Demmer absences draw Rochester Post Bulletin readers’ attention


Representative Walz has a strong work ethic, serving on three committees and racking up the best “votes taken” record in Minnesota’s congressional delegation.

Randy Demmer? Recent letters to the editor in the Rochester Post Bulletin suggest: perhaps not.

Jennifer Harveland writes in Mr. Demmer, we are paying you; please vote:

While Randy Demmer campaigned for Congress, Minnesota Public Radio reported on April 22, 2010 that he missed 24 legislative votes.

Five days later, he missed a vote on the Veterans and Agriculture Policy Bill.

How can someone seek public office while ignoring the one essential duty of his current public office: voting?

Mr. Demmer, if we are paying you, please at least vote. It seems to me Demmer’s actions are self-serving and dismissive of the public interest.

Phil Castrovinci writes in Politicians miss moves, ask for promotion:

Republican Tom Emmer, candidate for governor. Republican Randy Demmer, candidate for Congress. The similar last names just one consonant apart isn’t the only thing that could get the two confused.

Turns out, they both disregard legislative voting schedules. Last week, Emmer missed key votes on the current budget crisis to attend a son’s hockey tryouts and campaign events in Willmar. On April 22, Minnesota Public Radio reported Demmer missed more than two dozen votes while campaigning.

Elected officials who campaign for higher office but neglect the primary responsibility of the current office: they miss votes. If you missed work, you would be fired. They, on the other hand, have the guts to ask for a promotion.

Both Harveland and Castrovinci are DFL activists in the Rochester area. Somehow, those commenting on the letter believe this fact negates the no-shows. Students of logic will recognize this strategy as an ad hominem attack.

This isn’t the first time Demmer missed votes in pursuit of congressional ambitions. The post at IDHA, Demmer takes per-diem to attend candidate school in D.C., misleads public about votes missed in a episode from the 2007-2008 cycle.

We’ll be watching carefully to see if Demmer takes the per diem again on those days when he campaigned for Congress rather than attending to the people’s business.