Monday, April 09, 2007

Congress At Your Corner Comes to Richmond, Texas

Well as promised, I went to see what a Congressman at Your Corner meeting event was like. You know, the one that Texas CD-22 Congressman Nick Lampson’s Stafford office staff organized? I was running late and didn’t really know where, at the George Library, they were going to hold the event. So I walked in past a couple of tables that were set up outside – looked like a voter registration table or something – and looked around for a sign or something. Nothing. But I know where all the meeting rooms are so I took a tour of them and came up empty.

Where could they be holding this event?

Back downstairs, still looking around, in comes Don and Marsha. They came too and Don had a manila envelope to deliver about upcoming farm legislation. Marsha gave me candy.

We shared our confusion and my survey of the empty meeting rooms, then two of Nick’s staffers walked past. Come to find out the tables set up outside was Congress at Your Corner.


That makes sense. You get foot traffic if you set up by the door. In a meeting room you get no walk-ins, just visits from the supremely informed.

The skies were dark and there was a slight chance of rain predicted, but they were hoping for the best. We three sat down waiting for constituents to complete their business so we could talk a bit. Don delivered his manila envelope.

Talk turned to district office issues and how these events were going. Jessica Michan who is Nick’s Communications director in the district said that they had a good turnout in Clear Lake and that they plan on doing more of these perhaps as often as once a week. Nick’s Clear Lake office is near completion and is scheduled to open for business on April 16th. Monica Flores Richart will be moving her act down there and Nick (didn’t get his last name) will take Monica’s place in Stafford. I remembered Nick from the campaign but couldn’t remember where or when. He reminded me. It was block walking in Katy for Shane Sklar and Farhan Shamsi.

The Congressman, they report, is doing fine in his recovery from bypass surgery. They made no bones about the fact that Nick’s calendar will be filling in come May 1st when he will be back on his congressional feet.

So that was it. That’s what a Congress At Your Corner is. These are good events that merit broad advertisement. People need to become aware of these things. When Nick was serving in congress before the Tom DeLay-engineered redistricting, Nick had an excellent reputation in his constituent services.

Other office stories that I heard today? When they were setting up the Stafford office – you know, Tom DeLay’s old district office – they were having a heck of a time with the gremlins on the phones. It turns out that yes, they had Tom DeLay’s old phone number, but after numerous requests, they could not get the phone company to take off “Congressman Tom DeLay” in the number’s caller ID. People would tell them, “did you know that my caller ID said ‘Congressman Tom DeLay’ when I picked up? It’s kind of creepy.”

Another? Apparently they get calls from Tom’s supporters (yes, they are still out there fizzing away) asking for a forwarding address. I mulled over what would be an appropriate response, and it is this: “well his present address is somewhere in Virginia, but if you want to get him at his future address write this down: Federal Corrections Institute, Tucson. P.O. Box 23811 Tucson, AZ 85734."

I hear Duke Cunningham is looking for a cellmate soulmate.

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