Constituent services will be key to a lawmaker's reelection chances, according to a guide book Republican leaders sent to incoming House freshmen.
"While you may have been elected to be a legislator, your reelection will greatly hinge upon your ability to provide top-notch constituent service. Your immediate focus should be on constituent service," Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) wrote in the manual.
The Hill's Molly K. Hooper reported on the 144-page guidebook titled Hit the Ground Running, in which House Republican leaders advise the newly elected members on matters ranging from setting up their offices to where to sit on the House floor and how to deal with the media.
The book, compiled by No. 2-ranked House GOP Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.) and provided to The Hill by his office, focuses mostly on legislative aspects of a lawmaker's career, but it does touch on reelection.
And there is a great deal of emphasis placed on constituent services.
"Your success — and your future — is going to depend upon you and your staff’s ability to take care of what matters most — the people you represent. Your immediate baseline goals should be: A 100% office commitment to constituent services, no excuses. You are shooting for a total satisfaction record. Think of yourself as a struggling small business: your customers don’t want excuses, they want service and results," Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) writes.
There's also an ethics section of the manual, and parts of it address campaign activity.
"No campaign activity should occur inside any federal government building," the manual states. "This includes your D.C. and district offices. Equipment and resources should not be used for any campaign activity either. The staff, however, may engage in campaign activities on their own time, as volunteers or paid by the campaign, as long as they do not do so in congressional offices or use official resources."