Grumble. Grumble. Why can't everyone be in the electronic age.

I quick came back to my computer tonight to help my wife schedule some meetings with our congressional delegation when she's in Washington DC within the next two weeks. She wants to try to get a few moments to introduce herself, as she's going there representing a statewide education association (no, not THAT one). She's there for a national conference, and she's representing SD as they go do their congressional visits. And it went ok, to a point.

Senator Thune, I filled out a handy on-line form and got it sent off.

Congresswoman Herseth, I sent an e-mail describing why she's going and what she wants to discuss.

Senator Johnson... Well, it looks like I have to do everything but provide a security clearance. Here's what I got when I went to try to find an e-mail address to get a note off explaining that she'd like to meet for a moment if possible:
If you would like to schedule a meeting with me in the Washington, DC office, please send a fax to Sonja Dean's attention at (202) 228-5765 with the following information so that the staff can be as accommodating as possible for all parties involved.

* Your name and the name of the organization (if any) you are representing
* Your hometown and telephone number in South Dakota
* The dates you will be in Washington, DC
* A list of other meeting attendees and their hometowns in South Dakota
* A list of issues you would like to discuss with the Senator
Isn't a faxed request a little archaic? No e-mail? (There ought to be a law).... Time for bed. I must be crabby and tired from all my conventioneering this past weekend..


Anonymous said…
Just because you can send an email form doesn't mean you can get a meeting.
PP said…
Well, duh.

But it's a lot less hassle to request one via e-mail than a fax.
Anonymous said…
Sen Johnson has copied what Gov. Rounds asked people who want a meeting for him to do. PP you should check it out. Rounds uses the same procedure. Just check with Tana---It's a joke in a state like SD with 750,000.
Anonymous said…
Maybe the Johnson process makes it more likely to get the meeting. That is what I meant.

Each office has their own procedures. South Dakotans shouldn't grumble though. Try getting a meeting with a Senator in a state with 11 or 12 million people.
Anonymous said…
Hey pp - Johnson's scheduler is Sonja Dean. You can E-MAIL her at
Douglas said…
Lawyers may know. Is there a legal difference in the "validity" of a fax versus and e-mail?

Not that it would probably make much difference for scheduling.

The anthrax scare in the Senate has really screwed up communications of all kinds as far as I can tell.

I have no idea what goes wrong in the Official Insurance Agency Record Keeping System in the Gov's Office however.

But, more ironic perhaps than politicians still in the smoke signal age, are tech and computer companies still locked to their fax machines.
Anonymous said…
Dude you are a moron. Look at the site it clearly has an email option. Plus, just because you fill out a form does not mean you are going to get a meeting with any of the delegates.
Anonymous said…
Anon 12:59

I think PP just has the ability to read and follow directions. If you click on the link aptly entitled "Schedule a Meeting," ( it tells you in bold type that you are supposed to send a fax. And the email form pull down for subjects does not include "schedule a meeting."

Maybe you ought to pay a little closer attention before pulling out the M word.
Anonymous said…
Last year I was in DC for a conference and tried to set up meetings with Johnson, Thune and Herseth. I had confirmed appointments with both Herseth and Johnson within days. However, despite repeated emails and calls I wasn't able to actually get an appointment arranged with Senator Thune. I finally had to use the "pull" of my son (who is politically connected). It was offensive to me that the only reason I could finally get in to see Thune was because he didn't want to offend my kid. Oh, and as a side note, my appointments with Johnson and Herseth were on time and very professional. I had to wait for about 2 hours for my appointment with Thune. The whole thing left me feeling like I just didn't matter.
Anonymous said…
"The anthrax scare in the Senate has really screwed up communications of all kinds as far as I can tell."

:) I think the anthrax scare must've taken place a few decades ago because the lines of communication in D.C. have been crosswise for years.

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