Monday, August 02, 2010

After Hitting Dems For Going Into ‘Hiding,’ Republicans Refuse To Disclose Their Summer Town Hall Schedules


Today on MSNBC, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) hit Democrats for going into “hiding” this summer, implying that they weren’t planning to go around and speak with their constituents during the August recess:

TODD: Let me ask you this. Clear cut: If Republicans win the majority, are you supporting John Boehner for Speaker?

CANTOR: I’m supporting John Boehner for Speaker, and you know — you look at the difference now of what we’re about as Republicans and what Democrats are about the course of this August recess. I would venture to say that Democrats have gone into hiding, whereas John Boehner and I and the rest of our conference are out there, taking our message to the people, talking about the specific things that they can expect if we’re a majority. And we’re frankly shocked — we’re listening to people, and I think the Democrats have demonstrated they’re unwilling to do that, and their agenda reflects that.

Watch it:

Democrats, however, have actually held more town hall meetings than Republicans. According to Roll Call, through June 16, Republicans had held 430 town hall meetings; Democrats had held 490. Additionally, today CQ reports that Republicans are trying to hide their summer schedules from the public:

Several House Republicans are balking at a request by their leadership to offer up a copy of their August schedules for a GOP Conference online database.

“My constituents know how to find me,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said. “I’m listed in the phone book.”

GOP leaders have asked Members to submit their schedules as part of their “America Speaking Out” agenda project, but some Republicans said doing so would only create opportunities for their opponents to embarrass them. [...]

“I just don’t know why there needs to be a national advertisement of everything I’m doing,” [Rep. John Campbell (R-CA)] said.

The GOP leadership tried to assure lawmakers that their “activities would not be made public without the their consent,” in order to get them to cooperate, but one lawmakers said that those statements weren’t enough. “Once you give it over, it’s available somewhere,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID). Last summer, Fox News publicized the time and location of Democratic town halls — but not Republican ones.

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