Is Grassley really in touch with Iowans?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

   According to Senator Grassley’s official government-funded website, he “has held at least one Q&A with constituents in each of Iowa’s 99 counties every year since coming to the Senate in 1981.” His now-famous “Full Grassley” is featured prominently in current TV ads. However, a review of this year’s county meetings shows that few Iowans could participate in one these highly touted events (

   Senator Grassley’s website indicates that 51 of 99 Q&A sessions were hosted by private companies, most unannounced publicly and by invitation only. Eight more sessions were held at high schools where audiences are likely to seriously challenge the Senator. Another 18 sessions were held with groups like a chamber of commerce (four), Farm Bureau (three), health facility (four), and others (seven) usually not open to the public.

   Only 22 counties, mostly small and rural, with just 15 percent of Iowa’s population, had a presumably public “town meeting.” No public meetings were held in Jones County, or in the 11 largest Iowa counties which are home to 1.74 million Iowans (55 percent), Polk, Linn, Scott, Johnson, Black Hawk, Woodbury, Dallas, Story, Dubuque, Pottawattamie, Warren. Is Senator Grassley really keeping in touch with his constituents? Or does he only meet with those most likely to agree with him?

   Iowans deserve a senator who respects everyone, including those with differing ideas. Admiral Michael Franken will provide much needed, fresh leadership. He will listen to, and fully represent, all Iowans.

Thomas Cook

Iowa City, Iowa


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