17 May 2011Dear Scott Walker,
I've been holding my tongue on this topic since it seems so trivial compared to the many, many other reasons I have to convey my outrage to you, but I would really appreciate it if you could address a troubling source of annoyance to me and the thousands of others who regularly write to you: your painfully irrelevant auto-replies.
Since I'm sure you have never read your auto-reply (I don't presume to assume that you write, since you obviously do not read), this is what it looks like:
Thank you for your e-mail message. I welcome you expressing your views and concerns to me, and I commend you for participating in your state government. I take into account the views of all of the citizens of Wisconsin, and I will keep your specific comments in mind during my service as your Governor.
If you would like more information about my positions on issues, or would like to read my public statements on issues, I encourage you to explore my website: www.walker.wi.gov. I like to respond individually to every letter and telephone call I receive; however, I cannot respond to each e-mail individually due to the volume. If your request is time sensitive, please call my office at (608) 266-1212. You may also write to me via conventional mail at Governor Scott Walker: PO Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707.
As noted on our website, please know that any communications may be subject to release under Wisconsin's public records law and that our policy is generally to release communications sent to this email address.
Once again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me again if I can ever be of assistance to you.
We really need to talk about this.
First of all, it's customary to reply to someone's email message with a header that begins "RE" (which stands for "regarding" or "in regard to") the subject of that person's message. This is preferable to your current auto-reply title, "Message from Governor Scott Walker," which is a weird and generic way of saying "Scott Walker did not read your message, and he did not write this reply, and he has nothing to say to you." I think there are friendlier ways to pretend you care about people, and if you employed better writers on your staff, they might go with the more conventional "RE: Why I hate you and I hate your ass-face" (or whatever the most popular subject line is in the emails you receive) and then at least people will know you're responding to their messages, instead of making a sort of formal declaration of your assholery.
Secondly, when you write to people who have just presented you with a thoughtful and heartfelt manifesto of the seemingly infinite ways in which you have negatively impacted their lives, and the lives of their children and others about whom they care deeply, you should probably not lie so many times. For instance, in your first paragraph, I count a minimum of five lies: (1) that you are thankful for receipt of my hate mail, (2) that you "welcome me expressing my views" [it pains me to mirror that grammar, it really does!], (3) that you "commend" my participation in my state government, (4) that you will keep "my specific comments in mind" and (5) that you "serve" me in any capacity as governor of this state. Now clearly, the first item I cannot prove; I only assume that one would not relish receiving mail of the sort I've been sending you these past months. But numbers 2-5 are easily proven: you have repeatedly attempted to silence the people of this state both by prohibiting the freedom of their expression in our Capitol, and attempting as hard as you could to prevent them from fully participating in their government by attempting to shut them out of the democratic process as you forced your budget bill through without sufficient time for public testimony (which, when it did occur, was openly mocked by Republican legislators, I should add). I am also quite confident that since you admit that it's likely you do not read your messages ("due to volume"), you will not keep "my specific comments in mind." If I'm wrong on this count, however, I would like to ask that you keep the following specific comments in mind, which I have written to you on numerous occasions and would like to repeat now:
- Stop lying, stop being so stubborn, and stop saying "People elected me CEO of Wisconsin."
- Stop listening to the honey-monied voices of policy pushers like Betsy DeVos and start caring about Wisconsin children and acknowledging the value of public education and the nationally-recognized excellence of Wisconsin public schools.
- Shame on you for thinking you can defy the law, reject the Constitution, ignore the voices of your constituents. Shame on you for your cowardly actions, your subversive and disastrous efforts to put your own agendas before the needs of the people of Wisconsin. Shame on you for hijacking the people's house and abusing your power at every turn. Shame on your for attacking the rights of hard-working, tax-paying citizens and treating them as if they were less than human.
- I'm way smarter than a third grader. Read my letters. Read the letters of informed and concerned adults with serious concerns and valid complaints and stop trivializing our dissent.
- Above all, RESIGN. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in each of my letters, so if you only have room to "take into account" one of my "specific comments," I'd vote for this one. And I do vote. So watch out, because resignation is your only chance of avoiding a recall.
Thirdly, I cannot think of anything more patronizing and condescending than your suggestion that all of my complaints, agonies, anxieties, fears, angers and frustrations might easily be solved if only I took a moment to "explore" the El Dorado of Information that is your official website. Have you ever even been to your website? It sucks. It is completely devoid of any helpful information. Even Van Hollen's website is more valuable, since at least it shows how important he finds his "credentials" as former Grandmaster of the Freemasons of Wisconsin or whatever the hell his boys' club title was.
Fourthly, thanks for the thinly veiled threat to run to the press if you don't like what I say or how I say it, but I already know that letters to public officials are in the public domain, and have happily gone a step further by making all of my letters to you public on my own website, which I "encourage you to explore" if you need to refresh your memory of what "specific comments" of mine you'd like to "keep in mind" as you pretend to govern this state.
Finally, your concluding paragraph is a monument to your incompetence and disingenuity. You pretend, in closing, to be - "again" - really thankful for my correspondence, and then suggest that I contact you again in the future if you ever can be of assistance. What? You just told me you're sorry, but you cannot be of any assistance. And you've already proven that you refuse to assist me in any way (unless of course I suddenly win the lottery or inherit a fortune sufficient to earn your assistance, that is). I have already given you many very specific suggestions for how you could be of assistance to me. The most immediately helpful thing you could do would be to resign. So do that, ok?
And stop sending me that infuriating auto-reply, please. I don't want to see it again. I'd rather go back to the old way before you were pressured to comply with the law that requires you to make your email public - you know, when you just ignored or deleted or disposed otherwise of all your hatemail and then told everyone that the mail you received was overwhelmingly supportive. Supportive, one can only assume, of your resignation.
Once again, resign. And do not reply.
Heather DuBois Bourenane
Wisconsin taxpayer and writer of letters worth more than your bullshit auto-replies
Dramatization of what I can only assume to be the bulk of your voice mail contents.
|Ocular proof that I have not misrepresented how stupid your auto-reply really is.|