The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

July 7, 2013

Maureen Hayden: Despite 6-year term, Donnelly traveling Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — On a recent night, I was with two of my favorite family members in a hospitality suite at the sold-out Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., enjoying the Rolling Stones in their final concert of their 50 & Counting North American tour.

What was Joe Donnelly, the junior senator from Indiana, doing that evening? Calling it an early night after microwaving himself a frozen Lean Cuisine dinner. He’d flown in from Indiana that morning, after his routine weekly trip back to his home state.

The night before that, Donnelly was in the small Indiana town of La Paz, population of 561, greeting about 75 people as they worked their way through the buffet line at the annual Marshall County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. As he shook hands with Democrat loyalists, they bended his ear about Obamacare, the stalled farm bill and immigration reform.

Earlier this week, Donnelly launched his fifth state tour since taking office in January. Typical of his other tours, this one crisscrossed the state, hosting meetings at a bakery, a bar and grill, an elementary school, and the office of an IHOP restaurants’ franchise owner.

Those are the kind of places where Donnelly spends a lot of time on his frequent trips back home. His staff has come to expect a flood of phone calls and emails when they come to work on Monday mornings; that’s because their boss often tells people he meets: If you need something, call my office.

Those calls, emails, and letters comes in the “tens of thousands” according to his press staff. That doesn’t include the constituent services caseload – which are specific requests from people back home who need help resolving a problem with a federal agency. His staff has about 900 cases they’ve closed or are addressing.

Donnelly is not up for re-election until 2018, so you’d think he could take a bit of a break. But he’s also a Democrat who wasn’t supposed to win in a Republican state, which is why if you Google his name, you may see the words “the accidental Senator” in news stories about him.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think school is starting too early?

Yes, it shouldn't start until after Labor Day.
Yes, it shouldn't start for another week or so.
No, it's about right.
Not sure.
     View Results