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Letter to the Editor: How Do ‘Representative’ and ‘Representation’ Relate?

This is an open letter to Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Mike Gallagher. Please hold open town hall meetings or listening sessions in Door County. Does the word “representative” have any connection to the concept of “representation?”

Once elected, do senators and congressmen have license to vote their personal opinions or do they have a responsibility to represent the constituents of their district (in the case of Congress) or the state (in the case of the Senate)? If they are under any obligation to represent their district/state how do they develop or maintain communication with their constituents? Certainly phone calls and emails are part of the communication links. But town hall meetings and open listening sessions can be much more effective for constituents and elected officials alike. Invitation-only listening sessions are not good enough.

So, Senator Johnson received 50.2 percent of the vote in the last election but has voted 100 percent consistently with the Trump agenda since the new Congress was formed. That record is even more of a concern when one realizes that Mr. Trump received only 47.9 percent of the Wisconsin vote. Again, hardly a mandate for Senator Johnson to vote 100 percent in support of the Trump agenda. More than 50 percent of the voters of Wisconsin did not vote for either Senator Johnson or Mr. Trump.

The same can be said about Congressman Mike Gallagher who did win the election with 63 percent of the vote. Definitely a majority, but still below the 100 percent level. Yet he has voted 100 percent of the time consistently with the wishes of the Trump Administration.

So, I ask for two things: 1. Senator Johnson and Representative Gallagher please have town hall meetings and open listening sessions in Door County so that the voices and opinions of all constituents and not just selected Republican donors can be heard, and 2. I would like an answer to my opening question, does the word “representative” have any connection to the concept of “representation?”

Mike Brodd

Sister Bay, Wis.