If the voters in New Hampshire expected to get answers from their Congressional Representatives on health-care reform, they may have to wait a long, long time. Neither Paul Hodes or Carol Shea-Porter will meet with constituents during the August recess, a time when Beltway politicians usually touch base with voters back home to both raise money and take heat over their policies. Instead, both will meet an entirely different constituencies:
Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes (NH-02) has no publicly scheduled town hall meetings with constituents planned for the August recess but he will appear in Concord as the “featured guest” at the Blue Hampshire Bash, a party for liberal bloggers on August 24th, NowHampshire.com has learned.
Controversial San Francisco-based blogger Markos Moulitsas Zúniga will also be a featured guest at the event. …
News of Hodes’ participation in the Blue Hampshire Bash is causing some to question his priorities. In addition to holding no town hall events, which are vital opportunities for constituents to discuss issues with their members of congress, Hodes was criticized by a constituent in the media on Wednesday for refusing him an appointment.
At least Hodes will stay in New Hampshire, even if he’s hiding behind the skirts of Markos Moulitsas. Shea-Porter will go a thousand miles to hide from her constituents:
A second member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is opting to meet with liberal bloggers instead of holding town hall meetings with constituents on the issue of health reform.
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) will speak in Pittsburg, PA today at Netroots Nation, an enclave of liberal bloggers intended to promote liberal public policy, educate activists on internet communication techniques and even enjoy “everything from massages to beer tastings to author signings.”
Netroots Nation is sponsored by several politically powerful unions as well as the influential liberal blog Daily Kos.
Shea-Porter has not held any town hall meetings with constituents this August recess and has no such publicly scheduled events for the balance of the month. Her office did not respond to our request for comment.
Maybe this makes more sense for both. After all, they clearly don’t believe they answer to voters in their districts. They answer more to the unions and hard-Left activists at these functions. New Hampshire voters have a chance to realize that, perhaps for the first time, as Hodes and Shea-Porter run away from them.
This also clarifies the pushback from the Democrats on ObamaCare protests. They claim that the protesters don’t represent mainstream America. If that’s so, the Democrats have had plenty of opportunity now to arrange for their idea of mainstream America to attend these forums. So far, though, most of the people who attend the town halls seem angry at their Representatives rather than angry at the opposition — which is the reason why Hodes and Shea-Porter have hightailed it out of town, and in the latter case, out of state.
Not coincidentally, I’m at the Right Online conference today, where Pat Toomey will speak this evening. Pat Toomey, it should be noted, has stayed home in Pennsylvania where he plans on running for the US Senate, as Hodes will in New Hampshire next year. Unlike Hodes, he doesn’t have to answer for supporting a multi-trillion-dollar government takeover of American health care, and so his reception outside the hall of a conference will be much friendlier than Hodes’ … which is why Hodes will remain holed up at Blue Hampshire rather than talking with the voters of his district.