(Thanks to Marjorie Clark of Richmond for this report, including of Can’tor’s thuggish, police-state tactics (see the end of the diary). Why is this guy even in Congress, let alone in “leadership?!?” – promoted by lowkell)
When I heard that Congressman Cantor had gone on to his Culpeper office after being in Louisa County for photo ops with earthquake victims, I was excited by the possibility of getting to see him personally in Culpeper and ask him directly about creating good middle class jobs, not just poverty jobs, in his district.
For three weeks other of Cantor’s constituents and I have tried unsuccessfully to make an appointment–yes, even getting an appointment was impossible–in his Richmond office. Either, we were told, he had been totally booked for five to six months or he was away on a trip to Israel or fund raising in Texas. At any rate, we couldn’t see him at all during the August recess, which is designated for representatives to be in their home districts to meet with constituents.
Our one issue is jobs and unemployment. This should be the central issue for Congressman Cantor, supposedly elected to a leadership position, to address when they return to “work” in September. There are over 40,000 unemployed people in Congressman Cantor’s district. He is the second most powerful person in his party but seems either unable or unwilling to do anything for the unemployed and underemployed in his own district, much less the entire country.
Now he has gone from avoiding working on real legislation to address jobs, instead of more ideological grandstanding, to avoiding talking to his employers, the taxpayers of his district, about it. The Congressman does not want to hear from 40,000 of his bosses.
In fact, although Cantor talks about his concern for the economy and strongly hedges his own substantial personal investment portfolio, he consistently votes against jobs stimulus bills and bills that would bring jobs to Virginia.
So I was anticipating the possibility of actually getting to speak with Cantor in Culpeper on Thursday along with the Culpeper resident who had made the appointment and four other middle-aged women concerned enough about their personal job searches to make the trip from Richmond.
Wishful thinking! The one person in Cantor’s Culpeper office seemed to be there mostly to answer the phone and to receive any visitors in a friendly manner. However, she was unable to help us make an appointment, took no notes during our visit of our issues, and even spent time and attention on at least three separate phone calls, photocopying, and even leaving the office to go into another inner room where she talked on a phone during the time we were there. When several other people arrived for another appointment, our group left.
As we were rehashing our meeting in the entryway of the building, two Culpeper police cars came rushing into the parking lot. Two policemen, fully uniformed and armed and large with authority, strode in. One stood between our group of six middle-aged women while the other marched into the Congressman’s office. One person asked, “Are you here to see us?” The policeman replied that there had been a call from “another office” about some “suspicious” people in Cantor’s office! (We couldn’t help but think that the other office may have been Cantor’s Richmond office.) As we left the building to go to our cars in the parking lot, the policemen stayed in their cars but with motors running and raring to go until all of us drove away.
He is our elected voice in Congress, but this is definitely representation without representation if he is unwilling to have open town hall meeting, unwilling to scheduling appointments and unwilling to talk with people who are asking for his support.