Boehner Opens E-Mail Inbox to Nation

by
January 15, 2011

By Mackenzie Weinger, Roll Call

Anyone in the country can now e-mail Speaker John Boehner.

After former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) passed the gavel to the Ohio Republican, his office launched

SpeakerBoehner@mail.house.gov for voters to easily contact him.

Members of Congress have long accepted e-mail from their constituents through Web forms, but they’ve typically blocked people from outside their districts or states from writing.

Boehner’s director of new media, Nick Schaper, said having a general address makes it easy for citizens to contact the Speaker online.

Schaper added that the “Speaker Boehner” mailbox, which collects messages from both a Web form and direct e-mails, received about 150 e-mails over the weekend, with roughly 20 percent related to the Tucson shooting.

“It’s our goal to make sure we’re tracking every touch we have with citizens — calls, letters, emails — in a way that allows us to keep them informed on the issues they care about,” Schaper told Roll Call in an e-mail.

The all-access mailbox originated with Pelosi during her first stint as Minority Leader five years ago. She invited people to e-mail her at AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov. Staffers read and evaluate the e-mails, and they even respond to a lucky few.

“We want to hear from everyone, not just constituents,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. “It’s an opportunity for people to have a way to weigh in on issues of the day.”

According to Hammill, Pelosi receives reports on the trends and issues that are dominating the e-mail correspondence.

And just as the e-mail address operated during her tenure as both Minority Leader and Speaker, Hammill said AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov “will continue to serve as her way to hear from people across the country” in her new role.

To read more, visit: http://www.rollcall.com/news/-202468-1.html?ET=rollcall:e9647:80094833a:&st=email&pos=epol

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