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Monday, June 07, 2010

Democrats Attend 'Controlled' Events Instead Of Facing Voters

Everyone remembers the videos and photos of politicans catching hell at townhalls from their constituents last Summer. Voters demanding to be heard by those elected to represent them, reminding those politicians of who works for who.

Not this year, the New York Times reports that out of 255 Democrats that make up the majority of the House, only a handful is willing to face their constituents at a townhall style meeting where they would have to interact and answer voter's questions.

If the time-honored tradition of the political meeting is not quite dead, it seems to be teetering closer to extinction. Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts.

It was no scheduling accident.

With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects.

And to reach thousands of constituents at a time, without the worry of being snared in an angry confrontation with voters, more lawmakers are also taking part in a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.

Republicans seem to be willing to face their constituents more readily, according to that same article:

An examination of public schedules for dozens of members of Congress last week showed that more House Republicans held open meetings, including several in a series of forums called America Speaking Out, which is intended to help write the party’s agenda if it wins control of Congress in November.

If you vist your representatives webpage and find "No upcoming events scheduled. Please visit us again soon!," perhaps you should call and ask them why they are avoiding the very people that elected them.

If you still cannot get your representative to face you or speak to you, then perhaps you should consider going to the polls in November and electing someone who isn't scared to face the ramifications of their actions and votes in the House.