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I am writing in response to a factually incorrect letter published online Nov, 23, falsely accusing members of Congressman Hagedorn’s staff of not showing up to the Mobile Office Hours session scheduled for Oct. 30 at Winona City Hall.

The fact is a staffer from our Rochester office was at Winona City Hall for the entirety of the scheduled time listed on our website.

We did not reserve a room at City Hall because it is a public building with an abundance of public space for our staff to meet with constituents about casework and other issues impacting their daily lives.

Additionally, whenever a constituent is having trouble locating the staffer assigned to the mobile office hours session, we are always eager and willing to connect them with the staffer through a simple call to our office.

According to our records, the author of the letter, Rill Reuter, previously attended our mobile office hours at another location in August in Goodview as part of a protest group.

So, it begs the question: Did Reuter really have a casework issue to discuss? Or did she simply have an alternative motive to level false accusations in an effort to damage the credibility of Rep. Hagedorn and his team?

We are here to serve the people of the First District. The reason we consistently hold Mobile Office Hours is so that we can gain the views and address the concerns of southern Minnesotans in a friendly, face-to-face environment.

We encourage all First District residents to share their concerns with us – whether it be at mobile office hours, by calling our offices or at one of the stops on Rep. Hagedorn’s 21-county town hall tour across the district.

Carol Stevenson

Carol Stevenson is district director for Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota.

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(1) comment

Sean Easton

(1) Reserve the room anyway, so that some other event doesn't intervene in that location causing people to think they have come to the wrong place. There is space some place else isn't a good reason, just on a logistical level, for not reserving a room. As willing as I am to criticize the congressperson, this seems to fall squarely in the domain of inefficiency of office staff. "Additionally, whenever a constituent is having trouble locating the staffer assigned to the mobile office hours session, we are always eager and willing to connect them with the staffer through a simple call to our office." (2) Is finding the mobile office hours staffer a not unusual problem? It sounds that way from your statement. If so, perhaps mention it on the congressperson's website, as in 'be sure to have our number in your phone just in case you need to call us if you have trouble locating the staffer onsite. (2) The room that they looked for the staffer in wasn't reserved (you give the reason), but you seem to allow that the staffer wasn't in it, is that right? So, are you accusing the writer of the letter of not going to the office hour and telling a lie that no one was there? Of going, not finding the staffer (when the staffer was not there but in the building somewhere else), checking whether the room was reserved, and then concluding that there was no one there, and writing a letter in frustration? If the latter, what is the writer's having visited the office to give negative feedback about the congressperson on a previous occasion supposed to be evidence of? (beyond the possibility that the writer might have planned to give negative feedback to the staffer). Given that you indicate people have trouble finding staffers, why accuse them of lying, when calling the main office to find a staffer in another location is not something that's going to occur to or be possible for everyone?

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