Finally, we also surfaced a rare but serious concern ó the inexperienced advocate who references a campaign contribution. One Senate legislative director told the CMF the story of a constituent explicitly mentioning the group contributed to the senator after the legislative director failed to make a commitment on the groupís request. The staffer excused herself from the meeting, and asked the visitors to wait. A few minutes later the senator himself appeared and said, as he personally kicked them out of the office, ďIím sending back your check.Ē That incident happened more than a decade ago, the group has never been allowed back and the senator is still in office.
A bad fly-in meeting is more than just awkward; it can irreparably damage a key relationship on Capitol Hill for years.
Bradford Fitch is the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation.
James Jones, communications director for DC Vote, tapes a "DC Constituents Service Day" sign on the wall as he stands with other DC residents outside of Rep. Andy Harris's office on Capitol Hill to protest Harris' actions against D.C.'s marijuana laws on Thursday, July 24, 2014. DC Vote encouraged DC residents to bring their complaints about city services to the Maryland congressman.