Anti-choice Ravalli County Commissioner Suzy Foss (R) is tired of hearing from people who are concerned about her bad ideas.
Some time ago, the county commission tried to refuse family planning money from the state legislature. The money would have covered things like cervical cancer screening and support for unplanned pregnancy (though not abortions, which the Ravalli county health clinic does not provide). But cervical cancer screenings and the like are anathema to the pro-abstinence, anti-choice crowd. So angry Foss, representing the right wing of the Republican party of Ravalli, proudly advocated that the commission refuse the state funding for its county health center.
But as with most things right-wing Republicans do, it backfired. Local leaders were angry about the effort to reject the money, and so the commission was forced to capitulate. The county ended up taking the money.
Now when the legislature is over the funding will soon be up for renewal, and local right-wingers are again making noise about refusing it. Foss is thus dreading getting many letters and emails, and many concerned citizens who will show up to testify at hearings about the matter. Foss doesn’t like all this advocacy, and so she fired off a letter to the county health department, accusing county health officials of generating the emails and letters and of “bringing in out-of-county Pro Choice people to bombard our emails and to protest during our meetings.” She also made a thinly veiled threat, that she would vote against the money simply out of spite:
“While this gets lots of press it does not help your perceived agenda with us, at least not with me. It actually ticks me off and I have to fight my urge to say no on principle versus listen to a staff report.”
Politicians exist in their job for only a few purposes, one of which is to listen to constituents. Foss should keep this in mind.