Letters from Legislators
Letters to Legislators observations

A Curious Letter from a Politician

I got a curious letter from a politician recently.

Letter from Rep. Pete Stauber concerning the adoption of children from China by families in the United States, June 8, 2021.
Letter from Rep. Pete Stauber concerning the adoption of children from China by families in the United States, June 8, 2021.

 

It’s a letter from Republican Representative Pete Stauber of Minnesota’s 8th District regarding the adoption of children from China by people in the United States, with the unification of the adopted children with their adoptive families having been halted due to the pandemic. The letter explains what Stauber is doing about the issue.

Here’s what’s curious about the letter.

It came addressed to me, personally, but shows my work address and arrived via my work email. The final paragraph contains the sentence, “If you have further questions or would like to share your thoughts about other issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office,” which implies that I had written to him about the issue.

Thing is, I never contacted Rep. Stauber’s office about this issue, which I am completely unversed in. Additionally, I never would have contacted him using my work email and address for an issue that has nothing to do with my nonprofit museum’s mission.

Do you find this as vaguely unsettling as I do?

It’s as though Rep. Stauber is trying to drum up nonexistent support for an issue by sending out a letter that makes it appear as though I have contacted his office about it first. By using my work email and address, the letter also implies that my organization has expressed interest in this issue.

I hate to be a Negative Nelly, but today’s Republicans have blatantly indicated that they are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power, including suppressing the vote. When I see a strange tactic like the letter above, I have trouble trusting that it’s merely a politician keeping me abreast of an issue. Of all the issues facing Congress right now, like investigating the January 6 insurrection and passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and an infrastructure bill, to name a few, why send out a letter on the Chinese adoption issue? What political hay is being made here?

What do you make of this letter? Am I reading too much into it?

Have you ever gotten a letter from a politician like the one above?

Thoughtful comments welcome.