Congress Ducks And Weaves To Avoid The Public
One of the core parts of the conventional narrative about the summer recess taken by members of Congress is that their time away from Washington D.C. is an opportunity for them to get in touch with constituents. If the outreach strategy of members of Congress described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer is representative, however, constituents have an extremely difficult time actually getting to see their representatives. The article describes the schedules of members of Congress just from Northeast Ohio.
The schedule of appearances by Senator Sherrod Brown is “typically released a day in advance.” So, if you want to attend a public event where Senator Brown will appear, you’ve got to check his schedule every day in the hopes that, perhaps tomorrow, there will be an event you’re allowed to participate in.
Senator George Voinovich “has no public appearances on his schedule”.
Representative John Boccieri “will attend upcoming county fairs in Medina, Ashland, Wayne and Stark counties. His office will release appearance times as the events draw closer. He is also visiting numerous public and private organizations in his district, but his office declined to publicize those visits, because he’s not hosting them.”
Representative Marcy Kaptur “did not return phone calls and e-mails on Wednesday seeking information on upcoming public events. She is holding conference-call town hall meetings on health care with constituents, where she answers questions on pending legislation.”
What about Dennis Kucinich? He’s all grassrootsy, right? Well, “Kucinich’s office says he does not have any upcoming local public appearances.”
Representative Steve LaTourette “doesn’t want to publicize his schedule. Deputy Chief of Staff Dino DiSanto said many facilities where LaTourette appears are small and would be overcrowded if people outside the host organizations show up.”
You’ll have a hard time finding Representative Tim Ryan, given that “his office would not release his schedule.”
The schedule of Representative Betty Sutton “is not published in advance because it’s in constant flux.”