After Another Tumultuous Year In U.S. Politics, Congressman Jack Bergman Has No Regrets
In January, US Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) also voted against the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory after the insurrection attempt.
MP Bergman was direct when asked if he had any regrets.
“The short answer is no, ”he said.
And the long answer?
“Under no circumstance.”
The 2020 election
In November, US Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) was re-elected for a third term in the US House of Representatives with over 60% of the vote. But he couldn’t break a February draw with the Grand Traverse County Commission over a non-binding resolution.
It would have praised Rep. Bergman, but would have failed 3: 3. Voters like Richard Walter called to ask lawmakers to resign.
“[Bergman] should not be praised or honored by a frivolous resolution that does nothing to help this community, ”he said.
Some of Bergman’s supporters called to reiterate unsubstantiated or debunked allegations of electoral fraud, including Heather Cerone, who ran for a seat in the state house last year.
“Congressman Bergman represents the majority of the people in our district. The election was fraudulent, ”she said during a public comment.
Bergman said he doesn’t want the election results to be turned upside down, but rather a federal commission that is reviewing them.
“The people of Michigan and my district wanted to know that if they voted to be counted fairly, their vote would be counted accurately, and if you shouldn’t vote, your vote would not be counted, ”said lawmakers.
Individual states, including Michigan, conducted post-election audits before the results were confirmed.
A group of voters has since asked Rep. Bergman’s campaign donors to abandon his re-election efforts.
Office of Congressman Jack Bergman
Jack Bergman started his career with helicopters for the US Marine Corps.
Jack Bergman was born and raised near Minneapolis. He started vacationing on the Upper Peninsula in the 1980s. His pre-political career was divided into the US Marine Corps and the Private Sector.
If the ABOVEThe convention center opened, he thought about running, but Jack Bergman was unknown in northern Michigan.
“Oh sure who will vote for you Nobody knows you, ”Bergman remembers his wife.
That outsider status helped get Bergman the job, according to a tea party organizer. In 2016, he beat two former senators, Tom Casperson and Jason Allen, in the Republican primary before winning the general election.
Rep. Jack Bergman is very popular with Northern Michigan Republicans like Cam Williams. She works for Grand Traverse County GOP. Williams likes Bergman’s strictly conservative policies and anti-abortion stance.
“He’s worried about the same things as me, ”she says.
Office of Congressman Jack Bergman
US Representative Jack Bergman.
Most important to them, however, is Bergman’s military background. Williams’ husband and father both served, and she believes Bergman knows how to clean up red tape in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“He was in the military. He knows the bureaucracy in the military, ”she says. “He’s just trying to make it easier for veterans.”
She has a close relationship with the Congressman’s office and makes occasional calls to take his or her stance on an issue. If she can’t get Rep. Bergman herself, Williams says that usually someone will get in touch with her.
“I can reach someone who tells me something, ”she says.
But the congressman is an elusive figure to others in his district.
Amy Hjerstedt is a veteran and also comes from a military family. For her congressman, Bergman still feels like an outsider.
“I don’t hear a lot of people talking about him here, ”she says.
Hjerstedt, who teaches political science at Lake Superior State in Sault Saint Marie, says she called his office but has never spoken to Bergman himself. She says her voicemails often go unanswered.
Hjerstedt adds that Bergman doesn’t have town halls or coffee hours like other lawmakers.
“It’s like he’s coming and going as quickly as possible strategically and really doesn’t feel like talking to his constituents, ”she says.
A calendar is available on Congressman Bergman’s website that links to the home page where constituents can request meetings.
A spokesman for the congressman says they are instead promoting his events with press releases and newsletters. Interlochen Public Radio combed communications in 2021 and found no advance announcements of public availability. Congressman Bergman’s office will post pictures on social media after an event, such as a visit to Elk Rapids High School in February.
Hjerstedt says she only sees Bergman in one place.
“The only thing we chose [official] To come the Soo Locks and [he] acts like his personal project when we really know this has been decades in the making, ”she says.
Office of Congressman Jack Bergman
US Rep. Jack Bergman in his office.
By February, Rep. Bergman had signed 24 bills, most of which dealt with veterans issues. This productivity is similar to that of other Republicans with whom he was elected in 2016.
Jack Bergman dismisses 90% of his critics as partisans.
“I think you should be asking people when they say, “Well, did you vote for him?” Says the legislature. “Let’s face it, this is rhetoric intended to poison people’s minds and I would suggest it comes from the left.”
Bergman says he was there for his constituents. Until 2019 he met several times with a Traverse City-based indivisible group. Otherwise, the congressman blames some of those voters for his unavailability. MP Bergman cites noisy town halls during his first term in office as evidence that some refuse to talk.
MP Bergman says he wants to go to that COVID-19 pandemic with one caveat.
“But what if they want to do the things they did after the 2016 election, like hollowing out prayer at a town hall meeting and shouting out during the pledge of allegiance? That’s middle school behavior, ”he says.
As for the other complaints against him, lawmakers blame the size of the district.
“People who really care about where I am and what I do know that if I’m in Houghton on Tuesday, there’s a pretty good chance I won’t be in Traverse City on Wednesday, ”says Bergman.
US Home Office
Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.
Jack Bergman’s district is big. With 32 counties on two peninsulas and time zones, Michigan’s 1st Congressional District is the second largest east of the Mississippi.
Former Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak held the seat for nearly 20 years.
“Contact with constituents was my top priority, ”he says.
According to Stupak, the 1st Congress is a Republican district that he won by speaking to voters in person.
But he says that kind of politics may have died out. The constant journey eventually prevented him from seeking re-election. And Stupak doesn’t believe politicians are now having a dialogue with the electorate.
He says too many lawmakers avoid the heat and voters are constantly battling misinformation.
“It is a difficult time and we are bitterly divided as a nation. But then I think that you need your elected officials more to fill those loopholes, ”he says.
Stupak says a Democrat could win the 1st Congress again. But he added that the right candidate and party would have to take care of the rural district.
Meanwhile, Congressman Jack Bergman says he’s not going anywhere.
“In case anyone is wondering, yes, I’ll be running again in 2022 and probably in 2024 and who knows 2026 and beyond, ”he says.
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