How Responsive Are Our North Carolina Legislators?

by David DeGerolamo and John Keida
See additional comments on CNNews

When you go to your State Legislator’s web site and send him/her an email, does he/she read it? Probably not. It seems to go into a big black hole – probably the same big black hole that so many tax dollars go. The following email was sent to each of North Carolina’s 120 House Representatives and 50 Senators to gauge their responsiveness to emails:

From: CNNews.US [mailto:david.degerolamo@CNNews.US]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 09:25 AM
To: Rep. [name]
Subject: CNNews.US

Dear North Carolina State Legislator [name]:

As a CNNews.US  journalist, I am writing an article about the responsiveness of state legislators to email inquiries.   Simply click on reply and then click on send to acknowledge that you have read this email.  No message is necessary.  Your response, or lack of response, will be the basis for an article on whether State legislators read their emails.  You will be notified by email when the article is written.

The legislators were given one week to respond. I checked my spam account prior to writing the article to ensure that all responses would be properly counted.

Response for the House of Representatives:

120 total representatives

37 replied to the email – 30.83% response rate

Breakdown by Party:

13 Democrat responses out of 52 representatives – 25%

24 Republican responses out of 68 representatives – 35.29%

The responses that were sent by an assistant were also tracked. If both a representative and their assistant responded, the assistant’s response was not tracked.

46.15% of the Democrat responses were made by an assistant to the representative. 16.67% of the Republican responses were made by an assistant to the representative.

 

Response for the Senate:

50 total senators

22 replied to the email – 44response rate

Breakdown by Party:

6 Democrat responses out of 19 senators – 31.58%

16 Republican responses out of 31 senators – 51.61%

The responses that were sent by an assistant were also tracked. If both a senator and their assistant responded, the assistant’s response was not tracked.

50% of the Democrat responses were made by an assistant to the senator. 25% of the Republican responses were made by an assistant to the senator.

David DeGerolamo

North Carolina State House of Representatives 2011/2012
First name Last name Party Dist Response
Alma Adams Dem 58
Kelly M. Alexander Dem 107
Martha B. Alexander Dem 106
Marilyn Avila Rep 40 yes
Larry M. Bell Dem 21
Hugh Blackwell Rep 86
John M. Blust Rep 62
James L. Boles Rep 52 yes
Alice L. Bordsen Dem 63 yes
Glen Bradley Rep 49
Marcus Brandon Dem 60
William Brawley Rep 103 yes
William D. Brisson Dem 22
Larry R. Brown Rep 73 yes
Rayne Brown Rep 81
Harold J. Brubaker Rep 78
Angela R. Bryant Dem 7
Justin P. Burr Rep 67
Becky Carney Dem 102 yes
George G. Cleveland Rep 14 yes
Jeff Collins Rep 25
Bill Cook Rep 6 yes
TriciAnn Cotham Dem 100
James W. Crawford Dem 32
William A. Current, Sr. Rep 109 yes
N. Leo Daughtry Rep 26
Jimmy Dixon Rep 4
Jerry C. Dockham Rep 80
Nelson Dollar Rep 36
Beverly M. Earle Dem 101
John Faircloth Rep 61 yes
Bill Faison Dem 50 yes
Jean Farmer-Butterfield Dem 24
Susan C. Fisher Dem 114 yes
Elmer Floyd Dem 43
Dale R. Folwell Rep 74
Phillip Frye Rep 84
Rosa U. Gill Dem 33
Mitch Gillespie Rep 85
Rick Glazier Dem 45 yes
Ken Goodman Dem 66 yes
Charles Graham Dem 47
Joe Hackney Dem 54 yes
Mike Hager Rep 112
Rphillip Haire Dem 119
Larry D. Hall Dem 29
Susi H. Hamilton Dem 18 yes
Pricey Harrison Dem 57
Kelly E. Hastings Rep 110
Dewey L. Hill Dem 20 yes
Mark K. Hilton Rep 96
Mark W. Hollo Rep 88
Bryan R. Holloway Rep 91
Dcraig Horn Rep 68 yes
Julia C. Howard Rep 79
Pat B. Hurley Rep 70
Frank Iler Rep 17 yes
Dan W. Ingle Rep 64
Verla Insko Dem 56
Darren G. Jackson Dem 39
Maggie Jeffus Dem 59
Linda P. Johnson Rep 83 yes
Bert Jones Rep 65
Jonathan C. Jordan Rep 93 yes
Carolyn H. Justice Rep 16
Patsy Keever Dem 115
Ric Killian Rep 105 yes
James H. Langdon Rep 28 yes
Stephen A. LaRoque Rep 10 yes
David R. Lewis Rep 53
Marvin W. Lucas Dem 42 yes
Paul Luebke Dem 30
Grier Martin Dem 34
Daniel F. McComas Rep 19 yes
Darrell G. McCormick Rep 92
Pat McElraft Rep 13
Wm. C. McGee Rep 75
Chuck McGrady Rep 117 yes
Frank McGuirt Dem 69
Marian N. McLawhorn Dem 9
Henry M. Michaux, Jr. Dem 31
Grey Mills Rep 95 yes
Annie W. Mobley Dem 5
Tim D. Moffitt Rep 116 yes
Rodney W. Moore Dem 99
Tim Moore Rep 111
Tom Murry Rep 41 yes
Bill Owens Dem 1
Diane Parfitt Dem 44
Earline W. Parmon Dem 72
Garland E. Pierce Dem 48
Larry G. Pittman Rep 82 yes
G. L. Pridgen Rep 46 yes
Shirley B. Randleman Rep 94
Ray Rapp Dem 118
Deborah K. Ross Dem 38
Efton M. Sager Rep 11
Jason Saine Rep 97 yes
Ruth Samuelson Rep 104
Norman W. Sanderson Rep 3
Mitchell S. Setzer Rep 89
Phil R. Shepard Rep 15
Timothy L. Spear Dem 2
Paul Stam Rep 37
Edgar V. Starnes Rep 87
Fred F. Steen Rep 76
Sarah Stevens Rep 90
Mike C. Stone Rep 51
Thom Tillis Rep 98
Joe P. Tolson Dem 23 yes
John A. Torbett Rep 108
William L. Wainwright Dem 12
Trudi Walend Rep 113
Edith D. Warren Dem 8
Harry Warren Rep 77 yes
Jennifer Weiss Dem 35 yes
Roger West Rep 120
W. A. Wilkins Dem 55 yes
Larry Womble Dem 71
Michael H. Wray Dem 27
North Carolina State Senate 2011/2012
First name Last name Party Dist  Response
Austin M. Allran Rep 42
Tom Apodaca Rep 48
Bob Atwater Dem 18
Doug Berger Dem 7 yes
Phil Berger Rep 26
Stan Bingham Rep 33 yes
Harris Blake Rep 22
Dan Blue Dem 14
Andrew C. Brock Rep 34
Harry Brown Rep 6
Peter S. Brunstetter Rep 31
Chris Carney Rep 41 yes
Daniel G. Clodfelter Dem 37
Warren Daniel Rep 44 yes
Chae Smith Dannelly Dem 38 yes
Jim Davis Rep 50 yes
Don East Rep 30
Linda Garrou Dem 32 yes
Thom Goolsby Rep 9 yes
Malcolm Graham Dem 40
Rick Gunn Rep 24
Kathy Harrington Rep 43 yes
Fletcher L. Hartsell Rep 36
Ralph Hise Rep 47 yes
Neal Hunt Rep 15 yes
Brent Jackson Rep 10 yes
Clark Jenkins Dem 3
Ed Jones Dem 4
Eleanor Kinnaird Dem 23
Eric Mansfield Dem 21 yes
Floyd B. McKissick Dem 20 yes
Wesley Meredith Rep 19 yes
Martin L. Nesbitt Dem 49
 E. S. (Buck) Newton Rep 11
Louis Pate Rep 5
Jean Preston Rep 2
William R. Purcell Dem 25
Bill Rabon Rep 8
Gladys A. Robinson Dem 28
David Rouzer Rep 12 yes
Bob Rucho Rep 39 yes
Dan Soucek Rep 45
Josh Stein Dem 16
Richard Stevens Rep 17 yes
Jerry W. Tillman Rep 29 yes
Tommy Tucker Rep 35 yes
Don Vaughan Dem 27
Michael P. Walters Dem 13 yes
Wes Westmoreland Rep 46 yes
Stan White Dem 1

      
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10 Responses to How Responsive Are Our North Carolina Legislators?

  1. David Forms says:

    Pathetic, but certainly not surprising. Vote the “no answers’ out. How much effort was required to do this?

  2. Glen Bradley says:

    Not to try and justify my lack of response, but in explanation of the poor response rate, a big part of the problem is that the ISD expires the passwords every few weeks and makes you rotate them, such that you have to be in the office to reset them. During the interim, most of our meetings are in district and we often don’t get to Raleigh but once a month. As for me, I answer as much of my email as I can without a staff, and I did see this email, after resetting the password in Raleigh during a committee meeting but it was 4 days past the deadline.

    I have asked that the pasword expiry policy be revised because it is a significant hinderance to conducting business and constituent response during the interim, but it falls on deaf ears. It seems most people do not use passwords as complicated as I do.

    Again, not trying to justify it, but I hope it helps to explain why the NCGA in particular has such a horrible response rate during the interim. I do in fact read all my legislative emails.

    Glen

  3. Tom Paine says:

    What a terrible waste of legislators’ time. I think it’s clear they have better things to do than play stupid email games with pseudo-journalists like you?

    • David says:

      Hitting “reply” to an email is an email game? Based on your comment, I suspect you are one of the legislators whose time I was wasting. I guess you are welcome to call me a pseudo-journalist since I do not get paid and do not distort my reporting as “real” journalists do.

  4. Frank McGuirt says:

    I received your email this morning Saturday, April 21. Have not seen anything from you prior to today. I was suspicious of your email, thought it might have been fishing so I did not reply. In fact, I seldom reply to emails from people who are not my district constituents. I receive emails most everyday and I do not think I have ever failed to reply from a constituent.

  5. Frank McGuirt says:

    I have completed all required fields. Why will my comment not be posted?

    • David says:

      The first time anyone posts a comment, it must be approved. After that first time, all comments by that email address are approved. It is very rare that a comment is not posted since this site is a forum for people.

  6. As another “TRUE Journalist”, I SilenceDogood2010, do applaud you David in your effort to make our elected officials accountable for their actions…. or lack thereof.

    Respectfully submitted by SD2010.

  7. 2awke24get says:

    These are not days of games Tom Paine (yeah right), these are days of waking up and paying attention to those who we have entrusted our very lives to! Perhaps you should grow up and wake-up.

  8. I can understand Mr. Bradley’s position. I worked for one of our counties for several years and the passwords were forever expiring. It as an absolute pain in the..uh…neck. I do not blame them for not remaining current on all emails. You are right, it is a “black hole”, but only when the stupid passwords expire. If I were there, I would probably never receive an email because I would refuse to play the silly password game.

Comments are closed.