I've had many similar experiences with politicians. It seems to be some kind of official policy with these guys now that unless you're willing to kick up a fuss, they just ignore you.
Therefore you should always be prepared to kick up a fuss.
There's a right way and a wrong way to do this, of course.
The wrong way is to beg and plead.
The right way is to escalate . . . That's right, escalate.
Pretend that you're President Obama and that the recalcitrant politician is that Iranian dude. What's his name?
Achmood . . .
Achmhad . . .
Here's what you do:
1) Give the politician guy a friendly phone call or send him a letter or an e-mail with your question.
2) If he doesn't respond within a reasonable amount of time (say two weeks) give him a second, not-quite-so-friendly call or e-mail. Don't write a second letter.
–In the follow up, don't repeat your question. Simply remind the guy that you're a constituent, that you've asked him a question, and that you're expecting a response.
—In your follow up, explain to the pol that you're a busy person, just like him. Let him know that if he doesn't get back to you with some kind of response by the deadline (say one week), there will be a consequence. List some possible consequences, and get imaginative here, but leave him with the idea that "no option is off the table."
—Don't threaten the guy with anything illegal ("I'm gonna egg your house") or unethical ("I'm gonna tell everyone you're straight") or unbelievable ("I'm gonna run against you.")
—If the deadline comes and goes, follow through with the consequences, and make sure the politician is kept apprised of what you're doing and why you're doing it. Always leave the door open in case he changes his mind and wants to talk. Let him know that you can go from being his enemy to his friend, depending on how he treats you, and make sure he understands that what you're asking is not for him to AGREE with you, but merely to COMMUNICATE with you.
In this case, Sonoma has done a good thing by following up on the Blog, but it won't have full effect unless he/she gets back to Mr. McDermott with a link to this thread.
Sonoma, here's what you should do at this point:
¶ E-mail McDermott's office with the link to this thread and let him know that he's getting lots of negative attention on the Blog right now, including dittos from other constituents who have been similarly ignored by him.
¶ In the follow-up, explain that, for each day Mickey D. doesn't get back to you with a response, you'll put another comment on the Blog, letting everyone know that he is STILL ignoring you.
Conversely, let him know that if he DOES get back to you, you will take that back to the Blog, too. Explain that the more personal and thoughtful his response, the more you will rave about it.
BTW: When you finally do get the guy on the line, my advice would be to stay neutral, neither praising nor criticizing him. If he thinks you're a sure thing either way, he's not going to want to spend much time with you.
In any case . . . threatening to withhold your vote from a liberal gay Democrat in this town is not exactly going to strike fear into the guy's heart now, is it?