Steve Kagen (WI-08): "I Won't Let My Constituents Down"
by b artlet, Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 12:10:16 PM EST
After being hounded for nearly two weeks by the media and right-wing blogs over what he did or did not say during a visit to the White House, Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin's 8th district has responded to the issue, by writing an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today. Here are his comments (please visit the MJS for the full text):
I have officially been the congressman from the 8th district for almost three weeks now. In this short time, I am even more struck than I was when I first decided to run by the enormity of the challenges we face - in Iraq, in our nation's health care system, along our borders, in our public schools and universities, in our jobs and in the record debt we risk leaving for our children and grandchildren.
Yet you have probably heard more about my appearance at last year's White House reception for new lawmakers than you have about the issues my colleagues and I are grappling with today on your behalf. And that's a shame because you deserve better.
I apologize for handling this situation as I did. I allowed this distraction to get out of hand and divert our attention from the critically important work we are doing. My mishandled attempt at humor wasn't delivered or received well. It won't happen again.
During the next two years, I will put partisanship aside and fight hard every day to relieve impossible health care and energy costs.
In Washington, D.C., partisanship is a contact sport. Half of this town thinks their political party is more important than their country.
Well, I have cared for tens of thousands of patients over the past 25 years, and I have never met anyone who thinks that being a Democrat or a Republican is more important than being an American from northeastern Wisconsin.
In the weeks and months ahead, we may have different points of view on specific issues. But I won't let my constituents down.
Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) represents the 8th Congressional District.
I have faith that Kagen will do the job that he was sent there to do, and believe him when he says he won't let his constituents down. He got off to a rocky start, but I think in the end, he'll make Wisconsin, and the nation proud.