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Mr. Smith Stays Home

May 2, 2010 - Joselyn King

It really is time for a new way of doing business in Washington -- or not.

At least one congressional candidate running believes it's a new time and a new age in politics. Members of congress have cellphones, computers and videoconferencing options available to them.

So why do they need to be in Washington on most days? Why can't they live and work from their districts, commuting only to the nation's capitol for an occasional call of congress?

Republican Congressional candidate Patricia VanGilder Levenson proposed this idea during a recent interview. While it's doubtful Washington types would ever go for such a set-up, it certainly has its merits.

No longer would members of Congress be isolated within the beltway. They would be home in their districts, with their families and constituents close by to offer reality checks.

It would be less likely (though admittedly not impossible) that monetary checks would be coming from lobbyists, as lobbyists would be forced to leave Washington and travel to the states to make contact.

And good people who don 't run for Congress because they don't want to uproot or leave their families for Washington wouldn't have to do so.

The occasional trip to Washington would probably still be necessary, just so members could get together to share and discuss problems in their district -- just as in any trade association.

As I write this, sitting on my porch on a warm spring night typing onto a wirelss mini-computer, it seems that it is worth a try.


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