Minnesota Representative Tony Cornish’s Lack of Professionalism
Form letters are a routine way that interest groups show their ability to mobilize public support for their views. By now, you would expect that any politician would accept these as routine. After voting on a particularly sensitive issue, a representative should expect that there will be those who disagree and those who might band together to express their disagreement as a group. And any representative (who is, after all, supposed to represent all the people, not just those who agree with him) should have the basic maturity, civility, and just basic professionalism to accept differences respectfully.
Apparently Minnesota state representative Tony Cornish (R-24B) didn’t get that memo. Using a form letter from an interest group, a voter wrote an email to Rep. Cornish and others who voted for Minnesota’s anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment:
> Dear Representative Cornish,
> As a supporter of the Human Rights Campaign and equal rights for all
> Minnesota residents, I am writing to express my anger and
> disappointment that you would focus on a socially conservative agenda
> that runs contrary to Minnesota values by placing a constitutional
> amendment on the 2012 ballot to ban gay and lesbian couples from
> marrying legally – all while neglecting your duty to address the
> deficit, pass the state budget and create jobs.
> No child should have to grow up thinking their family is somehow less
> loving or legitimate than the families of their friends and neighbors.
> Yet that is the message you’re sending to thousands of Minnesota
> I am appalled that I live in a state that is going to allow
> individuals’ civil rights go to a general vote that could result in
> discrimination–the very thing that the US Constitution prohibits.
> I am originally from Iowa, and one of my proudest moments as an Iowan
> was when gay marriage was legalized in my state. I am here going to (redacted),
> and if this amendment is added to the Minnesota Constitution, it will severely
> impact my decision on whether to stay here or not after graduation.
> (Personal information redacted)
The first two paragraphs are from the form letter. The second two were added by my friend. That tidbit is important, because here is what Rep. Cornish sent back:
> Try writing your own letter without forwarding someone else’s anger and
> resentment. Get an idea of your own.
Gee, “Tony”, don’t you think that a state representative should be a little more polite towards those that take the time to get involved in politics? Or if you think rudeness is appropriate, don’t you think that you should at least make sure you verify the basis for your snark before you indulge? Or maybe we could just forget all that and talk about your lack of basic professionalism?
Interestingly, Rep. Cornish is also listed as the Police Chief of Lake Crystal, a small town outside of Mankato. That means at a minimum that Rep./Chief Cornish should be capable of dealing with different kinds of people who have different kinds of viewpoints while maintaining a modicum of professionalism.
Now, I don’t want to tell anyone what to say or how to say it, of course, but if you happen to have “an idea of your own” on Rep. Cornish’s behavior, here is his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org