Ky. 9-year-old to Congress: Thanks for ruining my field trip, now start acting like adults

10/02/2013 12:46 AM

UPDATED: After her scheduled class field trip to Mammoth Cave National Park was canceled for Wednesday because of the government shutdown, Henderson 4th grader Meredith Gold complained — to Congress.

“This made us very disappointed,” Gold wrote in an email Tuesday night to staff members of three members of Congress from Kentucky. “Some kids may not be able to go to places like these unless they go there with their class. Also my family loves going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We were going to go there next week, but now maybe not.”

Gold, a student at East Heights Elementary in Henderson, is the 9-year-old daughter of Steve Gold, the Henderson County Attorney who has served on the Kentucky Democratic Party’s executive committee.

Steve Gold said the letter was his daughter’s idea after the field trip for the school’s 4th grade was cancelled.

“The great thing is that, except for a spelling tip here or there, the words were her own, as was the idea. She spent quite a while making sure she had it “just right,” Gold told Pure Politics.

The younger Gold sent the email Tuesday night to the White House, Holly Lewis, a field representative for Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell; Kimberly Halter, the constituent services director for 2nd District Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green; and Sandy Simpson, a field representative for 1st District Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville.

UPDATED: Steve Gold said the original email went to the entire Kentucky delegation, including Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth’s office. But some of the emails bounced back because of outdated email addresses, he said in a follow-up email that included attached “undeliverable” notices to those addresses.

The government shutdown, which began Tuesday, means furloughs for nearly 800,000 non-essential federal employees and the closure of national parks and monuments, as well as a freeze on federally-backed loans for small businesses, among other effects.

Gold’s message comes as some observers, such as the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Trey Grayson, have said that the quickest way to end the shutdown is for Americans to voice their frustration directly to Congress.

But Gold did more than just complain. She also included some advice for Congress about how to move past the stalemate over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded.

“At my school when we get into disagreements we compromise, work as a team, use leadership, have a positive attitude, and respect each other. I encourage you to do this in Washington, D.C.,” she wrote to conclude her message.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • Len wrote on October 02, 2013 05:54 AM :

    What happened to sending one to the Democrat in Ky and one to Harry Reid and the President? This shutdown is a joint affair of sharing blame, not a lop-sided blame game as many are making as the President and Congress are doing…now we allow our children to play the blame game, too! Good education, I see!

  • Paul Hosse' wrote on October 02, 2013 09:47 AM :

    Goes to show that we can’t trust politicians to make serious decisions or handle money.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on October 02, 2013 10:31 AM :

    “Gold, a student at East Heights Elementary in Henderson, is the 9-year-old daughter of Steve Gold, the Henderson County Attorney who has served on the Kentucky Democratic Party‚Äôs executive committee.”

    More emotional exploitation. That’s a nice lesson to teach your child as you’re using her to advance your political agenda. It’s pathetic, but not unexpected.

    Hey Steve. When putting words in your nine year old daughter’s mouth, don’t forget to make it sound like it’s written by a 4th grader, from a 4th grader’s perspective. The propaganda is more believable that way.

    Obamacare…. It’s for the children!

    I’m surprised this wasn’t a communitarian letter writing class project in the socialist indoctrination that we call public education.

  • B Ross wrote on October 02, 2013 10:35 AM :


    Before the facts get muddled with political talking points, I wanted to give you some undeniable facts.

    1) Obamacare Law is Budgeted by Mandatory Spending – not Discretionary spending.

    2) Obamacare is a LAW, not a Statute.

    3) By LAW: The Continuing Resolution is NOT to be used to repeal Laws, defund Laws nor is the CR to be used to make Legislative changes in Laws.

    Thus, the HouseGOP shutdown Government are violating the Laws that govern the CR in their illegal attempt to: repeal, defund and make Legislative changes to the Law called Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) through the CR

    4) Also, BY LAW: The Continuing Resolution ONLY pertain to Discretionary Spending and NOT Mandatory Spending … the ACA (Ocare Law) is Mandatory Spending

    Thus, the HouseGOP shutdown Government are violating the Laws that govern the CR in their illegal attempt to: Defund Mandatory Spending and make Legislative changes to the Law called Affordable
    Care Act (Obamacare) through the CR

    5) The House CR had a “rider” on it … that “rider” was to: defund, delay and/or make Legislative changes to the Obamacare Law

    That “rider” versus “CR” is an important distinction because, even the House GOP knew that Congress is prohibited by law, to: repeal, defund, delay or make an Legislative changes to a LAW, especially a Law that is Budgeted through Mandatory spending.

    6) So, if Mitch McConnell or the GOP want to change the Law, then they need to do it through legal Legislative procedures since it is ILLEGAL to do that in a CR.

    7) Obama did NOT “tweek” Obamacare or give “exemptions” to Obamacare though a CR because that violates laws that govern a CR.

    8) The Senate requested 18 … 18 … Budget Committee Conference between May 2013 through October 2013. Sadly, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz both BLOCKED the Conference Committee all 18 times.

    9) THUS factually: The House sent the Senate a CR with a “RIDER” attached.

    The Senate sent the House CR back to the House with NO changes in budget numbers, but took off the RIDER.

    That is why the Senate asked the House to pass the “clean” CR the Senate approved.

    10) Each time the House sent the CR back to the Senate, the House included an additional “Rider” attached to the CR and each time the Senate rejected the Rider because the Rider illegally tried to make Legislative changes via a CR.

    It is important to underscore and highlight the fact that: The Senate sent the House a “clean CR” which means the Senate did NOT make any budget changes to the CR and that is why there is NO need for a Conference Committee on the CR

    There is no need for a Conference Committee on the CR because the Senate made NO changes to the budget numbers in the House CR and thus … there is NOTHING to negotiate as both House and Senate approved of the Budget numbers in the CR.

    11) Finally, CNN is reporting that the government shutdown will cost the US Economy roughly $1Billion lost by furloughed Federal workers, (4000 in Fort Knox alone)

    That translates to: 147,857,000 per day (One hundred forty-seven MILLION, Eight Hundred Fifty-seven Thousand per day)

    Therefore, the Shutdown adversely affects everyone in America.

  • Cumberland Gap wrote on October 02, 2013 11:09 AM :

    I enjoyed the comment I saw on another website from a Boy Scout wanting to know why the shutdown Tea Party Republicans hated the Boy Scouts? Afterall, his troop had planned to visit D.C. and see all the cool sites but alas they are closed!

  • MikeTrip wrote on October 02, 2013 11:50 AM :

    Oh boo hoo. Her father should be ashamed of himself for using his daughter in such a blatant political sham.

  • Arline Orr wrote on October 06, 2013 02:16 PM :


    Arline Orr

  • Arline Orr wrote on October 06, 2013 02:19 PM :

    Disgusting; with both parties.

    Arline Orr

  • Marion County wrote on October 08, 2013 09:23 PM :

    This small business owner is able to buy health insurance for the first time in 16 years now and I am thrilled to be able to be protected from financial ruin. If Republicans do not like the new law, I could care a less. i have not heard any elected republican who wants to give up their taxpayer paid, government health insurance for them and their families have you? Stop being a hypocrite and rejoice that millions now can buy health insurance and thousands of others will now be forced to stop being a freeloader. No one likes or respects freeloaders.

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