House Republican Conference ‘Astroturf’ Town Hall


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Last month, the House Republican Conference produced an "exceptionally detailed" guides for their members on how to survive the August recess. The 31-page kit put together by the House Republican Conference is Here (Scribd).

Steve Benen reported at the time, House GOP has a game-plan for August:

[T]the "planning kit" gets even funnier.

Among the other tidbits:

* The House Republican Conference is
apparently preoccupied with Vine, a social-media tool that allows users
to create and easily share six-second videos. Good luck, House GOP, on
solving your problems six seconds at a time.

* Members are being
encouraged to publish op-eds in local media on the IRS "scandal." That
there is no IRS "scandal," and all of the allegations Republicans raised
have been discredited, has apparently been deemed irrelevant.

* According to the Roll Call piece, the Conference "suggests planting questions" at local events "to get the conversation rolling in the right direction."

And House Republicans are encouraged to go on an "Energy Production
Facility Tour" during the recess. Members, of course, have been told to
"wear a hard hat" and — you guessed it — put this and other events on

Sure enough, Arizona's GOP Congress Critters are sticking to the House Republican Conference "planning kit" like the good little GOP-Bots they are. Reps. Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert and Franks to Host Congressional Field Hearing:

Reps. Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert and Franks to Host Congressional Field Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S.
(AZ-04) joined by Congressmen Matt Salmon (AZ-05), David Schweikert
(AZ-06) and Trent Franks (AZ-08), will host a congressional hearing on
I.R.S. abuse and E.P.A. overreach. This hearing was previously scheduled
for July 1, but was postponed due to the tragic Yarnell Hill Fire.

The hearing will take place Thursday, August 22, 2013 at the Mesa
Arts Center (Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater) in Mesa, Arizona. The
hearing starts at 3:30PM and is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Attorney General Tom Horne and State Representative Brenda Barton will also offer testimony.

Representatives from Tea Party groups, industry associations and businesses will testify as well.

The hearing will be for purposes of taking testimony from
constituents in regards to problems or concerns they have with the IRS
or the EPA. Witnesses will also offer testimony on the impact a closure
of the Navajo Generating Station would have on Arizona. These issues not
only impact Arizonans, but also affect Americans across the country.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013


TIME:  3:30PM- 7:30PM (Doors will open at 2:00PM)
LOCATION: Mesa Arts Center
Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater
1 E. Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85211

Click HERE for the event flyer.

** Media attending the field hearing MUST RSVP with Orlando Watson ( by August 20th.


This House Republican Conference "Astroturf" staged event may be the only town hall these GOP Congress Critters will do during the August recess. The New York Times today reports, A
Former Engine of the G.O.P. Cools Down

Though Republicans in recent years have harnessed the political power of
these open mic, face-the-music sessions, people from both parties say
they are noticing a decline in the number of meetings. They also say
they are seeing Congressional offices go to greater lengths to conceal
when and where the meetings take place.

“The whole thing is very anti-democratic, and it’s classic behavior of entrenched insiders,” said Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group that in 2009 helped send legions of demonstrators to town halls.

* * *

With memories of those angry protests still vivid, it seems that one of
the unintended consequences of a movement that thrived on such open,
often confrontational interactions with lawmakers is that there are
fewer members of Congress now willing to face their constituents.

Members of Congress and their aides were reluctant to talk about the
lack of town halls on the record, mindful of the pressure from liberal
and conservative groups alike. “Ninety percent of the audience will be
there interested in what you have to say,” one Senate Republican aide
said. “It’s the other 5 or 10 percent who aren’t. They’re there to make a
point and, frankly, to hijack the meeting.”

* * *

Most of the efforts to shame members of Congress who are not holding
town halls are aimed at Republicans. Tea Party groups are focused mainly
on pressuring fellow Republicans — not Democrats, who would largely be a
lost cause — to back a proposal to shut down the government if
financing is not pulled from the president’s health care law.

Immigration groups, like Alliance for Citizenship, which supports a plan
like the Senate’s that would grant citizenship to the 11 million people
here illegally, are almost exclusively targeting House Republicans, who
now hold the key to passing any immigration overhaul legislation. The
Democratic-controlled Senate has already approved one. One of the
alliance’s targets this month has been Representative Eric Cantor, the
House majority leader, who has not announced any town halls but did
participate in them in 2009.

Even if more lawmakers schedule public meetings, and many still might,
Republican and Democratic advocates said Congressional offices have
gotten increasingly clever about keeping their schedules under wraps.

Sometimes, they wait until the last minute to announce the meeting,
advocates said. Other times, they book a room that cannot accommodate
large crowds and then alert their supporters to arrive an hour early so
that the audience fills up with friendly faces.

Many now prefer to hold forums over the phone, a format that allows an
operator to screen callers and minimizes the chance for the kind of
disruptions that could be recorded and distributed by camera-wielding

Conservatives created a monster and now they are hiding from their own creation. Karmic justice.