Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Constituent Survey

Aug. 15, 2006

To: Rep. Mike Thompson

From: Jack Durham

Re: Constituent survey

Dear Rep. Mike Thompson,

I received a “constituent survey” mailer today. There wasn’t enough room on the survey to provide comments, so instead I’m sending in this letter.

Q. Should our government set a timetable to begin the redeployment of troops in Iraq and shift security responsibilities to the Iraqis?

Yes __X__ No _____

Comments: The Iraq war may very well be the biggest foreign policy blunder of all time, so I appreciate the fact that you voted against the original authorization to go to war. I’ll remember this at election time. Congress needs to demand and press for an exit strategy from Iraq. Congress should also hold hearings on how the war was bungled and why President Bush, the Secretary of Defense and Pentagon officials ignored repeated warnings that more troops were needed to secure Iraq. Heads should roll.

Q. Do you believe our government should be taking steps to reduce the effects of global warming?

Yes _X__ No: ____

Comments: I would like to hear some specific ideas on how you think this issue should be addressed. Oddly enough, I think the Bush Administration may have unintentionally found the solution – Middle East instability. That leads to higher gas prices. Higher prices encourage conservation and the use of alternative energy sources. These, in turn, reduce green house gas emissions.

Q. Should new policies on immigration, in addition to border enforcement, include provisions for guest workers?

Yes __X__ No _____

Comments: That’s a vague question, being that the devil’s in the details. Realistically, I don’t expect anything but token changes in immigration policy from congress. Illegal immigration fuels the California economy with cheap labor. I doubt that the wine industry, which funds your campaigns, would appreciate any change in immigration policy which would reduce the flow of cheap labor. Why ruin a good thing?

Q. What issues are you most concerned about (check all that apply)?
X Crisis in the Middle East?
Gas and energy prices
X Global warming
X Healthcare costs and access
Retirement security
Education and vocational training
X National security
X Environment and conservation of natural resources
X Government spending and debt reduction

Comments: I’m curious why jobs and economic growth were not included on this list. Speaking of jobs, thank you for including a provision in the recent wilderness bill to allow commercial beach fishermen to continue to ply their trade at Redwood National and State Parks. Even though the industry only employs a couple dozen fishermen, it provides them with jobs and an alternative way to make a living when they can’t fish elsewhere.


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