(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?