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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.”

6 thoughts on “Congress Ducks And Weaves To Avoid The Public”

  1. ReMarker says:

    I think a more appropriate title for your post would be, “Congress Devises Creative Ways to Duck and Weave the GOPs Distructive Disruption Strategies of Town Hall Meetings.

    And, ofc, that doesn’t replace one of the best opportunities (town hall meetings) for us to interface with our representatives. GOP operatives know this and that is WHY they encourage it.

    To bad it is working. “The greater good” for America is its victim.

    1. ReMarker says:

      Observation: None of the representatives impeach the motives of the disruptors or disparage their behavior (Example: I’m not going to have a “town hall meeting” because many UNDERINFORMED people YELL and INTERRUPT others), in their responces or press releases concerning public meetings. I believe that is because the representatives want to be respectful to all of their constituents and realize many of the disruptors don’t understand they are being munipulated by GOP operatives. I, also believe the reps do this even if it deprives them of the opportunity for an open forum and a posted schedule of events in advance.

      Just guessing but many/most of the representatives probably have a history of many “town hall meeting”.

      1. Peregrin Wood says:

        R.M., I don’t think it’s as simple as you suggest. You did see that some of these members of Congress are Republicans, right?

        1. ReMarker says:

          Yep on the Repub. members, and you are probably right. It probably isn’t as simple as I suggest. It really gets involved when guessing what motivates the GOP members or any disengenuous Dem. members.

          I concede, your title is probably best. They are ducking and weaving and that is an obvious avoidance of the public.

  2. hendrix says:

    I imagine many of their unpublicized appearances have little or nothing to do with health care reform which are the only forums I’ve heard of being significantly disrupted. This behavior by our elected representatives is disgraceful. They seem to be trying to avoid even well-mannered protest and criticism of policy — or avoid interaction with their constituents entirely.

  3. sceptic says:

    Maybe that’s why they put in for that new fleet of jets… so they cold avoid the people they work for. Hope they were solar powered.

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