Recently my State Representative Paul Gardner e-mailed me to take a survey.
Greetings. I'm sending out this e-mail to constituents of District 53A who have sent me e-mail during the last few years. Every year I put together an electronic survey asking for your opinion on key issues that are before the Legislature. Generally I try to have a good sense of where my constituents are at on certain things, but I really would like to hear from you on these six issues. This survey should only take a few minutes. Your opinions are very important---each year hundreds of constituents reply and also give me thoughtful comments at the end of the survey and I read them all.And on Friday I got a follow up email:
Here is the link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9PJGHY5
Thank you very much for your input, and have a great day!
Rep. Paul Gardner
Minnesota House of Representatives District 53A
Home phone cell line: (612) 227-4582
He does acknowledge there is no statistical value to the survey.Greetings. Last week I sent out a request to complete a six-question survey to 888 constituents for whom I had e-mail addresses. So far I've received 522!I'd like to share the results with you at my blog at http://www.paulgardner53a.blogspot.com/.If you'd like to sign up for my regular e-mail updates, please sign up at http://www.house.mn/53a.Have a great weekend!
I wrote back warning him not to fall into Pauline Kale Syndrome and how skewed data can be worse than no data.
Paul responded back to me withing 45 minutes:
Hi KR. I did make a disclaimer that it is not statistically valid since it is not a random survey. However, it was a pretty good batch of responses. I didn't post the individual responses because people left personal info like their names etc but those were very helpful too.I have to admit his quick response impressed me.
But how will what this "survey says" influence his actions? Will it push him farther to the left?
I emailed Paul again, this time asking him what, specifically, his positions are on these issues.
I don't know how he will respond, but OK, I admit it, I still am disappointed.
This statement alone explains that Paul doesn't think it is your money; Paul thinks it is the government's money. From his blog:
"The cost to the State of Minnesota of this deduction (and therefore a benefit to the taxpayer) is more than $400 million a year."
And for more perspective:
Phil Krinkie was my 35A state representative.
Also posted on G.O.M.