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The Inexcusable Thank You

July 27th, 2009 by flanews

The governors office sent a letter to a white supremacist thanking him for sending an anti-Semitic DVD. In the letter the governor promised to share the movie with others. As Whitney Ray tells us, the governor says the thank you letter was an inexcusable mistake by his staff.

Thousands of letters and emails pour into the governors office every day, more than half a million in 2008 alone. Governor Charlie Crist cant read everyone, but his staff tries.

Last month a white supremacist sent Crist a copy of this anti-Semitic DVD. The governors staff responded with this thank you letter bearing the governors automated signature. Crist is calling the response an inexcusable mistake.

The governors office refused our request for an on-camera interview to discuss the mistake. Alia Faraj-Johnson worked as communications director for Governor Jeb Bush. Johnson says its hard to keep up with every letter and request.

When I used to work there we would get hundreds of hundreds of pieces of mail, emails, phone calls, so it is very easy to over look something like this, said Faraj-Johnson.

But if the governors office can mistakenly send a thank you letter to a racist then whos to say your letter will be taken seriously.

Mary Smith isnt sure her letters get read, but she sends them anyway.

I feel better about it when I do it, I dont know if they feel better about it because sometimes there are nasty comments on it but At least they know how I feel, if they look at them, which I hope they do, said Mary.

But for many without direct access to their representatives, the odds their letters will be read by their elected officials are very slim. After the mistake was discovered the governors office asked the white supremacist to take the thank you letter off his website. He hasnt taken the letter down.

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