A Response from Rep. Naishtat

They always say to be careful what you wish for. I got a response from Representative Naishtat earlier this week, which prompted a dinner meeting tonight to discuss my proposal regarding the website.
I don't remember wishing to create a website for a person whose cell phone's "unique feature" is a flashlight and whose personal organizer's most technological function was six years ago when a worm worked its way out of the pages.
Nevertheless, it seems we will be moving forward with NaishtatFinallyGotAWebsite.com. Godspeed.
Below is the response from Representative Naishtat from a few days ago, and in the comments section you can find my reply.

Representative Naishtat reflecting on 18 years of avoiding the inevitable.

Subject: Your Offer

fromElliott Naishtat

Dear Rachel,

I tried to locate your email to me dated July 22nd, but couldn’t. I’ll try again, tomorrow, at my Capitol office.

But I did succeed in finding your letter to me on your “Mean Rachel” web-blog page.

I think it’s wonderful of you to offer to design a website for me, obviously long overdue (not your offer, but my need for a website). A couple of years ago, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez made a valiant attempt to get me out of the Stone Age by giving me a Palm Pilot for Hanukkah-Christmas. He sits across the aisle from me in the House Chamber and couldn’t stand looking at the small, brown, dog-eared address book I keep on my desk—the same address book I’ve had for more than 20 years. It’s held together with duct tape, string, rubber bands, glue, and paper clips, plus a bit of blood, sweat and tears shed during difficult times in the Lege, especially since Tom Craddick was elected speaker in 2003. It serves me well, but is admittedly disgusting to look at, or touch. One time a fellow member was staring at it on my desk, picked it up to see if it was real or some sort of prop, and screamed when she swears a worm crawled out of it!

I took the Palm Pilot out of its packaging, looked it over, and called Eddie to see if he could come to my office and teach me how to use it. He came right over. After 5 minutes of utter confusion (I felt like I felt the first time Rep. Scott Hochberg tried to explain Public School Finance to me), I told Eddie I simply wasn’t psychologically ready for a Palm Pilot, and put it back in its packaging. It’s still in a desk drawer in my office. Eddie didn’t talk to me for weeks.

But, these days, nearly every member has a website, and I’m more aware than ever before that many of my constituents would like to believe that their state representative is interested in communicating with them in a manner that is at least as convenient for them as it is for me. So I’m eager to start working with you on this website project!

I do have one question, though: How on earth will I report your offer and “gift” to the Texas Ethics Commission?!

Finally, dear Rachel, please know that unlike Senator Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, as well as that other politico from New York, former Governor Elliot Spitzer, my first name is spelled with 2 L’s and 2 T’s.

Thank you, again.

Your friend,

Elliott Naishtat

Naishtat's personal organizer with a note I found tucked between the pages.
It looks like whomever wrote the note also had a difficult time getting the two T's at the end.

6 Response to "A Response from Rep. Naishtat"

  • Mean Rachel Says:

    Dear Representative Elliott Naishtat,

    Thank you for getting back to me. I was a bit concerned when I hadn't heard from you all week, but I understand how New Orleans goes (frankly I should just avoid places below sea-level that advertise drinking as their main event) and so I won't hold it against you. Forgive me for not responding to you earlier today, as I work for a dot-com that somehow lost its internet capabilities for this entire Monday. Trust me when I tell you, I have never felt more sympathetic toward your cause than I did today with a lack of internet resources.

    Incidentally, Eddie Rodriguez mentioned the Palm Pilot incident to me at the TCDP East-Side Block Party last week, as a "case in point" moment for why you don't have, and perhaps will never have, a website. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Palm Pilots came onto the technology scene about seven to eight years ago, and are now considered "out of date." So you would be wise to write off Rep. Rodriguez's well-meaning, albeit under-appreciated gift, and perhaps donate it to some sort of local charity that could benefit from it. Perhaps your answer could be the Austin affiliate of Dress For Success, where they outfit low-income women with the tools and clothing necessary to be successful in the workplace.

    Do you see how the web-link just worked there? I referred you to a non-profit website that could benefit not only you (in ditching Eddie's Palm Pilot gift, which -- let's face it -- really has just become an awkward albatross for both of you these days) but could also benefit a potential constituent who right this moment could be needing a Palm Pilot to simultaneously organize her new list of clients while inputting her voter ID and precinct information.

    This is my dream for you, and I say that with just the slightest hint of cynicism in knowing that politics is the first place one should look when wanting to have their dreams crushed. Nevertheless, I will forge ahead. I would like to further explore the possibilities of creating a mutually-beneficial website for you and your starry, blue-eyed constituency, and would like to debunk the myths that you are a wormy State Representative who operates off of paper and ink. By the time your website is done, you will reflect both the progressive ideals of your district while staying true to your ingrown Yankee roots. I will make sure of it. I know that Harold Cook mentioned perhaps a meeting between the three of us sometime this week. When can this happen?

    As to your final point, regarding the spelling of your name, I must confess that I labored over the correct spelling for quite some time the first time I blogged about you. Clearly you have a difficult name to spell, what with all of the silent L's and T's, and the whole "Naishtat" thing really isn't Candidate 101 either. So I Googled you. That means I did an internet search and when I did, I discovered you don't have a candidate website.

    Perhaps, Elliott With Two L's and Two T's, if you'd had a website, the oversight in spelling your name would have never occurred.

    For that...well, we only have ourselves to blame.

    Your faithful (non)constituent,
    Mean Rachel

  • FUBAR Says:

    to tell you the truth, I think the flashlight feature is kind of cool!

  • Cash Money Says:

    only you, Mean Rachel. Only you.

  • jolie Says:

    hi elliott!

  • Anonymous Says:

    there is nothing that man could do that wouldn't endear him to me...

  • Rebecca Says:

    dear elliott,
    it's rebecca, your cousin. i was doing some research on politics for social studies and this site came up. just saying hey, haven't seen you since february. wanna know your thoughts on palin... have you talked to uncle barry? haha. get a new phone already!you can live without the flashlight!!have fun in texas.
    rebecca shoenthal