Where’s Chuck?

An alert reader pointed out to me today that U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley is in the midst of a 24-county Iowa tour during the congressional recess, but Linn County is not on his long list of stops.

The reader found it somewhat odd that Grassley is not holding a meeting here in Cedar Rapids, a place where fresh news of what’s happening in Washington D.C. would be eagerly received. Fair question.

 We’ve still got a lot of skin in the congressional game, and it would be nice to get a new flood relief play-by-play from our powerful senior senator.

I raised the issue with Grassley’s staff. One of his communications aides, Beth Pellett Levine, swiftly responded.

She first reminded me, as if I could every forget, that Grassley has visited all 99 counties every year he’s served in the Senate. He’s using this recess to get started on 2009. His schedule is simply a matter of geographic efficiency, she said:

To make the best use of his time and help Senator Grassley get to as many counties as possible, the meetings are often clustered in a specific area of the state. This week just happens to be in south central and southeast Iowa. He’s touring businesses and taking questions from employees, meeting with a young professional group, holding town hall meetings, and speaking with students at a high school.

Senator Grassley was in Cedar Rapids on official visits 6 times last year. I know of at least one other time he was there just to look around at how things were going following the floods. As you know the Technology Corridor was in Washington, D.C. in early February, so he had an opportunity to spend time with them. He was also scheduled to speak to the Cedar Rapids Jaycees two weekends ago, but had to cancel because of the Senate schedule.

And  it’s only a matter of time before the senator gets around to us again. But he gets tantalizingly close on this trip.

Here’s Grassely’s remaining tour schedule:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Van Buren County Town Hall Meeting, Village Cups and Cakes, 202 Main Street, Keosauqua

10 – 11 a.m. Lee County Meeting, tour and meet with employees at Siemens wind turbine blade facility, 2597 Highway 61, Fort Madison

Noon – 1 p.m. Des Moines County Town Hall Meeting, Burlington Public Library, Meeting Rooms A and B, 210 Court Street, Burlington

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Henry County Meeting, tour and meet with employees at MD Orthopaedics, 604 North Parkway Street, Wayland

5 – 6 p.m. Louisa County Town Hall Meeting, Wapello Ambulance Building, 400 Highway 61 South, Wapello

Thursday, February 19, 2009

7:15 – 8:15 a.m. Washington County Town Hall Meeting, Washington County Hospitals and Clinics, Robert Nicola Conference Room, 400 East Polk Street, Washington

*Attendees should enter through South Entrance

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Scott County Meeting, tour and meet employees and patients at Davenport Community Health Center, 500 West River Drive, Davenport

2:15 – 3:15 p.m. MuscatineCounty Meeting, tour and meet with employees at Bandag, NAM Award Presentation, Bandag Learning Center, 2000 Bandage Drive, Muscatine

5 – 6 p.m. Cedar County Town Hall Meeting, Mechanicsville Public Library, 218 East 1st Street, Mechanicsville

Friday, February 20, 2009

7:45 – 8:45 a.m. Clinton County Meeting, meet with Clinton High School Government Class, Clinton High School, 818 8th Avenue South, Clinton

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Jackson County Town Hall Meeting, Hurstville Interpretive Center, Community Room, 18670 63rd Street, Maquoketa

1 – 2 p.m. Jones County Town Hall Meeting, Mary Lovell LeVan Monticello Renaissance Center, Community Media Center, 220 East 1st Street, Monticello

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Delaware County Town Hall Meeting, Hopkinton Community Center, 115 1st Street SE, Hopkinton

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