Monday, August 18, 2014

Open letter to Professor Mark Lester

Dear Professor Lester,

This letter is prompted by your being selected to replace Avery Vise as the Democratic candidate in the Alabama 6th Congressional district general election.

I ran in the Republican primary earlier this year.

In the course of my campaign, I called Congress "dysfunctional," "failed," "kaput," "incapacitated" and "sucky."

I also gave a diagnosis for why I think Congress is failing to do its job properly for the American people.

I tried to get the other six candidates in the Republican primary to address Congress' failed condition, but they were unwilling to do so.

I am persuaded by the critique that Lawrence Lessig and others have made that money in politics has substantially impaired the functioning of our Congress and has resulted in a government in Washington DC that is not of, by and for the people.

MAYDAY.US (started by Lawrence Lessig) has embarked on a plan, which has a goal of obtaining a reform minded Congress in 2016, and, in 2014, MAYDAY is selecting eight Congressional races to focus on.

Five have been selected thus far. MAYDAY.US is supporting Republican Jim Rubens in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in New Hampshire, and Staci Appel in the Iowa 3rd Congressional district against the Republican David Young. Also, MAYDAY has  announced it is supporting Walter Jones (R, NC-3), Carol Shea-Porter (D, NH-1) and Ruben Gallego, Democratic candidate in Arizona’s seventh congressional district to replace retiring Congressman Ed Pastor.

I believe the matter MAYDAY.US is pushing is critically deserving of bipartisan attention. I believe that any Republican or Democrat, in Congress or running for Congress, who finds the status quo acceptable is ill serving (or will ill serve) his or her constituents, and the American people generally.

To my knowledge, Gary Palmer declines to say anything in response to the foregoing. To my knowledge, Gary Palmer declines to say, one way or the other, whether he thinks something is wrong (or not wrong) with the functioning (or non-functioning) of Congress and/or whether it is deserving (or not deserving) of special attention by the voters. If Gary Palmer thinks there is significant problem, he declines to offer any diagnosis of a cause or causes of the same, and Gary Palmer declines to say whether he has any of his own ideas, or agrees with any ideas of others, for trying to fix the problem.

I believe the voters of the Alabama 6th Congressional district deserve better about this matter than they received from the other six candidates (including Gary Palmer) in the Republican primary, and better than they are receiving from Gary Palmer currently.

I hope you have your own views about this matter and will discuss the same for the benefit of the voters in the Alabama 6th Congressional district.

I am posting this letter as an open letter on my campaign website.

Thank you very much for your attention to this letter.

Rob Shattuck

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