Alright, if you know me at all, you know that when it comes to politics, I lean to the right.

After 9 years, of hearing, "You've got to listen to both sides, have an open mind, be tolerant" I thought I'd do that.

I found out that Abby Finkenauer would be in town on a Saturday morning at the Vinton Public Library a few weeks ago.

I shuffled around a couple of other things I needed to cover, struggled with getting my computer to upload pictures and thought, just like a cranky toddler that you can't leave with the babysitter, I'd drag it along to the library to upload while I covered the event.

So I crawled out of bed on a Saturday morning, after not sleeping well the night before. I arrived early at the library, lugged in my computer and camera, found a spot to let my computer do its thing while I worked. Hey, I'm a mom, I know how to multitask, so thinking that while I'm listening to Abby, I'd get two things done at once.

Abby showed up, greeted a few people, used the restroom then went in a tiny room in the library, with the door shut to meet with a few constituents at a time to "personally," at least that's how it was billed.

I, on the other hand, have my own conclusions.

I stayed for a while and realized that it was a waste of my time, so I left.

In the first place, I wanted to hear what she said about ALL the topics.

I wanted to see her interact with her voters.

I wanted, well, to see Abby in action. I wanted to see "the other side" rubbing shoulders with the public, wanted to feel like I met her.

I wanted to see the person now representing me in Washington D.C. because after all, she is my Congressman/woman.

On the flip side, I have also see how the politicians on the right are hounded and harassed at their rallies, so I think the Republicans should take a page from Abby's book.

Get a location with a tiny room, complete with a door that closes and meet with those that have been vetted. I mean have "personal meetings".

Then you can say you visited the town, talked to your constituents and get a photo op from the local newspaper.


I don't have time for that nonsense.

I came. I saw. I could have stood around to take a picture of the Congressman on her way out the door, but I'm a working girl that had to go out and grab another story.

So I did.

So here's the picture that I got of Abby.

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Comments (3)


I am not writing to defend Congresswoman Finkenaur Vinton meeting because like you I would have liked her to expound on what is going on in Washington and take a few questions.

But, a large part of a Congresspersonís job is constituent service. What she was trying to do is to speak with citizenís individual issues privately and out of the ears of the public.

I can only imagine the response you would have had if a person wanted to speak to the Congresswoman about a personal matter but was addressed publicly. No doubt, you would criticize her for being insensitive to her constituents by airing private information in public.

Considering that Rep. Blum would not even come into the county unless it was for a photo opt, Rep. Finkenaur at least came in person, did not send a surrogate, and did speak with those who wanted her to listen. She is getting her feet wet adjusting to her new role as an effective legislator. She will be able to adjust her visits over time to better suit the publicís needs.

To write off the Congresswoman because she did not have the kind of meeting you expected is petty at this point. At least she showed up and listened which is more than Blum ever did.
Rosemary Schwartz
By: Rosemary Schwartz on March 29th 4:11pm
I, too, was happy to hear that Representative Finkenauer was going to be in Vinton. I invited several of residents of Benton County to visit with her. I arrived just a little bit after her comments to the group. I waited until most of the groups of constituents had spoken with her and left. When it was my turn, I went in to speak with Representative Finkenauer. As always, Abby was warm, engaging, and thoughtful in her responses to my concerns. She offered a genuine solutions for IA01 and its specific needs as well as country as a whole. She welcomed in constituents who voted for her and against her. There was no required vetting to attend. In the group, there were Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters. Each one was given the personal attention from their representative. Each one deserved that personal attention.

I was never allowed to sit in the same room with our former representative. He chose to attend private meetings with constituents that were vetted according to who knows what standards.

Thank you Representative Finkenauer for coming out to Vinton and the rural areas of district that you represent. Thank you for meeting with each and every person that showed up regardless of their political leaning. With this type of leadership, we have an opportunity to bring civilized discourse back to government. Thank you.

Paula Denison
By: Paula Denison on March 29th 5:32pm
Not Surprised. I'm not impressed with her either.
By: John Stiegelmeyer on March 29th 8:54pm

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