Walz caseload increased

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As Minnesota continues into June with only one United States senator, First District Congressman Tim Walz’s office is continuing to see an increase in its caseload compared to the same time last year, said Walz spokeswoman Meredith Salsbery.

Specifically, cases are up by about 60 percent, when comparing January through May of last year with January through May of this year, Salsbery said.

It’s been seven months since the race between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman was supposed to end. Coleman, the former Republican senator, trails by 312 votes.

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While a lot of the increase can be attributed to a lack of a second senator for the state, she said some of the increase can also be attributed to the economy.

“Everybody who thinks that the government owes them a dollars is in there,” she said.

Walz’s office has been busy working on higher than usual cases of foreclosure and IRS casework, among others, she said.

Plus, with Coleman out of office, many Republican constituents or people who lean Republican are going to Walz because they see him as more moderate than U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, she added.

Salsbery said once a new senator is finally seated, Walz’s office won’t see an immediate change in casework. After all, whether Coleman or Franken wins, there will be new staff starting who will take a little bit of time to get going.

“It will be a slow trickle until they get up and running,” the communications director said.

However, the caseload should be better within a year, especially if the economy gets better, she added.