by David Safier

What's the difference between these two meetings being held today?

Here's the first.

The state teachers union will hold a closed-door meeting today in Tucson with a very specific rule: No Democrats allowed.

The Arizona Education Association, often accused of being tilted to the left, says it wants to encourage dialogue between Republican state lawmakers and Republican teachers.
That means no Democrats.

Here's the second.

FLOWERS to the Southern Arizona's legislative Democrats who are holding a town hall meeting this morning. Sen. Manny Alvarez, D-Elfrida, Rep. Pat Fleming, D-Sierra Vista, and Rep. Nancy Young Wright, D-Tucson, will meet with constituents from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library branch, 7800 N. Schisler Drive in Marana.

A closed door meeting with Republican legislators, and an everyone invited meeting with Dems.

Anyone remember Bush's carefully screened town meetings?

Now, I understand why the AEA scheduled the Rs only meeting. It wants the Republicans who voted to cut education to hear the concern about the cuts from people in education who usually vote for them. It's an attempt to make the budget cutters understand that the objections are bipartisan. I wanted to crash the party and listen, but as a teacher's union member my entire professional life, I won't do anything to get in the way of the AEA's attempts to create avenues of communication with legislators who are suspicious of the union's motives.

But tell me, when was the last time any of our local Republican legislators have held an open town hall meeting with constituents in their district? I haven't heard of any since the election.