Lawmakers Get a Closer Look at C-Store Industry
HAMMOND, La. and HARRISBURG, Ill. — As part of NACS In Store initiative, U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) visited local convenience stores in their respective states for the opportunity to experience first-hand the day-to-day operations of the convenience and fuel industry.
In a visit arranged by NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, and Lard Oil, Scalise spent an hour at an On the Run location in Hammond, where he aided a sales clerk behind the counter in ringing up a few sales, The Daily Star reported.
"Yes, he did ask to see IDs of those who came in to buy cigarettes," store manager Sandra Brown told the news outlet. "We also showed him how to do a reading on the gas tank to see if we need gas."
Other members of the On the Run team, including supervisor Jerry McKinney, and Henry Leach from Lard Oil, showed Scalise around the store and described daily operations.
Scalise, who holds the third most powerful position in the U.S. House Representatives as House Majority Whip, gained acclaim from L.S. Beaulieu, who wrote an opinion piece for The Daily Star, saying Scalise’s visit highlighted the larger context of politicians’ relationships with their constituents and the issues they care about.
“The image of the photos accompanying today’s story are powerful ones, showing an engaged member of Congress experiencing what millions of Americans do everyday in order to feed their families and pay their bills. These workers work very hard. … [Scalise’s] time at On The Run demonstrates, at least from a public relations and photo op standpoint, that the congressman is aware of what the workers face,” Beaulieu wrote.
Effect of Public Policy
Shimkus visited a reopened Casey’s General Store in Harrisburg, where he served behind the counter for a brief time. He said the experience was educational, particularly when it comes to technology invest in stores designed to protect consumers and taxpayers.
“You can get an appreciation of how public policy across the spectrum affects a small business operation, though Casey’s is not really small,” he told The Southern Illinoisan.
In Shimkus’ district, there are 436 stores employing 6,500 workers, according to Paige Anderson, director of government relations, NACS. Statewide, there are more than 5,400 stores.
The NACS In Store program provides elected officials the opportunity to experience first-hand the convenience and fuel industry and its day-to-day operations.