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Ayotte's vote represents the worst of Washington politics

  • Published in Letters
To the editor,
Senator Ayotte:
While I appreciate your response to my note, I find your explanation rather weak. I attended your "town hall meeting" in Tilton, where you said basically the same thing and then failed to respond directly to my and many others' concerns regarding your vote. It was cowardly of you to ignore the "elephant in the room" that one questioner referenced and instead respond to a clearly political question about Benghazi.
What I wanted to ask was how you justify ignoring the will of 90 percent of your constituents? After all, you are an elected member of our representative democracy who has a responsibility to respect the will of the people. When do 90 percent of us agree on anything and what is your justification for ignoring our consensus on background checks?
From your response and your op-ed, you appear to think we are ignorant; we are wrong about background checks and you are right about our "broken" system. But, how is it broken if, 76,412 people were referred to the BATF and thus denied access to guns? Isn't this what background checks are designed for? Don't we want to first make it harder for criminals to get guns and then to prosecute them whenever we can? And, when you were N.H. Attorney General, did you have the resources to follow up on every case referred to your office? Does the BATF have the resources they need to follow up on every NICS referral and do you support providing them with those resources? You write in your op-ed that ads are poisoning this important discussion. Yet, your claim that the Grassley-Cruz amendment is somehow "bi-partisan," lacks the seriousness this issue deserves. What is bi-partisan is the will of the 90 percent of the people that you ignored; 270,000,000 Americans disagree with you.
In Tilton, I wanted to explain that your vote represents the worst of Washington politics; a political system where power begets power, money begets money, special interests always prevail, and the will of the people is increasingly irrelevant. With every day and every vote Washington moves us closer and closer to a Plutocracy. Is this the legacy you want?
Steve Merrill