Congressman Raul Labrador was questioned by a City Club attendee about why, when the Idaho resident – who lives in the 2nd District but owns a business in the 1st District – comments to Labrador's official website, his comments are rejected, with a message saying Labrador doesn't respond to emails “from an individual residing outside my congressional district.” The questioner asked, “Don't you represent all Idahoans? Why can't I comment to you as an Idaho resident and employer?”
Labrador responded, “It's a great question, and whoever asked it, thank you, because we're having a major problem with this.” He said his office receives 2,000 letters, calls and emails every week. “So we have to do something on our website, that we cannot allow anybody who lives outside of our congressional district to send emails to us through the Website. If you send a letter, we will always respond.” He said the number of emails just overwhelms his staff. “A lot of people want to communicate with us, so please do it by letter and we will always respond to you.” His staff said the office also responds to calls and faxes from 2nd District residents - just not emails through its website, whose programming blocks messages from outside the district.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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