When a politician makes a promise, it's not uncommon 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 would stay in close touch with them by visiting every Iowa county at least one time per year. Since his initial election to the Senate in 1980, Iowa's senior senator has been faithful to that promise.
This week he will be back in the Hawkeye State communicating with his constituents.
Tuesday and Wednesday, he will visit eight Iowa communities to hold town hall meetings in Estherville, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Rock Rapids, Sheldon, Sibley, Sioux Center and Spencer.
Grassley takes these opportunities to meet with his fellow Iowans very seriously.
"Representative government is a two-way street," he said in a statement previewing these visits. "It's strengthened by dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent, I look forward to these meetings and the opportunity to listen to concerns and points of view and to respond to questions directly from Iowans."
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 folks 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.