Address Correction Requested
If you have ever worked on a political campaign, you know that it often feels like you are engaged in a long siege made up of an ongoing series of pitched battles with the opposition, in which each side constantly looks for a leg up and attacks with a sustained ferocity aimed at exploiting perceived weaknesses both big and small. So it goes with the Rep. Carol Shea-Porter congratulatory letter brouhaha, as detailed in John DiStaso’s useful tick tock account of this latest pitched battle.
It is true that school districts should probably have a clearly articulated policy about the release of student addresses, and it is reasonable to expect a straightforward explanation from Shea-Porter’s staff as to how it acquired the information. But infusing this relatively harmless episode with the same partisan bitterness and suspicion that characterizes so much of our national political discourse these days just seems like a waste of energy on both sides. Yes, there are probably some conservative parents out there who aren’t thrilled with the idea of their child being congratulated by Rep. Shea-Porter, but I’m guessing that the vast majority of families were fine with it.
And I’m sure the Shea-Porter campaign is smart enough to know that it shouldn’t use the family information for any other type of communication. But let’s keep this in perspective. When I was a high school senior, I would have been thrilled to receive an official letter of congratulations from my Member of Congress, Republican or Democratic. So, why spoil the moment for our current graduates?

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