Submitted by Shawn Meehan
Mr. Gibb’s August 19 letter (“August Recess: Where is Representative Amodei? (Opinion)” saying Congressman Amodei is being “evasive” reveals a sad state of affairs where ridicule, a lack of education, and cynicism thrive in the public square.
Recent allocation data puts congressional district population at 747,000 people. Perhaps Rep. Amodei is genuinely busy? In early August I chatted with him at our Republican central committee meeting in Douglas County. Our leadership worked well in advance to coordinate his attendance, including announcing it in the paper and to other groups to fill the room as an efficient win/win for Rep. Amodei and constituents.
In the twelve years I have lived in Northern Nevada, I have never been unable to offer my input to any of my elected officials except Harry Reid. His staffer literally raised her voice over the phone and told me, “the Senator has made up his mind and doesn’t need your input.” Now that is evasive.
Mr. Gibb’s tone and content are suggestive of a perpetual complainer ignorant of the functioning of our republican form of government. He wrote he only reviewed Rep. Amodei’s legislative activities after failing to obtain a meeting. You got that backwards Mr. Gibb.
Legislative meetings often begin with constituents meeting staff to research and fully develop a topic to ensure a more productive meeting for legislator and constituent.
He stated several grievances, such as: homelessness, affordable housing, and tourism. None of these are enumerated powers of the Federal Government in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, so they shouldn’t be on Rep. Amodei’s radar, nor yours for a meeting with him. Your representatives in the Nevada Legislature or your county or city government are actually able to address the issues you cited.
I’d expect a teacher to be more familiar with our Constitution. You hold a position of responsibility in society to develop engaged, informed citizens. You are not familiar how to interact professionally with a member of Congress, or our Constitution’s limits on federal power. That you offer an accusatory and cynical manner validates society’s concern for the future of our children.
I’ve spoken with Rep. Amodei a few times over the years. I once waited my turn for 90 minutes after an event to discuss an issue with him we disagreed on, and still disagree on. However, I can tell you he is a nice guy and isn’t afraid to sincerely discuss issues. Mark is anything but evasive.
Perhaps you should throttle back on the confrontational approach, learn about the Constitution, develop a concise thesis you wish to discuss, and try again? If staff are unable to accommodate you, honestly ask yourself why, and adapt your approach. Make it interesting. If they read your August 19th letter with its sarcasm and mockery, I wouldn’t expect a swift response. Good luck.
Shawn Meehan, Minden, Nevada, is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant that founded Guard The Constitution to teach the Constitution to elected officials and citizens and develop broad efforts to put it into practice.
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