I don't usually dignify a nasty letter to the editor with a response, but the one written on Oct. 22 necessitates one. The letter writer has obviously let prejudices color the letter writer's view of my husband, Andy Thompson, a person about whom she knows nothing. Let me set the record straight.
The letter says that he was born with a "silver spoon in his mouth" and has never had a job outside of his family "dynasty" (as she put it). It says he does not respect the working class and makes jokes about lower level jobs. I can assure you nothing is farther from the truth than those two statements.
First of all, I would like to state that my husband paid his own way through college working odd jobs, and taking out loans (which he finally paid off when he was 35). His family "dynasty" it says couldn't afford to help him out because they were busy starting a company in their living room. He painted, mowed lawns, did odd jobs, etc. He started a summer business with Roland Amash. He also worked as a Spanish translator and in the food service kitchen of his university (among other things) to offset his expenses. Silver spoon? Really?
Second, he worked at two different jobs in Washington, D.C., when we were first married. Both he got on his own. We lived in D.C. for 4+ years and I assure you it was a challenging time trying to afford the cost of living in a big city. I would have loved for the" dynasty" to send some cash, so we could live "high on the hog," (would have you think) or maybe buy some furniture for our little apartment.
Third, when you are a small business owner in a terrible economy, you stay up nights worrying about what the future will bring, and how you will make payroll. Can you afford the taxes? Can you get a loan? Can you afford the health care for your employees? It is a tremendously stressful way to make a living. You ask any of his employees if they have respect for him. He has a code of honor and he lives by it.
Oh, and by the way, did you know that Andy doubles as a publisher and cleaning lady? Yes! He cleans the toilets at his office! Silver spoon, eh? He has served in a number of volunteer posts for our church: Sunday school teacher, treasurer, council member, cantor, usher and reader. He has provided hundreds of volunteer hours in our community (Rotary, Restore Marietta, etc.) as a way to make our hometown a better place for families and entrepreneurs. He sacrifices family time because that's what it takes to do a job right. Andy's reputation speaks for itself; that's why the caustic campaign against him last time failed, and why letters like yours are so jarring and alien to the person and public servant my husband is. Attempting to assail one's character and impugning his reputation may be the norm for campaigns these days, but it doesn't reflect well on you, the letter writer, or those whom you claim to support.
Incidentally, Andy was thrilled when our 20-year-old son got two jobs this summer! One involved working as a dishwasher, and the other working as a cashier. He worked many hours and double shifts to save money for college. We were so proud of him when he paid $2,500 toward his college classes and still had money in the bank for spending.
Andy and his entire family have achieved what they have through hard work and sacrifice, like most small business owners. It's a shame that such traits are resented and belittled by some in our society including you. Clearly, my definition of a "silver spoon" is different than yours.
Andy does care about the working class, and every other one of his constituents. He works as hard as anyone to make sure others have the opportunities he has had.