Charging for Democracy

16 August 2011 | 0

Chip Cravaack is a first term Congressman representing Duluth and the northern metro. Because he is in his first term he should be interested in making a good impression with his constituents in order to help ensure his re-election. It’s curious to me that he would, then, 1) refuse to hold town hall meetings in the largest city in his district; 2) charge residents $10 for the opportunity to meet him and discuss issues important to their lives and the district; and 3) move his family out of the district to live in a different state (New Hampshire, to be specific). While items 1 and 3 are an insult to the people he was elected to represent, it’s the second item that’s particularly worrisome to me. Town hall meetings are often not pleasant, but they’re a good way to gauge the mood of your district. Pay-to-play is not a sustainable model of representative democracy. We clearly have enough purchased influence in Washington; there’s no reason to bring that back home.

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