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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Ire

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Today was the day I decided to write a letter to the governor.

It’s what I do when I have exhausted all outlets dealing with the lesser forms of Michigan state government. Sometimes you can only get people to move if you go straight to the top. For the most part, I am happy with the Peter Principled obsolescence that is our public sector state government. Every once in a while, I go off the rails, usually in my dealings with the Secretary of State office, and most of that results from standing in line while clerks talk on their cell phones or decide on a coffee break when there are 87 people in line.

The last time I wrote a letter to the governor, the object of my disapproving ire was Governor Jen. The Granholm administration was many things, none of which included openness in the executive office in Lansing. Getting elected and hiding under a rock for three years, yes; addressing the state’s problems, no. It was possible to find the mailing address on our lovely state website, but Governor Jen’s email address and phone number were not listed. It’s a new millennium, but my guess is that she didn’t want to be easily reached.

On the other hand, her First Man and husband, Dan Mulhern, had his own page. And paycheck. I guess he didn’t have enough to do being an attorney and author.

Imagine my surprise when today I pull up the new michigan.gov web site, where I find not only our geek/nerd Governor Rick Snyder’s snail mail address, but also his email address, two phone numbers and a fax number. I was so momentarily knocked off my pissy attitude by so much information and so many lines of communication open to the state capitol, that I nearly forgot what I was there for.

Although I’m a staunchly independent Libertarian, I surmise that hiding one’s light under a bushel basket is a Democratic trait. To test my theory, I decided to Google “Speaker of the House” and of course, came up with John Boehner’s Speaker of the House web site. Shock of shocks, but Mr. Boehner also leaves his mailing address and phone number. Not only that, it is possible to sign up for email blasts and to leave him comments via his web page. Even if you’re not a Republican!  Even if you don’t live in Ohio!!

Contrast that with the last Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. I once tried to leave her a comment on the Speaker web page, but when I typed in my address, I was dumped into an evil cousin of Error Message 404. It appears that you could not leave her a comment unless you lived in her congressional district. I avoided the dreaded short cut to the round can by typing in my son’s address in San Francisco. (I’m sure both of them loved that.) Surely there must be more than one non-Democrat in NorCal.

Surely Ms. Pelosi expected some thorns to be thrown her way, not just roses. She was the Speaker of the House for the entire House, not just for her district. When politicians think their actions don’t affect everyone in the country, it’s time to play musical chairs.

As for Governor Nerd — I mean, Snyder, he’s only been in office a few weeks, but already I’m liking him. Listing his email address and phone numbers has endeared him to me, even though he hasn’t done anything yet.

Now that I have his digits, I might just give him a call.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.