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Dear Rep. Latham (IA)

[Editor’s note: Christopher has no idea what year he lives in. This letter was sent in 2010.]


Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393


March 08, 2009


Congressman Tom Latham
2217 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Rep. Tom Latham,

your colleague Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced The Citizen Participation Act, (H. R. 4364) the first Federal anti-SLAPP legislation, to Congress. I’m no expert in these things, but it seems like a pretty good law, and if I were a Congressman I’d vote for it, so I am writing you and asking you to do it for me!

The bill describes its purpose as follows:

To protect first amendment rights of petition and free speech by preventing States and the United States from allowing meritless lawsuits arising from acts in furtherance of those rights, commonly called “SLAPPs”, and for other purposes.

I don’t see anything any right thinking individual could object to, but I am sure there are some haters of Liberty out there. I bet some people will even vote against this bill! Someone should assemble a list of these naysayers so people know who to vote against in the next election.

Anyway, I am including a five spot toward your next run for public office (or if you prefer, buy yourself a coffee. You work hard and deserve it).

Sincerely,


Christopher L. Jorgensen

p.s. anyway I could get an autographed photo for a friend? Just make it out to “Marc J. Randazza” and say something like “All the best!”

Sponsor:

Reply:

Congress of the United States

April 26, 2010

 

Tom Latham
Congressman
4th District, Iowa


Mr. Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393


Dear Christopher:

Thank you for contacting me to share your support for H.R. 4364, the Citizen Participation Act of 2009. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this issue.

As you know, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. 4364 on December 19, 2009. Among other provisions, the bill declares that Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), filed against thousands of individuals, organizations, and businesses based upon their valid exercise of the rights to petition or free speech, are an abuse of the judicial process that waste judicial resources and clog the already over-burdened court dockets. The bill also seeks to declare immunity from civil liability to any act of petitioning the government made without knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of falsity, requiring a plaintiff to prove knowledge of falsity by clear and convincing evidence. After introduction, H.R. 4364 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it awaits further consideration by the Committee.

Please be assured I will keep our common support personal freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution in mind should the full U.S. House consider H.R. 4364 during the remainder of the 111th Congress and whenever the U.S. House considers issues related to our constitutional rights.

While I appreciate the sentiment in which it was intended, I am returning the five dollar bill you attached to your correspondence as I do not accept financial contributions in my capacity as a U.S. Representative.

Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. It is through your comments that I am better able to represent the people of Iowa.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Tom Latham
Member of Congress

TL/AB


Washington Office:
2217 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-5476
202-225-3301 Fax
1-866-428-5642

Ames Office:
1421 South Bell Avenue
Suite 108A
Ames, Iowa 50010
515-232-2885
515-232-2844 Fax

Clear Lake/Mason City Office:
812 Hwy 18 East
P. O. Box 532
Clear Lake, Iowa 50428
641-357-5225
641-357-5226 Fax

Fort Dodge Office:
1426 Central Avenue
Suite A
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
515-573-2738
515-576-7141 Fax

Internet:
www.tomlatham.house.gov

Rep. Latham (IA) website: www.tomlatham.house.gov

Scan of the photo from Congressman Tom Latham Scan of the letter from Congressman Tom Latham

Commentary:

See also: Rep. Steve Cohen.

I am a bit confused and confuzzled by Latham’s line, “While I appreciate the sentiment in which it was intended, I am returning the five dollar bill you attached to your correspondence as I do not accept financial contributions in my capacity as a U.S. Representative.” I can’t find one person (and I have looked) that has ever heard of a politician refusing money (unless it’s tainted by controversy).

He voted no on the Health Care Bill, but honestly, did anyone expect any Republicans to do otherwise? I’m not sure I can hold this against him.

Say what you will about Rep. Latham, at least he’s not an asshat like Rep. Steve King.

On a side note: H.R. 4362 is important. Bloggers, journalists, and yes, even satirists, need something like this. In fact, anyone that loves free speech should be writing their representatives.

By Christopher L. Jorgensen

Website: http://jackassletters.com

Have a comment? Put a stamp on an envelope and drop it in the mail to:

Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

Be sure to mention what letter your comment applies to. Adding some cash with your correspondence is a good thing. You can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you must.

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