Ramstad criticizes Kline’s tracking of constituent blog posts

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A quick survey of the Minnesota US House and Senate delegation shows that Rep. John Kline’s tracking blog posts made by constituents is a very uncommon practice.

Spokesperson for Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad’s office Lance Olsen said he was “unaware” of anybody searching and filing information from blogs in Congressman Ramstad’s constituent records. He said such activity would be “improper and inappropriate”. He said Ramstad’s office is respectful of constituents and only keeps correspondence that the constituent initiates.

Ed Skala of Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy’s office says the searching of blogs for posts by individuals is “nothing our office does” Skala said his office keeps records of emails, letters and phone calls from constituents, but does not seek outside information for its records and “can’t imagine” the circumstances when they would do so.

The person who answered the phone at Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson’s office said “I know we don’t do that” referring to searching blogs and recording information. She referred and further comment to Peterson’s Chief of Staff Mark Brownell

Bill Richards of Democratic Congressman Jim Oberstar’s office said the practice “surprises me”. He said “with all of the other things we have to do” such as answering email, phone calls and preparing briefing memos “ we don’t have time to read the blogs”. He said it was not for him to judge if the practice was appropriate.

A spokesperson for Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s office Heidi Kraus says Coleman’s office does not pull in information from blogs and include them with case files or constituent files. Any information Coleman’s office collects is NOT shared with others.

Calls to the staffs of Democrats Sen. Mark Dayton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep Martin Sabo and Republican Rep Gil Gutknecht have not been returned as of yet.

Representative John Kline’s Communication Director Troy Young has not returned any calls about the blog post tracking issu

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