Philadelphian Nina Starner was making a routine call to her senator to talk about health-care legislation when a male staffer advised her to be less “graphic” the next time she calls. Starner was calling to voice her concern over Toomey’s support of the Republican plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood when the staffer grew testy.
How graphic was she?
According to the Philly Voice, “At some point, the staffer asked to take down her name and ZIP code, and Starner obliged, saying she’d love to call back every day to talk to Toomey about her reproductive system and her period.” Her reply was that Toomey and his staffers “should understand workings of reproductive systems since they’re legislating on them.” The staffer reiterated his position that there was “no need to be graphic” before lecturing her and then hanging up.
Starner admits she may have mentioned cramps and IUD birth control devices but asserts she “certainly didn’t go into graphic detail.” The conversation with the staffer was tense, and Starner also admits she likely came off very frustrated.
“I am one of his constituents; it’s my right to voice my dissent, especially since I didn’t vote for Sen. Toomey,” she told Philly Voice. “I feel I have the right to go to a staffer in a frustrated tone of voice.”
This isn’t the first time someone in Toomey’s office became unpleasant during a call from a concerned constituent. Another female caller reportedly had a “heated” conversation in November when she called to question the senator’s position on Steve Bannon.
In light of the recent election, more and more frustrated voters are calling their local and state representatives to voice concerns about a wide variety of issues, from reproductive health to the GOP’s attempts to gut the Ethics Committee — a move they quickly backtracked on after considerable outcry from the public. Which is to say, keep calling.