***UPDATED and BUMPED***SCROLL FOR UPDATE
As you probably know if you have ever read what I write, I am a Republican. My current House of Representatives representative is Chris Murphy (D – Dist 5 – CT). I actually believe that Mr. Murphy has a belief that he represents all of his district. However, I also believe that elected government officials have a responsibility to explain their actions and votes to their constituents.
In the last two days I have sent Mr. Murphy two separate emails. The first asks Mr. Murphy to explain his vote on H.R. 1591 which is the bill that tried to set timetables for the removal of troops of Iraq, cut funding for those troops, and was loaded with millions and millions of dollars of “pork” just to get Democratic members of the House to vote for it. If you haven’t seen the breakdown of this bill, read this editorial in the Washington Post (Note: In general the Post is a very left-leaning newspaper).
With all of this in mind, I wrote the following email to Mr. Murphy:
I would like a written explanation from you regarding your vote on H.R. 1591. You voted for this pork laden bill and many of us want to understand why you did this. Was it simply because you only vote party line? Or was it that there is some overriding reason you feel that supporting the troops is not something you should do?
I await your answer
So far, Mr. Murphy has not responded, but I will update this post when he does.
I also wrote to Mr. Murphy with regards to the recent trip by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the Middle East in general, and to the country of Syria in particular. According to the Constitution of the United States of America, only the executive branch has the right to conduct foreign affairs and policies relating to foreign affairs. President Bush asked that Mrs. Pelosi not undertake the trip because she does not represent the policies of the current White House. Mrs. Pelosi, undeterred, made the trip to Syria, and promptly gave untrue information to Syrian President (aka dictator) Assad. See this article for details.
Unfortunately, as the article points out, Mrs. Pelosi was not portraying information from Israel as she stated. In fact, the country of Israel had to quickly point out that what Mrs. Pelosi told Assad was not true. By trying to undertake the foreign policy message of her own initiative, Mrs. Pelosi violated he tenets of the Constitution. And in fact, she may have violated the law – the Logan Act. The act states:
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
According to the Constitution, the foreign policy conducted by the US is the purview of the President, and his/her appointees of the State Department. With that in mind, I wrote the following to Mr. Murphy:
The current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has…in my opinion…completely disgraced that important position by going to Syria against the wishes of the government that she professes to serve. This is utterly inexcusable and unacceptable! It is most definitely NOT the business of the Speaker of the House or any member of Congress to usurp the authority of the President, especially in the middle of a DANGEROUS war! People have been skirting around the issue by calling it a difference of opinion, an “alternative foreign policy” (Tom Lantos), a constitutional duty (Arlen Specter), a Congressional perogative…this is ALL nonsense!!
There has also been talk of the possible violation of the “Logan Act” by Ms Pelosi. I think, technically, that is probably the case…and I would like to see her prosecuted. However, I am realistic enough to know this is probably not going to happen. However, it IS within the authority of the House of Representatives to discipline one of their own. This is a VERY serious breach of ethics and conduct! Ms Pelosi is not a Prime Minister, Secretary of State, or an Ambassador. Her public disputes and disagreements with the Bush administration need to stay IN THIS COUNTRY!
I regretfully, but strongly, add my name to a growing list of voters who ask that the House immediately launch a probe into the outrageous conduct of Nancy Pelosi and others who went with her (including any Republicans who participated in this) and that, if faced with continuing treachery of this sort, steps be taken to remove Pelosi and others from their leadership roles. I have no wish to see Ms Pelosi publicly humiliated (even though the same consideration for President Bush on her part has not been evident)…having said that however, if she insists on escalating this behavior to the point where it becomes a critical matter to do so, then so be it!
That some in this government would prefer to talk with our enemies rather than our own President is horrible!! I know that if President Bush intruded himself into the Congress’ legitimate business, that he would and SHOULD be roundly criticized for it. Now it is Congresses turn to put the mirror to its own conduct and DO THE RIGHT
I strongly urge you to discuss this with the House ethics committee and anyone else you may deem necessary to include. Perhaps you could prevail upon Nancy Pelosi herself to resign from the Speaker of the House position. She does not belong there…PERIOD!! If NOTHING at all is done about this situation, it WILL send a signal to not only our enemies abroad, but a clear signal to others in Congress and elsewhere that interference in our crucial foreign policy will be tolerated even to the disastrous consequence of our failure to WIN this or any other future war!
It is time to set Mrs. Pelosi straight as to what her job is, along with anyone else who may wish to oppose the duly ELECTED President in this way. It may yet come down to a choice of her losing her job or this country losing the war. NO ONE’S job is so important that it should be protected at all costs against the prospect of complete and utter failure of our foreign policy and the horrible thought of what could come after that.
I look forward to your reply on this matter.
Again, I will update this post when, and if, I hear back from Mr. Murphy.
The original emails to Mr. Murphy were sent prior to the first publishing of this article on 4/9/07. To date all I have heard from Mr. Murphy is two "form" emails stating that he would get back to me. Because of that, today I sent the following email to Rep. Murphy:
Several weeks back I wrote two emails to you. Although I got your form response email stating that you would get back to me, I have not heard from you to date. It has been almost 3 weeks.
The first dealt with your reasoning/rationale for voting for HR 1591. Surely, since you already had voted for this pork laden bill, you had a reason to do so. It seems to me that it should not take three weeks of research to see why you voted for the bill. As one of your constituents I would like an immediate answer.
The second email asked you to begin discussions with the House Ethics committee on the possible transgression of the law by Speaker Pelosi (and others) with regards to her trip to Syria. This is even more important now that she is making known intentions to visit Iran. As I explained in my previous email, it appears that Speaker Pelosi may have violated the Logan Act. To wit:§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments. Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly ommences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.Please let me know the status of your discussions/investigations with the
House Ethics Committee.
IN addition, please update me on the status of investigations into Rep. William Jefferson (why hasn't he been removed from his committees), Speaker Pelosi's ties to minimum wage and Starkist Tuna, and Rep. Mollohan. I assume that you believe that even the impression of impropriety by elected representatives needs to be investigated.
Finally, I would like you to put into words your reasoning of why Congress should try to micromanage the military situation in Iraq, as opposed to the military leaders who are paid to make the right decisions there. Why would any member of Congress think they are better qualified? Why would you vote for any measure that attempts to take control of and micromanage the military? Do you have a Constitutional basis for trying to control the military through Congress?
I await your reply. Hopefully I don't just get an automated form letter again.