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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It is called constituent services

Legislators shake trees. We do it on a regular basis. Constituents call with issues of concern or in need of help and we try to help if possible. Now I am not talking about fixing tickets or getting some one out of jail but minor issues where people are having trouble dealing with government come up. Some times we smooth out a rough patch someone is having, sometimes we direct them to where they can best get the desired results they need. Occasionally we have to put some heat on or cajole people to do the right thing for our constituents if there is an injustice going on or someone has closed a door that might ought to be opened.

The two areas I have been directed to stay out of (And I do) are direct criminal proceedings and proceedings that are going to go to court (Law suits between parties, divorce, child custody cases, etc.) We don't want to be dragged into court as any sort of witness or to testify. That is not part of our job. If it does not go into one of those groups and it deals with a government interaction most legislators try to help. It is what we do.

If no money changed hands and they were not trying to cover up criminal activity they have a right to try and do what is best for their constituents. If someone was being rail roaded (I can not speak for this situation in particular) I don't see a problem with holding a group we have oversight over, up for questioning and review. If that review (formal or informal) did not sit well with the legislator then it is well within the legislatures purview to try to do something about it and make it right and fair for their constituent. That is what oversight and review is all about.

While we can not guarantee results (I bat about 25 to 50% success depending on the issue) it is called constituent service and we all do it.

1 comment:

  1. I would however comment that it is the Constitutional authority of the Legislature, to initiate in the House and convict in the Senate, the impeachment of Judicial officers.
    If more attention were given to that responsibility, there would likely be far fewer requests for intervention by constituents.
    In this State, apparently we follow the policy of once donning the black robe, a member of the bench is thereby beatified into Judicial Sainthood, or, at the very least, rises above our Constitution.


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