To the editor:

As the Republican nominee for Congress in Missouri’s 4th District, I have been privileged to have a unique view of the public’s reaction to the infamous $700 billion “bailout plan.” Hundreds of people, from Missouri and all over the nation, have contacted me to register their displeasure with their elected representatives, to share their ideas and to solicit my views. I opposed the legislation; not one citizen who has contacted me has yet been in support of it.

Naturally, the majority of the folks from whom I have heard reside in Missouri’s 4th District, and much of the anger expressed is because they believe they have been ignored. I can relate to their frustration. On Sept. 17, Congressman Ike Skelton’s campaign headquarters in Harrisonville received an invitation to join me in at least one election debate. Hearing nothing, we sent certified letters to all of his Missouri offices. These, too, have been ignored.

Can it be that Congressman Skelton has confused the position of U.S. Representative with that of Supreme Court justice? Are those we send to Congress appointed for life and accountable to no one? I suppose that after 32 years in office, one might acquire such a view.

All thinking citizens who value our system of government should be discouraged by this arrogance. It is typical of individuals who have been in office too long to be effective, have no desire to challenge the status quo, and owe so much to so many who do not happen to be their constituents.

I would encourage all who read this to contact Congressman Skelton and remind him that he is not a member of the Supreme Court, and that he serves at the pleasure of the voters. I believe there is no honor in hiding to keep one’s position

Jeff Parnell is the Republican nominee in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District