Jim Graves

October 25, 2012

Hello Reddit! Jim Graves here. I am running for Congress [MN, District 6], and yes, my opponent is Michele Bachmann. AMA.

Greetings Redditors,

My name is Jim Graves, and I am running for Congress.

I want to replace Rep. Michele Bachmann because she is part of the inflexible extreme. While her freewheeling comments have made her a national media phenomenon, they have not added one new job to the 6th District of Minnesota.

I started AmericInn Hotels with my wife Julie in 1979 with only $2,000 in the bank. Since then, I have created thousands of jobs and balanced as many budgets.

I have never run for office before, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back and serve the community that has given me so much. I look forward to providing the people of the 6th District the representation they truly deserve and so desperately need.

We have three debates coming up next week that we are very excited about. We wanted to schedule seven, but it seemed as if she wanted to have as few as possible! The debates are as follows:

To find out more about me, please find me on Twitter: @Graves4Congress, Facebook, on my Website and also on You Tube. To help me defeat Bachmann, please donate: http://jimgraves.com/donate.

Let's go Reddit, ask me anything and let's have some fun.

Edit: I need to head out to a meeting! I'll be back to follow up soon. Thank you so much for your great questions!

Edit: I answered a bunch more of your questions! I'll be back later. Thank you!


Thank you for doing this AMA. I live in the 6th District, and I have a few questions for you:

  1. I work for a small consulting firm in Coon Rapids that employs about 100 people. We specialize in acquiring land rights for energy companies so pipelines, wind turbines, and other energy-related things can be built on private land. Would you vote in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline? Why or why not? In your opinion, how important is it to the economy for America to become energy independent?

  2. Do you think Michele Bachmann has ‘McCarthy-like’ qualities? Why do you think people in our district vote for a candidate that runs on a platform of anti-intellectualism and fear?

  3. During your debates with Bachmann, will you bring up the fact that she believes God told her to run for President?

  4. If you defeat Bachmann, can we have an awesome party at the Graves 601 Hotel?

  5. If you are elected, will you give me your endorsement when I run for Mayor of Lexington, MN? I really think I could bring some positive change to the community. For example, it is currently illegal to take a left turn from Woodland Road onto Lake Drive. That’s how you get to the interstate(!) and it needs to change immediately. I look forward to your endorsement and getting together so we can build strong policies for a strong Lexington.

  6. What hair product do you use? This style is nothing short of fabulous.

  1. We want to become energy independent, however, we must always remember that oil is fungible. Accordingly, our prices at the gas pump may not be affected. The most important thing is to develop alternative fuels.

  2. I have no idea why people do!

  3. Probably not ... I've never relied on her either.

  4. Stay tuned!

  5. Let sit down and chat some time.

  6. None! Au naturel!

What would you say you most admire about your opponent?

That she's a mother of five children.

I read it as respectful in the sense that 5 children is a ton of work no matter what your politics are - so credit where credit is due. Also a burn because he isn't mentioning anything about her political work, implying that there's nothing in that realm she has done that he admires.


What is your opinion on abortion and why?

I think we can all agree, it's a terrible outcome and we should do everything possible to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies. We need to make certain that women have equal opportunities in the workplace, access to good health care, educational opportunities, and we need to address real maternity leave benefits like the rest of the developed world.

You've kind of, you know, skirted the actual question. Not that I blame you; the world today is a volatile place for any politician.

At the end of the day, it's a woman's health choice.

While I agree with you on trying to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies through things like sex education, and have better aid for those who do get pregnant through better pay, maternity leave, and better health care. Do you still believe abortion should be a legal option for all?

Also, what are your thoughts on the recent comments about rape and abortion by those like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock?

They are outrageous, hurtful and damaging.

I seriously doubt you will ever see this, but I just want to say good job framing that response perfectly. I wish you the best of luck sir, and your answers here are how I wish any progressive would respond to questions like that.

I see it! And I give you my thanks.

I wish more people would quote Clinton on abortion (paraphrased) "I believe abortions should be rare and legal."

Very well said.

What's the greatest challenge you've overcome?

I think the greatest challenge I've overcome is getting through the most recent recession.

That's it? Not the death of someone close to you, a divorce or a personal trauma... that?

EDIT: Apologies to anyone who bristled/downvoted this comment. My intent was to draw something personal out of Mr. Graves and the way I did it was the wrong way to go about it.

I've been pretty fortunate, I really have.


Please see right above for my position on abortion.

Same sex marriage: Everyone should have the same rights in America to pursue happiness.

Hi Jim, thanks for the AMA.

Hi! I'm being honest and straightforward with the people, and using common sense.

Straight answer: Do you really believe all of the stuff you say?

What have you learned through your business ventures that you plan to use while in office?

You only get things done when you get people communicating and collaborating.

What do you think your chances are?

We're only two points behind, but we're being outspent 2 to 1. If we can catch up and close the spending gap, we're going to win.

:) Want to help us? https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/graves-web?refcode=homepage&amounts=5,25,50,100,250,1000&amount=25

I don't live in your state but I make it point to donate $50 to anyone that opposes her. Best of luck to you sir, may you send that dingbat packing.

Thank you!

I'll match that.

Thank you!

times are super tight for me, so I only donated $5, but that $5 to help get the crazy out!

Thanks! Any amount helps!

I voted for you 2 weeks ago via absentee ballot. Here's hoping!

Thank you!

Just donated $100, please whoop that crazy!

Are you going to be debating her, and if so is that available online?

Reddit would probably explode from the lulz

Thanks! Yes, debates are listed above. MPR will broadcast 10/30 and 11/1 and they have great online streaming. www.mpr.org


Yes! Thank you!

I live in Oregon, but I kicked in. Good luck!

Thank you!

College student here. Gave you $5!


I'm a relatively broke college student (political science degree. Ha!) with a newborn. But accept my well intentions and 25.00.

Good luck.

Thank you! I hope you're getting plenty of rest!

Where can I donate?


Thank you!

I donated 10 bucks. Good luck!!

Thank you1



What is your position on nuclear energy?

It is transitional source of energy and it's better that many of the nonrenewable alternatives.

Which browser do you use?


Have you ever changed a long-standing personal opinion or belief? What made you do it?

Regarding gay marriage, twelve years ago or so, I supported civil unions and then it became apparent to me that wasn't enough because it's about more than equality, it has to do with dignity and integrity of all human beings and their pursuit of happiness.

What about civil unions for all? Do you think it would help if, as far as the government were concerned, all marriages--gay or straight--were, officially, "civil unions?"

Maybe! I've heard that semantics is as the heart of it for some; why they oppose it, so perhaps...

I wish I could vote for you.

Thank you! Me too!

you rock

Thanks! So do you.

Mr. Graves, I truly hope you win your seat in congress. It completely baffles my mind how Bachmann gets any votes.

Not being from Minnesota, I am curious, what exactly has Bachmann done in your area to deserve votes and what is your strategy to overtake her seat? Again, please for all that is right in this world crush her in this election!

She's hasn't done anything to deserve votes. My strategy is to work hard, stand by my core values, and create jobs for the district.

As minneapolis resident, how can I get my hands on a I Dig Graves pin? They are not available on your website! While I can't vote for you, I would love to rock one while walking around campus.

What are your views on both the voter ID amendment, and the marriage amendment that are on the ballot in MN this year?

Edit: I see your stance on the marriage amendment below, so skip that. BUT I'm still curious about the voter ID one!

Voter ID is a state issue, and we don't like anything that hinders Democracy. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Typical politician, avoiding the hard hitting questions. WHERE ARE OUR PINS, MR. GRAVES?

Ha! There are lots of them in my office in St Cloud! Come and get 'em!

Is it within walking distance of the campus? If it is, I'll come grab a few!

It is! Right by Jimmy John's.

What's your view on internet retailers and the loophole the government affords them to avoid sales tax?

I believe internet retailers should pay sales tax to give brick and mortar businesses on Main Street the ability to compete.

Is there a proposed law or change that a Republican in Congress has put forward that you would back or help push through? After the past 2 years, I'd love to see bipartisanship.

In principle, I would have gone along with the the No Solyndra bill.

Hello Mr. Graves

I'm not as well-versed on your positions on the issues facing this country as I'd like to be. I wish I had a better question for you than this.

But Mr. Graves, we need you to win. Not "we" as in your district, not just Minnesota, not just Washington... the United States of America needs you to win, sir.

If we as reasonable Americans cannot stand up against fringe figures like Rep. Bachmann, who try and often succeed in shoehorning bits of discrimination and religious fundamentalism into our laws, then we have failed. And grave consequences from that failure may await us.

We have to stand up. We have to stand up and we have to beat them. We have to beat them so bad, they crawl back into the holes they came out of. Irrational, unreasonable and scary elected officials like Rep. Bachmann wield far too much power. It's made me genuinely afraid and I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to fear my government anymore. I need you to save me, save us.

It doesn't matter who elected her, why she was elected in the first place, what she's done previously or what the difficult circumstances are in defeating her now.

So my question to you, Mr. Graves, is: How are you going to win? How are you going to close the relatively small gap in polls that I've seen between you and Rep. Bachmann? A gravely important task is in front of you, sir. I would argue that a piece of this country's very morale or soul is at risk in this race.

TL;DR: How are you going to win?

We're going to win because we're standing up to her nonsense. People who know our message support us. We're being outspent 2 to 1 and we need your help to get the message out: http://jimgraves.com/donate

And grave consequences from that failure may await us.



What reforms (if any) would you like to see regarding our electoral and campaign finance systems?

I think Citizens United created a toxic political climate and it's done more to hurt politics than anything in decades.

Jim, given your background in education as a teacher, what are your ideas for improving math and science scores in America that have seen a dramatic decline relative to other developed nations in recent years?

I support investing in early childhood education. I believe that what needs the most change is the culture surrounding education. Students are less engaged than ever and that needs to be addressed.

I just found out that I can edit my comments to something completely different and all the replies to my original comment stay the same. I shall now go about wreaking havoc.

The lack of people who will negotiate are definitely part of the problem, so yes. Also, we need people who actually understand the issues.

How do people so under qualified get such important roles in government?

You tell me?

Just want to say thanks for running.


No real question just want to say good luck, I really cannot stand Bachmann and her fear based platform.

Thank you!

Last year, I read a truly awful article about how suicides by gay high school students have skyrocketed in Bachmann's district, as a sort of trickle-down effect of her anti-gay rhetoric on the national stage (EDIT: found it here)

There are plenty of reasons to oppose her, but I sincerely hope you win this for the kids who killed themselves because they had no voice and felt they had no other choice.

I will work tirelessly for them. To make sure they have proper health care, proper support, and the best representative.

I'm related to Bachmann and I'm still voting for you!

Wow! Thank you.

If you had to choose one non-politician to lead the nation, who would you pick?

John Taft. Look into him: http://www.johngtaft.com/about

Here on Reddit, the correct answer is Neil deGrasse Tyson.

He's awesome! A solid choice.

How would you address mounting student loan debt if elected?

I would freeze the student loan rate unlike my opponent who voted to double student loan rates last summer.

What are your thoughts on suburban farming collectives for lower income families that need access to fresh inexpensive organic fruits and veggies?

Would you support something like this?

I'm for solutions that provide better nutrition to America's working families.

Being from Minnesota, I think it's great to have anyone else representing the state in anyway. Can you tell me a little bit about what helps you connect to people individually as well as on a macro level? I know politicians get blasted for being "out of touch" often, but the level of disregard we've seen for intelligent discourse and social integrity has been staggering. Just curious what makes you real and why would we like you if you we were having dinner with you?

Well, I'm well versed on a number of subjects and I'm curious, so I think that makes a good dinner guest. And I really like people.

What is your stance on manned space exploration? Do you support Newt Gingrich's proposal of a lunar base?

Only if he goes.

Wow, best answer.


Haha! Thanks. :)

I would like to be first to recommend Jim Graves for president 2016

HA! Thanks!

But seriously, a lot of Redditors are staunch supporters of space exploration (manned or otherwise). Do you support the Penny4NASA movement? http://www.penny4nasa.org/[1]

I do.


Thank you! I'm having fun.

You're going to fit right in reddit, sir.


How do you feel about there now being male models on The Price Is Right?


if you were on the price is right would you rather play plinko or cliffhangers?

Boy, I'd have to say PLINKO. It's a classic.

Do you have any opinion on electoral reform? Perhaps something that isn't exclusively first past the post to allow 3rd parties a voice in Congress?

It seems to me that much of the Washington gridlock is being driven by partisanship that seems impossible to overcome in the current system.

I think ranked choice voting is interesting...

Do you think there's ever going to be a chance of any electoral reform actually happening given the current system favors the two large parties and incumbents?

Thank you for answering. I know this isn't a typical question and can be a doozy to answer but its become a big issue for me over the last few years both to address the gridlock and the lack of choice on important issues (i.e. a fiscal conservative not being able to vote on those lines because they find it immoral for a human being to treat gays as second class citizens).

I think there's a tipping point for everything, including this. I have hope.

Wishing you the best. I consider Bachmann to be one of the very worst things ever to happen to American politics.

Thank you!

Is the st cloud debate televised? And can you win being outspent? saw ads on Real clear politics

Stay tuned, we believe at least parts will be.

I can win, but I could definitely use more help. http://jimgraves.com/donate


Issues aren't red or blue. They are based in reality. Like in business, we never ask a banker or investor, a customer are you a Democrat or Republican?

Hey Jim, not a question per se, but as I live in your district, I thought it'd be nice to say thanks for all the hard work you're putting in and hopefully we can repay you! Too long have we been ashamed of our representative, and win or lose, your running for this position is a very meaningful thing to a great many people, so don't forget it!

Thank you!

What's your least favorite thing about Michele Bachmann?

*Edit Michele with one L

I think her divisiveness is dangerous.

What did you have/are going to have for lunch?
Who do you follow the most? Twins, Vikings, Wild or Timberwolves?
Favourite band/singer?
Do you pluck your eyebrows?

1) Cup of soup. It's snowing here today. 2) All! 3) Van Morrison 4) Hell no!

Mr.Graves, How do you feel about term limits for all 535 members of the house and senate. Making the positions more of a civil service then a long term career.

I'm open for discussion.

Michele Bachmann has a "D" rating by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 2010 Congressional Report Card. How do you feel about supporting the Veteran's?

I'm sick and tired of the hypocrisy of all of the politicians beating the war drum beat but not sending their own kids over there, and then turning their backs on our soliders when they return. Bachmann voted against the Veterans' GI Bill, Veterans' Job Act, and support for their mental health services. Her actions are a disgrace when it comes to veterans' issues.

I love what you just said. Please stick with it.

I certainly will. Thank you!

That wasn't how you felt. That was how you feel your opponent did.

With all due respect, please see the first sentence, that is how I felt.

You didn't really answer the question, how do YOU feel about it not how do you feel about her feelings.

I feel very strongly about supporting them and that the current situation isn't what it could be. I will do everything in my power to help soldiers when they return. Everything. I thought that was in the context, my apologies!

QWhat do you consider to be a fully balanced breakfast? And did you eat a good breakfast today?

I don't know what a fully balanced breakfast is but I had Cheerios, OJ, and a cup of coffee.

What is the craziest thing that the Bachmann campaign has tried to smear you with so far? And what is your plan for bringing together the electorate should you win in November? Will you work across the aisle, regardless of the consequences? And now, a softball question. What do you think about the Minnesota Wild's acquisition of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter during the offseason?

1) Her most recent ad blames me for the entire Federal Debt. And I've been blamed for violence in the Middles East. How crazy is that?

2) My whole life has been spent bringing people together.


Thank-you for reaching out to our community! I believe that the most pressing issue facing the middle class is the unfair total federal tax code that taxes inheritance, capital gains, and income at different rates, and with somewhat arbitrary abilities to set up trusts and take deductions that unfairly benefit certain groups in ways that allow the wealthy to pay far less taxes than those who work for a living. Since Reagan, taxes have been restructured to the point that we now have an entrenched aristocracy.

Would you introduce a tax reform bill to tax all sources of acquired money (inheritance, cap gains, income) under income tax brackets, extend the payroll tax to every dollar instead of just the first $110,000, and add at least 3 more brackets to the top of the income tax schedule?

Also, would you support or oppose a VAT style tax or a national sales tax?

I would go for a more macro approach that eliminates tax expenditures that have absolutely no positive impact on our economy For example: hedge fund carried interest, qualified dividend income, coal royalty treatment as long term capital gain, etc...

This is an incredibly intricate and informed answer.

I know of no one outside of C-level financial services people who even know what the hedge fund carried interest tax loophole is. (0_o)

(*edit - Alan Viard has a take on it that explains that while it seems it reverses liability and makes it a flat trade-off, it results in a net gain for those investors. The converse being: If you close the loophole, you open up a whole new avenue of taxation that doesn't affect most Americans and in some small measure increases the tax base through a extremely small but capable subset of the populace that can afford it without destroying their retirement. You can read it here.)

Seriously... WOW.

Please go forth and win, sir.

Thank you!

I feel like I am speaking for most Americans when I say, Thank You for running against Bachmann... She scares the hell out of us.. oh and what are your thoughts on Global Warming?

I believe in science.

Music to my ears.. Thank you for your response. Follow up question, How do you feel about these Congressmen that are saying Rape is Gods will, sitting on the House Committee for Science and Technology? How does this happen?

I honestly wish I knew. It's a tragedy.

Say no more. Also, I have donated multiple times via ActBlue, since I can't vote for you.

Thank you!

How in the world could your district ever elect someone like Michelle Bachmann???

Please bring some sanity back to the House. My question is: what is your advice to a young entrepreneur like me?

Thank you!

Be tenacious, organized, and don't fear failure. Good luck!

Does her weird stare thing that everyone focuses on when parodying her on TV (SNL) actually come across in real life?

Up close and personal she's quite engaging.

what kind of compensation do you provide your employees? what is your average hourly and salary wages? what benefits do you offer? how many are full or part time?

im not interested in a job, but considering your great fortune in life, i think how you treat your employees is probably the largest mark of your character.

In my company, we're all a family and believe in The Golden Rule. We employ union labor.

What is the biggest mistake your opponent has made? What is the biggest mistake you have made?

Hers: Forgetting who she serves and thinking that she can fool the American public.

Mine: Wearing a tie to the fishing opener.

As a Minnesotan who has done a lot of work in the 6th district, I can say in all seriousness that this probably was a huge mistake, beyond any gaffe or policy position.

Ralph's right. I was going from one thing to another... it was a long day and a HUGE gaffe. Otherwise, there isn't anything so far that sticks out! I've only been in the race for six months!

Where is your debate in st cloud? i would love to attend!

Also, what are your thoughts on the idea that our politicians are bought and controlled by big money? and What business' have you accepted money from?

At the Rivers Edge Convention Center. 10/30 12:30-1:30 Public is welcome!

Just wanted to say good luck, we're all counting on you.

Thank you!

Hi Jim,

Thank you very much for taking the time to do this. My question is this: How do you plan to debate an opponent who is severly ideological in her positions? Do you think your constituents want to hear your ideologies compared to hers, or your detailed policies?

Thanks again, we're rooting for you in Minneapolis!

Our constituents truth and common sense. I'm going to stick to the issues and the policy.

Our constituents truth and common sense. I'm going to stick to the issues and the policy.

And thank you!!

Good lord, you answered more questions than most people do with an AMA, thanks!

Happy to have the opportunity!

How do you feel about the recent performance of the twins?

It was a tough season! We'll do better next season. The Pohlads are the best owners in the business.

What slander has she sent out about you?

That I'm responsible for the troubles in Benghazi, the national debt, and legislation that passed under her watch. So many things to mention!

From a Minnesotan, thank you for working so hard to put Bachmann out. You have my vote sir!

Thank you!

Why are you running for office? Apart from giving back and all the good stuff. It's always struck me as a crazy thing to do.

I'm running to make a difference. I've been very fortunate and blessed. I believe in the concept of stewardship.

What is the hardest challenge that you've faced in your political career, as in trying to convince people that something is the right option?

My political career started in late March 2012. I've been working very hard since day one getting out the message of reason and truthfulness. It's a real challenge getting through all of the chatter that my opponent floods the airways with her war chest of millions of dollars.

I love the challenge. If it were easy, I wouldn't be doing it.

Reading through this AMA I sat here wondering why everything you said resonated so well with me. At first I thought it was just because I hate Bachmann and want her out, but this last reply really confirms it for me. You actually represent my ideals. "If it were easy, I wouldn't be doing it." I'm a 24 year old voter and this is the first time in my life that I've felt a real connection to ANY politician at any level.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I wish I lived in your district so I could vote for you, but at least I can link to this AMA on Facebook and make sure all my friends that DO live there go out and vote!

Please keep being a voice for sanity and reason in this country. It'll be hard, but I think you would have it no other way.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really am here to do better for this country.

You have my vote!

Thank you!

I'm in MN-3, but I have lots of extended family in MN-6, specifically rural Carver County. When they ask who they should vote for, what would your 15-second pitch be for why they should vote for you?

Conversely, in less than 15 seconds, why should they not vote for Michele Bachmann?

She's out of touch with the needs of the community.

Hi Jim,

As an LGBT person from the St. Cloud area Michelle's platform and positions on LGBT issues is offensive, dehumanizing, and damaging to LGBT people, youth especially. As a youth, seeing one persons who views you as a second class citizen is bad enough, but having her views backed by so many supporters where I lived was humiliating, demoralizing, and incredibly hard to experience.

I just wanted to say thank you for bringing the respect you have for the LGBT community through your positions.

I will be relaying your message to friends/family still in the area in hopes we can see a positive change for the LGBT youth in the area!

Hi, Thanks for your note. And for your support!

Why have an AMA for a whole bunch of people who probably aren't your constituents rather than spend that time campaigning locally? (I think I know the answer already)

We were asked to do it a number of times and we are happy to talk with people from all over and get our message out there. We're in the district day in and day out, too, talking with constituents. Both will help us with earned media, most likely, and perhaps donations, too, which a are important given she's outspending us 2 to 1. Does that answer your questions?

I live in your district. Why should I vote for you? Bachman bashing aside

Because I'll work tirelessly in the sixth to create livable wage jobs and boost the economy for small businesses. I hope to bring many new businesses in as well. I'm not seeking fame, and I have been very fortunate. It's my time to give back to the community I was raised in.

This is a class answer. I like it. Early in the year I stated I'd vote for anyone running against Bachmann. After reading all these answers I can say I'm voting Graves because I support him and believe he's the right person for the job.

Thank you!

My political science teacher was just talking about your race earlier today. I live on the ND side of the ND/MN border, but we talk about Minnesota politics a lot, especially since a lot of our student population hails from the Twin Cities.

Anyway, my professor was talking about how he looked up the campaign numbers for Bachmann's race and she's raised something like 19 million dollars and has spent 17 million of it, compared to your rather modest spendings. What do you think of her fundraising numbers? Do you think that they will have a measurable impact on your chances to win? What can you do to compensate, to compete on the same level as her without using such exorbitant amounts of money?

She's outspending us 2 to 1, and we can win this, if we can close that gap a bit. We can tell the truth and hope people are ready for a change. We know so many that are.


Mr. Graves, Is there anything that separates you from most of the other "tote-line" politicians? Or are you simply going to be another free vote for Obama?

Well, first, I'm not a politician. I cross party lines in business every day and I'll do it congress as well.

Mr. Graves, I'm a student at the University of Maryland and I'm doing a case study on your race for a course on congressional elections.

  1. From the voters you've spoken to, do you think they like Bachmann's extreme ideology, or do they vote her in because she is the incumbent and can outspend anyone?

  2. Most of your positions seem very moderate; do you think you can win over enough voters who consider themselves to be conservative to win the election?

  3. What do you think is the most effective way to get your name and message out? TV? Face to face? Calls to voters?

Thank you for doing an AMA!

  1. Well, I can tell you a great deal of them don't like her extremism. I'm honestly not sure why the others vote for her.
  2. I do. I'm a guy who never asks about party affiliation in business. I've worked with everyone, and will continue to.
  3. I've been talking with as many people as possible and will continue to. We also have three ads, you can see them here: http://www.youtube.com/user/JimGravesforCongress. They've been doing well, too. We've also been making thousands of call and doing thousands of door knocks! It's a lot, but it's all worth it.

Thanks for your questions! Did I answer them well for you?

Did you lie about serving on the board of directors for The United Way as Bachman claims?

I didn't. I served on an executive committee and not an executive board. It was a clerical error, and we fixed it. The end.

I knew it! Yet she continues to run those b.s. commercials night and day. Thank you!

Thank you for your question.


Hm, I mostly mean those who won't listen, or collaborate.

I will be there the 30th. Can't wait.

See you then!

as a Minnesotan in this district I support you


What is the one thing, besides $$, that we can do to help you win this election?

Edit, per the answer: http://jimgraves.com/

Spread my name, my website. Volunteer.

how do you deal with the frustration of losing?

I'll cross that bridge should I come to it. But I am planning to win.

Do you have gay people and woman on your staff? Do they occupy relevant positions within your group? Sorry if this sounds rude or too straightforward, it's really a curiosity for me.

Absolutely. We are a family, and everyone is treated equally. Thanks for your straightforwardness. I appreciate it!

This is a fantastic AMA. Interesting, informative, straightforward, genuine. Wish I'd gotten here earlier so I could ask about your folk music career.

Aw, thanks!

I just wanted to say that, as a resident of Andover in the MN 6th, I sincerely hope that you can unseat Bachmann, Mr. Graves. During her years in congress, she has done nothing for the district except embarrass it.

Thank you so, so much. I will do better for you!

Hi Jim.

I don't have a question, but I want to offer my support and say that you are doing an amazing job regardless of the outcome of the election. Your campaign has been run on the platform of what you aim to do for the district, not on one of fear and xenophobia. It's a breath of fresh air in a political landscape dominated by fearmongering and playing to people's darker sides and I really, really appreciate it.

You have my vote sir, good luck!

Thank you!

I'm a libertarian in your district. Convince me. :-)

I am also a libertarian! Hello! What would you like to know?

Mr. Graves,

Honestly, I haven't been keeping up with the Minnesotan (ian?) elections, but in doing some quick Googling, one of the things that has a prominent space on your wikipedia page is about a claim made in your biography about serving on the board of the United Way of Western Minnesota. What was your response to being asked about that?

I served on an executive committee, not an executive board. It was a clerical error and we fixed it immediately.

My dads name just so happens to be Jim Graves. I got very confused when I first read the title.

Ha! Tell him hello from the other Jim Graves!


I will do everything I can to make sure there is access to support, mental health care, and everything these students need to thrive and feel equal. Thanks for writing.

I am a 19 year old Minnesota resident. How can you convince me to vote for you?

I am honest and hardworking and will work tirelessly to create jobs and a robust economy in the 6th. I have been very fortunate and it's my time to give back. Want to know more about why I'm running? www.jimgraves.com/whyimrunning


No questions here, but just wanted to wish you the best! It's inspiring to see a political newcomer make the choice to run in one of the toughest campaigns in the country, and I can't tell you how much I and so many others respect you for your efforts.

Best of Luck!


Have you ever been to an Atmosphere concert?

Not yet! Do you recommend?

I voted for you!

Thank you!

Mr. Graves,

I'm a gay Minnesotan, and you sure as hell have my vote. I'd vote for you 10 times if I could. It is so nice to have someone who is so outspoken about equal rights!

It is beyond me how that horrible excuse for a human, Michele Bachmann, has ever gotten any votes. Ever.

GRAVES 2012!!

Thank you!

What is your opinion on gay marriage?

I believe everyone deserves the same rights!

What area do you think you can make the biggest impact?

Job creation, new businesses coming into the 6th and the economy. Too many?

i'm from Eagan, MN and we support Jim Graves! (In said district 6) :D

Thank you!

Mr. Graves, you sound like exactly the kind of person we need in Congress. Since I live in Florida, I unfortunately can't vote for you, but I'll try to round up some extra money to donate to your campaign. Thank you for being awesome!

Thank you!

Where is the debate in St. Cloud being held? Best of luck to you Mr. Graves! Please vote everybody!

River's Edge Convention Center. Thank you!

Mr. Graves, thank you so much for doing this AMA.

I wish I had a question, but I don't. I just want to thank you for running as clean and honest a campaign as can be reasonably hoped for these days, and for doing it in a district that should otherwise have been a lock for Rep. Bachmann. The fact that you've pushed to within 2% of victory, and at a 2-1 deficit in spending, is a true testament to the quality of your message and your skills as a leader for Minnesota.

I gave your campaign $25 a few weeks ago because I believe Rep. Bachmann needs to be out of Congress at all costs, but I'm glad that I've been able to learn since then that you're a compelling and respectable candidate in your own right. Hell, I'm not even a Minnesotan, but this is too important. If I had it to spare, I'd donate twice over.

Make this happen, Mr. Graves. Bring some decency back to the Congress, for all our sakes.

Thank you!!

Went to donate, it wants an email, I don't want spam, so no money for you. Fix that and I'll donate, I suspect you are losing piles and piles of donations with the email / phone requirement.

If you'd like to mail a check, that's cool too. This is how we build mailing lists, and you can always opt out.

PO Box 637, Anoka, MN 55303

Thanks for your honesty!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Jim Graves conducted on Reddit on 2012-10-25. The Reddit AMA can be found here.