ACLU to House: Don't Block Constituent Email

June 13, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today denounced a move by the House Chief Administrative Officer to use so-called “logic puzzles” to limit the ability of constituents to e-mail their Representatives. According to the Washington Post and Roll Call, the House Administration Committee found that on one day alone, of 8,262 visits to Web sites for citizens to contact members, only 1,568 messages were actually sent.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“E-mail has become the preferred way to contact your representatives in today’s society. Postal mail takes too long and must be screened, and not everyone can make a personal visit or get through with a phone call. Now, some Representatives want to make even that form of communication more difficult. It’s ironic that in the year when ethics issues have plagued Congress because of relationships with high-paid lobbyists, instead of shutting down that gravy train, Members of Congress have decided to shut their constituents out.

“Congress long ago did away with the literacy test qualification to vote. Apparently, Members of Congress acknowledge you shouldn’t have to pass a test to vote for them, but they don’t want you to contact them without taking a quiz. We urge Congress to revisit this policy and take steps to ensure that all concerned citizens – regardless of ability to pass a ‘logic test’ – are able to be heard.”

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