TOPEKA, Kan. -- FOX 4 spoke to Rep. John Bradford, (R) Lansing, about the legitimacy of a Reddit post in which he's accused of sending a constituent a curt email response after she sent him an email about Uber, a ride-hailing service in the state of Kansas.
Reddit identity "Thad-Jarvis" says she sent Rep. Bradford an email asking him to "do the right thing for our state by opposing the poison pill amendment to SB 117. Voters like me consider this a critical issue- please fight to keep Uber in Kansas!"
The Kansas state representative from Lansing replied to her email with the following 16 words.
"I received your email. I don't need it, so I am sending it back to you."
"Thad-Jarvis" was perplexed by his reply and posted a picture of her email to Reddit with the following explanation:
My husband is blind and uses Uber. We sent an email to KS Representatives as there's a vote today that would make Uber operations illegal in the state. This was Rep. John Bradford's response."
By late Wednesday morning, the post had received more than 2,000 comments, including these:
"Assuming he is the John Bradford for Kansas (one that comes up on google) he's in the Kansas house not the senate-- this bill is for the senate."
"People actually voted for this guy? From what I see, he doesn't care for the thoughts of the people. Very poor decisions."
"Is there a reference here I don't get? His email seems.. just.. stupid to me?
"Either this is fake or the dude is planning on resigning very soon."
FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke to Bradford on the phone Wednesday morning. He explained that emails like this were flooding the servers in the state capital, causing them to shut down. He says Uber generated the emails and forced anyone using an Uber app to first generate an email to be sent to lawmakers in Topeka.
"It wasn't being flippant," Bradford explained. "A lot of people were irritated, to say the least."
The mass emails "locked up computers all around, laptops, iPads, phones" according to Bradford. "Some people couldn't even get their phones to operate, they had so many emails", he said.
He says he is still getting emails of the same form.
Bradford said he reads all his constituents' emails and responds to every one of them. These emails, he says, were not really from constituents; they were mass-generated emails from Uber.
"I've never blown off a constituent yet," Bradford said. "When you've got hundreds of them by the same subject line, no I do not read those."
He apologizes if he offended anyone.
"In hindsight I wouldn't probably have said, 'I don’t need it.' I would probably have said, 'Thank you, glad to have received your email. Thank you very much.'"