Living in Society

Dinner with My Congressman – 2008 Style

Congressman Dave Loebsack in the Solon Beef Days parade

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, this note came:

Dave is interested in stopping by the Fish Fry at the Legion on Friday.
Would you be interested and available to introduce him to a few folks that night?
If you can’t, can you think of someone else who might like to? Probably around 6:00.
David Leshtz
District Representative
Congressman Dave Loebsack

I worked on Dave’s campaign in 2006. During the summer, after the office was first open, I was often the only volunteer making phone calls. There were a lot of calls to make and often the recipient of the call said “Dave who?” The night of the election, I was able to work through the crowd after Dave’s acceptance speech and shake his hand before he went with the press. He said “I’ll be back to talk later.” That night was something else and I guess tonight is later.

Dinner was just Dave and me talking about stuff: the weather, Joensy’s restaurant, RAGBRAI coming through Solon, the Big Grove Caucus and the Minneapolis airport. I introduced Dave to one of our neighbors who ran the 4-H club our daughter joined. She was there with her son. Jean Stinocher stopped by with a 3 by 5 card asking what questions were on the immigration test. She was researching the topic for a presentation. Dave passed it to Dave Leshtz for follow-up. Jean’s husband’s uncle is the person after whom the Stinocher American Legion Post is named. He was among the first in the area to be killed in WWI. We talked about John Edwards and Barack Obama and the hope that if Obama is elected, he could do for the Democrats what Reagan did for the Republicans: go over Congress’ head to the American people and get things done. We hope a Democrat is elected President in November. Jean caucused for John Edwards in Big Grove. Dave supported Obama at his caucus.

I asked Dave why Congress was choosing to spend resources on prosecuting the contempt citations against Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten. He said he favored holding them in contempt and that a lot of Democrats wanted to hold the Bush administration accountable. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she has given the Judiciary Committee authority to file a lawsuit against Bolten and Miers in federal court. I expressed my concern that there were other, more important areas where the Bush administration could be held accountable.

I finally asked Dave who was running his campaign. He said he was still trying to get things done in Washington and that most of the activity is fundraising. With three Republican opponents, he would let them fight it out for now. I told him I would contact Melanie to help.

And that’s that. One of the good thing about life in Big Grove: dinner with your Congressman.

~ First published on Feb. 29, 2008 in an earlier version of this blog.