Jim Graves, Democratic challenger to Rep. Michele Bachmann: The City Pages interview

CP: What aspects of Congresswoman Bachmann's legislative record do you plan to highlight as you hit the campaign trail this summer and fall?

Graves: She has not been effective. Her record is nonexistent. She hasn't been the sponsor of one bill that's ever been passed, she's in the lower eight percentile of co-sponsorship of passed bills, hasn't worked to extend the Northstar Rail. The new bridge up in St. Cloud was building in spite of her, not because of her. She has a very low rating as far as being present on the floor voting. She has been an ineffective leader by all metrics, but a lot of people know that anyway.
Northstar Commuter Rail.jpg
Graves plans to focus on economic development, not divisive social issues.

CP: If elected, what will be some of your top legislative priorities as congressman?

Graves: My priorities will revolve around economic development. Extending the Northstar Rail, getting roadways built, stimulating the economy. I'm going to be a problem-solver. The tenor of my representation is going to be so different from [Bachmann's]. I know how to bring people together, and she does the opposite. Do you want somebody representing your district who goes to Washington and polarizes people? Who calls the president -- the CEO of our company -- bad names? I'm a problem solver who brings people together, she's a divider, a problem creator.

CP: Some have said the 6th District is too conservative to support a congressional candidate who is pro-choice and anti-same sex marriage ban. How do you respond to those people?

Graves: Don't underestimate the people of the 6th District. They want me to talk about the economy, jobs. They aren't interested in personal issues. You know, I'm a libertarian when it comes to that stuff. Let the synagogues and churches deal with social issues. I'm more interested in the economy and I think people will understand that. We respect people, everyone in the district -- that's the message we want to give. I think oftentimes people underestimate the people of the district.

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