Forwarded with Permission -- RRW
We have been asked for general guidelines as to what to include and what not to include in a letter to Governor Branstad of Iowa requesting assistance for Wendy Runge [Mindy's sister].
First, though, if you haven't done so already, please read the op-ed by Rabbi Goldberger.
Second, please do consider composing a letter and sending it to the governor at:
In this regard, we ask you to remember the following guidelines:
It MUST be RESPECTFUL with no hint of anger or anything negative. We want his help, not to alienate him from our cause.
Write in your own words so everyone's letter is original - not a variation of someone else's letter.
Try to do this once every 2-3 weeks - this way the governor will see that there's a lot of public interest in this case.
Items that can be included in your letter (you needn't mention all):
1) About Wendy
She is not a thief
Committed no act of fraud
Committed a clerical error with the approval of the appropriate government commissioner, for which she received no financial gain
No intent to commit a crime
Admitted remorse and regret
Readily admitted in public to making a mistake
Non-violent, first-time offender with no criminal history
Married for 25 years to one man and has 4 children with him, 2 of whom are still young
Long-time member of her community and active in many charitable endeavors
Any personal experiences you may have had that will reflect well on her
2) WHAT NOT TO MENTION - under ANY circumstances!
Accommodate her First Amendment right of freedom of religion and her religious needs while incarcerated (i.e. kosher food)
Reconsider her very harsh sentence of 10 years (it's effect on her husband, children and older parents)
THANK HIM FOR HIS CONSIDERATION.
Please feel free to share with us your letter. We have received many responses and some of the letters are INCREDIBLE!!
We thank you all for your time and efforts. May all of your prayers be answered for the positive.
Mindy & Barry Weinstein