Live and learn, and be surprised at times.
I actually received an answer from Nancy Pelosi.
From: “Rep. Nancy Pelosi” <email@example.com>
Date: April 27, 2008 1:04:15 PM GMT-04:00
Subject: Reply from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Thank you for contacting my office.
Congressional courtesy prevents me from replying to e-mails if I cannot determine that you are a constituent of mine.
If you are not a resident of California’s 8th Congressional District and are contacting me in regard to my role as Speaker, please e-mail me at AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov.
If you are a resident of the 8th District of California, please contact my office in Washington, DC at (202) 225-4965 to be added to our database.
An answer only in that she replied. It’s not an answer to the question I asked.
I looked around for details about this ‘congressional courtesy.’ Strange that it’s called ‘courtesy’ when it seems shorthand for “get lost.” I discovered it’s a sensible rule that prevents members of Congress from getting involved in issues for which other members of Congress are responsible. This makes perfect sense. Pelosi’s invoking the rule makes far less sense, however. I simply asked about an alleged biblical quotation she used in a press release. It did not involve an issue specific to her region of responsibility.
To my great amusement, my referencing Google for “congressional courtesy” turned up more than a few others who received the same response from Pelosi.
I sent a short reply suggesting she would have left a far better an impression if she hadn’t responded at all.