Critics assert that not spending enough time in the home district creates a deeper problem than just providing potential campaign fodder. They say it causes members of Congress like Petri to lose touch with their constituents. And that means the members are not representing them adequately in Congress.

“It’s just a different generation, the old guard, with almost a Washington-knows-best mentality of, ”˜We’ll get together with folks in Washington and figure out what folks in Fox Valley and Wisconsin truly need,’” said Matt Batzel, the Wisconsin-based national director of the conservative group American Majority Action. “And folks here want D.C. to listen to them as opposed to being told what’s best for them.”

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