NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #90

Elections Are Warming Up

As a constituent, you are entitled to receive a response to any reasonable question you pose to local, state, and even U.S. elected officials that specifically represent you. Usually that includes city or local council members, a state representative and state senator, a Member of the US House of Representatives and two US Senators.

Pick the local, state, and national issues that are important to you and then ask the appropriate elected official what their position is on these issues. From a motorists perspective you might ask these kinds of questions:

Local Officials

  • What is your position on raising the speed limit on XYZ Boulevard to 45 MPH?
  • Do you support placing red light or speed cameras in our community?
  • What is your opinion of police roadblocks?

State Officials

  • What is your position on raising the maximum state speed limit to 75 MPH?
  • Would you support legalizing/outlawing automated traffic ticket systems for speed enforcement?
  • Would you vote for eliminating the requirement that motorists come to a complete stop before they make a right turn on red?

National Officials

  • Would you support converting some or all of our Interstate highways to toll roads?
  • Would you vote to increase the gas tax if the money was devoted solely to building and maintaining highways?
  • Should gas tax money be spent on local and state enforcement of traffic laws?

I emphasize that these are just examples. However, when you ask these questions try to be as neutral-sounding as possible. You want the closest thing you can get to an honest answer — not the answer they think you want to hear.

The same questions should be asked of other candidates for the same office. If your letter is not answered, consider it a sure sign the recipient is hoping the non-response will leave you in the dark and you might still vote for him or her if the other candidates responds in a manner contrary to your preferences.

Don’t reward this tactic with your vote. When all the responses are in you may find that you can’t support any of the candidates. It may be better not to vote for anyone than to vote for someone who doesn’t reflect your views or who refuses to divulge his/her position. This isn’t to suggest that you insist on ideological purity, but rather that you balance the responses to find the lesser of the two evils.

The issues that concern us, as motorists, are often considered to be “too minor” to publicly debate or to offer a set of positions. A thoughtful and courteous letter is a good way to get the answers you seek.

These people are representing you and they have a responsibility to give you the best answer they can, when you put forth a question for them to respond to. If they don’t respond, they don’t deserve your vote.

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Newsletter Archives:
You can now view all past issues of the NMA email newsletter, including this one, online here: http://alerts.motorists.org/tag/emailnewsletter

Want to find the speed traps in your neighborhood?
Check out the NMA’s speed trap registry at www.speedtrap.org.

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