Depending who you ask, freshman Senator Scott Brown got himself elected on a platform of populist rage against health care reform, a reaction of populist frustration with the health care reform process on Capitol Hill, or a flood of insurance-company money. In those two cases that involve Bay Stater constituents, Sen. Brown styles himself as a faithful representative of his people. In all three cases, he is an elected representative of Massachusetts to the national government. He has constituents. And he styles himself as a leader in Washington.
However, Sen. Brown has made it very difficult for his constituents to contact him. His web site, which despite being up for a month still says “temporary” on the front page, lists no email address for him, and some Boston Globe readers have in the past written letters to the editor on how hard it is to contact his office by other means. Now that health care reform is safely passed his vote – and the Democrats are not likely to bring the issue up again – I suspect that his Senate email address will magically pop into existence in short order.
Sen. Brown has certainly made his priorities in Washington very clear. One of the first things he did was get campaigning for Sen. John McCain’s reelection. And he spent some time with Republican leaders getting cushy committee appointments. And he went to extra effort to look immediately like a leader in Congress. But for his constituents in Massachusetts, no email address. (Message to American voters: “I’m a Washington outsider!” is campaign code for “I want to be a Washington insider!“)
It took me, oh, about a week to code up my own personal web site from scratch. That’s me, one person, working in my off hours. I’m guessing Sen. Brown hired someone to make his Senate web site, so there’s no reason it should still say “temporary.”
I worked for the federal government over the summer, and it took them one day to give me a working email address. (Pretty funny IT training, too: “When you get your email, please don’t go emailing all your friends and relatives because it says your name @nasa.gov.”) Does he really not have an address for voters to write to him yet?
It’s the Internet age, Senator Brown, and you have constituents. Time to give up the campaign truck and get on the ball.