Turns out that Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) isn’t the only Republican representative from Washington State who's hiding from his constituents, apparently in fear of creating the conditions for “YouTube moment[s]” like these during the upcoming Congressional recess.
The state's three other Republican members of Congress aren’t planning to hold public meetings this month, either, despite the fact that many constituents demand to know why their reps are intent on gutting the Affordable Care Act—an effort that received a shot in the arm with the confirmation of Tom "Conflict of Interest" Price as health secretary—without offering a sane plan to replace it. Here's a little list of the three other Republican constituent-dodgers in Washington State, as well as a bunch of Republicans in other states who are doing the same:
Dan Newhouse (R-WA-6)
According to the Methow Valley News:
No town hall meetings are being scheduled because 'the first 100 days [of the new presidential administration] are packed with legislative days,' said Will Boyington, Newhouse’s communications director.
He said Newhouse will schedule some 'telephone town halls to engage with constituents,' but did not provide dates.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5)
Congresswoman Rodgers has no town hall scheduled for the upcoming recess in February. Her office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3)
Congresswoman Beutler also has no public meeting scheduled, though, according to her website, she does regularly host community meetings in her district.
Town Hall Project 2018 maintains a list of town halls that reps are planning to hold this year. According to the list, only Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) plans to host a "town talk" to discuss the ACA. That meeting is tomorrow, Feb. 11, at Totem Middle School in Marysville.
Meanwhile, outside of Washington:
Peter Roskam (R-IL-6)
Constituent Sandra Alexander told the Beacon-News that she arranged the meeting about the Affordable Care Act with Roskam's staff ahead of time and informed them that she would be bringing along a small group.
But staffers cancelled the meeting before it could begin, ostensibly because there were members of the media present
Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)
Asked by WDWS’ Elizabeth Hess if there are any plans to have a town hall meeting, he said: 'I don’t like grandstanding events. I’ve never done those. We continue to meet with people on a regular basis. I can’t be in two places at once when I’m out here in Washington and I’m asked to do something on someone else’s schedule back home.'
She pushed him again.
'Elizabeth, I don’t do grandstanding events and I never will do grandstanding events. These are things that elected officials from both parties decide what they’re doing. I do plenty of tele-town halls and give an opportunity for even more people that don’t want to listen to the screaming and shouting from people who obviously don’t want me to win or even be in this job.'
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11)
From the NYT:
For weeks, a swelling group has been showing up every Friday here at the local office of Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen to demand that he hold a town-hall meeting to answer its concerns about his fellow Republicans’ plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
After weeks without an answer, the congressman’s staff replied that he would be too busy, that such gatherings took considerable planning and that just finding a meeting place could be tough.
So the group, NJ 11th for Change, secured venues in all four counties that Mr. Frelinghuysen represents for times during the congressional recess this month — and constituents plan to show up even if he does not.
Lee Zeldin (R-NY-01)
According to Mr. Zeldin’s communications director, Jennifer DiSiena, the April 18 event was canceled due to concerns about anticipated harassment by groups that had rallied at a recent event in East Patchogue, where Mr. Zeldin was honored as Man of the Year by the Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics.
Regarding the upcoming library event in Southampton Village in April, Ms. DiSiena said in an email last Thursday, February 2, 'This meeting was co-opted, renamed and re-branded by a group of liberal activists who were already holding strategy meetings to turn it into a disruptive show for their own political theater.'
John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN-2)
Knoxville residents are planning a demonstration after U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. rejected requests for a town hall with a letter denouncing the public meetings as 'shouting opportunities for extremists, kooks and radicals.'
Martha McSally (R-AZ-2)
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said she would not be attending a grass-roots group’s town-hall meeting planned for later this month, describing the gathering as a “political ambush.”
During a telephone call with constituents, the two-term Republican congresswoman who represents District 2 said activists — primarily Democrats — want an opportunity to verbally berate members of Congress in a public setting.
'(The forum) is about trapping people in a political ambush for political theater,' she said, shortly after her local office was presented a petition with more than 1,000 signatures asking her to hold a public meeting.