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MN-08: Chip Cravaack and his Keystone Kops careen through Duluth

by keewatinrose on August 24, 2011

Rep. Chip Cravaack frequently compares  his campaign to a well-orchestrated military operation. He has made no such claim about his congressional office and with good reason:  it appears to be staffed by Keystone Kops blundering their way through the important business of the public.

Cravaack, who has been under fire for his refusal to hold a town hall meeting in the 8th congressional district’s largest city, finally caved in to demands by angry constituents on Tuesday and challenged them to show up at a town meeting the next day. What happened next is truly remarkable: Cravaack’s staff turned what should have been a routine function into a classic Keystone Kops production, blindly stumbling over each other at every turn. Despite the fact that Mack Sennett Chip Cravaack had publicly announced the town meeting would be held at Duluth International Airport at 4pm Wednesday, staffers neglected to notify the Duluth Airport Authority (DAA) of the impending gathering. None of Cravaack’s Ford Sterling wannabes followed standard protocol by notifying the DAA’s executive director of the congressman’s intent to hold a town meeting at the facility. Instead, they chose to reserve the space through the independently-owned restaurant at the airport.  The owner, a personal friend of a staffer, didn’t reveal the nature of the event to the DAA when he requested use of the Skyline Room from 3 to 5pm. In fact, it was a call from Minnesota Progressive Project that alerted the DAA to the fact that Cravaack was conducting a town hall meeting at the airport. And the confusion was compounded when staffers in the Duluth office claimed there was no such meeting scheduled even as media reports of the town meeting were multiplying throughout the state.

It is truly frightening that those who bungled a simple room reservation are the same people charged with creating policy for America.

Is it any wonder that Chip voted to shut down the FAA, causing the government to lose an estimated $400 million,  in order to cut approximately $22 million from 13 rural airports and retain a provision relating to union elections that is not even germane to transportation policy or safety? Or that he supported the largest cuts to the needs-based Pell Grant program in its history at a time of high unemployment when our mining companies are expanding and implementing new technologies that require a more highly trained workforce?

It’s time for Chip Cravaack to take his Keystone Kops approach to governing and careen his way towards a permanent home in New Hampshire.

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