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McCain took the time to listen, Hayworth didn’t

I would like to relate a story that demonstrates the essential difference between Sen. John McCain and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth. It shows how McCain always helps his constituents and why he should be re-elected.

Social Security was deducting the premium for Medicare Part D for my husband and me. They were also deducting the same amount from our checking account. So we were being double-charged and having money removed that we needed for other expenses.

We were at a town hall with Mr. Hayworth at the Senior Center in Scottsdale on Via Linda and brought our paperwork and a letter to see if we could explain the situation to Mr. Hayworth — or his staff — in the hope that he could be of some assistance. As my husband approached him and asked him if he could take two minutes to explain the situation and give copies of the appropriate paperwork to his staff, he held up his hand and said, “I’m not going to discuss this with you.”

My husband asked if he could at least give the paperwork to his staff in the hopes that someone from our congressman’s office would take an interest and help us with the situation, or at least verify that we were being double billed. Again Mr. Hayworth held up his hand and said, “No! Give it to my staff.” We did give it to his staff, and to this day we have never heard back from them.

Several weeks later we were going downtown and I suggested to my husband that maybe we could bring the documents with our statement into Senator McCain’s office to see if his staff thought anything could be done. His staff was extremely gracious and warmly received us even though we had no appointment. We explained the situation and gave them the statement and copies we had prepared for Mr. Hayworth.

Within three weeks they got the situation rectified. Social Security stopped taking the premium twice and reimbursed us for the overpayment.

What reminded me of this situation was seeing Mr. McCain recently at a town hall in Fountain Hills. We saw several of his constituents acting very much as we had with Mr. Hayworth — asking for a moment or two to explain a difficulty with an agency of the federal government. McCain was extremely gracious. He listened patiently and handed the documents to his staff. If his current staff is even half as efficient as the staff we dealt with, those constituents can expect rapid action if there is anything that can possibly be done.

If this man — who is arguably the most recognizable Republican officeholder in America, who is a senior ranking member of one of the most powerful committees in the U.S Senate, who must have an extremely packed schedule — can take the time to be gracious with the people who sent him to Washington, why couldn’t Hayworth. It is clear to me from this experience why the voters of this state continue to elect McCain. It is equally clear to me from this experience why Mr. Hayworth was turned out.

— Shirley Lesser, Scottsdale

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