Thursday, August 03, 2006

F. Jim to constituent: Bother someone else, not me

"Don't bother me -- go bother your state legislator with these problems."
That's the response Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner gave to a leader of a citizens group at a Sensenbrenner town hall meeting -- an answer those activists aren't likely to forget.

Jeff Gonyo of Highway J Citizens Group reports in an email, from which this is excerpted:
During the Town Hall Meeting, I asked Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner why he has not stepped in to stop wasteful, federally-funded road and bridge projects in his 5th Congressional District (like the Highway 164 four-lane expansion project in Waukesha and Washington Counties) and why he has not helped the residents of Ackerville obtain a complete clean-up of the groundwater contamination problems in this area (which have greatly worsened since a federally-funded bridge project was built there three years ago).

Just like he has done so many times these past seven years, Congressman Sensenbrenner again "passed the buck" and refused to get involved in what he viewed as "state and local issues." His exact response was: "Don't bother me -- go bother your state legislator with these problems."

Congressman Sensenbrenner gave this response even though I had pointed out to him that the Highway 164 four-lane expansion project is a federally-funded and federally-designed project that is now the subject of "a federal lawsuit filed in federal court against four defendants (three of which are federal agencies -- the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) now being heard by federal judges citing the violation of numerous federal laws (including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Aid to Highways Act, the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, the Endangered Species Act and others).

Furthermore, the Ackerville groundwater contamination problems are under the jurisdiction of at least two federal agencies -- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). With these very strong federal connections in our case, I am absolutely shocked that a federal legislator like Congressman Sensenbrenner would continue to tell his constituents that "these are state and local issues."
Want to know more? Contact Jeff Gonyo, Highway J Citizens Group, P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI 53033. Phone: (262)-644-8334. E-Mail:


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