Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Wake Of Widespread Town Hall Backlash, Rep. Allen West Only Answers Pre-Screened Questions


As voters around the country continue to voice their anger at town halls over the Republican plan to end Medicare, Republican congressmen are using a range of tactics to try to avoid constituent wrath. In a heated Orlando town hall yesterday, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) largely ignored contentious questions, leading many in the crowd to demand the congressman “answer the question!” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP budget, even ducked out a back entrance during his town hall last night and left in a police car rather than his own vehicle.

Last night, ThinkProgress was in attendance for a Fort Lauderdale town hall where Rep. Allen West (R-FL) took a different approach: pre-screening all questions. Not only were all questions pre-approved by the congressman’s staff, but the attendees were not even permitted to ask the screened questions themselves; staff members read the questions instead, lest a constituent ask an unscripted question. The Sun Sentinel noted that West’s move to pre-screen questions was a far cry from “his usual practice at previous town hall meetings, where West took questions from people who lined up at microphones"....................

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