Quiet Cravaack

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Chip’s office stating my views on Obama’s jobs bill and I asked for Chip’s view on the bill and if he would be supporting it.

To date, I’ve heard nothing from him.

In the past I’ve email Franken on an unrelated matter and at least his people bothered to send me a standard response in a timely fashion.

Are elected officials obligated to reply to the questions those they represent have for them?

If not, I’ve not sure how appropriate the term ‘representative’ really is.

64 Comments

edgeways

about 11 years ago

"Are elected officials obligated to reply to the questions those they represent have for them?"

Well, if the question is, are they legally obligated? No they are not. Morally or ethically? That is a debate.

Zeito

about 11 years ago

Resend the email, but put obamacare in the subject line.   Then the staffers may actually read your liberal rant.

zra

about 11 years ago

Perhaps those slovenly public workers at the post office lost your email ... or something.

New Hampshire doesn't get the interwebs?

Baci

about 11 years ago

Same thing happened to me. I guess they're to chicken sh!t to see the flip side of their hollow coin.

Rougement

about 11 years ago

"Well, if the question is, are they legally obligated? No they are not. Morally or ethically? That is a debate."

I didn't know that, thanks.

Joel

about 11 years ago

Generally, elected officials respond to constituents (even those that are criticizing them) because it is in their interest to do so.  When they don't respond, constituents get mad and do things like write blog posts about it.  The fact that Cravaack doesn't respond to letters he doesn't agree with (and you are not the first I've heard this from) means that either: 1) His staff is incompetent, or 2) He is so arrogant and overconfident that he believes he doesn't have to worry about pissing off the "libtards."

Chris

about 11 years ago

It is normal for congressperson staff to get back to anyone at least with a polite form letter.  I think Joel is right.

chadp

about 11 years ago

I just wish I could get the guy to stop robo-calling me every other week.   Calling it a "Telephone Town Hall" means I should be able to ask a question.  Otherwise it is false advertising.

Claire

about 11 years ago

The fall foliage is especially stunning in New Hampshire this time of the year. Perhaps Mr. Cravaack, who has just moved there, is so distracted by his new home that he forgets that he represents the 8th district in far-away Minnesota.

I've heard elsewhere that his staff is not especially competent -- and these were people who might have voted for him saying this.

B-man

about 11 years ago

I sent Representative Roger Reinert a message asking about him receiving pay during the Minnesota shutdown and received no response.  Seems to be a new tactic -- just ignore the folks you do not want to talk to.  Facebook is now following this model too.

"Reinforcement theory is a limited effects media model applicable within the realm of communication. The theory generally states that people seek out and remember information that provides cognitive support for their pre-existing attitudes and beliefs. The main assumption that guides this theory is that people do not like to be wrong and often feel uncomfortable when their beliefs are challenged." --Wikipedia (yeah I know the reliability may be flawed but it was an easy definition to find)

udarnik

about 11 years ago

I know a Boy Scout who wrote to Cravaack as part of a merit badge qualification; he hasn't heard back.  A Boy Scout!  Talk about a softball.

adam

about 11 years ago

Disenchantment Badge: acquired.

Joel

about 11 years ago

If Cravaack is blowing off Boy Scouts, it is pretty clear that the main problem is incompetent staff.  Whatever anyone thinks of Oberstar, his staffer in Duluth (Dave Boe) took his job seriously and was great with follow through with constituents.

By the way, Jeff Anderson says that one of the final straws that motivated him to run against Cravaack is that for years Jeff has been taking groups of students from Ely to Washington, DC.  A meeting with Oberstar (or at least folks in his office) was always part of the trip.  He tried to set up a similar meeting with Cravaack for the students and got blown off.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Gee, Joel's story sounds familiar. Doesn't Cravaack claim to have run for office b/c he tried to meet with Oberstar and got blown off?

wildgoose

about 11 years ago



Cravaack discusses his disgust with Congressman Oberstar's alleged unavailability in this shaky video (endorsed by Cravaack's campaign, apparently if the logo is an indication)

George

about 11 years ago

I sent Cravaack several emails and submitted several on the form on his website.  No response on any of them.  Recently he did start spamming me with his weekly update newsletter, though.

Sam

about 11 years ago

I have a theory.  Cravaack isn't putting much effort into developing his staff to handle routine constituent communication becasue he really does not expect to win another election (his move to New Hampshire makes that rear impossible).  So he isn't focusing on "wastes of time" that are only good (from his point of view) for re-election.

Claire

about 11 years ago

I dunno Sam. If he didn't think he'd be re-elected because he now lives in New Hampshire, don't you think he would have said he's not running for re-election so perhaps some other Republican could run in his stead, so the GOP would keep that seat? Unless you think he's totally in denial.

Sam

about 11 years ago

Well, maybe he is waiting to drop out, or he will switch districts after redistricting.  Or maybe he wants to get more business contacts by running again.  He might not care about the GOP as much as he cares about himself.

Claire

about 11 years ago

He'd never get elected to anything else in the Republican party if he dropped out, and thus handed the seat to the DFL. Maybe he is banking on redistricting, though Minnesotans throughout the state have such a strong connection to this region, I can't see him winning in any other MN district, when he doesn't live even here. I like your point that he's going to just ride the gravy train as long as he can, and do what's best for Chip. So what else is new for him, right? It's going to be an interesting campaign, that is for sure.

Rougement

about 11 years ago

If it's true that Chip won't even reply to boy scouts, well ... that's pretty low. 

I'm honestly a little shocked. 

This isn't even a dem/repub issue, it's a 'performing one of the basic requirements of your office' issue.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Like Sam pointed out, Cravaack just doesn't give a damn.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Boy scouts can't vote, but he forgets their parents can vote.

Joel

about 11 years ago

Performing the basic requirments of one's office requires one to actually take the job seriously.  I met Chip Cravaack for the first time last weekend at the Lester River Rendezvous.  My impression is that he has little actual interest in public policy or in governing. I get the impression that he ran for office because he thought it would be "fun" and "exciting."  Turns out it is a lot of work to be a member of Congress -- particularly if one actually takes the job seriously.

Claire

about 11 years ago

All that jet lag can't be helping matters, either

Sam

about 11 years ago

I really don't know why he is having this staff problem.  I have theories, but I know my theories are unlikely.  It just doesn't make sense when he doesn't train his staff to respond to simple constituent letters.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

@Sam.. well he ran on a lark, likely staffed his offices with friends and family of friends, he had no previous government position so it is all new to him, by no means would I call him an idiot, but he certainly doesn't seem to be the brightest bulb in the pak, and likely has a slim grasp on what actually needs to happen in a congressional office.

emmadogs

about 11 years ago

Can we make these observations a part of his re-election literature?

Claire

about 11 years ago

I met one of his soldiers on election day, and spent the day with him observing at a precinct in Kenwood. He was from North Branch and asked me how far I'd come that morning to observe. I said, "A mile or so, this is my community." I have the feeling Crqavaack staffed his office with people like this guy, to him Cravaack owed favors. THey don't sound like professionals -- like Dave Boe obviously was, whenever I dealt with Oberstar's office.

Debra L. Taylor

about 11 years ago

I, too, talked with Cravaack face-to-face for the first time at the recent Lester River Rendezvous. He kept mentioning PolyMet.  He may be hitching his political wagon to PolyMet becoming a reality in time to help his election.  Cravaack said he believed PolyMet would create 1,000 jobs for the district.  He has responded to my letters, but he has frequently simply quoted Tea Party talking points and failed to actually answer my questions.  If he is counting on redistricting to save him, then his hopes should be dimming:  with Bachmann's presidential campaign imploding, he cannot count on being the only Tea Party darling aiming for a GOP-heavy St. Cloud-to-Stillwater congressional district.

Lojasmo

about 11 years ago

Bman:  did you ask reinsert why four times as many republicans took pay than democrats, or why legislators took pay while Dayton did not?

I only ask because the answer is obvious.  Just saying.

B-man

about 11 years ago

I asked for his reasons why he believed he should be paid for not getting his task completed.  

I am still waiting to hear back.  

I changed my mind about him 180 degrees due to that lack of interaction. Any elected official who does not respond to constituents in a reasonable time is of no use to me.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

fwiw, he had an piece in the DNT during the whole govt shutdown. Reinert is also pretty active on FB if you happen to be on that. He also had accessible town hall meetings in Duluth this last year as well. I'd actually like to hear if his non responsiveness is as endemic as Chippers.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Roger Reinert is one of the most accessible politicians I've ever met. I know he's been working hard on restoring MN/WI tax reciprocity (something near and dear to my heart), and he's always ready to talk and to listen to his constituents. And he's always out and about. Definitely one of the good guys in our state legislature.

Claire

about 11 years ago

I could only find this email address for Chip Cravaack: [email protected] 

Does anyone have a better one than this one?  Thanks in advance!

The Big E

about 11 years ago

A bit of a threadjack, but I think it's perverse to fault legislators for taking their salaries during the shutdown.  Legislators' fundamental job isn't to crank out a budget on time--it's to represent their constituents, and Minnesotans right now are pretty divided as to what we want state government to do and how they want it done.  The shutdown would have been over very quickly if one side or the other had caved in to the other's plan.  Failing surrender by one side or the other, an impasse was the outcome.  If you stipulate that legislators may not collect salary while the budget is unfinished, you are in effect empowering wealthier people to exercise additional influence in the Legislature (if I'm independently wealthy--as if--I could hold out til hell freezes over), and perhaps forcing out some "citizen legislators" altogether.

Claire

about 11 years ago

You know, I've observed Cravaack's supporters ever since that DECC forum before the election. I've even interacted with them upon occasion. I find that they tend to be young white males with a chip on their shoulders, and not especially articulate, well-informed, or mature. It's like Cravaack is the head of their cult, and they will not brook any criticism of their leader. It's just interesting, especially in light of what Joel and Deb were saying about their impressions of Cravaack. It's just odd, not even President Obama's most fervent supporters ever responded like thugs and bullies to criticisms of him as if he were, like I said, some cult leader.

Well, he'll be packing his bags for New Hampshire soon enough, and it'll be a moot issue.

Rougement

about 11 years ago

Lots of posts. Usually a discussion this long gets a few contradictory comments.

Claire, I emailed him from here: http://cravaack.house.gov/

TimK

about 11 years ago

Maybe Chip moving to NH lost him his DCB cadre of trolls, therefore no one is left to stick up for him.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Thanks Rougement. 

TimK, Joel and I were just talking about the fact that this thread is pretty damning: the guy blows off boy scouts? And no one is responding, defending him. Seems to me even the DCB trolls can't defend such incompetence or arrogance.

One thing about Oberstar and his people, they did not blow off constituents. I wanted to go to Obama's inauguration in 2008 and emailed Oberstar. They couldn't get me a ticket, but they were wonderful in selling me a ticket to the Midwest Inaugural Ball. They could have just blown me off. After all, who was I? A nobody. I will always be grateful to Oberstar and his people for the way they treated me when I wanted to be a part of history.

Joel

about 11 years ago

To add to my impressions of Cravaack, having had the chance to speak with him-- I'll grant that he has excellent social skills (unlike Sean Duffy, for instance, who comes across like the president of his junior high school student council).  Cravaack is a good conversationalist and clearly enjoys interacting with people.  He'd probably be a decent guy to have as a co-worker or a neighbor.  Anyone, however, who has even the slightest b.s. meter, would immediately pick up on the fact that's he's faking his way through the job-- he clearly just has no idea what he's talking about.  It doesn't surprise me that his staff is incompetent.  The guy is simply in way over his head.  He'd be well served to find himself a good chief of staff who could run the office and get him up to speed on the issues.  That would free Chip up to be the figurehead, which is clearly what he wants to be.  As Claire points out, though, it is tough to find a good chief of staff when everyone who worked on your campaign is a Tea Pary know-nothing type.  I actually feel kind of bad for the guy.  (Though to be honest, I feel worse for us, his constituents.)

B-man

about 11 years ago

@ The Big E-  a response from Reinert, similar to the one you posted, would have satisfied my inquiry.  I got nothing which leaves me to fill in the why.  I guessed he is a coward and told him so directly.  Again no response.

Joe

about 11 years ago

I'm not saying this about Chip Cravack, but his supporters certainly hate women and black people. I got onto this page from a link on an extremist right-wing website that's run by someone who seems to love Cravack, and the administrator there seems to really hate women and black people. Ugh.

Jim

about 11 years ago

A little inconsistent on the censor button boys. Allowing someone to say that Chip supporters hate blacks? Are you friggin kidding me?

Rougement

about 11 years ago

Someone want to tell me why post was deleted and why Jim's are too?

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Some comments on this post were removed because PDD has a policy against name calling. Play nice.

Jim

about 11 years ago

I can't believe you "tolerant" liberals allow this shit to permeate our city. What a bunch of fucking hypocrites!! Joe's post is inflammatory, an absolute lie and you let him post it just so you can get some comments? Don't you realize that you are the problem? Not Bachmann, not Palin, not anyone else. You are the problem. I'm glad your true colors are being shown Paul. What a shame.

Jim

about 11 years ago

I'll answer your question Red, over on the troll zone, where you belong.

Jim

about 11 years ago

This can go on and on. Be consistent, get rid of the comment about hating blacks and women, and I'll go back under the bridge...

Claire

about 11 years ago

I'd like to know what website Joe is referring to, Jim. Sometimes, where there's smoke, there's fire. And Congressman Cravaack did blow off Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts!

Jim

about 11 years ago

Sorry Claire. You are respectful to me, and I'll be so to you. I don't by the Boy Scout thing. I don't believe anything above is legit. As I stated above, I wouldn't give them the time of day either. I wrote Franken on numerous occasions. Not one reply. Not even a form letter. Evidently I'm not good enough, or smart enough. Dog gone it, Al doesn't like me!

Jim

about 11 years ago

Besides, since when did anyone put credence into one person's website? Do you really want to be judged by a site that someone puts up under the guise of being a liberal? That seems like a pretty scary generalization, and a slippery slope.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Jim, the comment you are referring to above does seem to state that anyone who likes Congressman Cravaack dislikes black people and women, and that is a pretty outrageous statement by anyone's standards. 

I think Joe intended to suggest that a specific group of Cravaack supporters on some website tend to disparage blacks and women, and he probably neglected to link to the site because he didn't want to promote it. (By the same logic, maybe he shouldn't have commented at all, but what's done is done.)

Whether Joe's comment is just poorly crafted or intentional hyperbole, I would ask you to respectfully disagree with it and offer a constructive comment. The fact that you are the only person challenging the anti-Cravaack comments here has afforded you a certain latitude, but if you continue the name calling you'll be blocked from the site entirely. 

PDD's moderators have been enormously patient with you, Jim. If you want to go off topic and argue about site moderation with me, send me an e-mail. If you want to behave like a troll, well, you're well aware of where to go for that. Otherwise, you'll have to show respect for others or have your comments deleted.

Jim

about 11 years ago

Ooooh. I just got called into the Headmasters. "Does seem to state..."? You are rationalizing for him. To that I say Fuck you- you're just as bad as him then. Quote "...his supporters certainly hate women and black people." That's a fucking quote, oh pious one.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

You asked me to rationalize why Joe's comment was allowed. I did the best I could. I'm not endorsing his comment at all; I was actually critical of it. If you want to challenge it, do so respectfully.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

You are on someone else's site Jim, as such they have complete control over what stays and  goes. There really needs to be no pretense that they care about what you consider fair. This is not your site. There is neither legal nor moral bases why you should be allowed to comment, or why your comments should be protected. PDD is not your Representative in congress and owes you nothing. It is as if you are in someone's home. So, frankly when you come in with  both guns blazing and demanding things be changed to suit your desires, you kind of look like an ass. can I come over to your house and demand you hang pictures of my left big toe? Of course not. It is less about liberal and conservative than about polite and taking a shit in the middle of the room. I can listen to conservatives try and make a cognizant point even if I disagree, I can't listen to thin-skinned folks throw a hissy fit because someone on the internet kind of, sort of insulted them. Good grief.

Rougement

about 11 years ago

Jim, do you agree that the very least an elected official can do is reply to the concerns of those he or she represents? 

I got a form reply from Franken. I got nothing from Cravaack. I was careful to keep a civilized and respectful tone with both.

From your stream of (mostly deleted) comments this afternoon, I wonder if you were able to be civil enough with Franken to warrant a response.

Maybe we can do a little experiment here. Above I posted a link to Chip's site where he can be contacted. Maybe others can try, post here and follow up in a couple of weeks with an update?

zra

about 11 years ago

Respect is earned, not given.

Coming into the middle of a conversation to weigh in with namecalling and "i've been disrespected" hyperbolic bullshit isn't the best way to *gain* respect among those you're trying to get it from.

Demanding respect is Napoleonic at best.

Projecting and transferring your own intolerance onto others to in effect paint yourself in the light of the victim isn't winning you any points either.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Might I remind everyone that this thread is about how Cravaack is blowing off constituents, including Boy Scouts, and not about Jim?

The Big E

about 11 years ago

I thought it was about Edgeways' alluring toe.

brian

about 11 years ago

Anybody else get the robocall for Chip's "Tele Town Hall" tonight?

in.dog.neato

about 11 years ago

That's what that is? It keeps coming up "0."

jim

about 11 years ago

This site will provide you with some useful information about Duluth.

http://dflduluthexposed.com/

edgeways

about 11 years ago

"Useful information."

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