Monday, August 06, 2007

Open letter to Rep. Jason Altmire (R-PA)

Below is a letter I sent to Representative Jason Altmire, a freshman congressman from Pennsylvania's Fourth District, and a Democrat. He unseated the terrible Republican Bush rubber stamper Melissa Hart last year. I was excited, and I donated to Mr. Altmire's campaign. Mr. Altmire's August 3 vote for President Bush's Orwellianly-named Protect America Act has led me to realize that the cash I sent to Mr. Altmire was wasted, and that Rep. Altmire has no respect for the Constitution he claims to uphold. The Protect America Act allows for tapping phone conversations without a warrant, whether the subject of surveillance is in the borders of the United States or not, whether the subject of surveillance is an American citizen or not, whether the subject of surveillance is being monitored for any probable cause or not.

Voting for this bill was irresponsible and runs contrary to everything the United States stands for. As I said to Mr. Altmire: he doesn't deserve to be in Congress, and neither do the other 40 Democrats who voted for this abomination (not to mention the 199 Republicans who voted for it, as well.)

Mr. Altmire,

I will keep this brief. I am a native of western Pennsylvania, from Hermitage. I spent a good deal of my youth in neighboring Farrell, in the Fourth District, where my grandparents lived. Though I moved out of the area long ago, I still feel connected to the area. My concern for western Pennsylvania led me to send you a contribution for your campaign for the House last year.

I see your name appears on the list of representatives who voted for President Bush's "Protect America Act," a bill that does the exact opposite of what its name suggests it does. It causes me pain to know that someone I backed has voted to effectively overturn the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

I will not make the mistake of supporting you again. You do not deserve to serve in Congress--if what you are doing can be realistically called "serving." I was glad to see you push Bush's bootlick Melissa Hart out of the Fourth District, but I can see it didn't make a dime's worth of difference.

You have disappointed your country, Mr. Altmire, and you have contributed to the disgrace of the austere institution you purport to serve. If you are replaced by a Republican next year, I won't care. Considering how loosely you handle our civil liberties, it won't matter at all.

I understand that you will not reply to people outside your district, so I don't expect to hear back from you. However, in the hopes that this letter won't vanish into the ether, I'm posting it on my blog as an open letter to you, for the benefit of all others to read.

Best of luck in your future job search. I hope you won't find it as depressing as I found this very important vote in Congress.

Kurt Kaletka
Watertown, Massachusetts

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