A Republican congressman in March targeted an activist by writing a letter to the woman’s employer. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-NJ) actions forced Sally Avelenda to resign from her job as senior vice president and assistant general counsel at a bank.
In the letter, Frelinghuysen accused Avelenda of working against “economic growth” and “stronger national security,” WNYC reports.
“But let’s be clear that there are organized forces — both national and local — who are already hard at work to put a stop to an agenda of limited government, economic growth, stronger national security,” Frelinghuysen wrote in the letter, which is on his campaign stationery and asks for donations.
The bottom of the letter reads, “P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!”
Avelenda worked with an activist for a group called NJ 11th for Change. The group has been urging Frelinghuysen to hold town halls. The congressman hasn’t held one in four years.
Avelenda was questioned by her boss at the bank after receiving the letter.
Attached to the letter was a news article that quoted Avelenda. She says her boss presented her with both the letter and the news article. She was not fired, but she says she had a lot of explaining to do.
“I had to write a statement to my CEO, and at my level as an assistant general counsel and a senior vice president, at this employer it was not something that I expected,” Avelenda said. “I thought my Congressman put them in a situation, and put me in a really bad situation as the constituent, and used his name, used his position and used his stationery to try to punish me.
Frelinghuysen’s campaign office said in a statement that he was “unaware of any particulars” about the woman’s status with the bank. That seems odd since he wrote something to the contrary at the bottom of his letter.
“The Congressman wrote a brief and innocuous note at the bottom of a personal letter in regard to information that had been reported in the media. He was in no way involved in any of the bank’s business and is unaware of any of the particulars about this employee’s status with the bank,” the statement said.
He’s into small government, yet used his power to try to get a woman fired from her job. And he did this because he’s too cowardly to hold a town hall meeting.
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