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Town Halls Not On The Agenda Of Most Local Congressional Reps

San Diego's congressional delegation (from left to right): Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)
San Diego's congressional delegation (from left to right): Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)

Most Of San Diego's Congressional Reps Will Not Hold Town Hall Meetings This Week
Most Of San Diego's Congressional Reps Will Not Hold Town Hall Meetings This Week GUEST: Carl Luna, professor of political science, San Diego Mesa College

Congress is in recess for the next week. Representatives use the recesses to go home to districts and hear from constituents. They could hold a town hall meeting. This year, the town hall meeting is becoming a political problem, especially for Republicans. The two Republican congressmen will not hold town hall meetings. That is despite intense pressure. Joining me is Joy Luna. Welcome to the program. It is good to be with you. We have seen some rowdy town hall meetings. What is going on? We have a divided country. You have Democrats who are not happy with the outcome of the election. The Democratic county -- they want to hold those accountable. You are seeing backlash from the Republicans want to be sure that the agenda that they voted for his adoptive. The tall hall meetings are a time for all that to converge for somebody's Congress members? Yes. In 2010, the tea party was in 2009. They were going to town halls and being yelled at about Obama care and being too soft on President Obama. Republicans got heat. You did not see a lot of cooperation with the administration. Democrats are trying to show the Congressman that if you go the full trip, there will be a price to pay in 2018. They are trying to get the public and voters not to show up because they don't like the Congressman and get Democrats to show up. You make a good point. The Democrats, some of them are getting the same crowds at town hall meetings, big? Yes. You've seen that for the Senators in California with Scott peters. I'm not sure about Susan David's but it is a way to show the elected members of the Democratic party's, they went them to hold the line against Donald Trump and also, with him is when people show up at our house, they read does represent hundreds of voters. You create that over the next year and half and there's a price tag in the eyes of Congressman for going along with the agenda or there is pushback for counter demonstrations. People have rented a hall and invited Darrell to a town hall. The spokesman said he will not attend. Is that a risk? That it invitation is like a bring your own rope invitation. We would like you to step on a platform. He is vulnerable since the last election. He won by the smallest margin. The southern part of his district is against him. At this point, he doesn't see the value of going in at such an event. It is a long two years between now and election. If he is going to hunker down for two years, he will have a difficult time they will build up his opposition. It will not give him an opportunity to make his case with the constituents. There were people on the show. And air targeting him. Is content in their interest to reach out to the voters? The voters who want to reach out to Congressman, it is the people that vote for you. You want to be sure they show what to vote for you the next time. Right now, we are divided. There is not a lot of swing voters in the middle. They are trying to play the classic apiece to your base approach. The question is, will these town hall's tarnish Republican party index -- image. If they don't show up on election day, they are between a rock and a hard place. If they apiece progressive voters, they lose the conservative voters and vice versa. This is the GOP congressman to hold a town hall meeting in California. That is since the November election. I am wondering. Is a bad look for Congress to be seen avoiding town Halls? The first time it happens, you can put it down to politics and schedules. And things like that. As you plan more these, and in you continue them and the Democrats were smart, they will handle the successfully. They are calling for the event's. At some point, politics is local and it is retail. You have constituents. It is hard to move that wall. This movement to get representatives to town Halls is being fueled by people who are generally concerned about the new politics in Washington but beyond that, is this a good political strategy for people who are against the trump administration, to have these town hall meetings? It depends. If the town hall meetings start to look disruptive, you can paint the opposition the way the antiwar protesters in the 1960s were painted. They are on the fringe. You have to be careful. We tend to credit angry conservatives like this more than angry Liberals. The tea party was -- it helped him win the presidency. The Democrats and progressives have to walk a careful line, holding people accountable without pushing themselves too far over the extremes. Otherwise he will have the silent majority strategy which could work against them. You make the point that the town halls are based on the tactics of the tea party back in 2009. I am wondering. There are similarities but do you see differences in this movement banned from the tea party? One advantage that the modern town hall movements might have, it will be social media is more grants. It gets easier to link into an ongoing process. It can't be Justin isolated town hall incident. It has to be communications with Congressman and ad campaigns that you have to outreach with interest groups. The town hall approach worked with that to a degree. It was old school by bringing people together. There were more conservative voters that became a voting block and made the Republican Party more conservative. Democrats can list this -- link this up two different air-ish efforts like the women's march and other things. They can turn this into something else. I am speaking with a professor at San Diego Mesa College. Thank you.

All of San Diego's Congressional representatives are expected to spend this week's recess at home in their districts.

Members of Indivisible, a grassroots movement targeting President Trump’s agenda, have been calling on members of Congress to host town hall-style meetings in order to hear constituents' concerns about the policies of the Trump administration.


Below is a round-up of town halls and other related events planned for this week.


Rep. Scott Peters, (D-San Diego), will hold a town hall meeting on immigration and the Trump travel ban, among other topics, at the Islamic Center of San Diego in Clairemont Monday night. About 300 people have RSVP'd to the invitation-only event, which is expected to be filled to capacity.


Indivisible will host a town hall in Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) district at 6 p.m., Tuesday at the Jim Porter Recreation Center, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. The group invited Issa to attend the "Emergency Town Hall on Health Care" but according to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Issa declined the invitation due to a "long-standing-obligation" to tour a homeless shelter.



Representatives Peters and Susan Davis (D-San Diego) also will hold a public workshop at the at the Corky McMillin Companies Event Center at Liberty Station on Wednesday. That event has reached its capacity of 700 attendees.

Neither Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) or Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Santee) plan to hold town hall meetings, according to a report by KQED that looked at which California members of Congress are hosting town halls.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) is the only GOP Congressman to hold a town hall meeting in California since the November election. Hundreds of protesters came to the Feb. 4 town hall. McClintock had to be escorted to his car by police at the conclusion of the meeting.

Corrected: July 25, 2024 at 2:21 AM PDT
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the location of Wednesday's workshop. City News Service contributed to this report.