Sen. John Boozman is no Tom Cotton. He’s going to meet with constituents the way U.S. Rep. French Hill did, by holding a misleadingly titled “Tele-Town Hall.”
If you can figure out how to dial into the phone conversation (I can’t find details on various Boozman web pages; I’ve requested the details from Boozman’s office), you’ll wait with an undetermined number of people to ask a question while the senator filibusters. Followups are not easy. You will be screened by a staff member first. It’s not a formula for robust dialogue I can testify after a taste of Hill’s soporific recent phone call.
Boozman and Hill have been invited to a town hall Sunday in Little Rock. I’ve sent messages to staff of both asking whether they’ll attend. I’ve received no responses. Neither staff has yet responded to questions about whether they plan any in-person town halls this year.
Boozman will be on the phone at 7:30 p.m. Monday. If I get a response from Boozman staff on dial-in particulars, I’ll add them.
UPDATE: Boozman staff remains non-communicative, but Greg Yarbrough at KARK found a webpage link I had been unable to find. You must fill in an information sheet to receive notice of the town hall, it doesn’t disclose a dial-in procedure.
Tightly controlled conference calls are becoming a fad among public-shy Republicans because of the blowback they’ve received when they’ve ventured out. Even some closed door sessions have gone badly, Talking Points Memo reports. Some have bought tickets to gain access. Chambers of commerce are favored by Congressman (French Hill spoke to the Little Rock chamber this week) but a number of them haven’t been trouble-free. People have legitimate questions, even the 1 percent.
In Alabama, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) was hit with questions about the Affordable Care Act and Trump’s ties to Russia during an “Eggs and Issues” breakfast event held by local chambers of commerce on Tuesday.
Dana Ellis, a 63-year-old Birmingham resident who attended the event, told TPM that people in the room had asked Palmer about Obamacare and investigations into Russia’s influence in U.S. elections. Ellis said that several questions, including the one about Russia, were met with applause from the room.
You can run but you can’t hide forever, Rep. Hill.
People like Vic Snyder and Mike Ross faced the music back in the Tea Party day. Perhaps they had more spunk than this group. Think this might shame them, somebody who paid a real price for public constituent outreach: