When a politician makes a promise, it's not unusual for voters to respond with skepticism.
When U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley says he will do something, however, it's a good idea to pay close attention - the Iowa Republican has a history of following through on his pledges.
Many years ago Grassley told his constituents that he intended to stay in close touch with them by visiting every Iowa county at least one time per year. Year in and year out he has been faithful to that promise.
This holiday weekend and next week he'll be at it again.
In addition to being a Memorial Day speaker in Victor, he'll be visiting workplaces and holding town hall meetings during the days that follow.
Grassley takes these opportunities to meet with his fellow Iowans very seriously.
''Representative government is a two-way street and depends on dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent,'' Grassley said in a statement released by his office. ''I like to have town meetings, and I also appreciate the opportunity to go to workplaces to talk with people who couldn't otherwise get to a town meeting.''
Some members of U.S. Senate and House of Representatives use the all-too-frequent congressional recesses to take junkets to far-flung foreign destinations. While a few of these excursions have a legitimate fact-finding purpose, many are little more than expensive social outings paid for by American taxpayers.
Participating in that sort of thing is not Grassley's style.
He keeps faith with our Founding Fathers' belief in representative government by spending congressional recesses listening carefully to what Iowans tell him.
Opinion polls routinely show that many Americans worry about the quality of the representation they have in Congress. Many believe that most of the men and women who serve in the House and Senate have lost touch with the people back home.
Grassley's frequent trips back to Iowa help counter that disillusionment. He shows up where we live and listens to what we say. That's an important reason why even Iowans who disagree with Grassley's political views respect his service as their senator.