Lawmakers Skip Town Halls, Hold Job Fairs

More than half of lawmakers holding no town hall meetings
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2011 2:47 PM CDT
Lawmakers Skip Town Halls, Hold Job Fairs
People wait in line during a job fair sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus in Atlanta, Aug. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Bob Andres, File)

Think politicians are just a wee bit spooked by the town hall rebellion of 2009? Leery of facing angry voters, lawmakers are eschewing those events this year, the Christian Science Monitor reports, with half of Republicans and two-thirds of Democrats opting not to hold any during this month's Congressional recess. In their place, leaders of both parties are encouraging a novel alternative: Job fairs.

The Congressional Black Caucus, for example, has held four out of its five planned fairs, with aides to one member saying they encourage businesses who want help from Congress to show up. Republicans have held fairs too, trying to hammer home the idea that, as one representative put it, “Jobs are job no. 1 for House Republicans.” Not everyone’s pleased with the change, though. “Our concern,” says the founder of one group promoting bipartisanship, “is that elected officials are only hearing from their respective partisan bases.” (Read more jobs stories.)

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