Being a Legislator is a tough job. In addition to the low pay, long hours and demands of constituents, there are the threats. All Legislators get threats. Some of them are subtle and legitimate "I'm a Precinct Committeeman in your district, and I want to know why you haven't secured the border."
Some of them are way over the line "Hay iddiot, better have someonelse start your'e car." Those are usually written in crayon and pressed really hard into the paper.
Then there are the veiled threats.
Jonathan Paton has been has been working to stop abuses at Child Protective Services and is making some headway. Here's an example from the Tucson Citizen.
State Rep. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, said last week he is troubled by what he read in a May 15 Citizen story about a Child Protective Services' case manager who had a romantic relationship with a man whose children's welfare she once had been responsible for.
Paton also wrote an Op Ed piece for Sunday's Star in which he called for more openness at CPS.
That's when Paton received this email:
From: CRHolgerson@aol.com [mailto:CRHolgerson@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:23 PM
To: Jonathan Paton
Subject: Are You The One Listed In The Following Court Information?
The email then listed four minor traffic citations that Paton had received over the last 10 years and was signed "Cheri Holgerson."
Here's Paton's response.
From: Jonathan Paton
Sent: Tue, 29 May 2007 8:45 am
Subject: RE: Are You The One Listed In The Following Court Information?
Is there some reason you're trying to find this out?
And here's her reply.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tue 5/29/2007 11:34 AM
To: Jonathan Paton
Subject: Re: Are You The One Listed In The Following Court Information?
It's public information, I saw your article in Sunday's paper and was
wondering if the records are your infractions. Is there a reason you are
hesitant to give a yes or no answer?
Isn't that strange? Paton wrote an article to say that there should be more disclosure in CPS and this woman responds to the article by looking up Paton in the court records and confronting him with his traffic tickets.
Of course, it makes sense if you Google Cheri Holgerson. Then you will find out that she's not just a constituent who opposes additional disclosure at CPS, Ms. Holgerson is on the staff of the Foster Care Review Board.
Click the link and notice the seal at the left. Yep, that's the seal of the State Supreme Court. It seems that the Foster Care Review Board is housed under the Courts and interfaces with Child Protective Services.
Now we know why Ms. Holgerson is so good at looking up court records. We also have a pretty good idea why she may not be interested in having a State Representative examining the problems at Child Protective Services.
That's right. A Legislator's job is hard. If you are going to delve into the problems of state government, you should have thick skin...and you had better be an excellent driver.
Update: The Star has the story here.
Here's an incredible post script. The Star Reporter called Holgerson to ask about her looking up Paton's court records and here was her response:
"I saw his, and I've also looked up yours," she told a reporter during a brief interview.