Letters to the Editor

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MURRAY: Legislators aren’t listening to us

Letter by Richard R. Walker, Olympia on June 1, 2012 at 11:48 am with 34 Comments »
June 1, 2012 2:26 pm

I recently tried to communicate with one of our U.S. senators, Patty Murray. I went to her website and dutifully described what I thought to be a travesty: The budget is going to increase health care costs for retirees like me exponentially because I stupidly (apparently) was successful and stayed in the military for more than 30 years. It is money we will be cut this year, with no way to make up the costs.

I got an auto-response that did not answer or respond to any of the points and questions I posed. When I tried to reply to her, the message bounced. So I tried to find an address to send a note about the fact that she apparently does not support military retirees and specifically supports what is in fact an additional income tax on military retirees. I can’t find a postal address for her anywhere.

This reminds me of the last election when several members of Washington’s congressional delegation refused to listen to or even meet with their constituents who were mostly angry. Such people are cowards and do not want to even hear what their voters are concerned about, let alone act on such things.

It is one thing to send out form response letters. It is clearly another to make it difficult for voters to communicate with their legislators by hiding.

What is Murray afraid of? No wonder she doesn’t know or care what her voters think.

Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. I have had the same issue when contacting her. They pick out a response that they think is close and send it. You are right. She really doesn’t want to hear from us. Below is the address for her Washington DC office.

    448 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-2621
    Fax: (202) 224-0238
    Toll Free: (866) 481-9186

  2. I don’t think its “stupid” to serve your country for 3 decades……

  3. Next time you enjoy your veterans benefits, Richard, thank Senator Murray instead of whining because you didn’t get a personal response from someone who serves a couple of million adults.

  4. Richard, try contacting one of the local offices and talk to a staff person if you really want to dialog and find out how she stands on a specific issue. With hundreds of people contacting her office every day, staff has to prioritize those with immediate need for assistance. Issue advocacy is better done through advocacy groups.

    I think you will find Murray as one of the most helpful Senators in supporting veterans in Congress.

    I think there will be a big fight in Congress over veteran, especially retiree, healthcare costs. I think it is already one area where Republicans are realizing that they cannot keep taxes so low while healthcare costs have risen so much.

    Somebody has to pay for the increases in costs, so the administratin is saying, either raise some revenue or cut some benefits. Medicare has already been cut, Medicaid slashed, so the lower proiority items for cutting, like veterans has to be looked at unless revenue increases.

  5. HistoryFan says:

    I too received such a form letter. While I did not expect a personal reply, her letter told what she thought about the issue I was commenting about. Her stance is much different from mine. I would suggest her auto reply’s mention she will consider our opinions as just as valid as hers.

  6. concernedtacoma7 says:

    30 years of service and the only reason he gets benefits is because of Murray? New low. Try again.

  7. Some people are so ignorant that reading and comprehension is beyond their capabilities. Those people think that no one has ever tried to reduce or remove veterans benefits. Thank Senator Murray for being the voice of the veterans.

  8. Lets have some real fun with this.

    Veterans’ benefits are socialistic.

    Watch heads explode

  9. LarryH, of course they are socialistic if you mean the government running a program that private industry could also be running.

    However, the government has proved that in the VA hospitals and military-run facilities, it can run healthcare programs more efficiently with less overhead than any other system, and proved with Medicare that it can run an insurance program better and more efficiently than any insurance company.

    It is the hugely increasing medical costs in the private sector where Tricare primarily obtains services, as opposed to only mild increases in the VA-run programs and military-run facilities, that is causing retirees to have to pay a bigger increase in their care than on-duty and vets using VA facilities.

  10. Since we are talking military and retiree benefits, I meant “Tricare” instead of “Medicare”, although both are well-run and efficient government insurance programs.

  11. concernedtacoma7 says:

    One of the reasons the military is efficient is because you cannot sue. Makes for an apple/orange comparison. No need to perform unnecessary tests.

    Massive tort reform would be needed to make a fair comparison with private sector health plans.

    One pillar of Murray’s political action does not counter her big spending, leftist ways.

  12. tuddo – wouldn’t it be interesting to see veterans have to deal with “sorry, we don’t cover that” from the private medical world?

    They already have right wing fascists trying to deny things like “agent orange” and post traumatic stress syndrome. Privatize their medical coverage and watch them really get hosed.

    As we witness on these threads, there are many that would make excuses and try to smear veterans, for the sake of partisan politics. Heck, I about puked when I saw someone saying “49% of them are mentally ill” when speaking of homeless vets. No kidding, Einstein????

    We could eliminate private health care and do the same as every other major country in the world….but…

    that would be “socialistic” ::::::::look of horror:::::

  13. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Back to your deflection of the month. That was from the article YOU cited.

    Yes, socialized is evil. Watch Europe implode. Great model.

  14. hansgruber says:

    What would you expect from these amateurs?

  15. E\Ther Euope part that is imploding right now is run by conservatives and conservative theories about the economu. Austerity is the reason they are doing so poorly. The countries that put in stimulus and government laons because banks had no funds are doing much better. We are all being dragged down to defeat by conservative defeatists who ahve no clue how to get a country back on its feet.

  16. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Cheers Tuddo!

    The sauce is getting to you. Where is the austerity in Europe? Germany, yup! Spain, Italy, GB? No!

  17. averageJoseph says:

    Oh boy, no kidding ct.

  18. Senator Murrey has done more for vets than any other sitting Congressman.
    To complain that she doesn’t want to hear from you and isn’t doing enough is shrill crying and whining, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  19. “Where is the austerity in Europe? Germany, yup!”

    You have lost on that argument every time you bring it up, why do you keep trying?

  20. fanciladi says:

    Richard, you have just learned the TRUTH about Murray…she ‘uses’ the Proud American Veterans…healthy and/or disabled. She does not care about them. She’s TOO important to really bother with our Veterans. It’s all talk.

    My son got the shaft from her office…harassing nasty phone calls from them because he wouldn’t do a photo shoot with her. The last time I mentioned this, I got slammed by other posters…especially one because ‘he’ couldn’t believe that this would happen…well, it did happen. There is a lot to know about her that she doesn’t want known.

    Bottom line, she can’t really help…at least the ‘hard’ cases…she wants easy one so she can be in the lime-light and get elected. It’s a shame that more can’t see through her; even with those who have experienced situations with her and her office, tell about their experiences.

    Another incident happened at the VA Hospital with a ‘relative’ of hers who got a job there and was giving Veterans a bad time and bragged about how his Aunt, I think that’s how he’s related, is Patty Murray.

    I’ll quit…lol… Good luck with getting ahold of someone who can help you…and thank you SO much for your service!!!

  21. fanciladi says:

    @kluwer…speak for yourself…don’t even try to speak for me… You don’t know what you’re talking about…I know that I know that I know and it’s true. You can spout off with your ‘liar’ comments all you want, but that does not make me a liar.

    You can go ahead and live in your dream-world of adoring Ms. Patty, but that’s you’re problem. There are many Veterans who have been burned by Ms. Patty. The incident I talked about had more than one Veteran say no to her request for the photo shoot. As far as them getting calls, I don’t know, but I do know about the ones my son got.

    Ms. Patty’s office is very rude…Maria Cantwell’s office is polite…even if you’re a conservative.

  22. averageJoseph says:

    kluw-er doubled down on the slam fanci… kooky. I have noticed a pattern of personal attacks where kluw-er just name calls but doesn’t provide any substance to counter you.

  23. fanciladi says:

    When I’ve made comments on other stories, I get this, too…for different reasons… Oh, well, it seems to make some feel superior when they can slam others….. :( ….and gets no one anywhere!

  24. fanciladi, I have talked with Murray’s staff maybe 100 times or so in the last 8 years. I volunteer at the VA Hospital. As a professional counselor (retired) who worked with vocational rehabilitation programs, including veterans, for over 30 years, I find Murray’s offices to be extremely helpful.

    There are some things that just can’t be fixed, even by a person in Congress, especially medical decisions or eligibility decisions. In many cases all they can do is ask the VA to expedite decisions or look into the case again. Murray and her staff have done this on numerous occasions when I’ve had a veteran talk to them.

    When abuse or negligence has been obvious, or systemic issues arise, they really get to work on the issue.

    I am sorry your experience was not as pleasant as mine have been, but a lot of us veterans appreciate her work on our behalf.

    I have no idea about the photo shoot issue. That is political, and all of my dealings have been non-political, case-related issues. I am not sure how a person can be “burned” by Murray. Did she send out a hit squad or paper their houses?

  25. fanciladi says:

    “Burned”…tuddo…sometimes ‘people’ get their fingers in things that they shouldn’t even touch as far as Veterans records go…no permission from the Veteran to even go there! I’ll leave that part right there.

    There really shouldn’t be anything that ‘can’t’ be done to help our Veterans who are already in the system, classified as 100% disabled and yet being screwed. Those working in the VA who are not doing their jobs should be replaced…BUT…they are workers who can’t be fired…disgusting!

    I’m glad you had a good relationship with Ms. Patty and her office…I’m sure there are those who do…but, there is another side to the coin. I’m sure she’s OK with those who make her job easier…and it’s good for you that you are on that side!!! I realize that it’s hard for those who have good relations with her and her office to see that there is this other side that some/many experience. I’m sure many could share this other side…it is there!

    Thanks for your polite reply to my comments… :)

  26. “Ms. Patty’s office is very rude…”

    Absolutely false.

    Someone has made up a story to smear the Senator. I challenge “fanciladi” to post real names if attempting to smear a public official….otherwise…..well, we know….

    The Senator would have no problem finding a GI or vet to be in a photo. There are thousands that know her dedication to vets. It would be ridiculous for her office to get upset at being turned down.

    This is more of the right wing hypocrisy that we see, and this one parades these threads (one of many monikers) pretending to be a “sensitive lady”. :)

  27. tuddo – I’m sure you know that this is nothing but a ruse

  28. LarryH, dealing with any bureaucracy, public or private is sometimes very confusing, irritating, time consuming and all-in-all frustrating.

    I have dealt with numerous veterans who are paranoid, depressed, confused or just unable to tell who is on their side and who isn’t. I cannot discount a person’s feelings that they thought they may have been “brushed off” or not considered a top priority or even treated rudely.

    The issue with a photo op/records was probably at most a lowly intern who was over eager or too pushy or had not learned how to deal with people. When a constituent asks for assistance, then that gives them consent to ask for military and veteran’s records. If actual medical records were released without consent, then that is an issue needing investigation.

    I am not sure most people realize how many thousands of requests from constituents a senator’s office is dealing with, including veterans, at any time, especially one with a huge military base and large hospitals.

    That is why in my original comments I recommended people to contact a staff person at their local office instead of the Washington office if they want to speak to a live person.

  29. fanciladi says:

    LarryH…you can continue in your fantasty world…you don’t want to believe this so you won’t even consider that it’s true! Well, so be your decision…I don’t care…keep living with your head in the sand or where ever it is! You are a very typical liberal person…so bent to the left that you can’t see anything else. I really feel sorry for you, IF you are the type of person that your words here show you are.

    I personally have nothing to gain with what you call ‘smearing’ Ms Murray…nothing at all. When this happened, there was a call made to a Democrat’s office and he helped the situation with her office.

    I have one personality on the TNT and that’s it…it’s the same on any blog I’m on…me… I have enough trouble keeping up with myself let alone putting on an act for everyone else… I agree, many have many personalities and change hats as they reply to others…..well, that is NOT me.

    Enough said…you’ll twist this around anyway…

  30. fanciladi says:

    @tuddo…I know there are Veterans with all kinds of issues…but, when it’s been since Desert Storm service and dx in the late 90’s…promise after promise plus issues that can’t be disgused here…well…

    Especially when $$$ is SO freely given to those we defend our country from! I’ve learned and am still learning…if I don’t know the whole story…I don’t know the whole story and I’m not going to give someone a problem if I can help it, they and their family have enough to deal with!!! And as you said “bureaucracy”is confusing but at the same time following instructions often leads to where you started in the first place.

  31. took14theteam says:


    “Absolutely false”

    Please provide data that backs up your claims. Or, are they just your “opinions”?

    If you can’t refute the message attack the messenger, yada yada yada.

    Helping you out ehill…..

  32. fanciladi says:

    tood14theteam…if you are talking to me…I don’t care what you think…this is not the place to give my proof…and it’s none of your business…some day the poopsie will hit the fan… :)

  33. took14theteam says:

    No fanciladi that was not directed at you. It was directed at the two clowns that said you were lying.

    If you don’t waste much time here you wouldn’t understand the inside information.

    And I agree with you that Murray is a tool.

  34. fanciladi says:

    Oh…took14theteam (with no typo) lol…I guess I didn’t read it as well as I should have… I don’t get on these ‘blogs’ much…I ‘try’ not to get too involved. Seems most of the time it’s people here not really serious…some are, but others seem to be playing…kids of teen ages or kids or senior ages, and in between, or course…lol…

    Thanks…guess I don’t understand the ‘inside info’…

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