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Senator's Voicemail Was Full, So Concerned Woman Sent Pizza to Protest DeVos

Silge went about her day, assuming that the pizza and her message were both delivered. And that’s when her phone rang.
Photo via Flickr user Thy Khue Ly

If you've tried calling your state Senator in the past few weeks—whether it's to express concern about Steve Bannon or Betsy "But What About the Bears?" DeVos—you've probably either heard a busy signal, an endlessly ringing dial tone, or a message telling you sorry, but the voicemail you're trying to reach is full. That happened to Julia Silge, but after several weeks of frustrating automated messages, the Utah woman got creative.


Silge had tried repeatedly to contact Senator Orrin Hatch to oppose DeVos' nomination for Secretary of Education, but all eight of her attempts ended with a prerecorded message about Hatch's overstuffed mailbox. Instead of giving up, she went to GrubHub, where she placed an online order for a ham and pineapple pizza, giving Hatch's office as the delivery address and adding a $10 tip in the hopes that her politically charged pizza would actually reach its destination.

She also asked for a note to be written out and taped to the top of the box. "From a Salt Lake constituent in 84105," it said. "Please vote NO on Betsy DeVos. She is an inappropriate choice to lead our public schools."

My senator's local office is not answering his phone, and his voicemail seems to be full.

— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017

I just got a phone call from the delivery person asking me where in the federal office building to go; she is actually delivering it!

— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017

Silge went about her day, assuming that the pizza and her message were both delivered. And that's when her phone rang. The pizza was delivered but, since Hatch's office hadn't ordered it, the staff rejected the delivery and reported it to police as suspicious. A federal security officer saw Silge's name and phone number on the receipt and called her to ask a few questions.


"I definitely had a sinking feeling in my stomach," she told the Salt Lake Tribune. "At this point, I'm starting to realize this was maybe not my best thought-out plan."

I am sad to report that my senator's office refused delivery of the pizza.

— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017

The federal security person was pretty chill with me, and he did literally say, "I have gotten a call about a suspicious pizza."

— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 31, 2017

Fortunately, "sending a suspicious pizza" isn't a federal crime, so Silge isn't facing any repercussions. And, even though they trashed a perfectly good pizza, Hatch's office read her message, after seeing a screenshot of it on Twitter.

"We appreciate all creative efforts to reach Senator Hatch, particularly as we deal with a large volume of out-of-state callers that are preventing Utah constituents from reaching us," the senator's staff said in a statement sent to the Tribune.

Senators are expected to vote on DeVos' divisive nomination on Tuesday. Huh. I wonder how Senator Richard Burr feels about Papa John's?