly so little that they recycle 6 month old boiler plate responses rather than address a single concern, or even updating the boiler plate response.

America has a representative democratic government, yet the responses of Senator Gillibrand seems woefully in opposition of that style of governance. I would suggest to blogs, organizations, and other members of the press (outside of the major media conglomerates), as well as voters, to ask questions of their elected officials as well. I will be more than happy to publish ANY verified authentic question and the VERBATIM response of the elected official. Because elected officials ARE accountable to the public.

As always, I will provide ANY and EVERY response from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Charles Schumer, and any elected official that I may speak with or chooses to respond to any item that I write. Those responses will always be VERBATIM.

I invite Senator Gillibrand to contact me to explain the emails that have been sent, the failure to respond to a member of the press and constituent, and to address any issue facing the residents of New York State and the nation (in that order).

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About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

7 Comments on "Senator Gillibrand on voter concerns"

  1. Comments as found at

    Sam, NY says:
    Why do you presume to know that everyone is against healthcare reform? The majority of Americans voted for a President and a party who were clearly in favor of it. Senator Gillibrand will win in November because she represents the view of the majority of New Yorkers.
    March 9, 6:34 PM

  2. Comments as found at

    Lee says:
    In my view Senator Gillibrand does a fine job of representing her constituents. The people of New York are interested in improving their health care choices and benefits.
    March 9, 8:37 PM

  3. Sam,
    I do not presume. Every poll out since August of 2009 has stated clearly that the majoity of Americans, in every State, oppose the Health Care Reform as currently proposed.

    Also, based on my extensive coverage of the election of 2008, the fact is that several items in the current Health Care proposal were items that Secretary Clinton supported and President Obama was against. One example of that was the single payer issue, which in a national debate Obama opposed directly. So voters are not getting exactly what they voted for, or expected.

    In addition, voters across the nation and in New York cast their votes for “change”. What voters have received on many issues has been the same partisan politics that have existed for decades at least.

    Lastly, Sen. Gillibrand was never elected into her position. Therefore we cannot assume that all New Yorkers agree with her actions over the past year. And I believe no voter would elect a politician that actively avoids answering them

  4. Lee,
    Everyone in America is interested in improving the health care system. The question is if this proposal will achieve the goal, which is in massive debate at all fronts.

    More importantly, Senator Gillibrand has actively avoided facing constituents questions of the Health Care Reform issue. In fact, as stated, Sen. Gillibrand has gone so far as to respond to questions with a recycled boilerplate response that addresses none of the concerns.

    Even if you agree with the Health Care Reform as proposed, can you honestly say that you think an elected official that refuses to answer questions and avoids response is acting in the best interests of constituents?

  5. Comments as found at

    jane trahey says:
    Isn’t it about time you stopped yammering about how Senator Gillibrand hasn’t called you up or written personal answers to your letters, you arrogant twit?

    Who do you think you are that you deserve anybody’s personal attention when you are so confrontational? Take your personality disorder elsewhere, or else confine it to your personal blog.

    You are starting to be seriously annoying with your obvious ego problems. And isn’t the Examiner supposed to be about news, and not serve as a digital trampoline for exhibitionists who have personal axes to grind?
    March 10, 6:46 AM

  6. Jane,

    Thank you for making a point. That being some will miss the trees for the forest. The news item is not how I felt, but that a representative of the people of New York are being given a disservice. Failure to answer questions of the public on monumental legislation is not an option for Congress, or at least it should not be.

    You want this to be about me. To the extent that I asked the questions, and yes I am a member of the media, it is. I also happen to be a constituent. But your dislike at my factual evidence does not change the evidence.

    Why aren’t you upset that a Senator is disregarding the public by sending out the same boilerplate message from 6 months prior? Why do you feel the need to attack me, personally even though you know nothing about me, rather than address a lack of respect to voters by a Senator?

    You disagree with my views and manner? Fine, please write your own blog and Examiner articles. But that does not excuse what has been done to the public.

  7. Comment as found at

    Helen says:
    Am also a constituent of Gillibrand and Schumer and have this to add~ After writing often to them both had only received one response from her with an offer of her “Email newsletter”. Passed on that but receive it anyway. At least Schumer tends to answer his correspondence. Gillibrand doesn’t. But not a single Town Hall meeting from either one was an insult. Liberals here don’t hide their contempt for people who live in the South and call them “Bible-thumpers” or “Rednecks”. At least the Southern politicians seem to have some respect for their constituents. Many Town Halls were held in Southern states.
    Am tired of these tax and spend Liberals. New York is too expensive and politicians here are too generous with my money. A thief who takes from one to give to another will never be anything but a thief. Let them be “generous” with their own money.
    Please keep grinding your ax about Gillibrand. She’s done a fine job of ignoring New York voters. She won’t have mine.
    May 20, 12:19 PM

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