Arkansas voters are angry, and they want some answers from their senator, Tom Cotton. But not only will Cotton not talk to them, he’s now sending cease and desist orders to constituents who try to contact him.
The Arkansas Times reported on Thursday that the office of Republican Tom Cotton has been sending letters threatening legal action to constituents who have been trying to talk to their senator.
The activist group Ozark Indivisible has been trying to talk to Arkansas members of Congress about Trump’s unacceptable behavior, healthcare, immigration, and other important issues. They posted on their Twitter account last night that members of their group have been sent cease and desist letters from Cotton’s office.
The letters read,
“This letter is immediate notification that all communication must cease and desist immediately with all offices of US Senator Tom Cotton.
All other contact will be deemed harassment and will be reported to the United States Capitol Police.
The Office of US Senator Tom Cotton.”
One constituent sent a letter to the Arkansas Times describing his experience with Cotton’s office. The letter reads:
“I received a letter from the office of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas after calling and expressing my grave concerns over his actions and support of this administration’s agenda concerning a wide variety of subjects from the attack on our healthcare, DACA and immigration issues, to national security, to the rise of white nationalist fascism, to the environment, the gutting of our State Department, the attack on the free press…and similar deeply troubling actions & motives I’ve seen Senator Cotton support & condone. It was odd to receive this letter as I’ve called other Members of Congress to express my strong thoughts and opinions about their actions and thought this to be not only my duty as an American citizen but my First Amendment right granted all U.S. citizens by our U.S. Constitution, the foundation of our Democracy.”
“I believe if Tom Cotton’s office were to respond as to why they sent this letter, I think they just honestly don’t want to listen to any citizen’s opposing view or hear the numerous grave concerns U.S. citizens have about the serious & ongoing attack on our Democracy and past election cycle in which a foreign, hostile Russian government interfered, they don’t want U.S. citizens to call and speak their mind and truth in a very direct manner and they obviously don’t want to be held accountable for their words and actions while serving all the people in this nation. I may have used unprofessional and unbecoming language at times as the anxiety and stress of what I’m witnessing is at times too great a burden to control and I have vehemently expressed my righteous anger at Senator Cotton’s complicitness with this harmful regime.”
The Times says that they have talked to many people who have received the cease-and-desist letter from Cotton. All of them said that they had repeatedly called and written to Cotton with sentiments similar to the letter above. The people who contacted the paper said that they had not used rude or disparaging language in their messages.
On Wednesday, a group of activists showed up at Cotton’s Washington office to voice their complaints about Trump calling African nations “shitholes.” The staff at his office told them that they would all be arrested if they didn’t leave immediately.
Cotton’s press aide Caroline Tabler told a local TV station that the cease-and-desist letters were rare and only used “under extreme circumstances.”
“If an employee of Senator Cotton receives repeated communications that are harassing and vulgar, or any communication that contains a threat, our policy is to notify the U.S. Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section,” she said.