Constiuent Services

Immigration is never easy, and my wife has run into delays in her legal ability to have an internship. At the suggestion of a cousin, who is a professor of law, we called the local congressional in South Dakota and Nebraska offices to see if they can help. The delay in processing is a minor headache that may cause my wife to lose a good opportunity and a great Lincoln company to lose an excellent opportunity. Yet she is a very smart woman and her permanent residency (presumably) processes in November, anyway.

We contacted the offices of Senator Hagel (R-NE), Senator Johnson (D-SD), Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator Thune (R-SD), Representative Fortenberry (R-NE), and Representative Herseth Sandlin (D-SD). We received polite treatment from everyone except Senator Nelson’s Lincoln office. My wife was hung up on, and when I called back factually incorrect information and curt treatment from April Dunning, who informed us that all requests for constituent services in Nebraska goes through her desk.

We next called Senator Nelson’s Washington Office (who Ms. Dunning had told us not to call, because they could not help us), and Christine, who answered the phone, was very patient and helpful. She gave me the phone number of Senator Nelson’s Omaha Office, as well as an email address that this blog post is being forwarded to.

Senator Nelson’s services link at this website returns a not found (404) error, as does the “contact me” link from his website. A different contact link at his page reveals an electronic mail form, which I will also use.

I assume that Christine is typical of the wonderful people on Senator Nelson’s staff, and April (who’s performance at an earlier job performance was criticized in a city council agenda (google cache, pdf) is an exception.

One thought on “Constiuent Services”

  1. Good luck!

    When I interned for my Congressman (Ed Markey, D-MA), we were told by the staff at the district office that the only reason the district office exists is to serve constituents. Everything else, including research, drafting memos, etc., was all of secondary importance. Looks like someone forgot this, or never learned.

  2. When a couple of friends of mine visited our Congressman (John Salazar, D-CO), they got a tour of the Capitol from one of his aides. Sen. Allard's staff wasn't too welcoming, though.

    Oh, well. I suppose even the Democracs have to have one or two bad apples *evil grin*.

  3. Good luck, Dan – I just hope she doesn't get lost in the system! Excellent follow-through, my friend. Public servants lacking service skills WATCH OUT!

    “He added, in all due respect, that he had received a lot of negative feed-back on April Dunning’s performance. He stated that he and Mr. Podany had to pick up a lot of problems. He noted that last week they had three different instances crop up.”


  4. Thank you everyone for your support!

    We've received multiple phone calls from both Senator Thune's (R-SD) and Senator Johnson's (D-SD) office, plus several emails from Senator Hagel's (R-NE) office.

    Coming from a state where our execrable largest newspaper decided to break the law and violate the privacy of state employees [1], I'm sympathetic to those who find their actions public because they happen to work for the government. Still, in this case it's a record of bad behavior.


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