Thursday, June 19, 2014

Open letter to Birmingham Business Alliance, BCA and U.S. Chamber

From: Rob Shattuck <>
Date: Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Tonight's run off debate in AL 6th Cong'l district
To: Alison Howell <>, Nathan Lindsay <>, "Powers, Wade" <>

To: U.S. Chamber of Commerce (c/o Wade Powers)
      Business Council of Alabama (c/o Nathan Lindsay)
      Birmingham Business Alliance (c/o Alison Howell)

I am continuing to press issues which I raised in my Congressional campaign leading up to the June 3rd primary election. 

Before June 3rd, I responded to your Chambers' questionnaires and, in addition, I wrote the two below emails to the Chambers.

My main contentions have been that there is not government of the people, by the people and for the people in Washington DC, and that the causes of that are also causes of Congress being kaput and not working for the American people.

In my two below emails to the Chambers, I inquired about two ideas or concepts which I believed were worthy of consideration for purposes of improving the governance of the country by Washington DC and improving Congressional performance.

In my campaign I was unable to get any of the other six candidates to discuss my main contentions, and, as part of that failing, I was barely able to make mention to the voters of the two ideas or concepts I wrote to the Chambers about.

I am sure all three Chambers have their particular concerns about the condition of the country's governance in Washington DC and about Congressional performance. 

I think just about everyone is very dissatisfied about these matters.

I think the other candidates in the AL 6th Congressional district primary election offered the voters little or nothing relative to this dissatisfaction of the voters. I doubt that Paul DeMarco and Gary Palmer will offer anything new to the voters in the course of the run off election.

The political commentator community in the 6th Congressional district has also failed the voters.

I don't know whether any of the three Chambers can or will do anything to fill this void.

The occasion of there being a first run off debate tonight affords me an opportunity to remind the Chambers of the two emails I sent about the concepts of "open" Congressional offices and of a lawmaker's principle of balancing general societal interests on more than one side of an issue and disregarding "one sided special interests."

The three Chambers have much experience and understanding about what is right and what is wrong for the American people about the way Washington works and about how well Congress does for the American people.

I hope there is a way for the three Chambers (or any of them) to provide voters in the 6th Congressional district with the benefit of information and understanding that the Chambers have about these matters, as will aid the voters in asking questions of the run off candidates and ultimately making their voting decisions.

Thank you very much for your attention to this letter.

Following my practice of trying to provide as much as possible to voters via my campaign blog/website, I will post this as an "open letter" on my campaign blog/website.

Rob Shattuck

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Shattuck <>
Date: Sat, May 24, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Subject: AL06-- Candidate request for further Chamber feedback re American Lawmaker's Creed
To: Alison Howell <>, Nathan Lindsay <>,
Cc:  [omitted]

Dear Alison, Nathan, and Wade,

I wish to expand the request for Chamber feedback that I sent you yesterday (yesterday's email is "forwarded" hereby).

As I think Alison and Nathan know, my campaign charges that there is something fundamentally wrong with Congress that critically needs addressing by the American people and Congress.

I have a diagnosis of what is wrong, and am putting forth ideas for fixing, or trying to fix, Congress. 

One of my ideas is the "open" Congressional offices idea that was the subject of yesterday's email.

A related idea grows out of my analytic of lawmakers being frequently confronted with a matter in which there are general societal interests on two or more sides of the matter, and a special, one sided interest of a small group.

I discussed this analytic in a speech I prepared for the May 12th "Birmingham's Future for Young Professionals" candidate forum, sponsored by Rotaract Club of Birmingham and the Birmingham Business Journal. Said prepared speech can be read at Birmingham's Future For Young Professionals. See also The GM faulty ignition recall and My American Lawmaker's Creed.

I think the American people and American business would be better off if lawmakers made their decisions based on balancing the general societal interests and largely ignoring a special, one sided interest of a small group.

Currently, there is a roadblock to this happening. The roadblock derives from the large costs of election campaigns, the continuous fundraising which must go on, and the need for campaign contributions from special, one sided interests (whose interests are limited to their respective small niches in the the domain of Federal law and Federal government actions).

Whether or not this roadblock can be overcome, my question to the Chambers is this: Do you think the American people and American business would be better off if it was possible to inculcate in lawmakers a widespread or universal practice that they make their decisions based on balancing the general societal interests and ignoring special, one sided interests of small groups?

My "open" Congressional offices idea is intended to provide support for such a practice becoming widespread.

I appreciate that the Chambers probably probably will not be able to provide any reaction or feedback before the June 3rd primary election day. Writing the Chambers, however, is a basis for helping me get these ideas in front of the voters in their consideration of the candidates, and, in that vein, I am taking the liberty of copying the other candidates and my local media and forum list on this email.

Thank you for your attention.

Rob Shattuck
Candidate, AL 6th Congressional district

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Shattuck <>
Date: Fri, May 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Subject: AL06- Candidate request for "down and dirty" Chamber feedback re "open" Cong'l offices
To: Alison Howell <>, Nathan Lindsay <>,

Dear Alison, Nathan, and Wade,

You are the contact persons from whom I, as one of the seven candidates in the Alabama 6th Congressional district race, have received the candidate questionnaires of the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Business Council of Alabama, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I have previously replied on the BBA and the BCA questionnaires, and the due time for the U.S. Chamber questionnaire, which I received yesterday, is next Wednesday.

I wish to make, if possible, a "down and dirty" inquiry of the Chambers about an idea I have put forth in my campaign. 

The idea is that of using data capture technology to create "open" Congressional offices, so that there are basically no private communications between a Congressional office and the outside world.

The extent of my written description of the idea is this campaign blog entry: Dear Anthony: re slow Friday afternoon.

Your Chambers have a lot of knowledge and experience of working with Congressional offices. 

My basic question is, could the Chambers live with this concept of "open" Congressional offices?

I think all I am looking for at the moment is a choice of "down and dirty" reactions, such as, "there is no way this idea of "open" Congressional offices could ever be workable and acceptable," or "it is an idea worth exploring," or "that idea has really good potential."

I know you may not be able to give me any quick "down and dirty" reaction at all, but it seemed at least worth asking.

Thank you.

Rob Shattuck  

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