Dear Mr. McManigal:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the nomination of Michael J. Sullivan of Massachusetts to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter most to them.
Mr. Sullivan’s nomination was voted out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on November 8, 2007. His nomination is currently pending before the full United States Senate. I am currently in the process of evaluating Mr. Sullivan’s personal, professional, and academic accomplishments. At the appropriate time, I will make a judgment on Mr. Sullivan’s nomination. It is important that we have strong, effective leadership at the top of the ATF. Please be assured that when making a decision, I will have your views in mind.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to frequently visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov/. In the months ahead, I will continue to develop the site in order to allow you to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington. If you wish to e-mail me, you can do so on the web site.
United States Senator
Here is my response to him (which I had trouble getting to go through for a while):
I realize you are no friend to peaceable gun owners, but this matter goes beyond this single issue.
The ATF has a sordid history of abusing its authority. Mike Sullivan has contributed to this abusive atmosphere greatly during his tenure. He has also demonstrated a lack of intergrity in carrying out his duties as US Attorney of Massachussets. His office has been cited by a judge for "extraordinary misconduct".
You say "It is important that we have strong, effective leadership at the top of the ATF." Leaders lead; they do not make up the rules as they go along, as Mike Sullivan has been doing. One only need examine the campaign of intimidation against gun retailers which has been accelerated under Sullivan's "leadership". With an agency of questionable Constitutional authority, such as BATFE, it is imperative that the new director errs on the side of individual liberty rather than on the side of governmental control and power.
I am confident that you are not ignorant of this man's history. To say that you are wiating for the appropriate time to make a judgement on his nomination makes me think that you value his stance against the Second Amendment and against American gun owners more than you are troubled by his ethical shortcomings. This is deeply disturbing to me. Michael J. Sullivan has no business having any position of authority. I hope you will not ignore these facts.