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I Must Live In A Black Hole

By Greg L | 27 May 2012 | Prince William County | 10 Comments

After redistricting I’ve been moved from the 10th Congressional District to the 1st Congressional District.  I can handle that.  What is harder to handle is that when I attempt to send a message to my new Congressman via his website, I get this:

Your zip code indicates that you are outside of the 1st District of Virginia.

Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 1st District of Virginia.

Click Here to return to my home page.

Gee, thanks, Congressman.  Does that mean you’re not going to be asking for my vote in November?  I can’t even send these folks an email telling them there’s a problem here.

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  1. Chris said on 27 May 2012 at 8:16 pm:
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    Greg, give it time. They are probably still trying to configure their systems to the new map as well. If its like that by August, yeah its time to complain.

  2. Thad Hunter said on 27 May 2012 at 8:25 pm:
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    Why are you complaining? You will still be on the campaign literature mailing list and fundraising emails. We have too much democracy, constituents asking hard questions, and troublesome blogs as it is.

  3. Greg L said on 27 May 2012 at 8:35 pm:
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    The new map was signed into law by the Governor in January. It is now nearly June. For six months my congressman has been actively blocking any efforts I might have made to contact him by email about issues important to me. As much as I like Rob Wittman and appreciate the work he’s doing on my behalf I consider him firewalling constituent email off for six months to be completely unacceptable.

    As far as waiting two MORE months to have the opportunity to contact MY Congressman, I’m not planning on exhibiting any patience whatsoever. If it wasn’t for the fact it’s more than an hour’s drive to his nearest district office, I’d be at his door the next business day to present the concerns I wanted to have him address as well as engaging in a “frank exchange of ideas” about this situation. I just can’t afford the gas to do that.

  4. Just saying said on 28 May 2012 at 9:34 pm:
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    The pragmatic approach would be to use a bogus zip code that the website recognizes. What the heck, the response will be by email, right?

  5. Simon Oliver Lockwood said on 29 May 2012 at 12:44 am:
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    He doesn’t officially become your Congressman until the next Congress convenes next January and your house is in his distrct. Until then you’re not legally his constituent. The way to get around this is to send your email to his campaign office and ask that it be forwarded to the congressional office. Or you could send him an old-fashioned letter or make a phone call.

  6. Greg L said on 29 May 2012 at 8:13 am:
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    Pragmatically, I think he becomes my congressman once he wants me to vote for him. I’ll have that opportunity in November.

  7. Simon Oliver Lockwood said on 29 May 2012 at 5:47 pm:
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    The e-mail contact page on his website is a standard model designed - and probably managed - by the central House IT department. It was probably hardwired to match addresses to congressional districts back in 2003 and won’t be changed until after the next election with the new districts.

    If your issue with Wittman is important enough for you now to make a little extra effort to get ahold of him there are ways to do it. There’s his campaign e-mail address (after all he’s not your congressman now but he wants to be come January 2013). If you know or can find out the name of any of his staffers the formula for their e-mail address is [Firstname].[Lastname]@mail.house.gov . You could call his district office. If you can’t find the information any other way, e-mail me offline and I can let you know who the relevant staffer would be.

  8. Sanford D. Horn said on 30 May 2012 at 2:14 pm:
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    Ah, the bane of “advanced” technology. Go forth and part the red tape, Greg!

  9. James Young said on 31 May 2012 at 10:38 am:
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    Happened to me — well, my eleven-year-old, Patrick, when he was working on his Citizenship in the Nation merit badge — when we tried it, too. Had to send his letter to Gerry Connolly, instead.

    To Patrick’s credit, he picked that particular bone with his Congressman at the 1st District Convention, and acquitted himself well. Rob explained that these things are administered by the House, not the individual congressional offices. Asked for my card, and a few days later (and before Connolly) responded, I received an e-mail from Rob’s office.

  10. James Young said on 31 May 2012 at 10:39 am:
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    Misplaced that end parentheses.

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