I enjoy reading some of the political pundit-type blogs, and I wish sometimes that I had the time, the wit, the political savvy, the deft familiarity with the issues needed to write such illuminating analyses of some of the most pressing public issues. Tonight I was reading through a letter sent to me by my Congressional Representative, Rep. John Carter (R), in response to a "canned" plea I had sent to him via the Humane Society's website to advocate for an end to the slaughtering of horses for human consumption in the U.S. I found his letter back to be somewhat trite and condescending as he explained to me his position that "property interests" over-rode the humanitarian concerns for the welfare of horses.
I wrote him a brief reply thanking him for his response and noting my satisfaction that the measure had passed in spite of his opposition, and letting him know simply that I disagreed with his assessment of the legislation concerned. As I was preparing my email reply, it occured to me that maybe there's an opportunity here. I have recently moved into Williamson County, although I am still within the Austin city limits. The political demographics of Williamson County are changing rapidly - with our household being a case in point. Every single elected legislative representative for my address, at both the state and federal houses, is a Republican. Not that there's anything wrong with that - some of my closest friends have been Republicans and they're all fine people ( ;-P).
I also poked around the site for www.congress.org, a website dedicated to supporting public involvement in the legislative process. They have a very interesting tool there where they display recent emails sent to congressional leaders via their site (they obtain the author's permission prior to publishing). I read the two that were flagged as coming from Texas, and found them to be full of threats (capitalized reminders that the legislator in question works for the author and they can just as easily see them out of office at the next opportunity), racial slurs (the phrase "wet backs" figured prominently), poor grammar, and one even appeared to have cut and pasted the "please write your representative now" language from an advocacy email and sent it to his representative under a title referring to a Senate vote and completely different issue. Just kooky.
So anyway, I thought it might be a good exercise for me, and maybe helpful for my neighbors if anyone actually reads this blog (Bueller....? Bueller....?) to specifically follow the votes and actions of my own legislators and publish what I learn via my blog. September 2007 is a lousy time to begin this undertaking, but hey - baby steps. The Texas Lege won't be back in regular session until 2009, and I'm not sure now how much longer Congress will remain in session - or have they already gone home? See? Huge learning curve over here.