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Politics & Government

Fewer town hall meetings, less face time with lawmakers

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Town hall meetings give voters the chance to come face to face with the politicians who represent them. Recently, most of Michigan’s seventeen U.S. Senate and House members have been steering clear of town hall meetings.

Instead some Congressional members are turning to tele-town hall meetings where they can talk over the phone with constituents. In these settings people can also send emails or use social media such as Twitter to ask questions or give comments.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-982983.mp3

In this interview Kathy Barks Hoffman, Lansing Correspondent of the Associated Press says:

I think a lot of Congressional members know that voters are not happy with them, that's what the polls show, and I think they are a little reluctant to go head to head [with voters].

Barks Hoffman in an article today writes:

Some are meeting with constituents in remote places far from the major media spotlights. Others are addressing only events that promise a friendly audience, or that charge a fee to attend.

Over the last few years some town hall meetings have been disrupted by people who were upset with lawmakers. Barks Hoffman says tele-town halls give politicians more controls over who attends.

-Mercedes Mejia, Michigan Radio News

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