On October 19, I was able to speak to Senator Charles Grassley about a specific issue I have with the stimulus payments for the first-time-homebuyer credit. It only took four days from the time I sent the e-mail requesting to be placed in the telephone queue before I was able to speak to him directly. After our conversation, I sent e-mails to both Representative Boswell and Senator Harkin.

I began this drive to speak to my elected officials when e-mails went unanswered and snail mail was responded to with form letters that failed to address the point I was making.

Eleven days later I am optimistic that I will be able to speak with Representative Boswell in the next week.

But today, I was told by a staffer (Michelle) in a phone call that "Senator Harkin is just 'too busy' to talk with all of his constituents that want to talk to him. It is not feasible." Frequently during the phone call I was interrupted and was not able to voice a complete thought. I responded that I just might be too busy to vote for him the next time he was running for re-election.

I was raised in a staunchly Democratic household. I believe in most of the Democratic platform. Yet what message is sent to me when I am able to easily access a member of the Republican Party and not of the party that is currently in power? It tells me that my voice is unheard and that is how it will remain.

They may be disappointed by the possibility of losing my vote, but they are not nearly as disappointed in me as I am in them.

Laura Hale
Pella, Iowa

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher