So, this 4-page mailer of yours showed up in our mailbox today. It's positioned as a sort of "State of the District" update and states quite clearly that it was "prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense." However, your brochure is a little more than a campaign mailer, rife with propaganda. Let's step through this one bit at a time:
"Our institutions are the best ever created." This may have been true, but as we type, your dotard President, who you've spoken highly of at nearly every opportunity, has left more than 4,000 positions unfilled, including 620 Senate-confirmed "key positions." His administration has seen the highest turnover rate for first-year staff in 40 years! Those who remain have actively worked to gut our institutions, including the State Department, EPA, and Consumer Protection Bureau. Do yourself a favor and Google "institutions under threat by Trump" and read up on why so many of our "best ever" institutions are operating in near-chaos. Finally, after blocking more than 100 federal court appointments during the Obama years, the GOP-led Senate now seems happy to pack our courts with ideologues so woefully unqualified, that the American Bar Association is sounding the alarm.
"After eight years of economic stagnation..." Really? Under the Obama administration our country was lifted from the Great Recession, and entered into a period of sustained economic growth that continues to this day. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act worked, adding 2.4 million private sector and 1.7 million government jobs in the first 18 months since it was passed. 2014 and 2015 were the strongest years for job growth in America since 1999.
But you voted against ARRA, remember? In fact, you frequently spoke out against the bill that extended unemployment and provided mortgage relief for millions of struggling Americans, saving our country from depression. IN FACT, you once tried to take credit for a new rehab clinic in Grass Valley that was funded by ARRA. Now that ARRA has largely paid for itself, what say you now?
"...our tax reform bill will mean better pay, more jobs and greater opportunities in the coming year." Did you not get the memo? The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment continues to decline and was last reported at a low 4.1%. The job market can't get much tighter. As for better pay, that remains to be seen. Companies were already flush with domestic cash before your Tax Scam, so if they were going to raise wages they would've already done so. So far, it appears that companies are more likely to hand out one-time bonuses in lieu of raising salaries. If you were serious about creating jobs, instead of adding $1.4 trillion to our deficit, you would have used that money for an infrastructure bill to repair and upgrade our crumbling transportation network, schools, power grid, etc.
"I supported [the Tax Scam] only after securing changes needed to protect Californians from the adverse effects of our State's policies of high taxes and inflated costs of living." Where to even begin? First off, you were the ONLY member of the House to switch your vote to "Yes" despite the fact that the bill was extremely unpopular, with only 30% of registered voters in favor. Those protections you speak of? They disappear in a few years, leaving your constituents with a tax hike. Here's a handy calculator if you need help. Finally, if we didn't like our taxes here in CA, we wouldn't keep voting for propositions that require them or elect the politicians that put them in place. California drives our nation's economy and recently passed Great Britain to become the 5th largest economy in the world. We're proud of our state and would appreciate you not bashing our home at every opportunity. Oh yeah... Home prices? They're not "inflated"... They are what the market will bear. You might want to read up on the law of supply and demand.
"Securing reliable and abundant water supplies..." Yes. You've made it very clear that building dams to secure water for your friends in Big Ag down in SoCal is a top priority. Of course, these low-elevation projects you covet will do nothing to help wells drying up in our foothill communities. Learn to work with conservationists and think outside the box.
By this point, you must understand that your mailer and it's attempt to put a positive spin on the crisis our nation finds itself in makes you sound like you've completely lost your grasp of reality.
- The growing, and record-setting wealth gap
- Broadband access for rural communities, or the loss of Net Neutrality
- Any mention of the Detwiler fire or why you went MIA for six days while our district was burning
- Common sense gun control (BTW, what ever happened to than ban on bump stocks?)
- A path to citizenship for DREAMers
- Adequately funding the Forest Service
- The attack on our homeless veterans
- The unchecked threat from Russia
Last thing. It's true that you are good about attending our town hall meetings and hosting conference calls. However, at each meeting you've made it clear that you have no interest in hearing what your constituents have to say. Your approach is often condescending and patronizing, and you speak with a degree of self-righteousness that we find off-putting. In the face of overwhelming opposition, you've managed to harden your extreme, right-wing positions and come off as an ideologue. So take this advice... Listen to your constituents and find a way to talk WITH them, not over them.
Let's get real. You've been on the job now for nine years, and during that time you introduced a paltry 33 bills, of which, only 3 have become law: You got two post offices renamed and gave 41 acres of federal land to the tribe that owns the Red Hawk Casino. Your current top legislative priority appears to be a bill that allows mountain bikes in wilderness areas, a bill that fundamentally undermines the very purpose of wilderness designation; a bill that not even the International Mountain Biking Association wants.
So, Tom. I hope you will understand that while we would appreciate a good fact-based assessment of our district, the work of propaganda you sent us will go where it belongs; in the trash, next to the egg shells and on top of the coffee grounds. Your words will decompose and be reduced to their fundamental existence: dirt.
Looking forward to your early retirement,
- Sierra Nevada Revolution