Where is Michelle Bachmann?

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Michelle Bachmann, representative of Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, might have gone missing. Probably not, but it seems like she doesn’t really care about her campaign, or her constituency.

Challenger El Tinklenberg said Rep. Michele Bachmann should face her constituents in the Sixth Congressional District and explain her votes, particularly the 95 percent that agree with President George Bush.

Bachmann did not come to the Voters Forum sponsored by the Elk River Citizens League Saturday morning. Her scheduler said she could not come because Congress is in session, “And she will be in Washington doing her job.”

Tinklenberg, who is DFL endorsed, said Bachmann was in his hometown of Blaine Friday for the rally for Republican Presidential candidate John McCain.

Not showing up Saturday in Elk River “is disrespectful to the voters”, Tinklenberg said.

When contacted Monday at her office in Washington, D.C., Bachmann’s Chief of Staff, Michelle Marspon, said Bachmann was not in Washington Saturday. She was in Nowthen and Lino Lakes in her district.

A representative from her office was supposed to have represented Bachmann at the Elk River forum, Marspon said…

Tinklenberg criticized Bachmann for not coming to the forum and explaining why she signed a pledge to uphold President George Bush’s vetoes this session.

He said she should come to her district and explain her votes against the Transportation bill, the Children’s Health Insurance bill, the new GI bill, Bio-fuels bill, the Agricultural bill and a Medicare bill that would allow doctors to be paid.

“She’s voted across the board for what Bush tells her,” he said.

Tinklenberg said Bachmann’s claim that drilling for oil now would change the price of oil is “ridiculous.”

“If we drill first, we’ll drain America first,” he said. “We also need to keep our oil reserves.”

From El Tinklenberg’s Website

My question becomes: why would anyone even consider voting Bachmann back into office if she doesn’t even pay attention to her district? And it apparently isn’t just me thinking this, as can be seen from the video, but here is an open letter from the St. Cloud Times:

During the past few months I have watched intently as you have attended forums in Washington, D.C. and Texas while coming home to the 6th District only to ride atop floats in a number of parades.

I have watched as you make appearances on national television shows such as Bill O’Reilly and Larry King while coming home to the 6th District only for river cruise fundraisers involving a select few individuals.

I have watched as you avoid and ignore offers to debate or discuss issues from your opponent.

I have watched as you avoided Farmfest and opted to send low level staffers in your place.

My question is what will it take for you to pay attention to the people of your district?

It seems even in an election year and at the height of election season you are displaying an attitude of ownership over this area and thus feel no need to be in personal contact with the people living here. Granted, you and I don’t agree on much and I support Elwyn Tinklenberg but how can you and more importantly, how can your supporters justify a 20-month tenure in office with nary a single open forum or constituent meeting in the district?

Are you simply too busy? If so, perhaps you could talk to Rep. Tim Walz in the 1st District and ask him how he juggles three times more committees than you and has still found time to meet on numerous occasions and in numerous places with his constituents.

This is a reliably conservative area and the chances for any Democrat to win it are long, but I have to wonder if you aren’t taking advantage of that inherent conservatism by assuming you don’t even have to show up to win.

Eric Austin

What I have to say, then, to the people of district 6 is consider carefully what means more to you: an overbearing neo-conservative with little or no interest in the people of her district like Bachmann, or a DFLer with the experience and background to prove that he means to work for his constituency like Tinklenberg. Think carefully.

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