One congressional Representative for our northern neighbor, Idaho, has a problem in his Lewiston office: Too many artful codgers showing up there around lunch time with complaints about his political philosophy.
“A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador’s office in Lewiston has filed a complaint alleging a threat from a group of local citizens who routinely visit congressional offices.
Scott Carlton reported the issue to the U.S. Capitol Police early last month. Carlton, who works out of the congressman’s downtown Lewiston office, declined to comment when contacted by the Tribune and referred all questions to Doug Taylor, Labrador’s spokesman in Meridian, Idaho.
The citizen group, LC Valley Indivisible, is comprised of mostly older residents of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, according to its members. The organization is loosely affiliated with the national Indivisible groups that call for town hall meetings with members of Congress to raise issues regarding President Donald Trump’s administration.” [SR]
The group members recall a civil engagement with Scott Carlton, Labrador’s spokesperson. Carlton told people at a Chamber of Commerce gathering that the group was “aggressive,” and reported that he (Carlton) had contacted Capitol Police who have jurisdiction over congressional offices. [Spokesman pdf]
Not that those in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district can complain about this issue too strenuously, Mark Amodei (R-NV2) hasn’t scheduled a public performance since venturing out to Carson City recently. It is noteworthy that Amodei told the Reno Gazette Journal: “… he would not vote for any plan that resulted in reduced coverage for anyone. “No, I don’t think you can say forget it, we’re going to let them be uninsured because as a practical solution, that’s not an answer and somebody ends up paying in the end anyhow,” Amodei said.”
Now, Representative Amodei has a GOP plan before him that does precisely that — reduces health insurance coverage for people in his district, and the amendments to the bill recently announced make the situation even worse, dismantling Medicaid protection for seniors in record time. However, Representative Amodei doesn’t appear to want to pencil in a town hall meeting in a major metropolitan area in his district — like Reno/Sparks? Perhaps some of those artful codgers, similar to the Lewiston lunch bunch, might show up?
However, there are other ways to get the attention of elected representatives. I am particularly fond of the Empty Suit Town Hall. Let’s hear it for Lexington, Kentucky:
“…voters in Lexington, Ky., have been clamoring for the state’s congressional representatives — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Garland “Andy” Barr — to tackle constituents’ questions in person. They even booked a venue for Saturday and hand-delivered town hall invites to the politicians’ offices. The legislators were a no-show, but that didn’t stop things. Instead of McConnell, Paul and Barr, organizers propped up three mannequins wearing suits.” [WaPo]
Perhaps not the best optics for a congressional delegation? At least it’s better to be an empty suit than to sic the Capitol Police on office visitors?
There are other ways to contact GOP representatives like Mark Amodei — and this should be done before the vote on the Repeal/Replace bill on Thursday.
For those living in District 2 there’s Amodei’s contact form for quick e-mail messages. Simply scroll down the page to the “e-mail link.” The page also has the phone numbers for Amodei’s offices in Reno Phone: (775) 686-5760, Elko Phone: (775) 777-7705 , and Washington, D.C Phone: (202) 225-6155.
This is as good a time as any to remind Representative Amodei what he said to the Gazette Journal: “… he would not vote for any plan that resulted in reduced coverage for anyone. “No, I don’t think you can say forget it, we’re going to let them be uninsured because as a practical solution, that’s not an answer and somebody ends up paying in the end anyhow,” Amodei said.”
Now, if only those artful souls in Idaho can get the attention of their Representative…