Grassley to complete 99-county tour in Anamosa Sept. 1
James Q. Lynch
CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley will complete his annual 99-county tour of Iowa with a stop in Anamosa Sept. 1.
He will have a town-hall meeting from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 1 in the courtroom of the Jones County Courthouse, 500 W. Main St.
It will mark the conclusion of another year in the six-term Republican’s practice of holding meetings in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties at least once a year since being elected to the Senate in 1980. According to Grassley, the hallmark of his meetings are the open-topic question-and-answer sessions where he invites and responds to questions and comments on any subject.
“Representative government is a two-way street,” he often says at his town meetings. “You can’t have representative government without dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent.”
However, groups opposing his re-election have criticized Grassley for a lack of access despite his visits to all 99 counties every year. Since 2011, Grassley held just three public town hall meetings in Iowa’s 10 most populated counties and none in eight of the 10 most populated counties, including Linn and Johnson counties, according to Progress Iowa, a left-leaning advocacy group supporting Grassley’s opponent, Democrat Patty Judge.
Many of his non-public meetings are with employees in a private businesses setting. For example, Friday Grassley visited a Hy-Vee distribution center in Chariton where he had a question-and-answer session with employees.
He often meets with civic clubs, like an Aug. 19 question-and-answer session with about 75 Daybreak Rotarians in Cedar Rapids.
Grassley, who is running for re-election, maintains that the cross-section of Iowans he meets “helps me keep in touch and take the common sense of Iowans from all perspectives to work in the nation’s capital.”