Home National Politics Congressman Cantor Continues to Hide From People Like Me – the Unemployed

Congressman Cantor Continues to Hide From People Like Me – the Unemployed

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(Thanks to Kellie Doyle of Culpeper for this report on Eric Can’tor’s refusal to meet with constituents, unless of course they’re rich and powerful ones. Again, I ask, who on earth votes for this jerk? – promoted by lowkell)

You may find this weird, but it is pretty easy for me to talk about being unemployed. I was working as the executive director for an arts foundation in Culpeper, Virginia my hometown, and I could see the recession coming. Congressman Cantor may not believe that cuts to spending costs jobs, but I am an example of just that. Cuts to funding for the arts cost me my position.

I understand that times are tough and I would enjoy the chance to talk to Congressman Cantor about ways Congress can be focused on actually creating real jobs for people like me because it is jobs that first caused my husband and me to move into his district.  

Silly me, but I thought that the August recess was supposed to be a time when my congressman would be back in his district and available for appointments with his constituency. After filling out the required online application for an appointment, I was told that his schedule was packed and that I could meet with one of his staff.  Unfortunately, his staff member doesn’t have a vote, so I used my appointment time to see if I could get another appointment, this time with Cantor himself, my original request.  

To say I got the royal runaround would be an understatement.  He has time to travel, to fundraise, and write op-eds attacking President Obama’s jobs plan, but he apparently doesn’t have time to spend with the people in his district.

As I was standing in the atrium of Cantor’s Culpeper office getting ready to leave, two police cars drove up and two policemen came into the building.  They just stood there.  I asked if they were standing there because of me and I was told yes.  “Why?” I asked.  One of the policemen told me that they had received a call regarding “suspicious behavior.”  Apparently, an unemployed person trying to see their congressman is a security concern.

He is just too busy, I am supposed to believe, to hold a town hall or have a meeting with people like me – the unemployed. How can he say what the people of his district want if he does not even take the time to talk to us?

If I were able to talk to Congressman Cantor, I’d tell him that we can’t go to bed at night and just pray businesses will start hiring. We need to hold them accountable for creating jobs. If we are going to keep spending our money on these tax breaks then they need to be tied to some action. If he can demand “accountability” from teachers, I can demand the same thing from “job creators.” If you are not creating jobs then you lose your tax break. I think that is a spending cut we can all get behind.

I am 56 years old. Who is going to hire me into a new career if I go back to school and come out in two or four years? Before moving to Culpeper I worked as a college administrator throughout the Midwest and East so I can tell you people are hurting everywhere. Moving would just mean changing the view from my window as I look for a job.  

I would really enjoy getting to talk to my Congressman about this. Last time I checked, he works for me and I help pay his salary and benefits. But the only thing harder than finding a job is finding Eric Cantor! Is it that he can’t, or that he won’t?

Kellie Doyle

Culpeper, VA  

  • truthteller

    with more draconian domestic funding cuts…. the man is immoral

  • Teddy Goodson

    Remember BlackOut, the web site which documented Dick Black’s inanities and insanities? What we need is a separate web site which maintains a record of Cantor’s depredations, stupidities, lies, and other artifacts. It is all very well to put up a diary here or there (and we appreciate every such effort, thank you!) but Cantor is banking on the short shelf life of such diaries and the short memory-span of voters, not to mention the general indifference of the mass media. As a result, he gets away with treating his constituency with contempt and disrespect, and will continue to do so until the accumulated weight of evidence maintained in one place like a GoodbyeCantor website becomes too big to be ignored.  

  • jsrutstein

    I think what would be welcome, but won’t happen, would be for leaders like Cantor to stop blaming Obama and to lower expectations.  The GOP strategy seems to be claim an austerity mandate from the 2010 elections, and, without any specifics about what they’d cut if only they controlled more than the House, they imply that simply swapping Obama for whomever they nominate would be an improvement.

    Perhaps voters will be angry enough to buy that argument.  We may catch a glimpse of it this year in Virginia.  Given the GOP’s approval ratings and even the declining ratings of the Tea Party, it’s hard to imagine just how angry voters would have to be to gamble on GOP candidates running on such an unpopular platform, no matter how little confidence the voters have in the Dem incumbents.

    It is unquestionably dispiriting to hear Obama essentially say he underestimated the downturn, while he expects us to believe his claim that better times will come.  I completely understand why he wouldn’t want to raise expectations again.  I also understand why, if he hopes to preserve a chance to sign any meaningful legislation before 2013, he doesn’t want to claim that the GOP’s austerity proposals would necessarily make things worse.

    As much as my inner progressive would love for Obama to unleash his inner FDR, it’s probably too late for such a move to be credible.  Those who invested the most in Obama’s 2008 campaign of hope and change were those younger and first-time voters who are among the most vocal critics of Obama now, apart from the haters who didn’t vote for Obama and never would.  The problem is that Obama is going to have to retain at least some of those not-quite-as-young and hopefully second-time voters to get another four years.

    Maybe things will turn so bleak that even seemingly insensitive leaders like Cantor will see that compromising with Obama is better than not.  I’d rather not see even more suffering to get to that point.  I’d prefer that the sheer uncertainty of our future is enough to temper GOP aggression; it’s been reported recently that the House GOP leadership is trying to get its right wing to stick with the agreement on cuts to next year’s budget and not try for more.  There’s plenty more evidence to suggest that Obama plays tentatively.

    I think our quasi-free market capitalist system prohibits the establishment from concluding that slow or no growth is the new normal.  The way, however, that the naysayers during the last few bubbles have been proved right makes me think that there’s less opportunity than ever for the next set of con artists.  Because of the history of the Dem Party being on the side of people over profits, notwithstanding wannabe neo-Dems like Warner, I think the long run favors the Dems.  I don’t know if that long run will arrive in time for Obama, let alone the Dem challenging Cantor.