So Representatives are supposed to represent the people of their State and Congressional District. That seems pretty clear in the Constitution. That's probably how it worked in the early Federalist period and throughout the 19th Century.
As the country grew and more states were added and the size of Congress grew, the number of residents represented by each Representative increased. For example Montana has one Congressional District for the whole state. Representative Ryan Zinke represents 1,023,579 residents (based on 2014 estimates).
Rhode Island has 2 Congressional Districts with about 550,000 in each. So residents of Rhode Island have greater access to their Congressperson than residents of Montana.
I received an email today from Nancy Pelosi. I get emails from both sides. Rep. Pelosi asked me to contribute to a congressional race in San Diego. I'm not even a registered Democrat and Pelosi is trying to get me to contribute to elect a Congressperson hundreds of miles away. At least he is in California.
While I was writing this blog, "60 Minutes" did a segment on the amount of time Congressional Representatives spend raising money. The story didn't say whether the candidates profiled called only their constituents or anyone on a list who might contribute no matter where they lived or which party they belonged to.
Campaign fund raising has become professional fund raising. I get a lot of letters from animal rescue groups that have my return address and a bar code on the back of the return envelope for donor tracking.
The sales techniques applied to Congressional fund raising are the same as charitable fund raising. It's a business full of consultants, charlatans, and maybe a few dedicated supporters of the cause.
My mother uses the Charity Navigator website to check a charity's rating before contributing. I started using it too, but now even Charity Navigator is sending me letters to contribute to them! A hand is out everywhere to grab my money.
Congress is trying to pass a law requiring members of Congress to spend more time working in their jobs than on raising money for reelection. How radical is that?