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:

  • 10/30 in St Cloud @ the Rivers Edge Convention Center from 12:30-1:30. Public is welcome!
  • 11/1 on MPR
  • 11/4 on KSTP-TV Twin Cities

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:

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!

Comments: 3288 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

kcdonnelly1531 karma

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!

JimGraves419 karma

  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: 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?

paralog802 karma

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

JimGraves2077 karma

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.

moralnihilist495 karma

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?"

JimGraves373 karma

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

bennwalton248 karma

I wish I could vote for you.

JimGraves253 karma

Thank you! Me too!

mozjan786 karma

Which browser do you use?

JimGraves1212 karma


palimpsestor715 karma

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

JimGraves2468 karma

Only if he goes.

isthisforeal708 karma

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

JimGraves307 karma

HA! Thanks!

imagoodusername197 karma

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

JimGraves369 karma

I do.

JimmyNelson677 karma

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?

JimGraves1816 karma

I believe in science.

JimmyNelson199 karma

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?

JimGraves364 karma

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

SHv2630 karma

What would you say you most admire about your opponent?

JimGraves1815 karma

That she's a mother of five children.

raquilina602 karma

What do you think your chances are?

JimGraves1437 karma

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?,25,50,100,250,1000&amount=25

gh0st32989 karma

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.

massoutput283 karma

I'll match that.

riverraven192 karma

I would like to match that but times are tight! I only could afford $25

scarr3g159 karma

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

JimGraves228 karma

Thanks! Any amount helps!

JimGraves64 karma

Thank you!

prair275 karma

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

JimGraves133 karma

Thank you!

dangolo255 karma

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

JimGraves207 karma

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

skyroof_hilltop493 karma


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.

JimGraves606 karma

  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!

SplitAxis415 karma

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

JimGraves317 karma

Thank you!

leg_warmer410 karma

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

JimGraves979 karma


pcloadletter92113 karma

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

JimGraves267 karma

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

frankslide367 karma

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?

JimGraves1212 karma

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.

emmababemma3334 karma

What is your opinion on abortion and why?

JimGraves901 karma

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.

sevenzig626 karma

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.

JimGraves1667 karma

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

geenaleigh98 karma

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?

JimGraves320 karma

They are outrageous, hurtful and damaging.

Mannbearpiggg305 karma

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!

JimGraves596 karma

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.

geenaleigh299 karma

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!

JimGraves400 karma

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

CultZero285 karma


geenaleigh102 karma

I really want one of those pins..

_feels285 karma

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

JimGraves190 karma

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

andrewsmd87264 karma

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

JimGraves292 karma

Happy to have the opportunity!

YouthInRevolt263 karma

Hi Jim, thanks for the AMA.

  • What steps are you taking to reach out to would-be Bachmann voters in hopes of getting them on board with your message?
  • If you could get a straight answer from Mrs. Bachmann on one question, what would that question be?

JimGraves688 karma

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?

YouthInRevolt166 karma

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

JimGraves521 karma

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

Drunken_Economist154 karma

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

JimGraves219 karma

John Taft. Look into him:

DylanThomas928151 karma

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

JimGraves132 karma

Thank you!

DonDriver143 karma

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.

JimGraves379 karma

I think ranked choice voting is interesting...

DonDriver35 karma

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).

JimGraves47 karma

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

Zlibservacratican134 karma

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

JimGraves503 karma

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

Mine: Wearing a tie to the fishing opener.

MX956124 karma

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

JimGraves394 karma

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

rubber_duckyy121 karma

What is your position on nuclear energy?

JimGraves374 karma

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

Kick_Kass112 karma

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?

JimGraves344 karma

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.


torski19109 karma

Just want to say thanks for running.

JimGraves121 karma


YouthInRevolt101 karma

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?

JimGraves325 karma

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.

Hairygerman86 karma

How would you address mounting student loan debt if elected?

JimGraves288 karma

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

joseph77581 karma

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.

JimGraves125 karma

I'm open for discussion.

20MPH75 karma

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!

JimGraves34 karma

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

paulderev72 karma

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?

JimGraves138 karma

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:

skyroof_hilltop114 karma

And grave consequences from that failure may await us.


JimGraves440 karma


jamesmoon67 karma

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

  • A fellow St. Cloud State Husky!

JimGraves165 karma

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

therealandrew51 karma

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?

JimGraves108 karma

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

paralog46 karma

What's the greatest challenge you've overcome?

JimGraves137 karma

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

dotakiller42 karma

What's your least favorite thing about Michele Bachmann?

*Edit Michele with one L

JimGraves174 karma

I think her divisiveness is dangerous.

killedtheoldme38 karma

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.

JimGraves132 karma

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

rkahockey31 karma

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.

JimGraves93 karma

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

MissMollyMac30 karma

What slander has she sent out about you?

JimGraves59 karma

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

cfinke21 karma

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?

JimGraves17 karma

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