This brings new meaning to the term “house calls." Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., makes his home phone number available to constituents and encourages them to give him a ring.
The freshman began his policy of home phone availability around 2004, when he was Maricopa County treasurer, Schweikert told The Hill
. He says he has answered “tens of thousands” of calls at the Arizona home he shares with his wife, Joyce. Depending on the day, he gets between three and 12 calls.
“In a perverse way, we almost look forward to their Saturday evening calls when they’ve been out having a few pints,” Schweikert quipped. Most callers “are actually amazingly polite,” he said.
But Schweikert has had a few strange encounters. “The craziest one, I think, is the woman who insisted her home value was going down because of all the aliens hiding in her backyard,” Schweikert said.
Perhaps she was referring to illegal immigrants? No. “She was talking about space aliens,” he said. “There was something called the ‘Phoenix Lights,’ strange lights above the Phoenix sky, and this women was positive they deposited aliens in her backyard.”
Schweikert hopes his house-call policy will serve him well in a hotly contested primary tussle with Rep. Ben Quayle in a redrawn 6th congressional district.
Schweikert announced his number to the audience at a recent debate with Quayle, saying, “I’m always proud to take the call, and I’m proud to answer the questions,” the Arizona Republic reports.
Schweikert doesn’t expect every congressman to accept house calls. But, “if you want the job, I’m saying, ‘I’m here to represent you.’ Well, damn it, be there for people.”
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