August 1, 2016
The Honorable Representative Bob Goodlatte
United States House of Representatives
70 North Mason Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
CC: Donald Trump Supporters
Dear Mr. Goodlatte,
I trust you received my first letter from two months ago, when I joined this race. With 99 days until Election Day, I have some updates, questions, and invitations.
First, some updates for you. I am traveling throughout the district, meeting patriotic voters at barbecues, picnics, parades, police-community panels, and marches for peace. Of course, I have attended vigils for murdered police officers, African-Americans, and gay club-goers in Orlando. And, I’m meeting with labor leaders concerned about wages and jobs, small business owners chasing the American Dream, and conservative land owners afraid of a pipeline putting a scar over their land. Driving throughout this large district and meeting my fellow voters and neighbors is a privilege and an honor.
Also, between June 8 to July 31, I raised about $50,000 from voters interested in a leadership change. That total, of course, pales in comparison to the more than $1,000,000 you have on hand. It is difficult and time-consuming to raise money, especially when only 1% of Americans ever donate to a political campaign, but I’m heartened that my funds are mostly from individual donors within the 6th congressional district.
Perhaps when you first ran for office in 1992, you also received most of your support from small donors, but I see things have changed. Just like your last campaign, almost 70% of your support is not from Virginia’s 6th congressional district and 40% is not even from Virginia. I also noticed only 2% of your contributions are small donations, meaning 98% of your support comes from PACs and big donors, not average voters. (Source: OpenSecrets.org)
This leads me to my first round of questions. Can you understand why everyday voters question whether you are keeping them foremost in mind when 98% of your donations come from Political Action Committees and large donors who don’t even live here? Do you think it is appropriate that, after 23 years in office, your campaign is mainly funded by special interests and big donors that do not live in our district? The questions are rhetorical, of course, but they are being asked by many of the people I meet. Perhaps we can discuss them at our debates.