Two years ago, I was very happy to support LaVar Christensen in his efforts to be my representative in the state legislature. Not only did his government philosophy and principles align nicely with my own, but he was also very responsive as a candidate, taking the time not just to personally respond to my questions and concerns, but to come to my house and answer them in person. His opponent, Trisha Beck, had the time for a 2-minute phone call during which she sounded very rushed and somewhat annoyed. Even had I found as much agreement with her positions, responsiveness in a legislator is crucial. There are many trans-partisan issues from my district (most notably the preservation of the township designation) that demand it.
I was perfectly willing to give Rep. Beck a shot and she how she did the job. Unfortunately, every e-mail I sent during both the 2009 and 2010 sessions went entirely unanswered. Compare that with the personal responses I received from Sen. Niederhauser, my state senator. Those responses were not too brief and often arrived within a couple of days, even during the height of legislative wrangling. He’s also held community meetings to brief us all on what’s going on in the legislature and respond to voters directly. Regardless of how you feel about his positions or votes (I’m not happy with his vote for HB 150), that kind of personal touch is commendable.
This year, LaVar wants a rematch against Trisha. While I did a lot of careful weighing and evaluating last time (I’m kind of obsessive that way), I already know which horse I’m picking. While I can appreciate that the life of a legislator can be very busy and stressful, there is no excuse for being a communications black hole. (I’ll get to you soon enough, Jim.) LaVar Christensen is the better choice in this district hands down.