Thursday, March 30, 2006

A little here, a little there

Today, I went to drop off some papers at the CoStep office, here on Trenton Rd. I've been meaning to go, but never made the time. After I dropped off the paper, I looked across the parking lot and remembered that Congressman Ruben Hinojosa's office is on the corner. So, I decided to pay a visit. I've never been to a congressman's office. So, when you go in, it's up on the third floor. I picked up some brochures and talked to the receptionist.
She tells me that not every day is the same at the office.Many people stop by for constituent services. I asked her if they are able to solve all problems. She replied that, unfortunately, they don't always solve problems. It depends on how serious the problem is and how the constituent has handled things to that point. I asked her if she liked her job and she said that she does. It's interesting, she said. I thanked her and she gave me one of the Congressman's business cards. It wasn't a planned visit, just kind of spur of the moment. I should go visit Lloyd Doggett's office as I'm in his district.
Speaking of my district, I also called Rep. Veronica Gonzalez's office to find out her plans and ideas for the special session. I realized that I don't know anything about her. I've seen her a couple of times at events, but only briefly.  I got referred to her chief of staff in Austin, Ricardo Lopez Guerra, for more details. Here in McAllen, Edna could only tell me that my Rep favors cutting the property tax, but couldn't give me details about ideas to make up the funding. Gonzalez should consider blogging like her legislative neighbor. She doesn't get a lot of press, so a blog would be a perfect way to get out her message to the public. I'll drop by tomorrow; I never got a call from Ricardo.
If I do go to her office, I'll take advantage of the trip and stop by Doggett's office to talk to his people there. It occurs to me that in our local politics chatter on our blogs, we don't really involve our Congressional Reps and what they do for us in the Rio Grande Valley. We write in our blogs and criticize, but do we take the time to visit our leaders, write to them, or call them? I know, I know. They'll only give us talking points. But, you can still see in their eyes if they are sincere or trying to spin. You can see if their employees are happy or about to mutiny. There is always a part of me that wonders if our elected leaders are decent people or complete jerks. You can't get that from a newspaper article or a sound bite. Lately, I have to know for myself.

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