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
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 https://mvass.com/2009/09/17/senator-kirsten-gillibrand-responds-to-michael-vass/. 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 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 Senator@Gillibrand.senate.gov. 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 https://mvass.com/2010/03/09/senator-kirsten-gillibrand-responds-to-vass-letter-on-health-care-reform/
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).