Sep 4, 2009

Michigan Republican Congressman are ducking townhall meetings

We have all seem the “tea baggers” disrupt health care townhall meeting put on my Democratic members of Congress, courtesy of scripts provided by the two rightwing Washington, D.C. lobbying groups that are behind the fake, Astroturf “tea parties,” but why haven’t we seen many town halls put on by Republicans?

Michigan’s Democratic Congressional delegation has held them, knowing the disrespect and attacks they were going to endure, but why haven’t Republicans held them? Surprisingly, they are not holding them because they are also afraid of the "shenanigans” and extremists that supporting them: their words.

Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, said he would only hold "tele-town halls” because of "shenanigans seen at some in-person town halls.” I can guarantee that if he does hold one no organized group will try to disrupt it and tell to shut him down and hijack the meeting. I cannot say the same for Democrats holding townhalls.

Mad Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, said he would not hold townhall meetings because extremists attend them. I agree with him, but the problem is they are his supporters. But McCotter apparently will not even meet with constituents.

One of his constituents, Eric Shelley, who was the 2008 Green Party candidate for Congress, has been trying to get a meeting with McCotter and ask him why he will not hold a townhall meeting. He was stymied, so he took to recording the conservations with McCotter’s staff and posting then on Youtube. Michigan Liberal and Blogging for Michigan have done an excellent job covering the saga.

His latest conversation was very telling. It was with McCotter’s chief of staff,
Andy Anuzis. Livingston County residents will remember Andy from his brief stint as the chair of the Livingston County Republican Party, taking over briefly in 2002 when Chris Ward was elected to the Michigan House. He is also the younger brother of Saul Anuzis; known for being loose with the truth and dirty tricks.

Anuzis told Shelley it was illegal to record telephone conservation, but that is simply not true. In Michigan, it's not illegal to record a conversation in which you are a participant. Anuzis could have hung up at any time to avoid being recorded.

Then he tried to blackmail Shelley, telling him the staff would no longer talk to him and he would never meet with McCotter if he didn’t take the videos down.

I have a simple question. When are Rogers and McCotter going to hold a townhall meeting and what are they afraid of?

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