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An Open Letter to Senator Cornyn

12 August 2008

Dear Senator Cornyn, or whomever it may concern:

I am terribly disappointed that Senator Cornyn would even consider pursuing Ethics Committee action against a Senator who is a physician for exercising his craft in service of our fellow citizens, especially when his work is on pro bono or reduced-fee terms.

If the Senator in question were Russ Feingold or Harry Reid or Dianne Feinstein, I would be saying the same thing. But it astonishes me that Senator Cornyn would play a lead role in going after a fellow conservative, Senator Tom Coburn. Do political gamesmanship and cynical posturing never take a holiday? Senator Cornyn should be standing up for common sense and an appreciation for nuance, not mindlessly adhering to the letter of the ethics rules at the expense of the spirit of those rules, just so he can say he is playing ethics hardball, pure and clean as the wind-driven snow.

If a Senator is willing, as Senator Coburn is, essentially to donate professional services of a sort that is essential to community life – we’re talking about the birth and health of children and mothers, for the love of Pete! – he should be allowed to do so, and no Senator should try to score political points, or facilitate other Senators’ efforts to do so, in such a cynical way.

Sincerely from the Texas Panhandle,

Brent Auvermann

Amarillo, TX

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